I've had two memorable personal experiences involving Dave Winfield (Richest Kid on the Block, Jan. 5):
A few years ago he was interviewed on the radio by Lou Boudreau during a rain-delayed Cubs game. I tuned in during their talk and clearly remember saying to myself, "Who is that guy?" He was so intelligent, so enthusiastic, so articulate.
The following March I was eating dinner in a restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. with an old Chicago friend who had moved to San Diego. Nearby, a tall, handsome man got up to leave. As he walked by our table my friend recognized him and, as a sports fan will, began a conversation with him. Yes, it was Dave Winfield, and he was warm, outgoing and as friendly as a native Chicagoan—and that's friendly!
To me, Winfield is a class person, and Ron Fimrite's incisive article helped to show it.
I think Dave Winfield is a super individual, but I don't care what anybody says, he's not worth $22 million. I have looked at his statistics. If he's worth $22 million, then George Brett must be worth $50 million!
College Park, Md.
The House That Ruth Built cost less than Dave Winfield.
Dave Winfield wants us to believe he has never reached his potential because he has performed for a team mired in the second division. The implication is that Winfield will now excel for the contending Yankees. However, a super professional athlete should reach high standards of achievement regardless of his team's standing. I hope George Steinbrenner won't be surprised this season when Winfield hits .280 and knocks in 85 runs.
RICHARD P. CLEAVES
I can't understand why anyone would object to Dave Winfield's salary. Noted Las Vegas entertainers earn $250,000 and up a week. People pay to see them. Baseball "nuts" will also pay to see a Yankee outfield of Winfield, Reggie Jackson and, maybe, Fred Lynn.
PAUL M. NIEDZWIECKI
Your magazine has long had a knack for selecting athletes with intriguing personal stories and then writing excellent profiles on them. That tradition continues with the article on Gayle Olinek ("Greatest Legs to Ever Stride the Earth," Jan. 5). Olinek may well have the greatest legs in the world, and she surely has led an interesting life. I admire her for her ability to come back from adversity and for her dedication to "non-glamour" sports. She is a credit to all marathoners and women bodybuilders, and Dan Levin's story and Richard Mackson's photographs instruct us as to just how much dedication and ability those sports require. If hers is, indeed, the body of the '80s, we could do much worse.
My knees grew weak, I couldn't speak. Those Olinek legs—just magnifique!
Captain, USMC (retired, but not dead)
Forest Hills, N.Y.
That was a super article on Gayle Olinek. She really is an inspiration to all women trying to get in shape. She has an excellent physique, yet she is feminine. I pinned her picture on my wall and work to look even half as great as she does. As Gayle said, "I'm convinced that look—my look—is the look of the '80s." I know she's right!
Should we applaud Gayle Olinek's inspirational comebacks against the many adverse conditions and injuries she has faced, or should we denounce her total disregard for proper care of herself during hard times and when she was injured?
By the way, I'd choose the "distorted" female form of a Playboy centerfold over Olinek's form in the '80s, '90s and on and on.
There's no doubt that Gayle Olinek has a great pair of legs, but if her look is the look of the '80s, I'm going to become a monk.
BRIAN T. GOETTL
Oh, SI, how could you? Your choice of the U.S. Olympic hockey team as Sportsmen of the Year took me by surprise (A Reminder of What We Can Be, Dec. 22-29). Granted, what the team accomplished was amazing and great for the American people. I, too, went out of my mind. However, there also was a young man by the name of Eric Heiden in those same Olympic Games, and in my opinion he deserved the honor. I don't think anyone has ever dominated an Olympic sport—or any other sport, for that matter—as Heiden did speed skating en route to his five gold medals.
The U.S. hockey team truly was "a reminder of what we can be." However, we believe that an even better selection would have been the members of the U.S. Summer Olympic team. They are a reminder of what might have been.
TIM AND MARY WALSH
The political value of its Olympic victory is the only reason I can see for the hockey team's selection. How else could you pass up year-long champions like Edwin Moses, Magic Johnson, Tom Watson, Eric Heiden, Earl Campbell and Julius Erving? Heck, Edwin Moses has been the best athlete on earth for three years and he has never even been on your cover.
Woodland Hills, Calif.
While those young Olympic hockey players were amazing the world at Lake Placid, a young Canadian athlete named Terry Fox, who had lost a leg to cancer, was planning to dip his artificial leg in the Atlantic and then run across Canada to dip it in the Pacific to raise money for the fight against that disease. He made it only as far as Thunder Bay, half of the way, but while the glory of the Olympians is fleeting, Fox' contribution—more than $20 million has been raised for cancer research—is more lasting. He deserved better from you, SI.
RICHARD V.H. BUELL
SI's choice was a good one, but the omission of Kansas City Royals Third Baseman George Brett as runner-up was a mistake.
G.L. (MAC) McDONALD
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, New York, 10020.