I am not a Red Sox fan, I have never been to Fenway, and I am too young to have seen Ted Williams play. I live in Phoenix, where it was 114� as I pulled the latest issue of SI out of my mailbox (Farewell, Teddy Ballgame, July 15-22). I instantly got full-body chills from the best cover I have seen in 26 years of reading your magazine. The man was the essence of sport.
STEVE SASMAN, Phoenix
I looked hard at the cover photo of Ted Williams and couldn't see a single steroid-enhanced muscle. Maybe they were hiding under all that talent.
RODNEY A. WALLACE Denver
As a young boy I saw Ted Williams play whenever the Bosox visited Yankee Stadium. My dad passed along his love of baseball to me. I have passed the love of the game to my eight-year-old daughter. When I showed her the cover, without missing a beat, she said, "The Splendid Splinter," and flipped the magazine open to read Leigh Montville's article. It brought tears to my eyes.
ERIC K. SCHWARTZ, Oakland
The 1972 Dolphins (Nobody's Perfect [Except Us], July 15-22) might get the recognition they feel they deserve if they weren't so arrogant and bitter. If they would look at the picture of Ted Williams talking to Don Mattingly and Wade Boggs (LEADING OFF) in the same issue, they'd see that the correct way to deal with and get respect from the next generation of players is to root for them and not celebrate their failures.
DAVID SOLOMON, East Brunswick, N.J.
Despite the deaths of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, there still is hope for the making of Grumpy Old Men III. It would star Bob Kuechenberg, Jim Mandich and Don Shula.
RICK ARNOLD, Chesterfield, Mo.
While it is true the 1972 Dolphins are the only undefeated team in NFL history, they are not the only undefeated team in pro football history. The '48 Cleveland Browns went 15-0—including a 49-7 pasting of Buffalo in the championship game of the All-America Football Conference. During the four years of the AAFC's existence, the Browns went 52-4-3 and won four championships, then joined the NFL in '50, going 10-2 and beating the Los Angeles Rams 30-28 in the NFL title game. Unlike when the AFL merged with the NFL, the AAFC's statistics did not carry over into the expanded league, and many talented teams and players are not recognized for their accomplishments.
KEN SIMMERS JR. LIMA, Ohio
The Story of 0
In 1992, when we were expecting our first child, my husband and I agreed he would name the boys and I would name the girls. Ten years and four daughters later, I now understand, thanks to Jack McCallum's excellent story on Oscar Robertson (King Without a Castle, July 15-22), why my husband favored the name Oscar Robertson Lepp. It would have been an honor to have a son named for the Big 0.
KATE LEPP, Los Gatos, Calif.
You stated that Robertson "desperately wanted to go to Indiana, but in his only meeting with the Hoosiers' coach, Branch McCracken, he sensed that he wasn't much wanted because of his color." It would have been interesting to learn how that "sense" originated. McCracken broke the Big Ten color line in 1948 while Robertson was in elementary school. In a recent documentary on McCracken, Walt Bellamy praises his former coach by saying, " Coach McCracken did not teach me to be a success in basketball; Coach McCracken taught me to be a success in life." It would seem that Bellamy, a teammate of Robertson's on the '60 Olympic Team, never got the "sense" he was not wanted in the IU program because of his color.
TODD GERMAN, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Look around your house. Find your most valuable possession. Sell it for top dollar and give all the money to the charity of your choice. Now imagine that you have parted with the most prestigious individual award in sports (Heisman Trophy) and your donation was a quarter million dollars. For Paul Hornung (Still Golden, July 15-22) to have done that makes him not just the Golden Boy, but a golden man.
WILLIAM J. FARLEY JR., Brielle, N.J.
It could be that Paul Hornung sometimes kept his Heisman Trophy in the garage instead of in a place of honor in his home because he knew that absent racism, Jim Brown would have been selected for the 1956 award.
STEPHEN MATLOW, Livingston, Mont.