I want to commend Marc Simont on a fantastic job of characterizing Willie Stargell, Walter Alston, Danny Murtaugh and other recognizable players in his illustrations of the 1971 All-Star Game (Stars in Your Eyes, July 24).
I have seen art in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED before, but I have never seen anything like the All-Star Game. On TV it is colorful, but in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED it is like fantasia. The expressions are funny and the color, sights and "sounds" are great.
One picture shows the players sneaking out, trying to avoid autograph hunters. I ask, where would they be without us?
Your July 31 issue was an extremely satisfying one for me, particularly because you happened to include articles on two professional ball clubs I consider to be the very best in their respective sports.
There was an excellent piece on the powerhouse Oakland Athletics. Charlie Finley has done one heck of a job building the A's into consistent winners.
I'd also like to congratulate your staff and Photographer Rich Clarkson for the preseason look at the Kansas City Chiefs (Go, Go, Go, Go, Go). It sort of gives the fans around the country an exclusive peek at the 1973 Super Bowl champions.
My sincere thanks for the photographs of the Kansas City Chiefs during training camp. I have long been a fan of the Chiefs, even though I am a Texan and most people down here like the world champion Dallas Cowboys.
Kansas City's loss ought to be SI's gain. The article by Rick Telander (Football Is Like a Rose, July 31) was beautifully written, illustrating the bitter personal disappointment of the many also-rans. Perhaps those elusive ballplayers who hold out for fabulous contracts would do well to remember the psychological tension and physical demands of being a rookie in training camp and thank their lucky stars for the gifts they possess. As for Telander, his excellent talents as a writer would be an added attraction to your competent staff.
Rick Telander may not have made the grade as a pro defensive back, but he is a prime candidate for Rookie of the Year as a writer. His remembrance of the calm after the storm of his Chiefs tryout is one of the finest recent pieces of writing to appear in your magazine.
My congratulations go to Don Delliquanti on a small but worthwhile article (Pepi Struts Out Again, July 24). While Joe Pepitone has been cited continuously as a controversial, flamboyant figure, I am glad someone has cited him as a ballplayer to be reckoned with, not because of his exploits but because of his talent.
SALLY VAN HIMBERGEN