I have just finished reading Reggie Jackson's article ("We have a serious problem that isn't going away, " May 11), and I believe it is the finest exposition of the problem between blacks and whites in the United States that I've ever read. What Jackson said is applicable in every walk of life and in every situation in America where the races come together. The solution to our race problem is going to come through the efforts of individuals like Jackson; and may the Good Lord and all of us do all we can to help him.
ROBERT D. FUNK
It has always seemed that Reggie has had an impact on the game far greater than his stats would indicate. He truly has been "the straw that stirs the drink." Baseball fans, indeed all Americans, should pay heed. We do have a problem, and it isn't going away. Perhaps if more leaders, black and white, on or off the field, spoke out as eloquently as he does, progress could be made.
Keep on stirring, Reggie!
I commend your decision to get the views of Reggie Jackson on the topic of racism. I'm sure that many baseball people feel the same way but—wow!—he really hits the nail on the head. Having attended Abington High, Reggie's rival school in Abington, Pa., I never thought I could believe so strongly in the views and accomplishments—past, present and future—of someone from Cheltenham High. My hat's off to Reggie and his efforts.
Fort Lee, N.J.
I hope I win the lottery big so I can buy a major league baseball team, sell Reggie 15% of it and make him my president and general manager. Although his feats on the playing field will put him in the Hall of Fame, Reggie's greatest contributions to the game may come after his playing days are over.
High fives to Reggie for his eloquent depiction of the many ways racism continues to thrive in all walks of life. The solutions he offers are not only insightful but also long overdue. Perhaps some team in the major leagues will be fortunate enough to have this remarkable man at the helm.
Reggie, you said it all. Bravo!
Concerning your May 11 cover, "Reggie Speaks Out on Racism," it should have said, "Reggie Speaks Out for Reggie." Count the pronouns: There are 173 Ts, 31 me's and 17 my's for a total of 221 self-references in the five pages, but only 23 we's. An odd way to go about trying to promote the concept of we in major league baseball.
Regarding Reggie Jackson's bid for a front-office job: Judging by Reggie's attitude and his remarks over the years, the only attribute he has that qualifies him for the front office is that he's black.
Any team that hires a personality like him is asking for trouble. Hiring Reggie would be tokenism and appeasement at their worst.
Baylor, yes. Reggie, no.
JON K. EVANS
Thank you. Pete (Thank You, Pete Weber, May 4)? For what? For giving my one-year-old son another drug-abusing sports hero to look up to? I am tired of reading about yet another sports celebrity, blessed with the ability to perform in a way most of us only dream about, trying to ruin his life with drugs bought with the many, many thousands of dollars he is paid to play a game.
My wife and I watched Pete roll every ball, and we rooted for him. I doubt if we will cheer with that same enthusiasm again.
Wheeling, W. Va.
First I read that Pete Weber was drinking in a hotel bar in celebration of his Firestone win. Then in the same article I read that he'd gone through a drug-and-alcohol treatment program.
I've been a recovering alcoholic for more than 5½ years, and I realize I can't afford to take a pill or drink even cough medicine. These would cause me to turn back to my old way of life—escaping through mood-alterers—which was not very pleasant.
If Pete Weber is drinking again. I'd say he is in trouble, maybe not today but sometime in the near future.
MR. NICE GUY?
I played in the Hawaiian Open Pro Am with Bruce Crampton several years ago (Uh-Oh! He's At It Again. May 11). Bruce couldn't have been nicer to me and my partners. He also took time to autograph the program.
GEORGE H. PARSONS
Douglas S. Looney's appraisal of Bruce Crampton is not fair. Just because Crampton doesn't have the flamboyant personality of Fuzzy Zoeller or the charisma of Greg Norman is no reason to dredge up everything derogatory that has been said about him during his 30 years in the public eye.
ROBERT G. BROWN
Brucie, stick to oil wells! Or be eternally grateful to your fellow pros, for there'd be no big-buck golf tours if all the players had personalities like yours.
Perfect golf shots alone don't sell.
BETTY BRUTSCH (CONDON)
San Luis Reys, Calif.
Hats off to Pete Dexter for the moving article on The Case Against Brian Spencer (May 11). It opened people's eyes to the ways of our judicial system. He has done a tremendous job of uncovering mistakes in the case, such as the taping Dver of evidence and an arrest five years later on an ex-prostitute's testimony.
I wonder how many more Brian Spencers are out there.
New Brunswick, N.J.
What a great piece of journalism.
Dearborn Heights, Mich.
The state of Florida has a lot of nerve trying to determine Brian Spencer's guilt or innocence in a court of law. Why don't they save the taxpayers' money and just ask Pete Dexter to make the decision? He seems to have it all figured out.
As long as his story reads well, why get bogged down in facts?
WARD M. WINTON
LESSONS FROM SCRIPTURE
I would like to thank John Garrity for his fine article, Quoting from Scripture (SPOTLIGHT, May 4). Billy Scripture is remembered fondly by many of us from the 1967 and 1968 baseball teams of Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach, Va., where he was a substitute teacher.
After his Spanish classes, Scripture would stop by and offer players advice on hitting. (Unfortunately, his tips, however good they were, failed to carry me to the majors.)
But I remember him mostly because he was a true gentleman who was never too busy to be polite and never failed to acknowledge his many friends and fans sitting in the stands when he played for the Rochester Red Wings and, several years later, coached for the Tidewater Tides.
ROBERT F. SAUL
Thank you for the excellent article on Michael Cooper of the Lakers (And...It's Super Sub!, May 11). It has been a long time coming.
Cooper has been one of the NBA's best defensive players and one of the best sixth men for quite a while. Words like consistent, durable and indispensable only begin to describe the man they call Coop.
Carry on, Coop!
Having gone to school with Michael Cooper in second grade and having played basketball with him at Pasadena High School, I can readily vouch for the man's intensity. He was a fantastic athlete and team player.
I remember him best for his passing skills, because he hit me in the nose with the ball so many times when I wasn't expecting it. I don't remember Cooper showing-up opponents as much as he does now, but you have to admire his athletic ability and what a team player he truly is.
He makes everybody better.
DANIEL P. MALCHOW
Chula Vista, Calif.
COVER-ING DR. J
I thoroughly enjoyed your tribute to Julius Erving (Last Rounds for the Doctor, May 4). Like Gale Sayers. Lance Alworth and Muhammad Ali, Dr. J brought a grace to his sport.
Because Dr. J was relatively unsung during his college and ABA days. I bet he trails Kareem, Ali and Reggie in SI cover appearances. But how about a last look at those covers the Doctor has graced over the years?
JAN. 14, 1974
MAY. 17, 1976
OCT. 25, 1976
APRIL 28, 1980
FEB. 10, 1982
MAY 31, 1982
FEB. 28, 1983
MAY 4, 1987
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building. Rockefeller Center, New York, N. Y. 10020-1393.