Roy Blount's article on the Oakland A's (Out! Short to Yellow to Red, March 30) presents the claim that a lot of people stayed away from the ball games "even though" Charles Finley provided scoreboard cartoons, fireworks, a minstrel combo and a mule. "Because" might be a more apt term. Despite what San Franciscans will tell you, residents of Oakland and the other East Bay cities are not the kind of unsophisticated clods who will flock in large numbers to witness such nonsense. A minstrel combo in one of the soul-music centers of the West?
R. L. FULFORD
Since I have heard nothing to the contrary, I assume that Joe Cronin will allow Charles O. Finley to color the bases red, yellow and blue. Perhaps Mr. Cronin and Mr. Finley had better read the rule book. Rule 1.06 states: "First, second and third bases shall be marked by white canvas bags...."
Perhaps if Mr. Finley would concentrate on putting a baseball team on the field instead of a circus he would draw more than the 778,232 fans that he did in 1969.
? Mr. Finley apparently read the rule book, changed the colors to phosphorescent white, then had another change of mind and decided on gold.—ED.
Re your article about the St. Louis Cardinals (A Bird in Hand and a Binning Busch, March 23), St. Louis currently has an $11.5 million croquet arch, a bankrupt Spanish Pavilion from the World's Fair, a shipwrecked duplicate of the Santa Maria and a general manager by the name of Bungling Bing. His recent jewels are to trade Bobby Tolan, Alex Johnson, Tim McCarver, Curt Flood, Wayne Granger and Joe Hoerner for Richie Allen and a bunch of bat boys, plus a .250-hitting outfielder by the name of Cardenal.
Meanwhile Gussie Busch lectured the players last spring that they have forgotten that the fans come first. He then proceeds to raise reserved-seat ticket prices 20%, and to fire the popular play-by-play announcer and replace him with a sleepy-eyed disc jockey. Oh, yes, parking and refreshment prices have also been increased.
Thanks for Pat Ryan's article, A Gooey Sickness Smears the Gulf (March 30), and also for the amount of concern that SI has shown on environmental issues. At a time when all levels of government have more agencies than qualified, or concerned, personnel to staff them, it is heartening to see the media taking up the fight. The last three paragraphs of the article show what a difficult problem we are faced with. I feel that public anger is the only thing that will "move the Government," and consequently I praise your magazine, which has done more in the past few years than has the Department of the Interior in its lifetime of being out to lunch on the taxpayers' money. Keep us angry—young and old alike.
Please continue to emphasize environmental problems as you have emphasized the most recent example, that of Chevron Oil's wanton disregard of all except maximizing the oil flow. The land, water and air around us are bound inseparably to sport.
STUART G. MORRIS
Whitefish Bay, Wis.
A trophy should be awarded to Pat Putnam as well as SI on the track-and-field article, Field Day for Kansas (March 23). It was a very well-balanced and well-phrased article. An upset of this caliber should be, and was, recorded in your usual ideal manner. I hope to see more.
Some time ago the greatest miler the world has ever seen dropped out of track. He was, of course, Kansas' Jim Ryun. For three years he was the top miler in the world. The pressure was high, and finally he fell under it. Many people fell upon him like vultures, saying that he lost and quit. Yes, he did lose; it was his first loss in years, but he lost.