In the article on Jack Lambert (A Living Legend Called Mean Smilin' Jack, July 12), Robert F. Jones mentions that Lambert made "a few small-college All-America teams."
During the time Lambert played at Kent State, I believe the university was in the MidAmerican Conference, which is classed as major-college competition. It would seem, therefore, that Lambert's All-America mention would be major, rather than small.
STEPHEN C. MORTON
Bowling Green, Ohio
While serving as an assistant to the sports information director at Kent State, I watched Jack Lambert labor in anonymity for three years. But Jack's contribution far surpassed sports. He and a handful of other Golden Flashes who also made it to the pros reunited a campus with its community. Following dark years of controversy, Jack Lambert made people forget about what happened at Kent State. He gave us something to cheer about.
MARK DE MARINO
There was an interesting old fellow whom Robert F. Jones neglected to mention.
It was the guy Jerry Kramer called "the strongest 240 pounds in football." He was the gentleman with the reputation as the meanest and toughest son of a gun on the field and the player selected as the best middle linebacker of the NFL's first 50 years. No one scoffed when he titled his autobiography Mean on Sunday. He also wrote the book on world championship rings.
It's only been four years since No. 66 was worn by Raymond Nitschke. How soon we forget.
MARK B. RAFFLES
Highland Park, Ill.
I must congratulate Ron Fimrite on his superb article concerning San Diego's Randy Jones (Uncommon Success for a Common Man, July 12). I was exceptionally pleased to see that Randy was depicted as a "common man," one not seeking fame and fortune but a man just making a living for himself and his family. Randy Jones has done much more than win ball games, he has given kids who haven't been blessed with overpowering strength a hope that they, too, can use skill and finesse to conquer power.
Lemon Grove, Calif.
If Mike Schmidt would be embarrassed to go out to the mound and pitch with the kind of stuff Randy Jones uses, how must he and his fellow Phillies feel going up to the plate after being shut out by that kind of stuff twice?
I sure hope Jones can win 30. In 1971 another threat to pull that nearly impossible trick was Vida Blue of the A's. Blue was 17-3 at the All-Star break but finished the season with a 24-8 record. Even if Jones should fail to win 30, he still tied a 63-year-old record by not giving up a base on balls in 68 innings.
Fond du Lac, Wis.
The National League record for most victories at the All-Star break is 16 by Randy Jones this year. The major league record is 17 by Vida Blue in 1971. Yet Ron Fimrite said that Don Newcombe won 18 games before the 1956 All-Star Game.
Who is right?
Mt. Vernon, N.Y.
•SI goofed. Blame it on the two extraordinary seasons Newcombe had. In 1955 he was 14-1 at All-Star time and 18-1 by July 31, but he won only twice more that year to finish 20-5. In 1956 he was 10-5 at All-Star time, but won 17 of 19 decisions after that to finish 27-7.—ED.
Mark (The Bird) Fidrych (Cuckoo Over a Rara Avis, July 12) is the best thing to come into baseball in years. How one person, in such a short time, could get a city and the entire baseball world wanting to see him perform is amazing. The Bird is flying high, and there's no telling how high he'll go before the end of the season.
Bay City, Mich.
Mark Fidrych states, "I don't want to get impressed with myself...if that happens, I want somebody to smack me." Then he goes out and selects the William Morris Agency to represent him in advertising and commercial matters.
Will it ever cease?
I did not like Ron Fimrite's subtle put-down of Detroit Pitcher Mark Fidrych. In his article on Randy Jones, Mr. Fimrite says, "Unlike many of his contemporaries, who...perform interminable household chores on the mound...Jones does not shilly-shally between pitches." In case Mr. Fimrite doesn't know, the Bird is a very fast worker, and this "shilly-shallying" has carried Mark to a 10-2 record and the American League's lowest ERA after only two months as a starting pitcher.
A flake he may be, but Fidrych has Tiger fever running higher than it has at any time since October of 1968.
NANCY L. KUHAREVICZ
Fidrych brings to mind the Mad Hungarian, Al Hrabosky of the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the hearts of millions with his unique antics on the mound.
Stevens Point, Wis.
You disappointed me by putting Randy Jones on the cover and sticking Mark Fidrych on page 39. Fidrych should have gotten equal billing.
TOM DE MARTINI
In regard to Curry Kirkpatrick's article on Bjorn Borg's victory over Ilie Nastase at Wimbledon (Great Heavenly Days, July 12), I must take strong exception to the remark, "he didn't overwhelm the Rumanian with talent as much as expose his opponent's jangling nerves."
I saw that match, as I have seen Borg and Nastase play many times before. Borg was not unusually cool, nor was Nastase more jittery than usual; the plain fact is that Bjorn simply surprised everyone—Nastase included—with his superb grass-court play. To say that he revolutionized his game between the French Open and Wimbledon is not an understatement. Give credit where credit is due. Bjorn Borg is a great talent. If he maintains the level of play he achieved at Wimbledon, he could dominate the game for many years to come, which may well be the real message of Wimbledon 1976.
Your Wimbledon story was particularly enjoyable because it did not play up the ludicrous demand of the Women's Tennis Association for equal pay. The women's game is so weak that only two players are even worthy of mention. This demand is only one more ridiculous result of the Women's Liberation movement. The women do not deserve the pay they already receive.
Virginia Beach, Va.
Curry Kirkpatrick's Wimbledon story was masterful, the kind that has established SI as the great sports magazine it is. But your marvelous picture of Bjorn Borg's moment of ecstasy should have been on the cover. Wimbledon is a special event, and Borg a special athlete.
It's a shame that countries won't withdraw from wars because of their enemies' politics with the same regularity as they withdraw from international athletic events (SCORECARD, July 12).
Get the politics out of sports and let the athletes decide among themselves who is the fastest, strongest, etc. Olympic competitors should perform in neutral uniforms, and there should be no reference to the winners' nationalities on the presentation of medals. The opening and closing ceremonies would then be a display of world harmony.
THOMAS F. LESTER
Colonial Heights, Va.
I thoroughly enjoyed Douglas S. Looney's article on basketball hoops (VIEWPOINT, June 28). There isn't a basketball court in my neighborhood that is perfect. But who really wants the regulation 10-foot-high hoop—the little kids who just shoot for fun, or the adult basketball player?
As the wife of a 34-year-old basketball freak who has played every Sunday morning with "the guys" for the past five years, I congratulate Douglas S. Looney.
Mr. Looney's trials and tribulations putting up a basketball hoop because "this is the American thing to do" really hit home. It made me relive the two entire days my husband recently spent putting one up on the garage for our 6-year-old son. Even my husband, who didn't laugh at all during those two days, found Mr. Looney's article refreshing, true and hilarious.
IN THE SPIRIT?
Was it just a coincidence your issue of SI dated July 5 had 76 pages?
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Your article on Mark Spitz [A Golden Fish Out of Water, July 5) confirmed my belief that the "golden fish" is nothing but a big zero. Here is a man whose main worry is the cost and color of a bulletproof wall in which to set his medals. And is the regular evening entertainment at the Spitzes really a TV performance of his races at Munich? Egotism is an understatement.
As an athlete myself and a person who has known and seen world-class athletes, I believe Mark Spitz is no more than an unfortunate child, and while he may have worked hard to become a physical wonder, he misses the mark as a total person.
Yes, Mark Spitz was a good swimmer, but millions of us will not forget his attitude when in Mexico City. Having just been defeated by Doug Russell in the 100-meter butterfly, he refused to take the traditional walk around the pool with Russell and the other swimmers.
Many who knew him said that was the true Mark Spitz. For centuries athletes have had to hold their heads high even in defeat, but Spitz just didn't measure up as the total athlete.
We are trying to forget and forgive, but exposed as we are to Spitz in SI, Spitz at pool-side. Spitz in commercials, etc., it is difficult. We will continue trying.
DER FUHRER (CONTINUED)
Thank you for the excellent article (Not Nearly as Sweet as He Looks, June 28) on fiery Frank Fuhrer, the Pittsburgh Triangles' imaginative and controversial owner. However, I was not surprised to read that Fuhrer has "reduced at least a handful of women players to tears." I can empathize with Evonne Goolagong, Peggy Michel and other female members of the Triangles, past and present. You see, Frank Fuhrer was my Little League manager.
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