I don't believe it! In a week in which Johnny Miller wins an unheard-of triple on the golf tour and UCLA has an 88-game winning streak brought to an end, you have the nerve to put an article concerning bathing suits on the cover (Palmy Future for a Balmy Resort, Jan. 28). I'm not weird or anything (I can see more on the covers of at least three other magazines that I receive), but your priorities are a little mixed up.
Why shock your readers with pictures of half-nude dames when you should have put Notre Dame on the cover as No. 1? We don't need pictures of girls in swimsuits (if you can call them suits) to get over "the midwinter blahs" when there are so many sports to be illustrated.
FR. PHILODORE LEMAY, M.S.
When friends told me that SI had not featured our Bruin-beating Irish on the cover of your Jan. 28 issue, I was outraged. However, when I examined your coverage of such divine shapes as Cheryl Tiegs', I cheered just as loudly as I did when John Shumate brought down his last rebound on the most recent Catholic holy day, Jan. 19. Color coverage seems almost wasted on mortal athletes when compared with the article on heavenly swimsuits.
Notre Dame, Ind.
Nothing brightens up a drab January day better than your annual bathing-suit issue. I enjoyed all of the photographs—except the one of Esteban Padilla.
PAUL J. MAGUIRE
I would just like to know why a good magazine has to turn into a girlie magazine. My teen-age children read it. Two of my friends called and asked what I did. I told them that my husband took the magazine apart and removed the offensive pages; my friends destroyed their copies. You can terminate my subscription if it happens again.
MRS. GEORGE BRENNAN
Our school has been subscribing to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for three years, and we have found it very helpful in our reading program. However, this week we will be unable to use your magazine. If this format continues we will have to cancel our subscription. This type of picture in the classroom causes so much disturbance there is no reading done.
Paden City Grade School
Paden City, W. Va.
I know you'll get the usual deluge of letters from outraged mothers and narrow-minded people about your article. The only thing I can say is that if my son gets to be 13 or 14 years old and doesn't look, I'll take him to a psychologist. If my husband stops looking, I'll know he is dead.
On one of the rare occasions when you decide to dedicate eight pages and your cover to women, you once again blow it by not depicting women participating in sports or by interviewing a woman athlete. What do you show instead? Women modeling swimsuits. That's some sport! It seems that we go through this same display every year, and it is beginning to get ridiculous.
Funny, but "the sight of a pretty girl in a swimsuit against a backdrop of sun, sand and surf" doesn't do a thing for my "midwinter blahs." Do you plan a sequel featuring men in bikinis?
I wonder if all those parents who respond to your annual bathing-suit issue by canceling the subscriptions of their innocent children to save them from the sight of such vulgar seminudity will forbid their children to go to the local beach or swimming pool this summer lest they see more of the same thing in person.
JOHN W. INGRAHAM
New York City
I just received your annual "cancel my subscription" issue. Here's hoping that summer arrives at once.
R. L. KASPERIK
MAN AND NATURE
I find Charles Fraser's ideas of resort development and recreational land utilization (No Shadows on the Beach, Jan. 28) disgusting and appalling. Surely Mr. Fraser fills a need on the part of those people who wish to pay $80 per day for the privilege of playing tennis at a resort where Charles Pasarell and Marty Riessen own condominiums.
However, he has totally misstated the purpose of the Sierra Club and its attitude toward wilderness. Each year the club expands its guided-tour program, leading thousands of people through the wilderness in an attempt to spread appreciation for it.
I would not deny Mr. Fraser his right to build a resort at Palmas del Mar, but the expansion of wilderness does not mean "let's not let anybody else come here." Rather, establishment of wilderness areas means that Americans will always have a place for themselves and their children to truly understand the harmony of nature. I do not believe my wife's delight and fascination at seeing her first wild doe with its fawn last September in Colorado's San Juan Primitive Area would have been quite the same if Stan Smith and Arthur Ashe had been lobbing tennis balls in the background.
J. K. SKILLERN
WOMEN IN ACTION
As a high school basketball player and a girl, I was very pleased with your article on JFK College (Jan. 28). Women basketball players are deserving of publicity. Until recently, a female athlete was forced to live in anonymity. Billie Jean King has cured some of those injustices. Your article shows that women's basketball is not just a bunch of girls shooting chest shots on an asphalt court, but a finely honed group of athletes dedicated to the sport.
That was a terrific article by Jane Gross. It is about time there was more written about women in sports. The John F. Kennedy College women's basketball team proves this point. I have seen the team play and I was truly impressed.
IONE L. WENRICH
MACHINE AGE (CONT.)
As a 10-year professional with major league experience, a major college coach for the last 10 years and the father of 8-and 9-year-old sons, I must react to the negative comments made by two of your readers (Jan. 21) concerning the use of the modern pitching machines and particularly JUGS.
These new machines, with their tremendous flexibility of speeds and pitches and their superb control factor, have been a great aid to college coaches all over America in developing better hitters. To say these machines could not benefit younger players as much is ridiculous. In fact, these machines are the answer to the problem of all walks, few hits in boys' baseball leagues today.
It appears that a small controversy is developing, possibly because of misinformation on the use of the pitching machine. The Atherton Little League may have been the first to use the JUGS pitching machine. We have used it since 1971, both as a teaching aid and as a "pitcher" in our minor league program for 8-and 9-year-olds. Major and advance leagues have regular pitching and use the machine in practices for multiple-purpose teaching, i.e., bunting, catching fly balls, infield batting practice and controlled games.
I was fortunate enough to have played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for four years (1953-56) under the leadership of the late Branch Rickey. Mr. Rickey was the innovator of many teaching and conditioning aids for major league spring training camps. Over the years these and other techniques have been incorporated into virtually all training programs. The JUGS machine is part of this development, but it is more versatile than any others I have seen. Contrary to John Jay Wilheim's comments, JUGS has the capability of throwing fastballs, curves, sliders, knucklers or screwballs, simulating either a lefthander or a righthander, and pitching from major league to Little League speeds. JUGS will challenge any good hitter.
Not every player, regardless of the teaching method used, will be a .300 hitter. But JUGS is a good aid and helps expedite practice. In our program it provides uniformity of opportunity in tryouts. At the same time, it helps younger hitters develop the confidence to hit a curveball or slider and to bunt. JUGS has excellent control and, since there is no fear of being hit, the batter learns to stand in there and take his cuts.
JACK L. SHEPARD
Atherton Little League
Menlo Park, Calif.
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