That was good timing, featuring Wilbur Wood in the lead story (Wilbur's Knuckler Is Alive and Swell) and on the cover of your June 4 issue just as he completed his mini-iron-man feat of winning two games on Memorial Day. Woody is the most valuable pitcher in baseball. He can pitch twice a week all season long.
Behind Woody's flutter ball and the booming bats of Dick Allen, Bill Melton (the best third baseman in the majors) and Carlos May, the Sox look like the best in the strong American League West. Sox fans feel that this team is a good bet to be home free in '73.
Tinley Park, Ill.
Ron Fimrite's story dealing with the "tantalizing, hypnotizing, untouchable" knuckleball was highly informative. As was pointed out, when Wilbur Wood's pitch is working he is unbeatable. However, pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers on June I Wood was rocked for 11 hits and five earned runs in just five innings. This shows that when the knuckleball is not doing its stuff, the batters can get good " Wood" on the ball.
RICHARD J. RICCI
My thanks to Ron Fimrite. In my opinion, there is no other pitcher who so consistently displays such brilliance, radiance and precision as Wilbur Wood does on the mound. He is no doubt the most fascinating, most effective pitcher in the game today.
Kings Park, N.Y.
Thank you for your article on the NCAA volleyball finals (Ringing Bells and Spiking Dreams, June 4). It is through exposure like this that interest can be cultivated on a national level. It can only help, come Olympics time, for more people to be aware of, and to be playing, volleyball. The United States will become more representative on a world scale.
You didn't mention that four of San Diego's six starters played together in their younger days at Palisades High School. Milo Bekins, Chris Marlowe, Randy Stevenson and Wayne Gracey were all on the first high school team ever to compete in the AAU nationals.
Also, as a result of their recent successes, Duncan McFarland, Randy Stevenson and Chris Marlowe have been named to the all-tournament volleyball team for 1973.
With one exception I thoroughly enjoyed Barry McDermott's coverage of the NCAA volleyball finals. Unfortunately, his comments about the Army team faring badly because of class and transportation difficulties could be somewhat misleading for readers who are not aware that Army playing San Diego State in volleyball is somewhat comparable to a local high school team playing the Knicks in basketball.
It's the same game but the skill levels are miles apart, and while I certainly applaud the Cadets and their sponsors for their participation, Eastern collegiate volleyball is not now and never will be in the same league with the California colleges—unless (and this is extremely remote) Eastern athletic directors realize that this inexpensive, competitive, skillful international sport should be established on a par with other sports.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
After reading your article I could not help but feel slighted. For three pages Barry McDermott wrote about nothing but the men's NCAA volleyball championships. Compare this coverage to that given the women's AIAW national volleyball championships. We never even got mentioned in your magazine, so I would like to inform you of the outcome. The tournament was held at Brig-ham Young University in January. The favored team was Long Beach State (Yes, Long Beach also has a women's team). Our team played the entire season undefeated and won the national tournament without losing a single game, stretching its record to 31 match victories against no defeats.