Bruce Seldom should have tried out for the Olympic diving team.
BILL BERTHOLD, SUGARLAND, TEXAS
Tyson vs. Seldon
It took me five minutes and 45 seconds to read Zero Tolerance (Sept. 16), your story on the Mike Tyson- Bruce Seldon farce, the gyp on the strip. That's three times longer than Iron Mike needed to scare Seldon into submission. A three-page article in SI simply perpetuates and encourages Don King productions and the folly known as heavyweight boxing.
DOUG DRAPAL, Salem, Ore.
Heavyweight title fights have become a joke. I played that tape over and over and never saw contact on the first "knockdown." The second knockdown was a solid blow by Tyson, but Seldon was moving away from the punch as it landed, taking away most of its power. Seldon was a heavyweight champion, and I'm sure he has taken far worse punches than that while sparring. There should be an incentive clause in the contracts for these so-called title fights, stating that the fighters will be paid for each round fought against Tyson. How about a million bucks a round?
Seldon owes fight fans an apology and a refund.
TAD P. KERN, Tempe, Ariz.
The only consolation is knowing that Evander Holyfield, when he fights Tyson on Nov. 9, will not enter the ring and just lie down, the way Seldon did.
TOMMY COATES, Colorado Springs
Bruce Seldon said he was going to "shock the world." He did. On behalf of the millions of boxing fans who are becoming increasingly disgusted with this sport, at least in the high-profile heavyweight division, I have a suggestion for winning back some hearts: Make Tyson's bout with Holyfield a winner-take-all match, with half of the champion's purse going to his favorite charity. That would truly shock the world.
DOMENIC F. COLETTA JR., Marmora, N.J.
Tim Kurkjian lobbied to have Andre Dawson included in baseball's Hall of Fame (INSIDE BASEBALL, Aug. 26). I thought I'd do a little campaigning for another overlooked player, Jim Rice of the Boston Red Sox. From the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s, Rice was the most feared hitter in the American League. He drove in more than 100 runs eight times. He also led the league in homers three times and RBIs twice. His lifetime average (.298) is better than Mickey Mantle's or Carl Yastrzemski's. He has more hits (2,452) than Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Willie McCovey or Mike Schmidt had. His RBI total (1,451) tops those of Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente and Hank Greenberg. Perhaps most impressive, he averaged .69 RBIs a game, a figure that Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Mantle would envy. The biggest knock against Rice is that he failed to hit 400 home runs. But since when is belting 382 homers a reason to keep someone out of the Hall of Fame?
BRUCE LENTHALL, Philadelphia
Don Mattingly was one of the best players of the 1980s. He won nine Gold Gloves, a batting title and an MVP award. He had 2,153 hits, 1,099 RBIs and 222 home runs and was an All-Star six times. In addition, he holds the New York Yankees' single-season record for hits, with 238, and for doubles, with 53. I think those are Hall of Fame credentials.
JESSE REICHBACH, New York City
Your story about Brett Butler's valiant comeback from cancer of the tonsils (Back in Style, Sept. 16) touched a nerve with me. On July 25 I lost my 39-year-old brother, Tom, to throat cancer. Like Butler, Tom went through surgery and radiation treatment. He was cancer-free for a year. Like Butler, my brother used smokeless tobacco. I hope that Butler will use the access to the media generated by his remarkable comeback to help educate others regarding the deadly effects of smokeless tobacco. Using smokeless tobacco is as lethal as smoking and certainly not cool.
PAUL G. GRAUPMANN, North Ridgeville, Ohio
Tom Verducci hit the nail on the head in his POINT AFTER (Sept. 2) about the baseball owners' failing to come to terms with the players on a proposed contract. The owners better figure out that their primary concern should not be the contract but the winning back of the public. If they fail to do this, baseball eventually may be lower than roller hockey as far as fan interest goes.
HARRELL KERKHOFF Tuscola, Ill.