I thoroughly enjoyed Ed Zern's amusing article, Something Was Fishy About Stonehenge (Aug. 22). It has to be one of the more humorous fishing articles ever written. Of course, I don't believe that Mr. Smythe-Preston does exist or, rather, did exist, but drat! I wish his wife hadn't killed him!
JOHN A. SPANGLER
Thank you for your very excellent coverage of Jim Ryun's, America's and the world's fastest mile ever (July 25 and Aug. 1). It was a magnificent performance, and we are all very proud of him.
Track and field is currently undergoing a dynamic and dramatic change, and Jim Ryun is the pacesetter of the new breed of athletes who are spearheading this change. Contributors to this revolution with Ryun are Gerry Lindgren, Randy Matson and Bob Seagren—to name just a few.
The records will continue to fall as these dedicated athletes continue their pursuit of excellence. They train long and hard, and they know no artificial barriers of the mind. Gone are the four-minute mile, the 60-foot shotput, the seven-foot high jump and the 16-foot pole vault. We are just now learning what the human body can do. It is a startling and wonderful revelation. If we maintain this attitude (and I believe we shall), we will, indeed, witness the sub-3:30 mile.
?As a former two-mile record holder and the first man to run a sub-four-minute mile indoors, letter writer Beatty has done some world-shaking himself.—ED.
As usual, you have gone behind the headlines of a great sports achievement and told us something about the man. Those three minutes and 51.3 seconds on July 17 undoubtedly changed Jim Ryun's life as will no other similar time period in his entire life.
However, one fact that interests me and that was not reported by Gwilym Brown relates to Ryun's age. Surely no other runner has held the coveted world-mile record at the young age of 19. Right or wrong?
ROGER A. DERBY
?Right. Herb Elliott, who was 20 when he set the record in 1958, is the second youngest.—ED.
ONE MAN'S FANCY
A resounding amen to William Leggett's article on major league scheduling (The Long, Long Season, Aug. 15). However, I believe he actually understated the case for a major revision of what is now an NBA-like shambles.
I am, simply, a fan whose love for baseball dates back to my first visit to the Polo Grounds in 1933. I have no official connection with the game in any way. However, many years ago I began to wonder how the schedules were prepared, and as a hobby and an exercise in logistics I began voluntarily to try my own hand at the job. Naively I wrote to the two leagues each year to offer my handiwork, honest in my belief that I had found ways to avoid some of the anomalies that Leggett has noted.