I would like to congratulate William Leggett for his very fine article on the World Series (Flying Start for the Big Bad Birds, Oct. 19). I especially liked the pictures. I felt as though I was there in the stands.
Your World Series issue deserves praise. William Leggett told it like it is. It was inevitable that Baltimore would win; throughout the season the Orioles showed themselves to be outstanding and all together.
For one who is annually mesmerized by the TV set during the World Series, the athletic prowess of Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Paul Blair, Lee May, Johnny Bench, et al. proved a continual thrill. But the most pleasing moment of all (particularly since my choice had been the Big Red Machine) was the display of sheer dignity and gentility by the person who probably felt least like being courtly or accommodating—Cincinnati Manager Sparky Anderson. He deserves the greatest plaudits of all for his humble and obviously sincere congratulations to the Orioles when the sting of defeat was still pronounced. How refreshing to witness such conduct from a classic sportsman! So congratulations and thanks, too, to Sparky and the 1970 Reds for having given baseball a much needed injection of talent, fortitude and enthusiasm.
CAROL D. DUNCAN
I would like to nominate Brooks Robinson for SI's Sportsman of the Year award. I feel that the way he demoralized the Cincinnati Reds with his glove and terrorized them with his bat earns him much consideration for this award. But more important was his humility in victory. After having disassembled the Big Red Machine, he refused to boast or gloat. Brooks Robinson truly is a sportsman.
JAMES E. TUCKER
As an avid New York Ranger fan I may be a little prejudiced, but Mark Mulvoy must have Bobby Orr, Derek Sanderson and the Boston Bruins constantly on his mind. His article, It's Gotta Be Orr—Or Else (Oct. 19), hardly previews hockey's new season. He writes 12 paragraphs on the Bruins, only one on the Canadiens, two on the Rangers, with the remaining 11 teams neatly compressed into the last 10 paragraphs. Pardon me, the very last paragraph returns to Mulvoy's hero, Mr. Orr.
The clincher appears on page 4 of the same issue (LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER), along with a picture of Mulvoy and his other hero, Sanderson. You say: "Naturally Mark was a Bruin fan." Was? He still is!
JOHN F. HUBBARD
Forest Hills, N.Y.
Mark Mulvoy seems to disapprove of the NHL's decision to add two teams to the league. I agree that there will be some mismatches (in a recent game, Buffalo took about 17 shots on goal while Montreal blitzed Roger Crozier with 50), but at least the fans in Buffalo will now get to see Hull, Howe, Beliveau and even the Bruins in the flesh. What would Mark Mulvoy have done as a youth in Boston if he couldn't have watched the Bruins?
I am aggravated and upset. If the fate of the National Hockey League rests on Bobby Orr's shoulders for fan interest and profit, then the league is in bad shape. True, Orr is a great hockey player, but how far will you go to praise him? Bobby Orr and the Bruins take a back seat to Bobby Hull and the Black Hawks but, unfortunately, this was not the case in your article.
If Mulvoy would go to Montreal or Toronto, where the most knowledgeable fans are, he would notice that Gordie Howe gets the loudest accolades of any opposing player. Howe is Mr. Hockey, not Orr. NHL attendance was near capacity before expansion and the heralded arrival of the Boy Wonder. The action and spirit of the game is what has made hockey a truly major league sport. One man does not make a sport.
Oak Park, Mich.
Yours is the finest preview of an NHL season that I have ever read. I'm glad you gave credit where credit was due. Thanks.