In perusing the list of Nolan Ryan's strikeout victims (K, Aug. 28), I noticed that Steve Carlton had eight of those K's. How many times did these two future Hall of Famers face each other? And in putting the list together, did Rangers assistant media relations director Larry Kelly figure out how many times Carlton struck out Ryan?
•Ryan and Carlton squared off six times, between July 1, 1969, and May 3, 1985, with Carlton winning four games and Ryan one (Kent Tekulve got the victory in relief of Carlton in their final meeting). Carlton, who's No. 2 behind Ryan on the alltime strikeout list, with 4,136, fanned Ryan six times.—ED.
In SCORECARD (Aug. 28) you mention that Ryan struck out Rangers general manager Tom Grieve eight times but that he never fanned Texas skipper Bobby Valentine.
After scanning Larry Kelly's list, I see that these other current or former Rangers have fallen victim to Ryan: Now retired third baseman Buddy Bell struck out 14 times; first base coach-former infielder Toby Harrah, 12 times; catcher Jim Sundberg, 11 (he also caught 38 of Ryan's K's); dugout coach-former infielder Davey Lopes, six; pitcher Jamie Moyer, four; pitcher Craig McMurtry, three; first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, two; and pitcher Cecilio Guante, once.
Nolan Ryan should be your 1989 Sportsman of the Year. Performing at the level he does at his age, 42, is unprecedented, and his record of 5,000-plus strikeouts looks as unapproachable as Henry Aaron's 755 home runs and Pete Rose's 4,256 hits.
Think about it: Average a strikeout per inning over 500 complete games and you're still 500 K's short of 5,000.
Combine Ryan's achievements on the mound with his humble nature and tendency to shun the spotlight, and you have a true sportsman in every way.
I am a 26-year-old male who can honestly say I have watched every Chris Evert match that has been televised where I have lived since I was eight ("Tennis Was My Showcase, "Aug. 28). I have skipped school, skipped work, lost dates and even checked into hotels to watch her play on TV. Looking back over her great rivalries with Evonne Goolagong, Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, I'm sure that her fans will have to do more adjusting than Evert will now that she has played her last major tournament.
KELLY L. PARKER
There's nothing wrong with being a wife, but Chris Evert's retirement from competitive play should signal more than just the beginning of domestic bliss. Your Aug. 28 cover billing, "I'm Going to Be a Full-time Wife," was along the lines of those found on supermarket tabloids. I'm surprised you didn't say, Chris Tells Why She Retires—Secret Revealed Inside, or, Chris Retires—Andy Offers Only Consolation.
I'd recommend, She Says She's Past Her Prime—But What a Prime It Was!
IN DEFENSE OF GUNS
I take exception to your contention in SCORECARD (Aug. 28), "It's quite possible that if Sacramento Kings guard Ricky Berry hadn't owned a handgun, he might not have committed suicide...." It is a tragedy when anyone commits suicide, whether he is an NBA guard or a confused teenager. However, I submit that a person distressed enough to contemplate suicide will use any means. You took a cheap shot at handguns.
JACK A. BORAH
APO New York, N.Y.
You were right in deploring the attack by three "apparently drunk" Georgia Tech football players on two young women (SCORECARD, Aug. 21). The same issue has four pages of advertising for alcoholic beverages. Your magazine is read by many young people, such as those three Georgia Tech players, and the ads are directed at selling them products. If this hypocrisy is not obvious and troublesome to SI and its staff, it sure is to me.
RYAN VS. TYSON
Nolan Ryan is truly an amazing athlete. Why, according to your list, he has even K'd Mike Tyson three times.
Cedar Hill, Texas
•That's former Cardinal (1972-79) and Cub ('80-81) shortstop-second baseman Mike Tyson, of course, not the heavyweight champ. It was in '80, as a Cub, that Tyson was fanned three times by Ryan. As a Card (left), he made 108 double plays in '74, tops for National League shortstops that year.—ED.
COURTESY ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
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