SI Vault
Edited by Gay Flood
April 21, 1975
THE CRACK OF THE BATSir:What an issue (April 7)! Beginning on page 36 Images Larger than Life shows the baseball player in his own world, "unaware of the vendor crying his wares in the stands." Twenty pages later, Born To Be a Dodger reveals Steve Garvey as the ultimate gentleman. And 22 pages farther on, Leo (The Lip) Durocher's story (That Old Gang of Mine) brings back memories of the rowdy Gas House Gang. Beautiful.CHARLES EUCHNERHuntington, N.Y.
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April 21, 1975

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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Marvin Barnes, John Drew, Leonard Gray, Keith Wilkes, Scott Wedman? Please remember the impact the 1970 grads had on professional basketball.
Seal Beach, Calif.

In your Nov. 27, 1972 college basketball scouting reports you said that UCLA's second team, including Dave Meyers, Ralph Drollinger, Andre McCarter and Pete Trgovich, could be ranked No. 1. Well, now it is.
Lawton, Mich.

Curry Kirkpatrick's article (What a Wiz of a Win It Was, April 7) aptly chronicled the final moments of a career that may remain unmatched in intercollegiate basketball history. The king has abdicated, and regardless of what the future may hold I agree that UCLA will never be the same. John Wooden is a master craftsman who has orchestrated Bruin basketball into a championship blend 10 times in the past 12 years, a feat that defies the imagination. What he accomplished with this year's squad must be his banner achievement. The Wooden record is awesome indeed.
Los Alamitos, Calif.

Shame on Curry Kirkpatrick for taking a cheap shot at Syracuse University's NCAA semifinalists. In this day and age of spoiled superstars and superteams, it was kind of refreshing for some of us to see that a few gutsy performances, dogged determination and faith in each other earned the Orangemen a trip to San Diego. Maybe the "clown in the shades" was Kirkpatrick, who failed to recognize a story when he saw it.
Fayetteville, N.Y.

Re Barry McDermott's article It Will Be a Horse Race (March 31), I cannot agree with the statement that UCLA played its worst game against Montana. Could the reason be that UCLA was up against a very good defensive team, as was particularly evident in the later stages of the game?

No one can argue with the record of John Wooden. He commands great respect. However, I feel the Grizzlies proved that high-caliber basketball is being played in the Big Sky Country, too. They came up with a few plays against UCLA that would make some pros look like kindergartners.
Billings, Mont.

In response to the article about Old Dominion University winning the NCAA Division II championship (Tall Men for Small Titles, March 24), I wonder if William F. Reed really viewed the game or if he was busy eating Oreos with New Orleans Coach Ron Greene. A basketball game still consists of two coaches and 10 or more players. Even ODU has a coach. Granted, Sonny Allen is not as rotund and flamboyant as Greene, but he did lead his team to a national championship and, on the way, earned Coach of the Year honors. If Mr. Reed had done further research he would have learned that five or six ODU players had averaged in double figures. What it boils down to is a good team effort.
Norfolk, Va.

With your fine articles on the NCAA basketball playoffs it seems too bad that no mention was made of the National Commissioners Invitational Tournament in Louisville. Since the NCIT included teams from the Big Ten, Pac-8 and WAC, it follows that many readers would be interested in the results. My hat is off to Drake and Arizona, which played a superb final with Drake winning 83-76.

I was disappointed to note that Princeton's surprising and impressive victory in the National Invitation Tournament was mentioned only in a four-line entry under FOR THE RECORD (March 31), whereas the NAIA, NCAA Division II and women's national championships received far more extensive coverage. Although the NIT is now merely a showcase for good teams that cannot quite reach the NCAA tournament, I believe that Coach Pete Carril and his dedicated group of athletes deserve more recognition than you saw fit to give them.
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Without a doubt, David Wilkie (Outsider in the Mainstream, March 24) is one of the world's greatest swimmers. The rapid improvement he has shown the past few years has really impressed me. However, with all due respect to David, why don't you write an article on a young American swimmer by the name of Tim Shaw, who set three world records last summer and is probably the greatest freestyler who ever lived, including Mark Spitz? Or how about an article on 17-year-old Andy Coan, who may be the fastest human in water? Or how about the most versatile swimmer in the world? It would have to be Steve Furniss or his younger brother Bruce. Or what better subject matter could be found than John Hencken, the Rocket Man, who also happens to be the world's greatest breaststroker. And before I am labeled a male chauvinist, what about the many great American girls, like Shirley Babashoff or Kathy Heddy, who not only set world records but look good enough to model suits?

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