I just have one thing to say. Those defensive linemen couldn't have done it to a nicer guy.
Many thanks for an honest and revealing story about Cleveland's pitching ace, Sam McDowell ( Sam of 1,000 Ways, Aug. 17). The main point of the article—i.e., that McDowell has the ability to pitch brilliantly—was proved on Aug. 13 when he pitched his 17th victory, a three-hitter over Oakland. A truly bright future is awaiting Sudden Sam.
RICHARD L. BUNGE
The trouble with Sam McDowell is that there aren't enough people like him. The trouble with John (Blue Moon) Odom is that there's one too many of him. Moon Odom doesn't have Sudden's stuff, and I'd like to tell him to keep quiet until he does. And for anyone else who says Sam has never had a good season, here are a few statistics:
[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]
Who knows what Sam will finish with this year? But don't worry, it will be good. Eat your heart out, Blue Moon Odom.
Sudden Sam is my kind of man. Baseball is just a part of his life. This is the way it should be. Most of us tend to take the game too seriously and inject too many life-and-death aspects into it.
I salute Pat Jordan for an engaging and enlightening treatment of an enigmatic athlete. Perhaps now we Indian fans can more understandingly resign ourselves to worshiping Sam for what he is rather than for what we may have wished him to be. Although we may not possess the biggest winner in baseball, we may have in Sam something more vital to the well-being of the game than a winner.
RONALD G. HEYDUK
Ann Arbor, Mich.
HANK, WILLIE AND ROBERTO
Your prediction that those who follow the Pittsburgh Pirates would be enraged by the comments of the anonymous "baseball fan" quoted in your SCORECARD item ("Heresy," Aug. 17) was quite correct. Anybody who follows Pirate baseball knows that Roberto Clemente is the greatest in the game today. Nearly every reference this "fan" makes to Willie Mays is in the past tense. If Clemente is anything, he is underrated. As for helping his learn, kindly check the National League standings. We wouldn't trade Clemente for Mays, Aaron or anyone else!
Your "non- Pittsburgh fan" says that he is sick and tired of hearing that Roberto Clemente is the greatest player in the game today. Maybe this is so because everyone has been telling him this.
I agree 100% with that baseball fan's comments. He singled out the facts that the Buc fans fail to see and that the rest of the nation notices. A Clemente does not compare with an Aaron or a Mays. Thanks for bringing out the truth.
Old Bridge, N.J.