Your July 2 cover with Bobby Murcer and Ron Blomberg was the best you have had since the one featuring the two superstars of the Boston Bruins, Bobby Orr and Phil Esposito (May 8, 1972). The Yankees just might go all the way. They certainly have the talent.
Congratulations on a fantastic article (Pinstripes Are Back in Style). The Yankees are the talk of the area and pennant fever is rising. You overlooked some players, though. Fred Beene, a mediocre pitcher last year, has become an excellent middle- to late-inning relief specialist, and Gene Michael is having a super season at shortstop, both offensively and defensively. He ranks up there with Aparicio, Campaneris and Patek.
Congratulations on discovering the new New York Yankees. But why feature a part-time infielder with Bobby Murcer on the cover? Mel Stottlemyre certainly merits a picture somewhere in the story. The only Yankee player left from the last pennant season of 1964, he has retained the genuine pride of the Yankees through nine weary seasons.
Queens Village, N.Y.
After almost a decade of misery everyone is jumping on the Yankee bandwagon. Praise is being heaped on Ralph Houk, Sparky Lyle, Bobby Murcer and, strangely enough, Ron Blomberg. William Leggett had the audacity to draw a comparison between Blomberg and two of the most complete players of the past, Ted Williams and Stan Musial. Sure, Blomberg was hitting .400, but as of June 28 he had been to the plate only 157 times. Compare him with Minnesota's Rod Carew, who was hitting an honest .335 in 286 plate appearances. A true .400 hitter can face lefthanders and righthanders with equal success.
Met fans all over New York are sulking. We are spoiled; we are used to having all the attention. Now instead of household names like Milner, Mays and Seaver it is Lyle, Nettles and Munson. Break up the Yankees! I can't stand it.
Deer Park, N.Y.
A LOOK AT CHINA
While reading and enjoying William Johnson's article (Courting Time in Peking, July 2), I felt that one key point was neglected, that being the importance of sports in a country like China. While citizens of the U.S. are able to express themselves quite freely, the Maoist government has been extremely specific in defining how far a Chinese citizen can go in expressing himself. A basketball player, however, can release his inhibitions, although he must be ready to sacrifice himself to his team. The freedom the Chinese players enjoyed on the court was exemplified by their behind-the-back, over-the-head passes, by their fast-breaking offense and their freewheeling defense. Their play was almost antithetical to their disciplined society. These games showed me how important sports are. They preserve a freedom of expression that can never be infringed upon.
EARL CHIGS II
The article by William Johnson was excellent except for two things: 1) the picture on page 14 shows Quinn Buckner, Linda White, Ronnie Robinson and Jim Andrews, not Rich Kelley as your caption says; and 2) the picture on page 15 shows Andrews again, not Kelley, shaking hands with Madame Mao. Since Jim is one of the few from this area to make it big in college ( University of Kentucky) and maybe the pros, I think he should be recognized.
?We didn't recognize Andrews in his new Kelley-like mustache. Our apologies to both.—ED.
As the father of Steve Parsons, the one-year-old track record holder mentioned in your May 21 FACES IN THE CROWD, I feel I should answer Stuart G. Morris' letter (June 11) suggesting that my wife and I may be "pushy parents." I can assure Mr. Morris and any others concerned that Steve entered into his track experience with the same positive excitement and enjoyment with which he "vacuums" the floor, "bathes" his sister and imitates adult speech. He exhibits the normal defense mechanism of identification. As the son of a coach, he has identified with running as a positive adult activity—just as a farm boy is interested in plants and animals.
Mr. Morris should be happy to know that Steve has never been, and hopefully will never be, pushed into any form of athletics. I cherish the advantages of athletics too much to make them a chore to my son. Only enjoyment, without the emotional overtones of competition, will determine how much running my son chooses to do. His one-year-old age-group records will hopefully be used as a humorous conversation piece in years to come.