Without a doubt your issue of April 17 was the greatest in a long line of superb efforts. The color photos and coverage of the Masters, the NBA Eastern Division playoffs and the forthcoming baseball season have to rank as classics. For a change, even your predictions sounded accurate, especially the one about St. Louis.
That was a Baseball Issue? The interested fan had to dig deep to find coverage on the sport. I suppose any year Nicklaus does not win the green coat at Augusta that is news and justifies a lead article. I don't even mind the second story on how the 76ers pushed the Celtics around. After all these years of Boston domination, Philadelphia deserves some publicity. But those eight anemic pages of scouting reports for the 20 major league baseball teams defy reason. Why, a Baltimore rooter could easily miss your brief mention of the colorful, explosive Orioles, who are surely the biggest diamond attraction this season.
DONALD M. LYNNE
Your form charts and analyses of the 20 major league teams added up to a grand slam. Despite the fact that I've been a Pirate fan since the Greenberg Gardens, I subscribe to your statement that the 8-to-5 odds on the Bucs are out of line. The Pirates hit over their heads last year, and even if they do it again this year they can't get enough runs to overcome the earned runs given up by the pitchers and the unearned runs given up by inept fielding and no catching Even Maury Wills won't help, because he won't be running as much as he should. Mix in a little overconfidence and you have disaster in the Steel City. Somebody better keep an eye on the Cardinals.
J. D. DONATELLI
I fail to see why you must continually underrate the Cleveland Indians. It seems your most cutting phrases are always saved for the Tribe (if they are not already reserved for the Browns in the fall). In your Baseball Issue you predicted that the Cleveland club would not finish high in the first division. This may be true but third or fourth place is not out of reach. You also stated that neither Gus Gil nor Larry Brown figures to hit .250, but how many other shortstops and second basemen do, besides McAuliffe, Fregosi and Aparicio?
You then continued to knock the hitting by saying that neither Joe Azcue (.275) nor Duke Sims (.263) is a threat to win the batting championship. They just happen to be the two best-hitting catchers in the American League. How could you say what you did?
CARL FAZIO JR.
The Boston Celtics have finally been dethroned (The New Spirit of the 76ers, April 17). The Philadelphia 76ers are indeed a great team and deserving of a championship. To be champions a team must beat the best, and in defeating the Celtics the 76ers have certainly done that. But no one can take away from the Celtics what they have accomplished. They won eight straight world championships, and nine in 10 years. No team has ever approached that record, and chances are no team ever will.
The era of the Celtics may have ended, but their glory lingers on.
J. J. CICERRELLA
Notre Dame, Ind.
Congratulations to Frank Deford for a well-written article. It was a fine tribute to a great, proud Boston team and to Philadelphia's new champs.
But let's hope the 76er fans learn to give credit to other teams as well as to their own for good basketball play.
DOUGLAS R. COOKE
I bitterly resent Mr. Deford's alluding to the great Boston fans as frenzied, fair-weather friends and mental midgets. After the disgusting "animal show" in Philadelphia in the fifth game of the series, Boston fans can be considered first-class in comparison. Please cancel my subscription.