THE STRAIGHT PITCH
Just before your article appeared on Seaver and Palmer (Kings of the Hill, July 21), a friend asked me to name the top pitchers in each league. I picked the same two that Ron Fimrite chose. However, because a part of greatness is consistency, I wonder if either will end their careers with 300 victories. Palmer needs 158 more, or an average of 20 wins for the next 7.9 seasons. Tom Terrific needs only 140 more, or an average of seven 20-victory years. By then both would be 37 years old. Possible injury, improved hitting and more reliance on relief pitching compound the difficulty of their reaching 300.
Miami Lakes, Fla.
Ron Fimrite states that Tom Seaver "shares the major league single-game strikeout record of 19." Seaver does indeed share the nine-inning record for strikeouts with Steve Carlton and Nolan Ryan, but Tom Cheney, formerly of the Washington Senators, holds the single-game record of 21, which he accomplished in 16 innings against the Baltimore Orioles in 1962.
CHARLES CARR III
Spring Lake, N.J.
THE BAY AREA
A Gift of Place (July 21) is a positive story in a time of negatives. The Chesapeake Bay is a great example of life everywhere. The next time I'm fishing here in Kentucky or crossing the Ohio River, there will be a totally different picture in my mind, thanks to Robert H. Boyle and Mark Kram.
CLAY B. MORRIS JR.
The article should be required reading for the Army Corps of Engineers.
EARL W. SCHULTZ
You say that the Chesapeake is the richest body of water in the world, but its 125 pounds of seafood per acre per year hardly compares with the figure for Kachemak Bay in Alaska. Kachemak Bay provides nearly 200 pounds per acre per year of shrimp and crab alone, not to mention vast catches of salmon, herring and halibut and the world's richest clamming areas. And the full fishery potential of this bay is hardly being realized, with sole, pollack, flounder, octopus, rock-fish and scallops also in abundance. Compared with the Kachemak, the Chesapeake is merely a site for possible reclamation.
W. Somerville, Mass.
The Chesapeake watershed does not drain all of the state of Maryland. The waters of the Youghiogheny River in western Maryland eventually flow into the Gulf of Mexico (through the Monongahela, the Ohio and Mississippi rivers) rather than into Chesapeake Bay.
LONNIE A. MCCULLOUGH
THE FATAL STEP
I was horrified when Ruffian broke down and shocked when she was destroyed. Newspaper articles and television reports left many questions unanswered. William Johnson's Could She Have Been Saved? (July 21) answered them. I feel better after reading it. The doctors should be commended for a fine effort to save a great horse.
Could she have been saved? As far as I'm concerned, the question was answered in the article. No.
I rode thoroughbreds for several years. I knew Dr. Alex Harthill, and have seen him doctor many horses. When I was apprenticed to the Doug Davis Jr. Stable we would have 40 to 60 head of horses, and if Dr. Harthill was on the grounds, he was our vet. Doc was gentle with horses, and if he thought a sore horse needed to be sent back to the farm for rest, that's what he would say—which was not what most owners wanted to hear.
I think Dr. Harthill is one of the best thoroughbred veterinarians in the country.
Bil Gilbert's Caravan Into the Cornbelt (July 21) is one of the most stirring pieces I have read in a long time. He has managed to convey the completeness that human experience can sometimes reach, the joy that comes from simple things and the realization of how nice people really are. I have never been to Iowa or anywhere in the Midwest, and never thought I wanted to go. Thank you for opening my eyes.
JOHN W. MCCORMICK
Since leaving Iowa, after living there for 24 years, I have become tired of hearing bad Iowa jokes. Thanks to Bil Gilbert for giving Iowa some of its due.
Gilbert put a lot of intangible feelings into print. This native Iowan almost cried.
W. M. BLACK
It's nice to find that somebody knows the difference between Iowa and Idaho and Iowa and Ohio. But please, no more writing about the wonders of Iowa. After all, we don't want all those New Yorkers and Californians moving out here and ruining it for us natives.
PATRICK KACMARYNSKI TWAIT
La Porte City, Iowa
On the third day of SAGBRAI, while waiting for my brother to catch up, I started talking to the postmistress of the small town I was in. As we talked, I mentioned, without disclosing any names, that my brother would be teaching school there in the fall. She said, "Oh, I've been holding some of his mail for him; tell him to stop in and pick it up when he gets here." That's the kind of trip it was.
Iowa City, Iowa
ARTHUR VS. JIMBO
Ashe is undoubtedly a great champion (Catching Connors in the Stretch, July 21). Connors may have been misled by his manager, but Ashe beat him fair and square, and I hope the next time he plays him he beats him even worse. Ashe is one of the best tennis players of our time, and no matter whom he plays, I'd put my money on him.
I have never been a fan of Jimmy Connors, but after reading Arthur Ashe's article revealing his so-called "secrets" for beating Connors, I will gladly join the Connors fan club. Ashe uses his Wimbledon victory as an opportunity to chop up Connors. He writes that Connors has "traded his soul," but one thing Connors has is guts. At Wimbledon Connors reportedly played through most of his matches with a painful injury, which required more guts than Ashe needed to write the article. Connors wouldn't take cheap shots at anyone in a magazine: he lets his tennis speak for him. This reader believes Ashe will someday choke on his words, courtesy of Jimmy Connors.
San Mateo, Calif.
Ashe's comments detract from his victory and indicate why Connors feels and acts the way he does toward a part of the tennis world. First, Ashe cannot even correctly remember his past matches with Connors. He did not lose in live sets on grass; he lost in five sets on the artificial surface at Longwood in 1973. Secondly, while Ashe is entitled to his opinion, how dare he say that Connors choked? I am sure statistics will show that Ashe is one of the biggest chokers of all time. In my opinion Connors lost because he had a bad day and made more errors than usual. (He may also have had a leg injury.) Ashe seems to indicate that he is trying to drum up interest in a Connors-Ashe challenge match. My suggestion to him is that he employ a new tactic in preparation for any future match with Connors—keep his mouth closed.
STEPHEN M. BESSEMER
I resent the inference that it was only because of Pelé that Seattle drew more than 17,000 at the Sounders vs. Cosmos game (Yes, It'll Play in Peoria, July 21). The Sounders have been averaging well over 16,000 fans, and we would have been there Pelé or no Pelé. The opening welcome given Pelé was exceeded only by the welcome given the Sounders, which is just as enthusiastic at every game.
Tex Maule says that the Los Angeles Aztecs play on a variation of Astro Turf. As all 12,176 at our game with New York can testify, El Camino Stadium requires the excellent care of a ground crew, frequent watering and occasional mowing. Our players share Pelé's problems on artificial surfaces—but never at home.
Redondo Beach, Calif.
Keep it going, General, we approve 100%, but it's not really a new game (New Army Came, July 21). Anyone who was with the old Army Air Corps in 1943, and was sent to the noncommissioned officers' physical training instructors' school (NCOPTIS) at Miami Beach, can well remember that era's version. It was called "Miami Murder" and had only one rule: "You cannot write home to mother for help."
ROBERT A. BURNELL
If General Brooks wants to pay the hospital bill, that's fine. Until then, conventional football is fine.
KENNETH R. CLASSEN
Re "Tale of Two Cities" (SCORECARD, July 21), it is true that Braves attendance is down 35% over last year and the Falcons are record holders for no-shows, but do they deserve better? It is the teams, not the city, that are not major league. Give us a winner, like the Braves of '69 or the Hawks of old or even the 9-5 Falcons of 1973, and the faithful will return to the turnstiles.
The Braves' management refuses to identify itself with Atlanta, the city it milks except by the script letter "A" on the garish uniform cap. Other teams sport their cities' names, at least on road uniforms. The Hawks, at last, are going to rectify this omission. Next season they will wear new ATLANTA-emblazoned uniforms, even if Marvin Webster and David Thompson will be wearing Denver's.
W. E. JESSUP
Please, do you have to refer to female athletes by their last names? This sends me clear up a wall, because male athletes are referred to in this manner and because female athletes, who are not often featured in national publications, deserve the recognition of being female.
MRS. BETTY GUILD
Browns Valley, Calif.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.