As a native of Beaver County, Pa., I am always glad to see hometown figures receive national recognition such as your Oct. 9 cover story on Joe Namath. But it is thoroughly disappointing when an event that completely eclipses Joe's is put somewhere in the inner pages.
Roberto Clemente's 3,000th hit, a feat achieved by only 11 men in the history of baseball, is in my opinion much more deserving of your cover.
When Roberto Clemente put on one of the greatest single performances in World Series history, you gave us Gus Johnson elbowing Dave DeBusschere on the cover. And now, after Clemente has achieved 3,000 hits, we see Joe Namath's smiling face for the eighth time in seven years. When Henry Aaron and Willie Mays made their 3,000th hits, you put them on the cover and also featured them in major articles. Clemente's feat gets only a few lines on pages 47 and 115.
Your failure to make Roberto Clemente your Oct. 9 cover subject typifies the indifference with which sports journalists have viewed the outstanding career of one of baseball's alltime great players.
Roberto's 3,000th hit is easily as notable a milestone as those of Henry Aaron and Willie Mays. Yet Clemente, whose lifetime batting average and four batting titles are highest among active players and who stands out as the best Latin American athlete ever to perform in the United States, has appeared on your cover only once, July 3, 1967.
My recommendation for Neil Leifer's 101st cover is Roberto Clemente. Give him the recognition he deserves!
JOSEPH P. O'DONNELL
I am glad to see that you have a hockey writer who knows what he is talking about (Hockey 72/73, Oct. 9). Mark Mulvoy tells it like it is in the NHL East Division. Although Boston has lost some talent, he states, "Still, there should be just enough Bruin left to beat New York." The New York Rangers have a fine team, but they can't play a physical game.
White Plains, N.Y.
Never in my life have I read such a biased job of reporting as was done by your Mark Mulvoy. Every other sentence was Bruins, Bruins and more Bruins. That is except when he was putting the knock on the New York Rangers. When he got tired of cheap-shotting the Rangers, he picked on the New York Islanders. And then for dessert he threw some unnecessary barbs at the New York Raiders.
Just because the Rangers decided not to be as tightfisted as the other NHL powers, they are painted as traitors. Mulvoy's assessment of Brad Park was most interesting—and most misleading. I can assure you that the Rangers would not pay $250,000 to a player who was not among the best in the league. Mr. Mulvoy thinks differently. All he talks about is Bobby Orr's knee. Brad Park almost singlehandedly carried the Rangers to the Stanley Cup. As it was, they came close to winning. But Mr. Mulvoy conveniently skips over this little tidbit of information. I shudder to think of the state of the world's learning if we all had Mr. Mulvoy's driving curiosity. Or is it more of that Bruin bias?
PHILLIP C. KIRSCHEN
I guess the Buffalo Sabres will have to make the playoffs this year or your writers will continue to belittle them. After all, they are going into their third year in the NHL and haven't won the cup yet! There are 15,360 people (or more) at nearly every Sabre game, including people who drive 60 miles (I do) for each game and pay handsomely for a season ticket. We love the Sabres and especially Gil Perreault, the best center in the league. Why not pick on another team now and then? Buffalo will be good, I promise.
Silver Creek, N.Y.