STARTERS AND RELIEVERS
William Leggett's writing about the different pitchers and their performances last year (Masters of the Mound—and the Game, April 10) was truly interesting, especially the part about relief pitchers and their changing roles. As for the starters, I agree with the George Sislers' rating that Tom Seaver was more efficient than the two Cy Young Award winners, Ferguson Jenkins and Vida Blue. Tom Seaver should have been the Cy Young Award winner in the National League.
Anybody who rates Seaver ahead of Blue according to last year's statistics is either very misinformed or very insincere.
I noticed that the name of Dodger Pitcher Al Downing was missing. However, I did see the names of superstars like George Stone and Ray Sadecki. Last year Stone had a sizzling 6-8 record while Sadecki pitched a red-hot 7-7. Of course, all Downing did was win 20 games, come within a few votes of winning the Cy Young Award and become the recipient of the Comeback Player of the Year award. Who are the Sislers trying to kid?
Van Nuys, Calif.
I enjoyed your baseball articles very much, but how the George Sislers ever created those ratings for relief pitchers is beyond comprehension. They did a fairly accurate job rating the starters, but can Ken Sanders, for example, receive about the same rating as Roger Nelson? Sanders worked 136 innings (all in relief), finishing a record 77 games, saving 31 and winning seven for a club that won only 69 games. Nelson barely got dirt in his spikes.
A cursory viewing of the Sislers' 10 top-rated relief pitchers reveals the glaring omission of Dave Giusti, once again illustrating that any rating system based solely on statistics cannot be 100% valid. Anyone who has observed Giusti on the mound the past two years knows the intangibles that make him the best.
WILLIAM OLESZEWSKI II
New Derry, Pa.
How can the Sislers say that Steve Hamilton is more effective than Tug McGraw? Who else but Tug could come on any time in the game and pitch one great inning after another? You have to like someone with the best screwball since Carl Hubbell.
Far Rockaway, N.Y.
HOPE IN PHILLY
Thank you for the article on the NHL West (Try Kate Smith on the Rocks, April 3). Although the Philadelphia Flyers did not make the playoffs, I was very happy to see someone recognize the most underrated hockey player, the Flyers' Bobby Clarke. On Dec. 19 the statistics showed Clarke as the 75th-ranked scorer in the National Hockey League with five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. Dental surgery and a weight problem prevented Clarke from being the star he was to become later on in the season. His scoring streak began against Boston and ended against Buffalo, a stretch of 47 games during which Bobby scored 30 goals and 35 assists for 65 points. Bobby finished the season with 81 points, pretty good for a 22-year-old who played the last eight games on one leg and plenty of guts.
After three years, Philadelphia hockey fans can now sit back and watch with pride as Bobby Clarke develops into the first superstar the Flyers ha\e ever had.
SCORECARD (April 3) made mention of the wristband-headband fad now sweeping the playgrounds. We of the Philadelphia 76ers also thought Wilt Chamberlain's wearing a headband would cause kids to emulate him; that's why we staged a Wristband-Headband Night as long ago as Nov. 12, giving away 3,200 items to kids and then putting them on sale at our concession stands, where they've taken over as the No. 1 seller.
Oh well, at least the Sixers can claim to have beaten the Lakers at something this past season.
Director of Promotions