GUERRERO AND MATES
Thank you for Jim Kaplan's cover story on Pedro Guerrero and the Dodgers (A Bolt Out Of The Dodger Blue, Aug. 5). No other player in the National League has contributed as much to his team's success as Pedro has.
Los Olivos, Calif.
Hooray for the Dodger surge, and thanks to Pedro Guerrero, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser IV & Co. However, after Pedro's performance at third base last year, how could Tommy Lasorda even have considered putting him there again? Tommy the Wizard has had many victories as a Dodger manager because when he took over on Sept. 29, 1976 he inherited a talented team—in '74 the Dodgers won the pennant, and in '75 and '76 they finished second to the Big Red Machine.
Here are some other great Lasorda moves: In 1977 Tommy John, ace 20-game winner, had only one World Series start; the Dodgers lost the Series. In 1980, in a one-game division playoff against the Astros, seldom-used and never-effective Dave Goltz started and was bombed; the Dodgers lost the division title. In 1982 Valenzuela was given the hook in three late-inning tie ball games, including the last game of the season; the Dodgers lost all three of them and the division title by one game.
I could go on, but enough is enough.
DENNY MO SEATON
With your recent cover stories on Fernando Valenzuela (July 8), Howie Long (July 22) and Pedro Guerrero, we Westerners are going to have to quiet our claims for a while that SI has an East Coast sports bias. However, I have one question about your picture in the Guerrero article on page 18. How was it that home plate umpire Bruce Froemming was calling Steve Sax out at third base? Where was the third base umpire? Whatever the circumstances, it certainly shows that Sax wasn't the only one hustling on that play.
•Third base ump Dana DeMuth had gone down the leftfield line to check on fan interference, and Froemming was covering third.—ED.
My friend and I have been trying to figure out which ball park Fernando Valenzuela is pitching in on your July 8 cover. I say it's Shea Stadium in New York. My friend says it's San Diego/Jack Murphy Stadium. Would you please tell us who's right?
Granted, the Dodgers have been playing well, but two covers in less than a month? Come on. Your cover decisions have left me blue all right, but not Dodger Blue.
Being one of the nation's 18 million water skiers, I was thrilled to read Jack Falla's article on Sammy and Camille Duvall (Wild, Wet And Wondrous, Aug. 5). These two pro champions are an inspiration and an asset to the sport. Thanks for letting everyone know that being all wet is definitely all right.
Take my advice and omit next year's swimsuit issue. It has already been rendered meaningless because we have beheld the sculptured magnificence of Camille Duvall. Her sister-in-law, Sue, is yummy, too.
HOLLIS P. GALE
In FOR THE RECORD (July 22) you noted the retirement of Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Jack Lambert. On the very same day that Lambert announced his retirement at a press conference, Larry Brown, the veteran offensive tackle of the Steelers, also announced his retirement, without a press conference. Brown played more years in the NFL than Lambert, and he, too, was an important member of all four of the Steelers' Super Bowl championship teams. Although he was slowed by injuries the last couple of years, he was an All-Pro-caliber player. Not announcing his retirement publicly fits his personality perfectly, both as a player and as an individual. He is known as a quiet, unassuming guy who always did his job, especially in the big games against the NFL's best.
Paul Zimmerman's story (The Long Way Up, July 22) on Howie Long of the Los Angeles Raiders brought back unforgettable memories for me from what was a very forgettable college football career. I last saw Long in 1980 when he was playing for Villanova and I was a placekicker for the University of Massachusetts. During a botched field-goal attempt, the center's snap sailed over my head. I turned to chase down the loose ball, and the last thing I remember was being hit by a Long forearm during the scramble. I never saw the football, but there were plenty of stars.
I feel better knowing that I am not the only person Long has terrorized during his outstanding career. I hope he continues to find good fortune in the NFL, especially now that I can see him from the safety of my seat.
JIM (MOON) MULLINS
We here at Plummer Home for Boys read the fine article by Paul Zimmerman about Howie Long. We also read what Howard Long Sr. had to say about Plummer Farm School. That was when it was a private reform school.
For the record, Plummer Farm School changed both its name and its orientation in 1958, when it became Plummer Home for Boys, a group-treatment home (licensed by the Massachusetts Office for Children) for neglected, homeless and emotionally hurt teenagers. Instead of having 40 to 50 boys here, as was the practice when it was a reform school, we now average 15 boys a year.
I have just retired after serving as director of Plummer Home for 20 years, and I know that the rough days of which Long Sr. speaks are long gone, as any boy here since 1958 can testify. We invite the Longs, Sr. and Jr., to visit us to see how Plummer has turned itself around. Now we, too, give a kid a chance, much as some very wonderful people gave young Howie a chance.
JOHN J. MCCARTHY
Plummer Home for Boys
Congratulations to Frank Deford for a truly outstanding depiction of the grandness of Bobby Orr ("Hello Again" To A Grand Group, Aug. 5). I have very fond memories of No. 4 at Boston Garden, and reading the story brought back that old feeling of excitement.
Nancy Lopez was one of the main reasons I became interested in the women's golf tour. I now follow Nancy's career, as well as the careers of other LPGA players. However, I feel that Nancy's charisma has been instrumental in the growth of women's golf.
BANDO'S BAD BA
It has been a while since you've featured a member of the Cleveland Indians. Unfortunately, N. Brooks Clark's article (Bando's Bat Needs A Band-Aid, Aug. 5) is not exactly the kind of recognition Chris Bando was looking for. I'm happy to see that you mentioned what a good season he had last year. Most fans are unaware of his capabilities.
Meanwhile, here at Cleveland Stadium we're keeping an eye on Bando's batting average. Hang in there, Chris, and all Indians fans—at least those who are left.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
As the former owner of Chris Bando's contract in a local Rotisserie League (I actually had to outbid other owners to get it), I fully understand the less-than-heavy-hitting catcher's season-long frustration. While Pat Corrales may conclude that it is "hard" to hit .060, I submit that the more difficult task is observing someone hit .060.
•As of Sunday, Bando's average had climbed to. 115.—ED.
I was excited to hear that my daughter's picture had been included in your coverage of the National Sports Festival (And The Olympic Beat Goes On, Aug. 5). Your caption said, "The diamond was Ella Vilche's best friend." My daughter pitched for the North team, which won the gold medal. But to my dismay, that picture was not of my daughter. It's of Tammy Delp, the pitcher for the South squad.
•Sorry for the mix-up.—ED.
What a mah-velous story (PERSPECTIVE, Aug. 5) by Lisa Winston Wilentz about her love for baseball. I, too, am a female baseball nut, and like Wilentz I turn down social invitations if my TV schedule indicates the Mets are on. It's crazy, I know, and I thought I was alone in my nuttiness. Now I will relax and stop fibbing about a "previous engagement" if we're invited out and the Mets are on TV.
None of my family shares my enthusiasm, and I spend many hours by myself in the TV room, clapping and cheering as the Mets hit, score and win. My son-in-law once asked me if I did the wave in there by myself, too.
It's nice to know that I am not the only "girl" around with a baseball-card collection that rivals any owned by the guys. Lisa Winston Wilentz has shown that baseball is everybody's game to enjoy—men and women alike.
WATER RUNNERS VS. LAP SWIMMERS
Lynn and Glenn McWaters' Wet Vest (SHOPWALK, July 29) sounds like the answer to a prayer. As a runner, I have been pounding the tracks and roads for 20 years, and my sore ankles, knees and occasionally aching back tell me about it. I would be delighted to do my track workouts in a pool.
DONALD C. STEWART
As a dedicated lap swimmer (1,800 meters every other day), I am well aware of the neuromuscular benefits of hydro exercise that J. Austin Murphy has pointed out to the pavement pounders of the world. However, it should also be noted that facilities for exercise swimming are very limited and, in most areas, very congested. The vision of a Wet Vester in a lap-swimming lane accomplishing little forward motion should strike terror into the heart of any dedicated lap swimmer.
Perhaps Murphy should have recommended that anyone wishing to practice water running seek a deep Jacuzzi or hot tub. I, for one, will gladly agree not to swim in the streets if the runners will stay out of my lap lane.
After studying Jerry Wachter's photograph of Philadelphia pitcher Larry Andersen and six masked teammates (LEADING OFF, Aug. 5), I became curious as to the other Phillies. I succeeded in identifying Ozzie Virgil (top left), Derrel Thomas (No. 18) and the real Larry Andersen, but please clue me in on the other masked men.
•From left to right, the masked Phillies in the photo, and unmasked below, are Virgil, Tim Corcoran, Steve Jeltz, Thomas, Rick Schu and Rocky Childress.—ED.
Frank Deford's "Hello Again" on Bobby Orr and the other remarkable athletes he revisited was superb. The finishing touch to this outstanding tribute would be for you to publish a photograph of Orr scoring the Stanley Cup-winning overtime goal on May 10, 1970 against the St. Louis Blues.
FRANK K. CONNELLY
THE BREARLEY COLLECTION ¬© 1978
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