Even more remarkable is Clemente's un-paralleled love for baseball. Whether the Pirates are winning or losing, Clemente's exuberance and flair are unmatched by any other player in the game. Whenever he appears, teammates and fans alike know that he will do whatever is necessary to get the clutch hit or make the spectacular diving catch. A man of this caliber is something to behold in an age where most ballplayers are more concerned with extracting money and business opportunities from baseball than they are with playing it.
New Brunswick, N.J.
I nominate Vida Blue, the main reason being that he did so much early in the season to revive interest in our slumping national pastime.
Who else but Nader's best raider—Ken Dryden!
Huntington Station, N.Y.
I nominate, in all seriousness, Howard Cosell. I think he is deserving of such an honor. Agreed, Cosell is very controversial and quite often repetitive. But above all, he creates an interest. The world of sport needs more Howard Cosells to stimulate the public and generate enthusiasm. Mr. Cosell has done a terrific job for years.
New City, N.Y.
I nominate Don Garlits. This year Garlits proved once and for all that rear-engine dragsters can compete with conventional slingshot dragsters. Garlits proved his point by winning numerous NHRA and AHRA meets. He turned an unbelievable 6.21 along with many other quarters in the 6.20 to 6.30 range. He also ran his "digger" to speeds well over 230 mph.
Because of what Garlits has done with his rear-engine dragster, drag racing will undoubtedly become a much safer sport.
KRAIG L. WILLIS
The year 1971 saw at least the beginning of the end of Muhammad Ali and the advent of Evonne Goolagong, like a breath of fresh air on the tennis scene. Eddie Merckx made it three in a row in this world's most grueling sporting event, the Tour de France, while Jackie Slew an proved once more to be the best driver on land. And Roberto Clemente played the Star role in the Pirate victory in the World Series. But they must all give way to Lee Trevino, who, with his hat trick of victories in the U.S., Canadian and British opens (a feat unlikely ever to be repeated), was undoubtedly the sports star of 1971. Yes, Super Mex must be your Sportsman of the Year.
Badminton fans were cheered by the fine article written by Dan Levin (What Kind of Racket Is This?, Nov. 22). He captured the true spirit of dyed-in-the-wool badminton players. Badminton is an excellent indoor sport for those who want plenty of exercise and fun.
When Chou En-lai entertained the Ping-Pong delegation in Red China, he observed that badminton was one of the two fastest games played. If the Red Chinese badminton players are invited to enter international competition, they may well march off with all the honors.
KENNETH V. DANIELS