Belated congratulations to Frank Deford for his masterful word picture of John Newcombe the man (Last of the Awesome Aussies, Aug. 26). Having been privileged to know John well, we are happy that others now have an insight into Newk off the court. For those who have known him only for his dominance in the realm of tennis, Deford has captured his true, free natural spirit. He is a man for all times and for all people.
We agree Newcombe has been relatively neglected, considering his excellence. If other professional athletes could just learn from his integrity and good sense, the sports world would be a happier one for all, particularly the fan. There's more to life for John than the almighty dollar; he has found peace at a young age and is the most complete person we have ever known. Like WTT, John Newcombe is here to stay.
BETTY and E. Z. JONES
Houston EZ Riders
If Robert H. Boyle and the SI staff have heard thousands of dog whistles blowing during the past few weeks, let me assure you they are in tribute to a magnificent story that captured the essence of what dog trials are all about (A Series of Trials and Tribulations, Aug. 19).
My father has been an owner, trainer and judge in this business for many, many years. He owned and trained three field-trial champions, and I shared in some of the trials and tribulations (and joyous rewards, too) that Boyle has written about. Thanks for letting me relive some of those memorable moments.
FRANK (BULLMOOSE) FLETCHER
San Jose, Calif.
Your title says it all. Although new to the sport, I can appreciate the dedication, time and patience required to produce a working retriever. Occasionally, as I stand red-faced with my plastic whistle, I wonder why I do it. The answer is that a well-trained retriever gives more satisfaction than all the living-room trick dogs.
After reading your article on Joe Rudi and other underrated players (A Man Who'd Never Bite a Dog, Sept. 2), my first reaction was to make up an All-Underrated team including unsung players from both leagues. It is as follows:
Catcher: Ted Simmons, Ellie Hendricks
1st Base: Tony Perez, George Scott
2nd Base: Tommy Helms, Jorge Orta
3rd Base: Richie Hebner, Don Money