Although I am a New Yorker and there is supposed to be a rivalry between the Mets and Houston, Cesar has always been one of my favorite players. His 40 doubles last year were a fantastic achievement, considering how long he has been in pro ball. When MVP voting time rolls around, Cedeno should be one of the first nominated. Harry Walker compares him to Roberto Clemente, but Ty Cobb would have been a better choice. While Cesar may not be as aggressive a player as Ty was in his prime, he is still the best all-round player today.
NICHOLAS VON ARNOLD
Bay Shore, N.Y.
Harold Peterson's article on Cesar Cedeno gave due credit to a great ballplayer, but he should be treated as a talented human being, not some remote god.
Your cover story on Robyn Smith was a welcome relief after tedious weeks of Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Unitas and Bobby Hull. Frank Deford's portrayal goes far to debunk the myth, while enhancing the mystery of the woman—which in itself is quite fascinating.
Perhaps underemphasized in the article is the fearlessness, level of ability and accomplishment of Jockey Smith. Unmentioned is Aug. 14, 1971 when she set the track record at Saratoga for seven furlongs on Beaukins, changing leads and whipping left-handed while beating Kennedy Road, Process Shot and Judgable in 1:21[2/5].
Despite her professed admiration for Eddie Arcaro, there is no jockey in the country who rides shorter in the irons than Robyn. Her unscarred countenance and high winning percentage attest to the fact that her horsemanship and sense of balance are unmatched by stronger jockeys. Most impressive about the girl is her fearlessness on a sloppy or muddy track.
As for Robyn's being lovely, the author shows little taste in even raising the question. The pictures speak louder than his words.
JOHN K. SHEAR
New York City
I thought that of all magazines SI would appreciate the tremendous contributions and struggles of today's women in sports. However, I found you quite malicious in the article concerning Robyn Smith, respected in horse racing as well as in the eyes of women who are trying to reverse the attitude that makes some men think women are good only for sex, cooking and washing.
Robyn has found a life that she loves but which must have held many personal sorrows and sufferings. If anything, she should be praised for her Don Quixote attitude in struggling to make herself into something that she and others can be proud of. Like all of us, she is searching for her own happiness, and isn't that what we as human beings are entitled to?
Frank Deford truly showed his male chauvinist piggism when he consistently referred to Robyn's attractiveness or lack of it now that she is a jockey.
Poor Deford was probably dismayed because she remained a person instead of a sexual object. I admire her for being herself and not being intimidated.
MARY JANE BAGWELL