But I wish he had given Don Iverson more than one sentence in a paragraph lumping all of the contenders together. I predict Iverson will be one of the stars of the future and that SI will get another chance to recognize his achievement. Better keep your eye on him.
KENNETH O. BLANCHARD
La Crosse Tribune
La Crosse, Wis.
Granted, sportswriters are a breed apart. Granted, one of them is entitled to a bit of license when a favorite hero finally makes the mark that the scribe has looked forward to for well over a year. But how can Dan Jenkins put Jack Nicklaus' "Book the hunt" in the same rhetorical league with the gems of Neil Armstrong and Abraham Lincoln?
We very much appreciated and enjoyed your Aug. 20 article (No Place in the Shade) on James (Cool Papa) Bell. It was both sad and infuriating, however, to read of the hardships and frustrations encountered by these magnificent and talented players throughout their careers.
One thing stands out in the reading of the article, and that is the utter exuberance and joyful dedication the black players displayed in pursuing the national pastime in spite of its frustrations and shortcomings. If dedication is a measure of greatness, the black players and their leagues are unsurpassed.
RICK, DONNA and GLENN TANNER
Thank you for the moving story about Cool Papa Bell's career and life. Even though there are no written records of the accomplishments of the men who played in the old Negro leagues, I am sure that many of them could have played in the majors and perhaps have attained the fame of a Ruth, Gehrig or Cobb. I hope that Bell can now gain some portion of the recognition that is his due by being inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.
JAMES W. YOUNG JR.
Congratulations are in order for Mark Kram on his fantastic article on Cool Papa Bell and life as it was in the Negro leagues. This remarkably revealing piece gives us an insight into the desperate, concerted effort to get even a single black player into the big leagues. Had blacks come up to the majors 20 years earlier, Cool Papa never would have had to wait this long to get into the Hall of Fame.
Fort Pierce, Fla.
VALE OF TEARS
Whitney Tower (Marlboro Country Is a Vale of Tears, Aug. 13) may be disappointed in the way Secretariat has been commercialized, and I agree that Mrs. Tweedy has overplayed her hand. Yet let us not get so disparaging because our superhorse has lost a race. I'm looking forward to his race against stablcmate Riva Ridge, and the others, regardless of whether Secretariat wins or loses. He may have failed to "fire" in the past race, but this has only served to fire my interest to see whether he will come back, like a true champion.
WILLIAM T. SEMPLE
Secretariat's defeat Aug. 4 in a mediocre field of older horses tends to prove what I have long believed—that he is a very good but not great horse who has benefited from lightning-fast tracks, a weak 3-year-old crop and terribly poor fields.
Whitney Tower says that horse racing is dying in New York. It is not dying, it is being killed, not only in New York, but nationwide by the high confiscatory tax take.
RAYMOND M. BERNHARDT
As a young man soon to enter college, I find that the simple, exciting memories of boyhood will be all that I shall soon have; therefore, I was quite taken with Terrence Des Pres' article (Memory of Boyhood, Aug. 13). This summer I have been working away from my home state, Louisiana, and I have missed all the fun and adventure of fishing on a quiet moonlit lake or frogging on a smoothly flowing stream. The story reminded me of the times my father also tried to hand down to me his knowledge of hunting and fishing lore, which had been given him by my grandfather.