It isn't often that a caddie makes the cover of SI (June 4), but as Tom Watson keeps winning, his caddie, Bruce Edwards, is also becoming well known, especially here in Wethersfield, Conn., his hometown and, incidentally, the site of the Sammy Davis Jr. Greater Hartford Open.
Which reminds me of a story about Jack Nicklaus and his caddie, Angelo Argea. A year or so ago, when Nicklaus was trying to get to the green at one tournament, someone said, "Make way for Angelo and his player." Perhaps soon they will say, "Make way for Bruce and his player."
ROBERT M. ELRICK
Before everyone starts criticizing your NBA playoff predictions (It's Washington [City] vs. Washington [State], by George, April 16), I would like to congratulate you. The playoffs were just starting when that story appeared, and you correctly said that the Bullets would win in the East, and they did. You said that the SuperSonics would win the West, and they did. You said that their final series would go only five games, and you were right. You said the Bullets would win. They didn't, but three out of four isn't bad.
You were 3,000 miles off. Our Sonics are super!
SILAS, UNSELD...AND DANDRIDGE
Surely Paul Silas is one NBA player who has made the best of his limited skills (The Bullets Weather an Ice Storm, May 28). However, John Papanek said, "He and Washington's Wes Unseld...are participating in their fourth NBA championship series, more than any other active players." I believe that this statement is in error. Washington's Bobby Dandridge was also participating in his fourth. In 1971 and 1974 he went to the finals with the Milwaukee Bucks, and in 1978 he got there again with the Washington Bullets.
For one of my college courses, I recently wrote a research paper concerning the deterioration of the salmon run on the Columbia River in the Northwest. Your timely article (Clamor Along the Klamath, June 4) on the Klamath River run has reaffirmed my prognosis: the salmon is all but dead, and only its persistent drive to survive has delayed the burial.
Although the Klamath run is threatened with annihilation, man's intervention on the Columbia has created even greater problems there. As on the Klamath, the Indian fisheries are entitled to catch 50% of the Columbia's harvestable run, and commercial fisheries also take a large number of salmon. However, it is the extensive damming of the Columbia River that may prove to be the final—and fatal—blow. Biologists estimate a 15% mortality rate among salmon when they encounter main-stream dams, primarily because of super-saturated nitrogen and turbine kills.
The most distressing aspect of the decline of both the Klamath and Columbia River runs is that the public appears to take little interest. I hope your article will stir up enough public interest to save the depleted stocks of salmon throughout the U.S.
BRIAN JOSEPH HEFTY
Klamath Falls, Ore.
NO MICKEY MOUSE OPERATION
As boxing manager and promoter Pete Ashlock's director of boxing from 1975-78, I must correct Douglas S. Looney's contention (Losing Search for a Winner, May 28) that Orlando, Fla. has never had a profitable boxing show. On the contrary, about 25% of my 67 cards made money. And after I moved to New York to become Teddy Brenner's assistant matchmaker at Madison Square Garden early in 1978, I gave Pete two successful main events: Edgar (Mad Dog) Ross vs. Ralph Palladin for the North American junior middleweight (not junior welterweight, as SI said) title, and Howard Davis vs. Larry Stanton, Orlando's first and only nationally televised bout.
While Pete did lose big money in '75, we minimized his red ink the next year, and in 1977 the boxing operation actually generated a profit.
New York City
Pete Ashlock should be a hero in Orlando, but the city, the county and the local newspapers, the Sentinel and Evening Star, won't let him be one. Even Philadelphia 76er star Darryl Dawkins, who comes from Orlando, is virtually unknown here. Only Mickey Mouse is a celebrity in this non-sports town.
MICHAEL J. MCNAMER
The purpose of this letter is to correct a misstatement that appeared in SCORECARD (May 14). You said that Gunter Harz, promoter of the spaghetti tennis racket, "attended a board meeting of the Omaha Tennis Association, and as a result the board voted to require that the Missouri Valley Tennis Association allow spaghetti rackets to be tested for a year in tournaments."
What actually occurred at the April 23 meeting was that the board voted 5-4 to consider for action at its next meeting an inquiry to the Nebraska Tennis Association as to whether spaghetti rackets could be allowed in a sanctioned adult tournament.
At the next meeting, which was held on May 14, a week after your item went to press, the motion to make such a request was defeated.
Omaha Tennis Association
The Jack McCallum story about Ty Stofflet was excellent (This Guy Can Rise It, Drop It and Pop It at 104 mph. May 28). I take exception, however, to Herb Dudley's comment that Eddie Feigner wouldn't be in the same class with Stofflet and the rest of the great fast-pitch softball pitchers. I caught Feigner 16 years ago while he was warming up for an exhibition. His dropball would break down and in, down and out or straight down. His rise would go up and out, up and in or straight up, and he had a roundhouse curve, a slow curve and a hard flat curve. He also had a great changeup and a fastball that would almost knock you down. I'm sure that Stofflet is the best in the world now, and Dudley was one of the greatest ever, but I can't imagine any of them being better than the "King" in his prime.
Having recently moved to Allentown, Pa. and its fast-pitch softball league, I have had the opportunity to face Ty Stofflet only once. He walked me on four straight pitches. The umpire probably didn't see the ball either.
Ty Stofflet's 20-inning no-hitter must rate as one of the greatest pitching feats in the history of fast-pitch softball. However, another lefthander from an earlier era (1950-1959), John Hunter, must rate right up there with Stofflet. Pitching for the Clearwater (Fla.) Bombers in perhaps the toughest fast-pitch league in the country. Hunter won 275 and lost only 19 before a hip injury put him out of the game: In 1951 Hunter pitched 47⅖ consecutive hitless innings and struck out an amazing 45 batters in a row.
The Bombers won 10 Amateur Softball Association world tournaments, and Hunter's record in world competition was 23-2.
Bobby Spell of Crowley, La. is a member of the National Softball Association Hall of Fame and of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He was considered one of the world's greatest softball pitchers during the period 1956 to 1960, when his team won three world championships and he was All-World three times. He pitched 205 innings in world tournament competition, allowing only eight earned runs, and he had more than 200 no-hitters during his remarkable softball career.
Lake Charles, La.
You say the national softball Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City is "hardly a tourist attraction." Comparing Softball's Hall of Fame to baseball's is unfair, mainly because baseball's Hall has been in existence since 1939 while Softball's was built in 1973. Since that time, the softball Hall of Fame has averaged 70,000 visitors a season (March through October).
Knocking softball isn't smart. More than 27 million people play the game.
D. E. PORTER
Amateur Softball Association
Martin Robins really evoked some memories in his story about the Ethan Allen All-Star Baseball Game. (As I DID IT, May 28). The sound of the spinner drove my parents crazy for several years.
What Robins forgot to mention is how Allen's board game turned mediocre players into near superstars. My favorite was Aaron Robinson. As far as I can tell, Robinson had one good season—1946—when he hit .297, with 16 home runs, while catching for the Yankees. After that he never had more than 13 home runs, but he was forever getting between 25 and 30 homers in the ASB league I played in. And Willard Marshall's performances were seemingly based on the one all-round good year he had for the Giants, 1947, when he batted .291, with 36 homers and 107 runs batted in.
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