An article on unbeatable sports records (The Record Company, Jan. 8) that didn't mention Johnny Vander Meer's two consecutive no-hitters in 1938? The fact that we still make a big deal about a pitcher almost pitching one no-hitter is reason enough to include this feat. If anyone even comes close to tying Vander Meer's record, let alone breaking it, I'll buy Jack McCallum dinner.
Port Washington, N. Y.
This is an article from the Feb. 12, 1990 issue
My only criticism of McCallum's article on records is the omission of Nolan Ryan's 5,076 (and counting) career strikeouts. Ryan has almost 1,000 strikeouts more than his nearest competitor, Steve Carlton, and some 1,500 more than the nearest active pitcher, Bert Blyleven.
DOUGLAS F. NEWMAN
What about Richard Petty's 200 NASCAR Winston Cup victories?
Lake Carmel, N. Y.
Harvey Haddix's 12 consecutive perfect innings for the Pirates in a 1959 game against the Milwaukee Braves.
East Pittsburgh, Pa.
Bear Bryant's 323 Division I college football victories.
Most consecutive seasons as manager of a major league team, 50, set by Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Connie Mack's lifetime 4,025 losses as a major league baseball manager.
JOHN D. WILSON
Newtown Square, Pa.
I doubt very much if anyone will ever top Billy Martin and manage the Yankees six times.
New York City
Lefty Grove of the Philadelphia Athletics had a pitching record of 152-41 (.788) from 1928 to 1933. His .788 winning percentage may be the best for any six-year span since 1901.
RICHARD M. GIBSON
Fran Tarkenton, quarterback for the Vikings and the Giants: most attempts (6,467), most completions (3,686), most passing yards (47,003) and most passing touchdowns (342) in NFL history.
Bart Starr's string of 294 completed passes without an interception for the Packers in 1964-65.
LAURENCE J. HOWE
Jim Brown of the Cleveland Browns: the only player to average more than five yards per carry and more than 100 yards per game during his career.
Wilt Chamberlain: The name was right, but the record was wrong. In an era when entire teams had only 40 to 50 rebounds per night, Wilt's record of 55 against the Boston Celtics on Nov. 24, 1960, is far safer than his 100-point spectacular.
Fox Point, Wis.
Pete Maravich's NCAA career scoring record at LSU of 44.2 points per game. His closest pursuer, Austin Carr of Notre Dame, at 34.6, isn't even close.
Chevy Chase, Md.
Cal Ripken Jr.'s astounding streak of 8,243 consecutive innings played.
Gordie Howe's 32 years of major league hockey, including six years with the World Hockey Association.
NHL goalie Terry Sawchuk's 103 career shutouts.
Jim Ryun's schoolboy mile record of 3:58.3, set in 1965 when Ryan was a high school senior.
Overland Park, Kans.
Bobby Jones's golf Grand Slam in 1930.
While competing for Ohio State in a Big Ten track and field meet in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1935, Jesse Owens equaled the world 100-yard-dash record and set world marks in the long jump, the 220 dash and the 220 low hurdles—and all within one hour!
Pele's 1,281 goals, primarily with the Brazilian soccer club, Santos, and the New York Cosmos.
ROBERT M. CARLOCK
McCallum ends his article with the question "What is the greatest athletic feat of all time?"
I would like to nominate two. In both 1920 and 1927 Babe Ruth hit more home runs than any team, besides his Yankees, in the American League.
Mark Spitz's seven world swimming records at the 1972 Olympic Games.
The five Olympic records, including one world record, set in the 1980 Games by speed skater Eric Heiden.
Al Oerter's winning the Olympic discus gold four consecutive times, in 1956, '60, '64 and '68.
Coral Gables, Fla.
A DEVOTED SUBSCRIBER
As far back as I can remember (I was born in 1953, the year before your magazine came into existence), there were always two things next to my father's favorite chair: the daily newspapers and the latest copy of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
My father loved to watch and to read about sports. He was at the Polo Grounds in 1951 when Bobby Thomson hit "the shot heard 'round the world." For many years he went to Belmont every Saturday to watch the thoroughbreds. But his passion was always the New York Giants. He was a season-ticket holder for three decades. I'm very glad he saw the Giants win the Super Bowl in 1986 after so many years of frustration.
On Dec. 22, after a brief illness, my father passed away. He was 77. Among the items we placed in his coffin was the last SI he received, your year-end double issue. Some may think that this is ghoulish, but his family feels it is fitting that he went to the grave with his SI—a devoted subscriber to the end and beyond.
JERRY O'NEIL JR.
Tuckahoe, N. Y.
Your Dec. 3, 1984, cover featured quarterback Doug Flutie of Boston College with a mysterious bulge in his sock. Your Jan. 8, 1990, cover featured Craig Erickson of Miami, and he too has a bulge in his sock. Is it a mouth guard or what?
Miami is ranked No. 1. Would a penalty in the Sugar Bowl game against the Hurricanes have made a difference in the outcome? NCAA rules state that a football player on the field must wear a mouth guard—in his mouth. The penalty for a violation of this rule is the loss of a timeout, or if all timeouts have been taken, a five-yard delay-of-game penalty.
Your Jan. 8 cover photograph of Craig Erickson shows an apparent infraction. It appears that his mouth guard has found its way into his right sock. Would it have made a difference if Erickson had worn his mouth guard? Probably not, unless he had incurred an injury.
I have witnessed too many of these injuries, and I do not believe that playing without a mouth guard is worth the risk. This is a good NCAA rule, and it should be enforced.
FRED LOOK, D.M.D.
•Erickson keeps his mouth guard in his sock when off the field, and he inadvertently forgot to put it in his mouth when he went back into the game. The NCAA has passed a rule stating that beginning this year, mouth guards must be yellow or any other readily visible color so that they can be more easily seen by officials. A mouth guard protects a player's teeth, and by clamping down on it, the player reduces his risk of a concussion.—ED.
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