As loyal A's fans who have been through the ups and downs of the Oakland franchise, we found it refreshing to finally read an accurate account of the Oakland tragedy (They're Just Mad About Charlie, May 21). Ron Fimrite hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that Charles O. Finley has no promotion campaign whatsoever for the A's. We A's fans are even subjected to a San Francisco Giants billboard right by the Oakland Coliseum that says CATCH US AT CANDLESTICK. Talk about promotion!
Bay Area fans shouldn't blame the A's players for Finley's apathy. The team, though young and inexperienced, has played some exciting baseball and could blossom with time and fan support. If Finley would only sell the team to local owners who would promote it and be a part of the Oakland community, the A's could outdraw the "other team across the Bay."
San Jose, Calif.
How can Charles O. Finley be sued for lack of promotion? In the last 10 years nobody has promoted major league baseball more than Finley. In the early '70s, when pro football was becoming the national pastime, Finley brought baseball back to center stage. He introduced the baseball world to bright-colored uniforms, Mustache Day, ball girls, a mule and even Reggie Jackson as a designated hitter. He also was a pioneer advocate of nighttime games on weekdays during the World Series, so the working population could enjoy the whole Series. During its glory days, no team ever received more press coverage than the world champion A's.
For all of this, the people of Oakland have never been baseball fans. They never really supported the A's even when they were champs, so why should they be so concerned now? Why should Finley build a new championship team?
PAUL K. CROSS
Ron Fimrite sneers at the "anachronistic pearls" of the Oakland A's No. 1 announcer, Red Rush. If Fimrite wants to experience total frustration as a member of the radio audience, he should come to San Diego and listen to Jerry Coleman. Maybe we can trade for Red.
DANIEL S. DAMERON
Although the city of Oakland may not be able to rid itself of Charlie Finley (or vice versa), as far as I'm concerned it can send Red Rush back to Chicago anytime. During this past college basketball season, Red did a fantastic job of handling DePaul basketball games on radio. And judging by your sampling of his colorful baseball commentary, Red would also be a welcome addition to the Chicago baseball scene.
Tom Cousineau ("You Made a Wise Choice," May 21) won't have any identity problems in the NFL. His first tackle for the Buffalo Bills will send repercussions rocketing throughout the league. Hats off to Douglas S. Looney for providing a bit of insight into football's next Dick Butkus.
After reading the article on Tom Cousineau, I can understand why Woody Hayes wants to punch football players.
ELIZABETH ANN MURRAY
Valley Cottage, N.Y.
Thank you for the beautiful article on one of my favorite people, Giorgio Chinaglia (I Am Giorgio Chinaglia! I Beat You! May 21). However, J. D. Reed made a mistake when he stated that Lazio is "the oldest team in the soccer-mad country [Italy]."
The oldest team in Italy is the Genoa 1893, born that year as Genoa Cricket and Football Club. While their ships were being loaded, English sailors used to kick a ball around on the Genoese waterfront and that is how the game really got started in Italy.
JOHN C. CARLI
There is no doubt in my mind that Giorgio Chinaglia is as fine a gentleman as he is a soccer player. Many times he has stopped and chatted in Italian with my mother and me in the parking lot at Giants Stadium before practice and before games. For someone who usually doesn't talk to anyone on game days, Giorgio did pretty well.
Three cheers to Chinaglia for being the man he is. Thank goodness he thinks not only of himself, but also of others.
THE '37 BEARS
I really enjoyed the article by Stephen Kaufman about the legendary Newark Bears, the second-best baseball club of 1937 (YESTERDAY, May 21). The Bears really were more than a Double A team. They could have beaten most of the major league clubs of that year.
I could have called Ruppert Stadium my second home back then, and I felt as if I knew every player personally. So, as I read Kaufman's piece I noted one error. In writing about Bob Seeds' "one magical moment" in 1938 when he hit seven home runs in 10 trips to the plate, Kaufman stated that Seeds was playing for Buffalo at the time. No way! I remember that occasion. Seeds was the regular centerfielder for Newark when he accomplished that prodigious feat, but he did do it up in Buffalo's ball park.
HARRY F. BANGERT
The Newark Bears were a fine team, but the Columbus (Ohio) Red Birds, whose lineup that year included Enos Slaughter, Johnny Rizzo, Mort Cooper, Nelson Potter, Max Macon, Dick Siebert and Max Lanier, could easily have won the 1937 Little World Series except for two unfortunate injuries Kaufman failed to mention. Both of our catchers suffered split fingers in the final four games in Columbus. I saw those games, and poor throwing by the catchers, which resulted in extra bases for the Bears, was our downfall.
It was a classic matchup of two superior nines.
CARROLL L. SOLLARS
SHORT-HAIRED DOG STORY
Ha! If you think 2-year-old Joe Dump might be the fastest greyhound in the country (SCORECARD, May 21), you've never heard of Derek's Cadillac. Before he was two, Derek's Cadillac had made a name for himself in New England, and since relocating to Florida, he's won three major stakes: the Biscayne Derby and the Flagler International Classic twice.
How fast is Derek's Cadillac? By the time you finish reading this letter, he will have run around a [5/16]ths-mile track twice, eaten, showered and gone to sleep.
Barry McDermott's article Ironman (May 14) is one of your best. I am training to run in a marathon, and that is hard enough. To swim 2.4 miles and also bicycle 112 miles immediately before running a marathon seems almost impossible. And all this for a nuts-and-bolts trophy and hardly any recognition? These people are true athletes, and I take my rubber-soled running shoes off to every one of them.
My ego is crushed! Now that I've read Barry McDermott's article, my upcoming 3,000-mile bicycle trip across the country seems almost embarrassingly easy.
SI would have done well to feature Lyn Lemaire. This Phi Beta Kappa student (UCLA) is scheduled to enter Harvard Law School in September. Her remarkable achievement of finishing fifth in a field of 11 Ironmen says much for women athletes.
KATHRYN S. MALONEY
Enough is enough! Your article on the Hawaiian Iron Man Triathlon hails an athletic cartoon. Glamorizing these sporting oddities insults real athletes who compete in some well-established Olympic events that SI apparently cannot spare a page to recognize. The article was particularly irritating to some of us who are now training full time at the U.S. Modern Pentathlon training center in preparation for the 1980 Olympics. Ours is just one of many events that have more class, talent, history and human interest than the Hawaiian Triathlon, which attracted a mere 16 competitors.
(Third in the world in '78)
Thanks for raising my stock in the eyes of my 15-year-old son. I was a mediocre high school athlete who never starred for my university (Duke) on the basketball court or on the gridiron but who did achieve some recognition as a singer. Now, I get to combine these two passions by often singing the national anthem before Blue Devil basketball and football games. After reading Sean Kellogg's article on opera singers as athletes (As I SEE IT, May 14), maybe the coaches will include me on their rosters!
THE REV. CHARLES M. SMITH
United Methodist Church
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