Since when is the loser (i.e., Jean Ashley) in a national tournament entitled to the headlines and major portion of the story while the gal by whom she was clobbered (i.e., JoAnne Gunderson), one of the few two-time winners of the women's national, rates barely honorable mention (The Ashley Factor, Sept. 5)?
Now if Ashley were just a youngster or if she had even waged a stirring battle in the finals, some justification might be offered for devoting such lavish copy to her. But a 6 and 5 defeat can hardly be considered suspenseful, dramatic or stirring. Your story would seem to be directed toward encouraging competitors to lose if they wish to win acclaim.
JoAnne Gunderson is the youngest of five children in an average American family of moderate circumstances. Only through sheer determination, great sacrifice and the support of a few people who recognized her great talent has she been able to compile the outstanding record which your reporter chose to ignore. Besides which, she is currently the intercollegiate champion. She played in five major tournaments this year, won two, finished in the semifinals in two and lost a close match midway through the other. Not many pros have a better performance percentage!
MR. AND MRS. GORDON JENKINS
Who is the NCAA men's golf champion this year, and who was he last year (One Whale of a Golfer, Sept. 12)? Whom do you suppose he had to beat to be NCAA champion? You guessed it. Jack Nicklaus.
You put Nicklaus' picture on the cover of your magazine because you think he plays well. The champ who beat him, Richard Crawford, has proved himself and you give him two half lines. Let's be fair!
W. C. GRAY, M.D.
?Losers sometimes are bigger news than winners, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED is a news magazine. Champions Gunderson and Crawford (see above) have won their way into previous issues.—ED.
Jack Nicklaus will have quite a time winning the PGA "as an amateur." As an amateur, he can't play in it.
MARTIN L. PARKS
I am quite sure that the pride and humility that have helped make Stan Musial the most popular ballplayer of his time will also enable him to choose the proper time to say farewell. If Musial leaves the game with "a wave, a grin and a double lined up the alley in right center field," as some sportswriters suggest, I would never cease wondering how many more doubles and home runs would have been yet to come. To my way of thinking, a sporadically good Musial is better than no Musial at all.
To the multitude of fans who have grown up with and admired The Man, baseball will be somewhat less important when he leaves. There is no one in the game who can take his place, so let us not be too quick to advise Musial to make a "graceful exit."
KARL W. GLANDER, D.D.S.
Red Bank, N.J.
?For SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S views on retirement see page 12.—ED.