Being an avid Dodger fan, I want to thank you for your article (An Urgent Matter of One Index Finger, March 4) on Sandy Koufax. Robert Creamer did an excellent job of covering this great pitching star. He even managed to include some humor about that finger, something true Dodger fans don't even like to talk about. Most Angelenos have a quiet confidence that Sandy will continue his amazing career and that they can forget about that temporarily hated finger.
Van Nuys, Calif.
The implication that Koufax's finger injury cost the Dodgers the pennant last year is ridiculous. True, he is a pitcher of magnificent talent, but injuries play as great a part in the breaks of baseball as a Texas leaguer does. The champion Giants were themselves plagued by injuries throughout the season. Pitching aces Billy Pierce and Juan Marichal were each lost for a month, not to mention the off-and-on ailments of Jim Davenport and Felipe Alou. To top it off, there was Willie Mays's illness near the season's finish, and the tragic loss of budding star Mike McCormick's pitching effectiveness.
It seems to me this offsets any excuse for the Dodgers not winning the pennant.
I realize that every year about this time you receive numerous letters from biased ball fans arguing how great their home team is. But I was amazed to see that the odds were 1,000 to 1 against Boston's winning the American League title (FOR THE RECORD, March 11). I was more surprised to see that they were placed on equal basis with Kansas City and Washington.
When New Englanders start talking about their team during spring training (or any time, for that matter) something's up. Boston finally has a pennant contender. Somebody has apparently mistaken the Red Sox for the Bruins. They're not!
The odds against the Phillies winning the pennant are 300 to 1. These are also the odds for Chicago, Houston and New York. How can you even compare these other teams with the Phillies? After all, who changed from a record losing streak to a winning season? And what team's manager was voted Manager of the Year? I feel this is all unfair.
" Cincinnati will win the NCAA?" Lay off, you guys. For two years straight you "favored" Ohio State, and now you're gunning for the Bearcats. Cincy can do it again, but without your help. Hands off—please.
In the past you have picked us Ohio Buckeyes. This year when the chips are down, you desert us! You'll be sorry.
In your March 11 issue you rate Cincinnati, Ohio State and Loyola of Chicago the three best teams in the Midwest. Wichita has beaten all three of these teams. In the Southwest, you rate Arizona State first and Texas Western third. Wichita has beaten both of these teams also. In the national polls Wichita is rated sixth although they have beaten everybody in the top five except Duke, and they haven't played Duke. In four games with Western Athletic Conference members Wichita has won four. In four games with Big Ten members Wichita has won, by an average of 20 points, four games. In short it seems Wichita isn't the best team in the nation, it only beats the best.
FREDDIE L. MARRS
Three cheers to President Colvard and Coach McCarthy of Mississippi State University for bringing their Bulldogs into the NCAA tournament. Win, lose or draw, they will give everyone in the country a chance to see the caliber of teams in the Southeastern Conference.