I could not help viewing with a bit of whimsey the following from Ray Cave's piece (The Fresh Face of Sport, Aug. 21): "Seven years of professional golf saw the end of the domination of Hogan and Snead, the rise of Arnold Palmer and the realization that finesse is no longer enough. Power has become vital." This statement seems hardly appropriate in a year that has seen Gene Littler win the Open and Jerry Barber the PGA. Certainly, neither of these could be thought of as exponents of power.
Actually, golf is little different now from what it always has been. It helps, of course, to get the ball well out from the tee, but the ability to do so is only a help, not a decisive factor.
After all, Hogan and Snead were pretty good hitters, and Arnold Palmer has been as good as anybody on and around the greens, especially when he has been winning.
Let's not spread the news that you have to be a strong man to be a successful golfer. The ball still has to be put into the hole.
ROBERT TYRE JONES JR.
Who would have thought that on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S seventh anniversary a glance into the past would have revealed so many changes? The Fresh Face of Sport was probably the most interesting sports feature that I have ever read.
After reading your explosive last-word expos� on the increasing crime rate among American baseballs (Yes, It's Livelier, Aug. 28), I begin to understand why there are so many skeptics in the world today. About the only thing that article proved is that you are touched in the headline. It may be true that the thing is hopped up, juiced up, rabid, hypertensive. Personally, I couldn't care less.
Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Why isn't there a home run boom in the National League, which uses the same "livelier" ball as the American?
?There is. The NL record for home runs in a season (1,263, set in 1955) probably will be broken this year.—ED.
Congratulations for printing Last Inning of an Angry Man (Aug. 21). It removed the stigma of Cobb being a dirty player, and it gave Cobb the true image of being a fair, just and determined player, which he was. Ty Cobb was the greatest of the great!
You captioned a picture of Ty Cobb sliding into home: " Cobb denied he was a ruthless base runner, but old photograph shows him leaping spikes high at the catcher." With the catcher blocking the plate, Cobb is doing only what any professional would do under this condition.
REGINALD E. LARSON