In regard to your article on baseball at midseason (Chills and Thrills, July 17), I beg to differ with the assessment of the Mets, the supposed owners of the National League East. Peter Gammons should consider that the Cardinals won the World Series in 1982, got to the World Series in '85 and '87 and stand an excellent chance of winning it again in 1989. The Mets have been to the World Series only once in the '80s (1986), and they wouldn't have made it then if the Cardinals hadn't ""given" them Keith Hernandez three years earlier.
THE BILLINGS MUSTANGS
It was with an acute pang of nostalgia that I read Jack McCallum's impressions of Billings, Mont., Cobb Field and the Billings Mustangs (Take Us Out to the Ball Game, July 24).
My family moved to Billings from Chicago in the summer of 1948. Finding no Indians to fight and not knowing anyone in town, I spent many evenings that summer in Cobb Field rooting for the Mustangs. McCallum mentioned shortstop Les Barnes and second baseman Jack Skinner from that original Billings team. I also remember a pretty fair centerfielder by the name of Milt Joffe, and I believe the Mustangs' first manager was Charlie Root, the pitcher who was the victim of the Babe's famous "pointed" home run. My subsequent friend and neighbor Jim McNally, older brother of Dave—star lefty with the Baltimore Orioles from 1962 to '75—was the Mustangs' first batboy.
The article and pictures confirm that some things really don't change, even in 41 years.
Mission Viejo, Calif.
GEORGE FOREMAN (CONT.)
I read with interest Richard Hoffer's cover story on George Foreman (Still Hungry After All These Years, July 17) and would like to state the International Boxing Federation's position on a proposed fight between champion Mike Tyson and Foreman: We are opposed to the match at this time.
At our 1987 annual convention in Norfolk, Va., we passed a resolution, formulated by our Medical Advisory Committee, opposing the rating of boxers older than 35 if they have not been continuously active. This was done for safety reasons alone, and it is still this organization's position. Therefore, we have no intention of rating Foreman or of sanctioning a Tyson versus Foreman championship match until Foreman beats an IBF-rated fighter and becomes one of the top 12 heavyweights in the world. As you pointed out in your article, Foreman has not fought or beaten a rated fighter in his comeback.
We firmly believe that other world professional boxing sanctioning bodies should follow suit to keep the sport and the coveted world heavyweight boxing championship in a class by itself.
ROBERT W. LEE
President and Commissioner
East Orange, N.J.
Of all the Tyson fight propositions, Foreman's is the most absurd. I would give many others better odds. I'd wager on Herschel Walker lasting at least four rounds and Tony Mandarich maybe three. I'm still waiting for Bo Jackson to challenge Tyson. I'll bet Bo knows boxing (SCORECARD, July 24).
CHRISTOPHER N. PATTON
Blue Bell, Pa.
As a former sportswriter with a master's degree in Spanish, I enjoyed reading Bob Sheppard's lineup of euphonic names (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 26). I, too, have always liked the sound of Campanella, Arroyo and even Garagiola. On the flip side, the 1957 American League-champion Yankees had one of the least euphonious lineups ever—with names like Kubek, Kucks, Lumpe, McDougald, Shantz, Skowron, Slaughter and Sturdivant—but they played like a symphony on the field.
Salt Lake City
?Those '57 Yankees weren't always a symphony on the field. Witness this discordant slide into third by Bill (Moose) Skowron in a game against the Indians.—ED.