FOR THE BIRDS
Once again you've run an article on one of our fine Baltimore teams (Best Damn Team in Baseball, April 12), and once again your writer has found it necessary to belittle the undeserving Baltimore sports fans and their backward community.
How urbane are the two million Met fans in their urban jungle? How absurd is the East Baltimore steelworker who stays home, listening to his Orioles on the radio and drinking his National Boh, when he could have paid his way into Memorial Stadium and torn up the entire outfield? How unfortunate that the Orioles don't have two or three sportswriters to report on each ballplayer's every activity. How heroic is Nancy Seaver as we watch her battle through her life-and-death struggle as Tommy pitches? How many non-Baltimoreans even know there is a Mrs. Frank Robinson?
I feel that the true test of a sports fan is how he accepts defeat. Ask the Baltimore teams what they thought of the thousands of "small-town yokels" who turned out for "the free airport reception" after the humiliating defeats to those so deserving New York teams.
THOMAS A. MANNING
Although I appreciate the article on the Orioles, I disagree with some of Mr. Deford's references to Baltimore and its sports fans. My main complaint is where Mr. Deford refers to the Baltimore Clippers of the American Hockey League as being "bush." I wonder if Mr. Deford knows that the Clippers were offered a franchise in the NHL and turned it down. I wonder if he knows that they outdraw the Baltimore Bullets of the NBA in the same arena. The Clippers have also just finished their finest season, winning their division.
If Boog Powell, who in 1970 finished behind Carl Yastrzemski in batting average, home runs and slugging percentage, is depicted as Power Personified, what then is Yastrzemski the epitome of?
I have played baseball for the last 10 years and in doing so have seen many baseball cleats. But from rubber cleats of the Little League to steel cleats of high school I have never seen a pair of the type Boog Powell wears on your cover. I realize it was only a painting, but I suggest somebody tell Artist Edward Kasper that baseball cleats do not have heels.
Garden Grove, Calif.
I was stunned to read the results of the Sislers' secret rating method for pitchers (Pitching Secrets, April 12). The reason for my astonishment is that, with one exception, the same names appear on my own list as a result of my secret rating system.
Like the Sisters, I will not divulge my formula, but if you care to publish my list you may do it with my permission by simply reversing the Sislers' list.
So far the superiority of my secret method is not apparent. But it should become obvious when I tell you that on my alltime list, Harry Murphy ranks between Bob Feller and Hal Newhouser.