In Humming a Rhapsody in Blue (July 12), Roy Blount wrote that Vida Blue "pitches with two dimes in his pocket for some mysterious reason." In a recent article in The Detroit News Vida was asked about the two dimes. He said they "represent 20 wins." When asked why he doesn't carry another dime in his pocket for 30 wins, his answer was: "Twenty would be enough." Whether he likes it or not, Vida Blue just might end up with 30 wins this year—and three dimes in his pocket.
The question of who throws the hardest in the American League has been answered. Umpire John Rice recently stated that he could tell how hard and how fast a pitcher threw by the sound the ball made when it hit the catcher's mitt. Mr. Rice, who has called three of Vida's games, said that Cleveland's Sam McDowell "is faster than anybody can be." Vida may be considered a superpitcher by some, but the expert says Sudden Sam is still No. 1 for speed. As everyone knows, the umpire always has the last word.
I would like to tell Vida Blue that he has made the people of Louisiana, blacks and whites alike, proud of him. He has become the idol of many young ballplayers in Louisiana, and I would like to congratulate him on his record.
Your article on the Wimbledon men's singles finals (A Waltz at Wimbledon, July 12) aptly sums up much of men's grass-court play today—boredom. The big service has taken the excitement out of top-notch singles play. Recognizing that much experimenting has been done in the past few years to improve the game, I wonder if the following rule has been tried. Namely, that the server be required to let the initial return-of-service bounce on the server's court before he is allowed to advance to the net. This would appear to reduce some of the effectiveness of the big serve and perhaps bring back the skill, excitement and interest that used to exist.
ARTHUR J. MIER
How long are you going to permit gratuitous insults to women in your magazine? I refer to the caption with the photograph of women at Wimbledon that says, "The strawberries are ripe, the girls riper." Would you dare say, "The Negroes are funnier" or "The Italians are louder" just because they appear to be exactly what they are?
Stop it. We women do not like it and will not stand for it. And we are not "girls."
EDNA L. McCARREN
New York City
Thank you for your relatively obscure article (Still Something of a Summit Meeting, July 12) on the "relatively obscure American high jumper named Pat Matzdorf." Obscure is a poor choice of words concerning Matzdorf, since he has won not only the 1971 Big Ten Indoor championship but also the 1970 NCAA outdoor title and this year's NCAA indoor high-jump championship. His rivals in the high jump did not find him obscure at all.
You make it sound as if Matzdorf's achievement was a fluke. Pat's highest previous jump was not 7'2" but 7'3" in the Big Ten championship, and it tied the American indoor record. Not only that, he has been very consistent, clearing seven feet many times this year. Please give credit when it's due.
MAURY B. BERGER
I was manager of the track team at Sheboygan North during Pat Matzdorf's junior and senior years in high school, and Pat was not obscure to anybody. He practiced hard and earned everything he is receiving now. During his senior year in high school he jumped 6'11" to set a new state record.
I feel compelled to write about an oversight of excellence concerning Arnie Robinson, the AAU champion in the long jump. And not just for his victories in the AAU and Russian meets but his domination of the long jump throughout the year. He won what is considered the big three invitationals on the West Coast—the Mount SAC Relays (wind-aided 26'8"), the West Coast Relays (25'11") and the California Relays, where he jumped 26'4�" and beat both James McAlister and Henry Hines. Arnie's consistency is something that should not be overlooked.
JOHN A. PHILLIPS