No one can accuse SPORTS ILLUSTRATED of failing to gauge the concerns and tempo of our time. But in recent years your writers and editors have outdone themselves in demonstrating an ecological awareness of some of the world's most pressing problems.
As a University of Wisconsin professor remarked recently, "The SI piece on the Brooks Range is of Pulitzer quality." Even more important than journalism prizes, that story and others in SI, ranging from the dilemmas of persistent pesticides and nuclear power plants in our society to the positive example of seashore enhancement, are enlightening to your broad audience.
Thanks to SI, our real grass-roots problems are being detailed in vivid, free-flowing prose. Your staff is proving that stories linking the sciences and today's environmental issues can be both accurate and interesting. Too often in the past, scientists and conservationists had only themselves to talk to in learned journals with limited circulations. SI is making the state of the environment everyone's concern.
JAMES ALAN SCHWARTZ
Department of Natural Resources
State of Wisconsin
My congratulations to Pat Ryan for one of the most interesting and delightfully written articles of its kind I have read in SI or any other publication, regarding Charles Engelhard (The Walking Conglomerate, April 28), his attractive and efficient wife and his far-flung economic and sports interests. The author's facile pen so deftly follows the Engelhards as they make the rounds of their homes and their activities on three continents—with light and intimate touches included—that the reader's interest is never allowed to waver.
New York City
Charles Engelhard is described as having inherited a modest $20-million family fortune. I call that positively bashful.
M. LEONARD BAUER
BUTTONHOLED AT THIRD
In your April 28 issue you presented a series of color photos picturing up-and-coming third basemen (A Jam-up of Talent at Third). One who was especially well captured by your photographer was Bobby Murcer, the Yankees' newest star. I was happy to read that he now uses Mickey Mantle's locker and wears Bobby Richardson's No. 1. I found it interesting to note, however, that the most important sign of a Yankee star, the unbuttoned button, was shown buttoned in the photo published. I can't help but wonder why Bobby considers himself a star only part of the time. The article by William Leggett stated that Murcer knows enough to keep the top button of his uniform blouse unbuttoned. I would be interested in what I'm sure is an obvious answer.
?An off-field error.—ED.
One more name should have been added to this list. Twenty-one-year-old Aurelio "Rodriguez of the California Angels is a fine hitting (.354 as of April 25) and fielding third sacker with all the tools to become a true standout.
Pico Rivera, Calif.
This expansion team bit is O.K. if you've got enough players, but Montreal was in town the other day and guess who their No. 1 relief pitcher is—Carmen Lombardo!
JOHN J. LYONS
Re Wondrous Willie Mays (Leading Man: Wondrous Willie, April 21): When was your last feature on Hank Aaron? People get to talking about Mays so much these days, they forget about Aaron!