Your article on Joe Pepitone was great! Ask any kid who is a Cub fan to name the first ballplayer who comes to mind. He'll probably say Williams or Santo or Kessinger or Jenkins—or Pepitone. And take the signs that wave in Wrigley Field, such as MY GRANDMA LUVS JOE PEPITONE. Yes, Pepitone is becoming a household word, like food or bath.
I am a great Cub fan, but to me Pepi beats them all. Thanks to Don Delliquanti for a wonderful article.
Until I forced myself to read Beauty and the Beast (July 31), I admit I was a typically jealous Robyn Smith hater. But the article was a profound view of an amazing woman. Now I can only admire her and hope that she will be able to realize her greatest ambitions.
My gratitude to Frank Deford and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for letting me see the light.
Staten Island, N.Y.
Why, in an otherwise excellent article, must Frank Deford dwell in the first few paragraphs on Robyn's forfeited beauty? If a woman is pretty, should she be nothing else but that?
No man could ever appreciate how much against the current trend it is to give up the security and universal approval good looks bring. A female relying on her looks becomes less and less convinced of her personal worth and more and more desperate to retain her looks as her ticket to acceptance.
It's a vicious circle, and Robyn Smith is both smart and lucky to be out of it.
Robyn Smith accomplished the impossible. She broke into a man's world without employing the hard-nosed tactics that have made Women's Liberation a prime topic of conversation. Instead she chose to use desire and determination, something everyone respects in an athlete, whether a man or a woman.
Robyn Smith is to be admired in her attempt to stand out in the crowd, for she picked the harder route rather than follow the road of her sisters. Remember the old saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? Ms. Smith beat them; she didn't have to join them.
Personally I think Robyn is the best thing that has happened to horse racing in years. She brings a special aura to every race she is in. She's cute, yes, but of primary importance is that she can ride like hell. Anyone who has seen her in action will attest to that. The more mounts she gets, the better it will be for the sport.
R. THOMAS FLEMMING