Thank you for an excellent article on the front-running L.A. Dodgers (Painful Search for a Pennant, Sept. 19). It's about time someone cleared up the mysteries surrounding the only team in the majors making victories out of iced elbows, taped knees, weak hitting and clapping Covingtons. Up to now few people have been aware, as I was, of the individual suffering undergone by practically 11 out of every 10 players on a team held together by nerves, tape and chewing gum, both sweet and sugarless. Now they know the truth. What can I say but congratulations to Jack Olsen.
Incidentally, my wise old mother says that hot tea bags and rock salt will cure Sandy Koufax's ailing elbow.
MARK J. FRIEDMAN
Cherry Hill, N.J.
I would like to compliment Jack Olsen on his superb story. Anyone who reads this article will know why the Dodgers click. I credit your staff with writing some truly great individual stories, but this inside look at L.A. tops them all.
Paul Dietzel's discussion of his motives (I Have Never Broken a Contract, Sept. 19) was very illuminating. We've heard it here in South Carolina, but I am delighted he took this opportunity to explain to everyone the reasons he is so widely traveled.
By his own words, challenge and accomplishment are the elements for which Dietzel strives. In the final analysis, his accomplishments, as I am sure he realizes, will have to be the criteria by which he is judged. However, it is the enthusiasm, honesty and terrific sense of salesmanship that Paul Dietzel brought with him to his task that have quickly given a sense of hopefulness to Gamecock fans everywhere. I am grateful he's here, and thank you for giving him the opportunity to state his case.
W. S. LINNING III
"I've got to have a challenge," says Mervin Hyman for Pepsodent Paul.
Isn't there a challenge in trying to remedy a record of 21 won, 18 lost and one tied, such as he made at West Point?
L. ROBERT BLOCK
Pity poor Paul. The Army had just too much challenge for him.
THE REV. JOHN HANNAHS
It seems to me the man doth protest too much. If failing to live up to the terms of a contract is not breaking it, then what is? The fact that the other signatory to a breached contract acquiesces in the failure and exacts no penalties does not change the fact that the contract has been broken. The actions of coaches like Paul Dietzel and Bear Bryant in matters of contracts makes me wonder what kind of character some name coaches develop.
R. H. FISHER
I hope that Mr. Dietzel's defenses are better at South Carolina than they are in his article.
PAUL BELDEN III
I suggest a better title: Humility and How I Achieved It.
JOHN W. STEVENSON
In the college football issue (Sept. 19) you listed The Alltime Top 25 Teams. The mid-western states feel that they play the top brand of college football in the country, the Alabamans feel that they have what it takes, and the Texans feel they are the nation's capital of college football. O.K. But you will notice that the state of California has four colleges listed in the Top 25—two more than any other state.
San Jose, Calif.
I rather suspected as I read Jeannette Bruce's SHOPWALK (Sept. 19) about sailing lessons that I should not care to risk myself in a boat with her; and when she ended, "You haven't lived until you've luffed," I was quite certain. A yachting trip with her would be ketch as ketch can every time she changed hawsers in midstream.
Sorry to send such astern letter. Actually my barque is worse than my bight.
J. A. MAXTONE GRAHAM
Thank you so much for the splendid coverage you gave the 1966 Connie Mack. World Series tournament in Farmington, New Mexico (Big Victory in a Small Town, Sept. 12).
It was thrilling for me to be chosen princess to represent the Pacific Southwest region and to be crowned queen of the Series was beyond my fondest dreams.
Farmington, N. Mex.
After reading your September 12 article, I am glad that more people have finally found out about the Connie Mack tournament at Farmington. I was a member of the 1965 Connie Mack national champions, and Joe Jares' article brought back to me many, many pleasant memories of the kind and gracious citizens of Farmington.
Thanks for telling about the No. 1 tourney in America.
HARRY K. TATE
Your article about that wonderful town of Farmington, N. Mex. brought back many fond memories. After an auto accident two years ago I spent the first two weeks of September recovering in a hospital there. Not only was everyone in the hospital great to me, but many residents of the town, who had only read of the accident, came to say hello and visit me.
I'll always remember Farmington.
MAURY D. KLEIN
In his article, The Men Who Fire Managers (Sept. 12), William Leggett is too kind to Chub Feeney and Horace Stoneham, the San Francisco Giants' own Dynamic Duo. Let the record show that, in addition to the horrendous Cepeda-for-Sadecki misdeal, in the last two and a half seasons these far-sighted gentlemen have traded away such unpromising individuals as: Mateo Alou, currently batting .345 for the Pirates to lead the National League; Manny Mota, batting .338 for the same team; and Felipe Alou, No. 2 in the league, hitting .330 for Atlanta. And as if this were not enough, Feeney and Stoneham have also dealt Stu Miller and Jack Sanford away to the American League: Sanford is 13 and 7 for the Angels; Miller is 9 and 4 for Baltimore, with a 2.30 ERA.
Perhaps this wouldn't be hard to live with if the Giants had gotten something in return, but there is not one man on the club who is hitting .300, and only two starting pitchers have won more games than they have lost. Too bad San Francisco can't trade Feeney for Buzzie Bavasi.
William Leggett was much too kind to Boston's Mike Higgins.
DIVOTS AND DIVIDENDS
The Trembling Thirteen, that group of intrepid market plungers and ladies' golf sponsors, merit hearty commendation from all golf fans and labor leaders for their generous efforts to improve the financial lot of the touring gals (Money Is a Girl's Best Friend, Sept. 12). Monetary rewards for the girls on practice tee and tournament fairway have been truly piddling when compared to the take-home pay of even the most outstanding hacker on the men's pro circuit.
But while all must applaud this "first" in the direction of establishing more equitable prize money for the distaff swingers, I, for one, am not overwhelmed by the Thirteen's speculative genius. Pat Ryan points out how the 13 men ran a $50 monthly contribution to $80,000 since 1959 by taking flyers in "such volatile issues as suntan lotions, oil wells and The Pill," but a bit of simple arithmetic reveals that this works out to a gain of only 47% on cash currently committed. This is something short of spectacular when one considers that the same seven-year period featured one of the greatest speculative blowoffs in stock market history, during which even the venerable Dow Jones industrials managed to chalk up a gain of 46%.
New York City
Pat Ryan's story was really big-league. I can say this because, as one of the Trembling Thirteen, I am not at all prejudiced. We are planning an even bigger and better World Series next year.
JOHN F. HARLEY, M.D.
To keep the record straight, I think that the Trembling Thirteen should be referred to as the Trembling Fourteen. You see, I am their stockbroker.
URBAN F. MILLER