GOING TO BAT FOR MURPHY
Please thank your newcomer Rick Reilly for an absolutely enjoyable story on Dale Murphy (So Good, He's Scary, June 3). Atlanta may not have the best team in baseball, but we sure have the best man in baseball.
We sent the wrong Georgian to the White House. Dale Murphy for president in '88.
DOUGLAS J. WALLACE
Great article on the Mighty Murph. Of course, Lou Gehrig was another baseball hero who was a great example for kids. I once heard someone ask, "Where is the Lou Gehrig of today?" The simple answer is, "In Atlanta."
Twin Falls, Idaho
The article by Rick Reilly was the best I have ever read in SI.
I'm a Braves fan and an eighth-grader who thoroughly enjoyed the Dale Murphy story. I also realized that sometimes we expect too much of our heroes, whether they are our fathers, favorite ballplayers or others we look up to. We must remember that they are human, too.
Dale Murphy is indeed the superstar you paint him to be. However, I cannot sympathize with him. Sure, it must be a pain to be hounded for autographs every time you set foot out of your house.
But the price of superstardom is steep. Dale Murphy is no different from the Julius Ervings, Dan Marinos and Wayne Gretzkys of the sports world. These stars share the same responsibility to the fans. After all, were it not for the fans, the stars certainly would not shine.
GO NORTH, YOUNG MAN
I enjoyed the two articles on the Stanley Cup (Yes, Philadelphia Can Stop Gretzky and But Edmonton Isn't A One-Man Band, May 27). Both E.M. Swift and Jack Falla are fine writers. But I hope that from now on, Swift stays away from predicting the outcome of sporting events.
His comments downplaying Edmonton's chances of repeating as Stanley Cup champions were laughable. Falla, who recognized in his story that Edmonton had a host of good players to complement Wayne Gretzky's considerable skills, was right on in his remarks. I hope he had a wager on the outcome of the series: Oilers four games to one.
JOEL S. HICKMAN
I was a senior at North Eugene (Ore.) High School when Danny Ainge (At Last, The Kid's A Big Hit, June 3) was a freshman, and I have followed his career with interest. One thing I have noticed is that he's rarely the instigator in his confrontations with others. Look at the replays of his recent altercations, and you'll notice he rarely starts them.
His boyish appearance makes him an easy target for opposing players. Unfortunately, he reacts so strongly that that's what gets noticed and he ends up with a bad rap.
People should give the guy a break—stop the knee-jerk reactions. Watch the replays, and see who starts the trouble. Don't expect him to be a pushover. That's not his job.
Why write a six-page article on a little, arrogant brat like Danny Ainge? If you wanted to do something on an unsung hero, you should have done it on the Lakers' Michael Cooper. He has the toughest job in the NBA: coming off the bench to replace Magic Johnson at the point. Also, Laker coach Pat Riley has him guard the highest scorers in the league. Cooper's defense is the best I've seen. If he was playing for anyone except the Lakers, he would be a starting point guard averaging 20 points and 10 assists per game.
PETER BEAUDETTE JR.
Please note that the poor little finger of Danny Ainge that was bitten by Tree Rollins happened to be, by Tree's account, in Tree's face, trying to massage his eyeballs.
I can't believe it! Do my eyes deceive me or has the Indianapolis 500 made the June 3 cover? After a long layoff, Indy is back where it belongs. It was high time the sporting event with the largest single-day attendance in the world received the coverage it deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Moses's coverage of Danny Sullivan's thrilling victory (Oh Danny Boy, It Was Your Day), and the pictures were worth 400,000 words. Thanks, SI.
Sam Moses's story on the Indy 500 was great. Indy drivers are the best in the world, and Danny Sullivan proved it coming out of his spin to win the race. Sorry, Mario, the Kentucky Kid has arrived.
In your article on the Phillies (Presenting The Philly Phollies, May 27), you neglected to mention some of their silliest foul-ups.
There's Glenn Wilson, who's such a blunderer that he has 31 RBIs and five homers.
Poor Juan Samuel. It seems he can't step onto the field without accidentally stealing a base (he has 15 this season). And Jerry Koosman messed up royally by pitching his 33rd career shutout. Oh, Ozzie Virgil. He's batting about .300 with eight home runs. How clumsy can he get?
Von Hayes has to be the most mistake-prone Phil. Besides having Samuel's problem of stealing too many bases, he has another—he isn't any good at striking out. He's batting a dreadful .281!
With players like these, the Phillies might accidentally win the pennant next year.
Salt Lake City
FOUR AND HOLDING
People have said for years that SI is one of the most progressive magazines in the country. Now there's proof to support that contention. For three weeks your cover photos showed a one-by-one numerical progression. The sequence began with the May 13 photo of Magic Johnson (No. 32). He was followed by Patrick Ewing (No. 33) on May 20 and Herschel Walker (No. 34) on May 27.
We thought it would end there, but then you did it again. Look closely at the June 3 cover. Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan's car, No. 5, is followed closely and slightly to the left by Mario Andretti's No. 3, thus forming the number 35.
North Haven, Conn.
•Alas, the number sequence ended with the appearance of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33) on the June 10 cover.—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.