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Original Issue


Jim Doherty's article Wyoming Plays Its Hole Card (May 17) was another startling reminder of who and what are really in control of this country. To me, the most poignant line in the entire story was Dick Randall's "Somewhere, something is rotten." The oil companies will throw us an occasional bone, and we will zoom on toward 1984. This should have been your cover story instead of Gaylord Perry's 300th win.
Ocean Park, Maine

I was upset to learn of the plight of Wyoming, because I have always looked forward to going back there. In 1969 my family drove east from Washington. I was awed by the green vastness of Wyoming and the Rockies ahead on the horizon. I have told many people of this Wyoming memory and can only hope that the residents of the state will remember what they have before it's too late.
Matawan, N.J.

In 1978 I was transferred by a major oilfield supply company from West Texas to Evanston. Wyo., the town that Jim Doherty wrote about. I had every intention of making my career in sales in that area, but after living for eight weeks in a small motel that charged more per night than I paid for a honeymoon suite at the Las Vegas Hilton. I felt the place was not for me. The resentment that the native townspeople expressed toward expansion and growth was almost scary. The town seemed reluctant to build home or apartment complexes or put in water or sewage disposal systems for mobile-home parks. I feel that the people of Evanston have created their own hellhole and do not have the right to blame the oil companies, or the Bureau of Land Management, or anyone except themselves.
Midland, Texas

Jim Doherty obviously knows nothing about the respected scientific discipline of seismic geophysics. Seismic field crews do not trample helter-skelter or make hellaceous wastelands of our national forests and natural resource lands. He wrongly criticized the hardworking, outdoor-loving men and women of the geophysical industry, and he misinformed the general public about exploration.
Land Analyst

It's good to read about an aspect of sport other than baseball, football, etc. While I'm not a hunter or fisherman or outdoorsman, I can understand and support the hunter-fisherman's position in Wyoming. True, we need oil. but we shouldn't get it at nature's expense in Wyoming. Maybe articles like this will bring the point home to others.

Come on. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, not again! For the third straight year the Islanders were the NHL's supreme team, and for the third straight year you neglected to put the champions on the cover! E.M. Swift's article on the Stanley Cup finals (The Islanders Stick It to 'Em, May 24) and the opening picture were superb. In fact, it was probably the best piece you've ever had on the club. But how could you put the 49ers on the cover five times in four months and the Islanders no times in the last three championship years?

At the end of the article, you quote Bryan Trottier as saying, "I only hope people don't take us for granted and get tired of seeing us win [the Cup]." The only thing Islander fans are getting tired of is seeing the Isles win it and then finding someone else on SI's cover.
Deer Park, N.Y.

The only good that comes as a result of your continuous snubbing of the Islanders is that they are not subjected to any SI cover "jinx." Keep on ignoring them, SI. Maybe without recognition on your cover the Islanders will accomplish what no other NHL team has before: the winning of six consecutive Stanley Cups.
New York City

Congratulations to Jack McCallum for a fine article on Gaylord Perry (The Prime of the Ancient Mariner, May 17). Perry is an inspiration to people who think they are over the hill and can no longer stay in shape, let alone take part in athletics.

The only sad note was that Seattle Mariner fans couldn't bring themselves to fill even half the Kingdome to pay tribute to one of baseball's alltime greats. I hope that when Gaylord breaks Walter Johnson's strikeout record of 3,508, he does it in Oakland. We appreciate great players here.

Gaylord Perry's feat of winning 300 games is indeed estimable, but considering his admitted use of foreign substances on the ball, we think credit should be given where credit is due. The article should have been entitled The Slime of the Ancient Mariner.
Hopatcong, N.J.

Thanks for a fine article on the Sod God, George Toma (Nitty Gritty Dirt Man, May 17). I remember seeing the last Chiefs game at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium. It was in 1971, K.C. vs. Miami. I was 12 years old, and after the game, some friends and I ran around on the turf of the nearly empty arena. I saw Toma standing in the end zone surveying the end of an era. I wondered what he would be doing the next year when the Royals and Chiefs moved to the plastic confines of the Truman Sports Complex. With all the miracles Toma has worked, he is every bit worthy of his nickname. Kansas City does have a perennial winner!
Lowry Air Force Base, Colo.

As an employee of the Kansas City Athletics from 1959 to 1962. I especially enjoyed John Garrity's article on George Toma. The playing surface of Municipal Stadium was something to behold in its lushness and resiliency underfoot. Given the vagaries of the climate in Kansas City, the results Toma wrought were seemingly miraculous.

Whenever a special pregame promotion was planned, we learned that one had best have the right answers for George as far as the use of the field was concerned. Woe unto the individual who tampered with or took a wrong step on Toma's grounds. Incidentally, his crew also had the fastest tarpaulin act in the West during wet weather.

Garrity's article was a well-deserved tribute to not only a topflight groundskeeper but also a dedicated leader. I always expected Toma to be the player-to-be-named-later in one of the numerous K.C.-Yankee deals of that period.
Springfield, Va.

I have never written to any publication before, but Ron Fimrite's A Well Matched Set (May 10) is a fine piece of work. I firmly agree that the Oakland A's trio of Rickey Henderson, Dwayne Murphy and Tony Armas is the best outfield unit in baseball.

However, Fimrite mentions that Murphy in centerfield goes back on a ball hit over his head better than anyone playing. I disagree. Whatever happened to Andre (the Hawk) Dawson of the Expos? Dawson is regarded by many as the premier centerfielder in baseball, if not one of the best all-around players.

I take nothing away from Murphy, who is a spectacular ballplayer and certainly rated very highly. But as far as centerfielders go, the Hawk flies highest.

In your article, Rangers Manager Don Zimmer says the A's have the best outfield he has ever seen. He must not remember his days as Red Sox skipper when he had Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans. They are all of All-Star quality.
Chester, Mass.

The recent "windfall" TV contracts that the NFL has signed with the three major TV networks for some $14 million per team per annum over the next five years (TV/RADIO, March 29) makes one point very obvious to me: The time has come to reduce ticket prices. Instead of the fighting that continues ad nauseam between the owners and the players over the "spoils," let the people who made all this possible—the fans—reap some of the benefits for a change. The two leading teams in attendance in 1981 were Detroit and Buffalo. The high unemployment rates and the generally distressed condition of the economies in those two areas have been well documented, but hardly anyone associated with the Lions or Bills has spoken of how remarkable it is that fans could contribute so much money and such great loyalty under such terrible conditions.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if a ground swell developed throughout the league to lower ticket prices? Greed has become so pervasive in sports throughout America, it would be terrific if courage could for once prevail.
Sarasota, Fla.

Your May 10 FACES IN THE CROWD item on the prolific goal scoring of two very young hockey players, ages 6 and 9, prompts me to inquire as to the whereabouts of sportsmanship and compassion for a weaker opponent. What are we teaching our young athletes—unmerciful pummeling of a beaten opponent? Whatever happened to simply winning the game without humiliating the opposition?

Also, I wonder if that unfortunate goalie who had the bad judgment to "taunt" Mikey Gamble is still playing hockey. What about his psyche? Can a child of six be expected to recover from an 18-goal humiliation? I think it might be difficult. I strongly believe the humiliation was totally unnecessary.
Youth Soccer Coach
Garden City, N.Y.

In the SCORECARD column of the April 19 issue you gave an account of a basketball game wherein Waverly (Ohio) High was trailing by seven points before touching the ball because of technical fouls assessed against it when officials discovered that the wrong uniform numbers had been entered for Waverly players in the scorebook. You also suggested that had the Waverly team started out eight points down, it "would have been a world record almost for sure." Reader Warren M. Jones (19TH HOLE, May 17) then followed up with a note about a Wild Rose, Wis. team that started out behind 9-0.

In a similar situation two years ago, the Woodview Junior High freshman basketball team of Warren Township, Ind. was assessed 10 pregame technicals for wrong uniform numbers in the scorebook, and the Fulton Junior High (Wayne Township) shooter hit all 10, putting Fulton up 10-0 before Woodview touched the ball. But Woodview did your story's Waverly High one better, because it recovered by playing some of the best ball I've seen at that age level to tie at the quarter and eventually win the game 44-43.

In case you think Fulton may have been a pushover, Woodview met Fulton again in the finals of the Marion County freshman tournament, with Woodview winning 58-54. My son Greg played for that extraordinary Woodview team.

To suggest that being down 7-0, or even 8-0, would be a world record is nowhere near accurate. I coached in what I believe was the record-setting game.

In 1971, my team, the Rothwesten (Germany) Raiders, was playing the Bamberg Bombers in a U.S. Army TASCOM League game. When Bamberg came out for its pregame warmups, it began dunking the ball in layup drills. At this time dunking was illegal, with the penalty being a technical foul called on the offending player. The referees counted 19 dunks, and the game began with one of our players (Chuck Wiggins from Lawrence, Ind.) shooting 19 foul shots. He made 15 of them. We then inbounded and scored to make it 17-0, at which point Bamberg touched the ball for the first time. Unfortunately, that was still too soon; the final score was Bamberg 78, Rothwesten 59.
Kent, Ohio

Your SCORECARD item on Athens and Waverly made me recall the 1980 New Jersey state basketball semifinal game between Mahwah, my high school, and Roselle. It was a well-played, balanced game that found Roselle up by one point with two seconds left in regulation and us with the ball at the far end of the court. Following a time-out, Roselle sent in a player who hadn't yet appeared in the game. Mahwah had little chance to win, but our team was saved when it was discovered that the new Roselle player's number had been incorrectly entered in the scorebook. A technical foul was assessed against Roselle, Mahwah's Doug Blake made the free throw and we eventually won in triple overtime.
Mahwah. N.J.

There was a mistake in FACES IN THE CROWD (May 10). The photograph that accompanied the write-up of Steve Kenilvort is actually of Jack Uppling, a state champion wrestler from Meadville, Pa. Please make a correction.
Director of Athletics
Meadville Area Senior High School
Meadville, Pa.

•SI apologizes for the mix-up. For a look at the real Steve Kenilvort, the 6'3" senior forward whose 35 points and 16 rebounds helped Sir Francis Drake High of San Anselmo, Calif. defeat Banning High for the California Division II basketball championship and Drake's 56th consecutive win, see below left. Jack Uppling, below right, the Meadville High senior who was misidentified as Kenilvort, is this year's Pennsylvania AAA 185-pound wrestling champion. Uppling's career record of 134 wins, 16 losses and one tie and his 1981-82 season record of 47-1-0 are also state marks for total victories.—ED.





Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.