Concerning Joseph M. O'Loughlin's letter on the intentional pass (19TH HOLE, April 13) and his Catcher's Rule 1970, may I suggest that SI urge its readers to submit changes in existing rules that would enliven the Grand Old Game. For openers, I suggest any one or all three of Reeves Rules: 1) Any runner in scoring position shall advance one base if a batter is walked; 2) A pitcher is allowed only one throw to first in an effort to hold a runner. If a second attempted pick-off is unsuccessful the runner advances; 3) Any pitcher must retire one batter before he is replaced.
MARTIN M. REEVES, M.D.
Re the intentional base on balls: in 1969 there were 768 intentional passes in the National League and 668 intentional passes in the American League (total: 1,436). There were 973 games played in each league, for a total of 1,946. Thus we had .738 intentional passes per game, or one intentional pass for every 1.35 games.
Since there were 148,198 appearances at the plate in both leagues during the 1969 season, this means that the percentage of batters who were intentionally walked was .0097—or less than 1%.
Office of the Baseball Commissioner
New York City
Frank Deford's article about the competition between the ABA and the NBA and about the signing of Pete Maravich (Merger, Madness and Maravich, April 6) was excellent and much appreciated. It is this type of article that sets SI apart from other sports magazines.
Pistol Pete to his father after signing that contract: "Thanks a million, Dad!"
The recent expulsion of Pete Maravich from LSU, along with the sudden departure from Purdue of Rick Mount (after the completion of the basketball seasons, of course), strikes me as being potentially disastrous for college athletes. Judging from your special on him last fall, Pete Maravich is a self-made player, and I respect him for that. Yet toleration by these universities of total disregard by athletes of their educational programs is an example of the professionalism now rampant in many colleges. Students wishing to pursue an education as well as a sport find it impossible to compete with these professionals. Although the natural ability and initiative of the student-athlete might compare favorably to the natural abilities of such stars as Maravich, the total immersion of the star athlete into sport relegates the student-athlete to intramural status. Leave professionalism to the professionals. College athletes are skillful enough to do justice to their competitiveness and to the spectators.
I also hope these institutions have not given up the idea of educating their star athletes. Perhaps Walter Byers would better serve his organization ( NCAA) by investigating these postseason expulsions and dropouts instead of driving out such devilish and immoral disobedients as that well-known athletic factory at Yale.
New Haven, Conn.
The boys at the gym here got a big laugh reading your article on Joe Weider (Be a Take-Charge Blaster! April 6). Anyone with a grade-school education can tell by reading his ads that Weider appeals to the fringe that gives bodybuilding a bad image in the eyes of the public. When Bob Hoffman, who has trained most of the 29 Mr. Americas, including myself, says, "They want to look like self-propelled triangles," he is referring to the gullible slobs who spend most of their waking hours working out and thinking about supermuscles. Hoffman has always advocated balanced training, giving equal emphasis to weight lifting and bodybuilding, and the pursuit of other wholesome interests in order to realize a very worthwhile goal: a sound mind in a sound body.
Mr. America, 1945
I thought your article was excellent. I don't classify myself as a weakling, but wish I could "rip tennis balls asunder."
Who says those musclebound men appeal to girls? A man has to be really bad off in the male ego department if he wants to make his body more deformed than Quasimodo's! I wish that Joe Weider would give up his little project to make the men in the U.S. look like freaks in a sideshow! I wasn't a bit impressed by your article.