The article in your 1989 Special Baseball Issue on the shortage of catchers (They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To, April 5) reminded me of two previous SI stories: Where Are They? in the Feb. 22, 1988, issue, which was about that vanishing breed, the NBA center, and APB for QBs in the Aug. 29 edition, which discussed the lack of top-notch NFL quarterbacks. Cleveland is fortunate to have rare stars at all three of these positions. The Cavaliers have one of the best centers, Brad Daugherty, in the NBA, one of the best quarterbacks, Bernie Kosar, in the NFL and, according to SI, two of the five best catchers, Andy Allanson and Joel Skinner, in the American League.
CALLING GAME 2
Calling a Game by Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia with Peter Gammons in your special baseball preview was superb. After reading the account, I watched a tape of Game 2 of the World Series with the article in hand, and gained a better understanding of Orel Surgery.
It's too bad that collaboration is no longer possible with Elston Howard. His pitch-by-pitch description of Jim Lonborg's one-hitter for the Red Sox in Game 2 of the 1967 World Series would have been equally informative. It would also be interesting to know how Yogi Berra of the Yankees called Don Larsen's perfect game in the '56 Series and how Tim McCarver of the Cardinals called Bob Gibson's 17-strikeout performance in Game 1 of the '68 Series.
STEPHEN M. HASHIOKA, D.D.S.
We tend to forget the extent of the catcher's responsibilities. Thank you for reminding us by taking us behind the scenes with the best battery in baseball: Hershiser-Scioscia.
New City, N.Y.
I enjoyed your article on poor foul shooters in the NBA (Failure Most Foul, March 20), although I wish Yalie Chris Dudley, now of the Cavaliers, hadn't gotten so much attention.
Jack McCallum pointed out that "the patron saint of the [bricklayer] breed," Wilt Chamberlain, had a career free throw average of .511. What McCallum did not mention is that against the Knicks on March 2, 1962, in Hershey, Pa., Wilt not only scored a record 100 points but also converted a still-standing, regular-season-record 28 foul shots (in 32 attempts, for an .875 percentage).
ARTHUR J. SWERSEY
New Haven, Conn.
I have known Chris Dudley since junior high school. He was a big, clumsy kid who had absolutely no coordination, but for the next six years he worked extremely hard—jumping rope, stretching, practicing the Mikan (hook shot) drill and doing everything else he could to improve his basketball skills. In high school we played on the same team, and Chris made better than 70% of his foul shots. Cleveland assistant coach Brian Winters is correct: Chris's current poor performance at the line is not a result of a lack of desire. So, please, focus on someone else. With less media pressure, Chris's free throw average might even skyrocket.
Solaria Beach, Calif.
As much as I love basketball, I resent the reference to poor foul shooters as "bricklayers." I am a mason, and I see no comparison. The other day at work, I had to throw 500 bricks up to another man 14 feet above me on a scaffold. I hit him in the hands at least 475 times—a percentage of .950—and I broke only seven bricks. Rick Barry would have been proud.
WAYDE D. NELSON
How could you run an article on baseball uniforms (Fabric of the Game, 1989 Special Baseball Issue, April 5) without mentioning Ted Kluszewski? In the mid 1950s, Big Klu (left, at bat) began cutting off the sleeves of his Reds uniform to give his huge arms and shoulders some breathing room, and in 1956 the Reds made sleeveless tops part of their standard uniform. In '57 the Pirates followed suit—so to speak—and it looked as though the cool look was about to take over baseball. Alas, only the Indians and the A's followed that trend, and it died as Cincinnati went back to sleeves in '67 and the A's, the last to do so, in '72.
MICHAEL LAWRENCE LEVINE
?Klu and the Reds weren't the first major leaguers to go sleeveless. That distinction belongs to the 1941-42 Chicago Cubs.—ED.