Six pages about baseball's most exciting and most evenly balanced division, the National League East (The Bucs Stop Here? Aug. 25), and not one word about the New York Mets. What gives?
I am overwhelmed by your overlooking the Mets. In the past (1969, 1973) they have proved that they can come from behind and win in the clutch. At this writing they are only five games behind with a month left in the season.
New Haven, Conn.
Few sportswriters have ever been able to capture the sense of "Packerism" that is in the blood of every Wisconsinite. But Edwin Shrake (A Fresh Start with Bart, Aug. 25) showed the down-to-earth ways of a legendary football team that won, and will win, with vigor yet supreme modesty.
Bart Starr will maintain this tradition.
Great dynasties never die, they just get interrupted.
RIORDAN AND DELL
Curry Kirkpatrick's story on Bill Riordan and Donald Dell (By Hook or by Crook, Aug. 25) was very good. There are, however, a few things I would like to point out.
If Dell and Riordan were to disappear today I am sure tennis would survive and probably continue on its youthful course (remember, open tennis is only seven years old).
There are thousands of people who daily are contributing great amounts of time and energy to professional tennis; they just aren't interested in continually letting everyone know they are around.
I am proud of my 1973 Davis Cup record. In the article it was stated that Rod Laver and I played only in the final round. In March and April of that year I played Davis Cup against Japan and India. In India we spent 12 days training under armed guard because of a death threat against us. Laver joined the team for the semifinal and final, as did Ken Rosewall.
New Braunfels, Texas
The Aug. 25 issue of SI stated that I was party to an agreement that prohibited Jimmy Connors from entering the 1974 French National Championship Tournament. That statement is totally false and has absolutely no basis in fact. I was not party to any such agreement. Indeed, prior to the French tournament, the Grand Prix Committee adopted, at my specific urging, and in the presence of the French tournament director, a resolution condemning bans against players.
DONALD L. DELL
•Mr. Dell is entirely correct. SI regrets its error.—ED.
WILLIAM E. MILLER
I enjoyed the article on Hervé Filion (Once More, with Filion, Aug. 11) as I enjoy all your coverage of harness racing.
However, I assume Sam Moses' allusion to the "comparative obscurity" of William E. Miller was a reference to Barry Goldwater's running mate in 1964 (no relation), rather than to my grandfather, who was the foremost amateur horseman of his era.
Personally training and driving his own stable, the latter William E. Miller was one of the leading drivers at Roosevelt Raceway in 1942 and the leading percentage driver in the country in 1949. He died at 75 of a heart attack suffered while he was leading the field in a race at the Delaware State Fair in 1954.
In addition, my grandfather was the founder and president of Rosecroft Raceway, a night harness track built on his breeding farm near Washington, D.C.
WILLIAM E. MILLER II
GREYHOUNDS AND RABBITS
After reading Dan Geringer's article They're Making a Killing (Aug. 11), I had to give our pet greyhound, retired from racing three years ago, a new name—Killer. Of course, Lucky doesn't know she's a killer, nor do the squirrels that share peanuts with her on the patio, or the cat next door, which invariably winds up as the chaser rather than the chasee in their continuing game.
If greyhounds really need to be trained on raw meat, a piece of liver on a moving pole would do nicely. Expert opinion tends to agree that the fake rabbit which racing dogs follow around the track is there for the benefit of the bettors rather than the dogs, who would just as soon follow an old glove, as long as it moves.
Greyhounds make marvelous pets, as anyone who owns one will testify. They may not be too smart, but they're gentle, affectionate and tractable. As for them always remaining killers, Mr. Geringer should note that when the recent owners' strike ended at Flagler track in Miami, the dogs had to be retrained. They had forgotten in a few weeks that they were killers and were supposed to go after the rabbit.
DONALD K. BALDWIN
Temple Terrace, Fla.
We raise Salukis. Our puppies also course game by instinct. But they will instinctively chase rabbit lures without ever killing a live rabbit. I suggest that greyhound trainers would have equal success running their young dogs with a freshly killed rabbit as bait. The rabbit would be killed humanely, before the dogs could sink their teeth into the carcass as a reward for their chase. The public would thus be mollified and greyhound racing could not be accused of cruelty to rabbits.
We in California who have been working for the legalization of pari-mutuel greyhound racing were dismayed and appalled by your article on the rabbit-killing situation in Florida. We are the proponents of a ballot initiative in California that would make it a crime to use any live animal in the training of a racing greyhound and would outlaw the willful destruction of a healthy greyhound when his racing career is over.
These are archaic practices that are no longer necessary or acceptable. Modern greyhound racing should be the most humane of any sport involving animals. The dogs today are trained by mechanical means, such as the Jack-A-Lure, which makes the use of live rabbits cumbersome, expensive and obsolete.
GEORGE G. HARDIE
Golden State Greyhound Association
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