Thank you for an excellent article on the front-running L.A. Dodgers (Painful Search for a Pennant, Sept. 19). It's about time someone cleared up the mysteries surrounding the only team in the majors making victories out of iced elbows, taped knees, weak hitting and clapping Covingtons. Up to now few people have been aware, as I was, of the individual suffering undergone by practically 11 out of every 10 players on a team held together by nerves, tape and chewing gum, both sweet and sugarless. Now they know the truth. What can I say but congratulations to Jack Olsen.
Incidentally, my wise old mother says that hot tea bags and rock salt will cure Sandy Koufax's ailing elbow.
MARK J. FRIEDMAN
Cherry Hill, N.J.
I would like to compliment Jack Olsen on his superb story. Anyone who reads this article will know why the Dodgers click. I credit your staff with writing some truly great individual stories, but this inside look at L.A. tops them all.
Paul Dietzel's discussion of his motives (I Have Never Broken a Contract, Sept. 19) was very illuminating. We've heard it here in South Carolina, but I am delighted he took this opportunity to explain to everyone the reasons he is so widely traveled.
By his own words, challenge and accomplishment are the elements for which Dietzel strives. In the final analysis, his accomplishments, as I am sure he realizes, will have to be the criteria by which he is judged. However, it is the enthusiasm, honesty and terrific sense of salesmanship that Paul Dietzel brought with him to his task that have quickly given a sense of hopefulness to Gamecock fans everywhere. I am grateful he's here, and thank you for giving him the opportunity to state his case.
W. S. LINNING III
"I've got to have a challenge," says Mervin Hyman for Pepsodent Paul.
Isn't there a challenge in trying to remedy a record of 21 won, 18 lost and one tied, such as he made at West Point?
L. ROBERT BLOCK
Pity poor Paul. The Army had just too much challenge for him.
THE REV. JOHN HANNAHS
It seems to me the man doth protest too much. If failing to live up to the terms of a contract is not breaking it, then what is? The fact that the other signatory to a breached contract acquiesces in the failure and exacts no penalties does not change the fact that the contract has been broken. The actions of coaches like Paul Dietzel and Bear Bryant in matters of contracts makes me wonder what kind of character some name coaches develop.
R. H. FISHER
I hope that Mr. Dietzel's defenses are better at South Carolina than they are in his article.
PAUL BELDEN III