Having heard much of Pel� the soccer player and nothing of Pel� the man, I was extremely pleased to "meet" Pel� through the brilliant writing of Pete Axthelm (The Most Famous Athlete in the World, Oct. 24). It's about time someone publicized in America the most popular sport in the world and its most sensational player.
Let's hope this exposition of soccer will inspire many Americans to learn to play the sport and many more to learn to understand and respect the most exciting of all team games.
Edson Arantes do Nascimento does not know what his nickname, Pel�, means? I shall help him. In Hebrew it means "a wonder; a miracle."
State College, Pa.
IN THE CLOUDS
Thank you for a fresh look at the incomparable Elgin Baylor (A Tiger Who Can Beat Anything, Oct. 24). I think everyone must agree that he is one of the most courageous athletes in the history of American sport. I have been a fan for a long time but, unfortunately, the closest I've ever been to him has been peering down from above the clouds in the second balcony of the Boston Garden. I hasten to add that he looks great from that angle, too!
PETER A. BERKOWSKY
The debate over who is the greatest all-round player has long been clouded by the tendency in some observers to ignore the degrees of skill among the more outstanding players.
Oscar Robertson is a case in point. Admittedly, he is a superb scorer and play-maker who rebounds well against other guards. However, Elgin Baylor scores, sets up plays and rebounds against anyone—6-foot 10-inch forwards included. He has often been among the top five in all three categories; sometimes even in the same season.
To praise Baylor at Robertson's expense is useless and unrealistic. Both are outstanding. However, I feel a distinction should be made between one who excels in all phases of the game and those who might be given a lesser rating in some one category. I commend your implied distinction.
JOSEPH A. OLESS
Through the years we Los Angeles sports fans have had our share of truly great performers—Patton, Waterfield, Hirsch, Van Brocklin, Gonzalez, Wills, Koufax, West and so on. There has never been a more thrilling sight for me than that of Elgin Baylor working one on one.
South San Gabriel, Calif.
I found the predictions on the NBA season in your pro basketball issue quite interesting. Your ideas about the Western Division are certainly valid: Los Angeles should finish ahead of St. Louis. However, judging by their early games, the "little" lads from Chicago should come out ahead of both the Lakers and the Hawks.
I have no doubt that the Chicago Bulls will make the playoffs. You writers are all alike—afraid to go out on the limb for a new team.