Rick Reilly's An American Classic (May 8) is the best article I have read in a long time. It caught the essence of a historic evening for Jon Peters, and it also gave us a wonderful look at the American scene.
Missouri City, Texas
This is an article from the June 5, 1989 issue
Reilly put us all in a small ballpark in Brenham, Texas, on a special evening in April. We tasted the hot dogs and ice cream and felt the electricity in the air as we watched and lived an American classic. Congratulations to Peters and Reilly for giving us faith and hope for the future.
It was pleasing to read about Peters and to realize that he made SI's cover one week after his idol, Nolan Ryan, did. The back-to-back covers, framed and hung side by side, would be something that Peters might cherish forever.
New York City
You could easily have reversed the cover billings for Ryan and Peters. Isn't Ryan the Superkid, and Peters the Texas Heat?
Massapequa Park, N. Y.
Even more remarkable than Peters's winning streak is his wholesome, unassuming demeanor. Being from Texas and having family in Brenham has given me the opportunity to read about his achievements, and in every article his all-American country boyishness and his love for baseball and his teammates are obvious. He is every bit as refreshing as a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream, Brenham's No. 2 claim to fame.
Frank Deford's decision to leave SI (FROM THE PUBLISHER and POINT AFTER, May 8) left me with the same sense of loss I felt when I read about the deaths of Red Smith and Jimmy Cannon. Few writers have the ability and the perception to extend to their readers prose that "wobbles." Deford is among the very best. Godspeed, Frank.
JAMES D. HARLIN
It has been a dreadful week! On Monday I learned that my favorite comic strip, Bloom County, is retiring in August. On Tuesday my beloved Celtics were swept by, argh, the Pistons. And today I read that Frank Deford is leaving SI. Say it ain't so, Frank.
Frank Deford's story The Ageless Warrior (May 8) is a marvelous tribute to Archie Moore. Moore was a natural light heavyweight, and some argue that he was in over his head when he moved up to the heavies. Still, he was one of only two men to knock down Rocky Marciano. The referee robbed Moore of whatever chance he had of upsetting Marciano by sending the Mongoose to a neutral corner while he gave Marciano an eight count—and a breather—even though the mandatory eight count had been waived for the bout. Moore prided himself on his ability to dispose of any fighter he had in trouble, but Marciano slipped away.
The Moore-Yvon Durelle bout was the most exciting I've ever seen. With Moore rising again and again; with Moore's manager, Doc Kearns, refusing to let Moore sit down between rounds in a ploy to psych out Durelle; and with Durelle wearing a look of frustration and finally doubt as he was beaten, the fight had all the stuff of great drama.
WALTER B. DUNNING
Circle Pines, Minn.
In the early 1970s, someone at the national office of the Boy Scouts of America had the wisdom to hire Moore as a consultant to organize scouting for inner-city and minority kids. As a young district scout executive in Spokane, I was Moore's escort when he came to town.
I have fond recollections of this outstanding gentleman in action: Archie leading the Pledge of Allegiance in a way that brought tears to the eyes of grown men, Archie unable to walk down the street without being mobbed by well-wishers, Archie in a junior high boys' locker room with some of the toughest kids in town, all of whom were hypnotized by his presence.
Thanks for rekindling these and many more memories of one of the finest men I have ever met.
C. CARL ALLEN
As a neurologist who has treated patients with convulsive disorders for more than 20 years, I have two comments regarding the article on Chicago White Sox first baseman Greg Walker (Just Happy To Be Here, April 17).
First, the actions of Sox trainer Herm Schneider during Walker's seizure should be emphatically denounced, although Schneider himself should not be criticized, because he was unaware that a seizure was occurring. The type of seizure described is self-limiting and does not require potentially dangerous physical attempts at resuscitation.
Second, although Walker should be commended for resuming his normal life activities, he is not the first pro athlete to overcome a seizure disorder. Baseball's Hal Lanier, basketball's Bobby Jones and hockey's Garry Howatt all completed notable careers while being treated with anticonvulsant medications. It would have been better to emphasize that normal life-styles are expected for seizure patients and that Walker's situation is not extraordinary. To imply anything to the contrary is to do a disservice to the millions of seizure patients who are living normal lives.
DONALD KAISERMAN, M.D.
West Covina, Calif.
I enjoyed Sarah Boxer's story on the intimidating aura of black-clad teams (Dark Forces, April 17). The dress-to-kill theory may have had an early practitioner in legendary baseball manager John J. McGraw. An ornery and intimidating man, McGraw outfitted his New York Giants team in black broadcloth uniforms for the 1905 World Series against Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics. Result: The Giants crushed the Athletics in five games, allowing no earned runs in the entire Series.
Unfortunately for McGraw, the Athletics weren't as impressed with the uniforms when the two teams met in the 1911 Series. McGraw reordered the black outfits, but the Giants bats were no match for the pitching of future Hall of Famers Eddie Plank and Chief Bender. The Athletics won the Series in six games. Good uniforms may go a long way, but good pitching goes farther.
To add to Boxer's article: New Zealand's national rugby team is called the All-Blacks because of the color of its uniforms. The All-Blacks have dominated their sport since 1905.
In the first-ever Rugby World Cup, held in New Zealand and Australia in 1987 and seen by almost one billion television viewers, the All-Blacks overwhelmed seven other powers—Argentina, Scotland, Fiji, Italy, Wales, France and Australia—by a combined score of 320-62. So Boxer and researchers Tom Gilovich and Mark G. Frank can now rest their case. Wear black and win.
PAUL B. ANDREW
One of the most intimidating teams in the NFL last season was the Houston Oilers, whose home stadium is known as the House of Pain. The color of their jerseys: Columbia (I call it baby) blue.
North Providence, R.I.
MODELS OF PERFECTION
A while ago (SCORECARD, March 27) you showed us a model of the Montreal Forum constructed by Roger Gibson of Battle Creek, Mich. I recently completed a 2½' X 3' model (above) of Yankee Stadium as it appeared in 1973, before it was renovated. Beginning in July 1972 and guided by yearbook, newspaper and magazine photos, including some from SI, I duplicated, on a scale of one inch to 30 feet, every detail of the old ballpark I could. My model is made of balsa wood, paper clips, staples and straight pins—close to half a million parts. The upper-deck facade alone contains nearly 1,000 pieces. The dugouts are recessed below field level, and miniature monuments and plaques sit the equivalent of 451 feet (15.033 inches) from home plate in centerfield, where Joe and Mickey used to hit 'em and catch 'em.
BRADLEY S. MERILA
Shelter Island, N.Y.
•Merila's model will be on display from July 1 through Aug. 31 at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.—ED.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.