Publish date:



The cover shot of jockey Calvin Borel with his trademark ear-to-ear grin is a classic. I was one of the 153,563 at the Kentucky Derby, and you have ensured that it was two minutes I'll never forget.
Matt Murphy, Minneapolis

Your cover headline was about how the drama from the Kentucky Derby "energizes horse racing." Not in Kentucky. The same day my SI arrived, the newspaper here reported that Churchill Downs was asking the [Kentucky Horse Racing Commission] to cut its racing days from five a week to four.
Rebecca Goodman, Louisville

As a child at county fair races in the 1940s, my friends would put a dime in the pot for each race and then choose a horse. I remembered what my mother had said, "Choose the jockey, not the horse." Calvin Borel (Did That Really Happen?, May 11) has proved this by winning the Kentucky Derby twice in the last three years.
Barbara Breternitz
Dove Creek, Colo.

I suggest the NCAA learn from our four-legged Kentucky Derby winner and move to a football playoff system because the horses have shown what we humans should already know: All the contenders should be in the race.
Bennett Shuldman
Ridgefield, Conn.

Appreciating Kemp

Jack Kemp was truly a man to be admired (SCORECARD, May 11). To further illustrate his complexity, your obituary might have mentioned that this "bleeding-heart conservative" was cofounder of the American Football League Players Association and that he served five terms as its president.
Peter Morris, Buffalo

Kemp wasn't in politics to bring attention or power to himself but to advance a cause beyond himself. This puts him in a very small group.
Stephen V. Gilmore, Charlotte

Slides Rule

Thank you for the look inside SI's photo archives (Slide Show, May 11). The images are remarkable not only for the moments they portray but because your photographers captured them without the help of today's auto-focused, auto-exposed, stabilized, optimized and digitized technology. Slide film requires the kind of precise exposure more suited to still life images than to Wilt the Stilt in action.
Robert J. Keren
Middlebury, Vt.

I'm trying to figure out why you chose to show an O.K. shot of Mike Tyson rather than the greatest boxing photograph ever made, Tony Triolo's astonishing shot of Joe Frazier decking Muhammad Ali in Round 15 on March 8, 1971. I wonder if your choice was influenced by the fact that the photo was accompanied by the inaccurate headline on your cover: End of the Ali Legend.
Bob Frost, San Francisco

The biggest surprise to me, from one of the handwritten notes on the slide mounts, was that a photographer knew how to spell Yastrzemski.
Al Boucher, Nashua, N.H.

I recently came into possession of some old negatives of my father and his brother standing at the rim of the Grand Canyon in 1933, celebrating my father's eighth birthday. While the prints I made from the negatives were scratchy and flat, simply holding the negative in my hands gave me a physical connection to that moment in my father's life 76 years ago. That piece of film was at the canyon with my father on that day; you won't ever get that sense of holding history from a JPEG.
Bill Youmans
Centennial, Colo.

Looking at Dwight Clark making The Catch in the 1981 NFC Championship Game, you see a lost art in the NFL—catching a football using only your hands and without wearing any kind of gloves. The NFL banned stickum, why not the gloves?
Paul Peterson, Hulmeville, Pa.

A-Rod's Tips

Players who take steroids help their team by hurting themselves; players who tip pitches (Mr. 252, May 11) hurt their team by helping themselves. Which is worse?
Douglas Petrie, Los Angeles

I'm neither a Yankees fan nor an Alex Rodriguez fan, but I expect SI and Selena Roberts to be fair to him. The book excerpt includes accusations from anonymous ex-Rangers; you should stick to one of the fundamental rules of the justice system, that the accused have the right to confront their accusers.
Mark Grant, New York City

Is there any chance that A-Rod has done anything right—like working harder than anybody in the game at his craft, or taking the time to answer every inane and imposing question from the press and doing it with a positive attitude?
Sean Browne, Allen, Texas

Power Pitchers

Your story Renaissance Men: Pitchers Who Can Do It All (SCORECARD, May 11) omitted my favorite example. On Sept. 12, 1969, the Mets swept a doubleheader from the Pirates, winning both games 1--0. In the first game Jerry Koosman pitched the shutout and drove in the game's only run. In the second game Don Cardwell pitched eight scoreless innings and had an RBI single. Just another amazing feat by those Miracle Mets.
Michael Feeney, Nanuet, N.Y.

Don't forget the Red Sox' Earl Wilson, who homered in a game in which he pitched a no-hitter—a 2--0 win on June 26, 1962, at Fenway Park. Wilson is one of only four pitchers (along with Rick Wise, Wes Ferrell and Jim Tobin) to accomplish that feat.
Joel Sonenshein, Arcata, Calif.

On May 5, 1965, future Hall of Famers Jim Bunning of the Phillies and Warren Spahn of the Mets faced each other at Shea Stadium. Both pitched four-hitters, but the Phils won the game, 1--0, on Bunning's home run.
John Dimond, Kingston, Pa.

Capitol Folly

Rep. Joe Barton thinks Congress can offer an alternative to the BCS system (SCORECARD, May 11). For that, he has put himself in the running for the National BS Championship. My guess is that it will be one heck of a playoff.
Blair D. Tarr, Topeka, Kans.

Whether you are in favor of or against a college football playoff, is this an area of our lives that Congress should be dealing with? What's next? Will Congress pass a law requiring the return of the red, white and blue ABA ball because it would be more patriotic?
Robert A. Gleaner, Delran, N.J.

For reprints of SI covers visit

Contact SI
E-mail SI at or fax SI at 212-467-2417. Letters should include the writer's full name, address and home telephone number and may be edited for clarity and space.
For 24/7 service, go to Call 1-800-528-5000 or write to SI at P.O. Box 30602, Tampa, FL 33630-0602. To purchase reprints of SI covers, go to
For ad rates, an editorial calendar or a media kit, e-mail SI at