Since no one can seem to locate where Gaylord Perry (Every Little Movement..., July 16) hides his so-called slippery substance, I say check the catcher. He may have his hand in the cookie jar, or should I say grease bowl.
From my personal observations regarding the controversial charges made against Gaylord Perry, it appears to me that Mr. Perry's questionable pitch is simply a "pitball." Perry, with his assorted gyrations and movements, quite frequently goes to his armpit area. I am not condoning his actions, but if he can get away with it, then more power to him. I am in favor of legalizing the spitball to give the pitchers a few breaks. The rules presently favor the hitters.
WILLIAM F. O'BRIEN
Ron Fimrite's article brought back some memories of a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs in 1968. Bill Singer was pitching for the Dodgers and when he was putting on his warmup jacket while on base during a time-out two items fell out of his jacket. One was a toothbrush, the other toothpaste. "Aha," said Leo Durocher, the Cubs' manager, "now we got the goods on him." The toothbrush and toothpaste were given to the umpire who turned them over to the league president.
The case was dropped for lack of evidence because Singer explained that the reason he always carried these sundries in his warmup jacket was because he liked to brush his teeth at the ball park. So word went around the league that Singer was throwing a "toothpaste pitch."
North Hollywood, Calif.
You stated that the accredited inventor of the spitter was George Hildebrand in 1902. Hildebrand was an outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1902. Did he teach pitchers to throw it, perfect a loaded throw to the plate himself, or is Ron Fimrite all wet?
JAMES D. LEE
?Hildebrand, always an outfielder, discovered the spitter while warming up—and horsing around—before a game. Subsequently he passed his secret along to a number of pitchers.—ED.
Roy Blount did an exceptional story on an exceptional family (An Unsentimental Education, July 16). What makes Art Rooney's sons so worthwhile was pointed out clearly in one sentence: "They also take pride in being down-to-earth like their father."
The Morning Call
Congratulations on the excellent article by Robert F. Jones (Fastest Rookie on the Road, July 16) regarding motor sports' latest driving sensation, South Africas' Jody Scheckter. Jody appears to be destined for superstar status and it is significant that SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should recognize this aspiring new talent at this time.
JOHN A. SCHNEIDER, JR.
Bay Village, Ohio
TEAM THAT MIKE BUILT
Along with many other Yankee fans, I enjoyed reading Pinstripes Are Back in Style in your July 2 issue. However, I believe that the piece was unfair—not in what it said, but in what it failed to say. The individual primarily responsible for the rebirth of the Yankees was not even mentioned. Mike Burke, who became president of the team during the dark days of CBS ownership, painstakingly built today's Yankees into a pennant contender with only slight support from the network owners. This spring a new group of owners shunted Burke aside, just as the Yankees were about to realize the fruits of his labor.
J. TAYLOR DeWEESE
BOUQUET & BRICKBAT
A bouquet to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED for Joe Jares' excellent Wimbledon article (A Bloomin' Winner, July 16). Billie Jean King certainly is a blooming winner and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has consistently acknowledged that fact. I eagerly await coverage of the King-Riggs match.
Jacksonville Beach, Fla.