I enjoyed your article on the rookie phenoms (The Eternal Hopefuls of Spring, March 20), but I was disappointed that you did not include Dennis Lamp, a 25-year-old right-handed pitcher in the Cubs' organization. Lamp, who pitched in the American Association with Jim Wright of the Phillies—whom you mentioned—had a better winning percentage. Lamp was .733 (11-4) to Wright's .700 (14-6) and had a better ERA (2.93 to 3.13).
Your article was great, but you forgot Mike Easier of the Pirates. This 27-year-old rookie played in 10 games for Pittsburgh and batted .444. With Triple A Columbus he batted .302 and hit 18 home runs.
ROBERT J. BESTWICK
Lake City, Pa.
How about some of the Minnesota Twins' rookies? Roger Erickson had an 8-4 record and a 1.98 ERA in 16 games at Double A Orlando. Hosken Powell, an outfielder, had five home runs, 51 RBIs and a .326 average for Triple A Tacoma. Greg Field was 14 and 7, with a 2.78 ERA for Orlando.
THE WOMEN'S WAY
Kent Hannon's article on women's collegiate basketball (Too Far, Too Fast, March 20) was too simplistic, overly condemning and devoid of any sophisticated insight into how the AIAW perceives athletics and how this young organization is striving to find "a better way" to govern collegiate sports. AIAW members have not accepted the rules and methods of the NCAA or any other men's organization as God's will or the only way.
Hannon ignores the fact that the AIAW utilizes correct legal procedure, due process and rules of evidence when conducting its investigations. It has done a legally defensible job of enforcement and has 20 institutions on probation in 1977-78 alone. On the other hand, the NCAA Enforcement Committee, whose investigatory procedures are currently being investigated by Congress, seems to have real problems attempting to demonstrate similar respect for the law and the rights of students and member institutions.
The AIAW's flaws are a result of youth and rapid change. I doubt whether Hannon can make a case that the NCAA, the AIAW's 72-year-old male counterpart, is less flawed. What is important is that the AIAW is committed to searching for a new and considerably saner sports governing model based on sound educational principles and an unbending concern for the rights of student-athletes. A wholesale condemnation of the AIAW or its basketball program will not be justifiable for at least another five or six years, or until we all see whether this organization is successful in finding what it is searching for.
DONNA A. LOPIANO
Intercollegiate Athletics for Women
University of Texas
Your article on AIAW rules violations, specifically in basketball, touched on some new and important facts. As much as the statement is denied, women's athletics on the collegiate level are following the exact wayward path of men's athletics. Instead of employing their knowledge of the prior mistakes made by men in their programs, the women have become a carbon copy of the men.
Somewhere along the line something has gone awry. Athletics are offered at a university because they are part of a well-rounded education. But how many athletic teams at the university level are anything but professional sports teams that happen to be affiliated with a university? Athletic programs that are separate from the educational scheme of a college have no place on the campus.
Upon coming to my present post, one of the first things I heard about was the transfer to another university of two excellent women track athletes.
Men's and Women's Track and Cross-Country
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Kent Hannon has said what some of us—male and female—have been saying for about a decade.
As founder and coach of the first women's track and field team at Trenton (N.J.) State College in 1968. I became aware of questionable recruiting of top runners (including transfers) by those who preferred stealing to developing. I was an administrator responsible for the women's intercollegiate athletic program at the University of Pennsylvania at the time Title IX was initiated, and my colleagues and I expressed our fears and concern, but our warnings fell on deaf ears.
Unfortunately, as happens in the case of improprieties and illegalities in the men's programs, it is the lives and the idealism of young adults that suffer.
ROBERT H. MCCOLLUM
Director of Recreation and Park Administration
Illinois State University
Those AIAW member-institution representatives who abide by AIAW rules but know about others who don't are just as guilty as the rule breakers. I am tired of hearing "I could turn in 100 violators tomorrow." Start doing it!
Trainer, Volleyball Coach
University of Georgia
Many thanks to Ron Fimrite for his superb article on Max Baer (Send in the Clown, March 20). There is no doubt in my mind that if it hadn't been for Baer's clowning and tragedies, he and Joe Louis would have traded the championship belt many times over. I'm not taking anything away from Joe, because I still think he was the greatest of them all, but wouldn't it have been wonderful to see Max and Joe battle it out twice a year for more than a decade?
As a teen-ager, I witnessed Max Baer's tragic fight with Frankie Campbell, peering through the chicken wire on top of the right-field wall at "Old Rec."
By the way, Lou Nova can be included along with Bob McAllister and Gentleman Jim Corbett as a former representative of the San Francisco Olympic Club.
Redwood City, Calif.
The article glamorizing Max Baer as a gentle giant who hated fighting and had no mean streak in him draws a dissenting vote from this corner. I have been a fight fan for more than 50 years and have seen most of the good fighters of this era. In college I was captain of the boxing team and had the pleasure of being taught by Jack Britton, the old welterweight champion, so I feel fairly well qualified to speak about the game.
In 1935 I was visiting a fight camp in Los Angeles. Steve Hamas, the heavyweight from Penn State, was training to meet Lee Ramage, a local hero. Max Baer showed up at the camp, and at the urging of those present suited up for a workout with one of the young sparring partners, a tall stringy kid who weighed about 180 pounds. When the bell rang the kid moved around, popping out ineffectual left jabs, most of which bounced off Baer's headguard, while Baer stalked him around the ring, never throwing a punch but constantly testing the kid's reactions with head and shoulder feints. The kid finally jabbed and let his left hand drop. Baer whipped a murderous punch into the kid's jaw and the kid went down as if shot, arms and legs sprawling almost without relation to the body and his head hanging grotesquely over the ring's edge. An unquestionably great puncher displayed his full talent against a virtually helpless opponent, whose brains were scrambled at least for the rest of that afternoon. To my mind, it was a vicious, cruel act by an egotistical show-off.
WALTER M. COLLERAN
In a recent issue (FACES IN THE CROWD, Feb. 13) you stated that Juan Salazar of Oakland Park, Fla. set a county record for most goals scored (eight) in a single high school soccer game. That record was broken a week later by Mark Schwartz of Miramar, Fla., also in Broward County. Schwartz scored nine goals. In addition, Schwartz now holds the county and state season-scoring records of 54 goals, two more than Salazar.
Chalk up a vote for Sam Moses as Writer of the Year. His fascinating piece on rock climbing (Stone Walls, Stout Hearts, March 6) provided a picturesque view of a sport I previously knew nothing about. After reading the article, my impression of rock climbers is that they are people with an abundance of courage and self-control and a keen sense of reality. One who can forget the problems of everyday life successfully enough to conquer obstacles encountered in rock climbing has my admiration.
MICHAEL J. WEBER
So Beverly Johnson, rock climber, feels that softball is for "soft people." Am I to follow this line of thinking and believe that rock climbers have rocks in their heads?
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