OUT IN LEFT FIELD
In his article Where There's Smoke There's Ire (April 28) Ron Fimrite has more than adequately described the aura of excitement surrounding any meeting between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also mentioned the incident that could destroy this excitement. The fans in L.A. may accomplish what no National League pitcher has—remove Pete Rose as a factor in the game. In an interview in our local papers, Rose stated that he does not believe he can play when the team returns to Dodger Stadium. The bottle-, garbage- and smoke-bomb-throwing fans have forced him to play out of position, threatened his well-being and more than once delayed the game while groundkeepers cleaned up the field around him. Rose believes these interruptions are hurting his team and asked Manager Sparky Anderson not to play him in the next Dodger-Reds series in L.A.
How can the sports world allow this to happen? Are home fans to decide which players should play for the opposing team? Should the fans in Boston drive Elvin Hayes from the court? The beer-loving fans in Cleveland were dealt with severely when they got out of hand. These fans should be dealt with similarly. The Dodger management should station guards in the left-field pavilion and anyone caught throwing anything should immediately be ejected.
JOHN W. OYER
I challenge any baseball fan to give me one good, logical reason justifying the abuse that has been directed at Pete Rose. I attended two of the games the Reds played at L.A. and witnessed the stupidity of some so-called Dodger fans. I daresay the Dodgers wouldn't claim any one of them. It takes a lot of "courage" for a person who can lose himself in a crowd to throw a baseball at a player when his back is turned.
Being a longtime left-field regular in Dodger Stadium, I must admit that the crowds that frequent the pavilion are always boisterous and often scuffle among themselves. But 99.9% of these people are objective and appreciative fans. The handful of undisciplined, extroverted idiots who seem to appear only when Cincinnati is in town are not baseball fans. They should be dealt with as criminals or psychotics.
K. E. MORRIS
PIERRE & CO.
Thank you for the article recognizing our beloved Penguins (Who Said Penguins Cant Fly? April 28). The part about "babyfaced" Pierre Larouche was most enjoyable.
One correction is in order, however, concerning the "Date with Pierre" contest. As the mother of one of the contestants, 4-year-old Debbie Beer (who, incidentally, has since turned 5), I can vouch that if her measurements were 24-28-26, as given, she would have somewhat of an egg shape. For the record, let it be known that she is a perfect 22-22-22, as this photo should prove.
MRS. ROBERT C. BEER
"Who said Penguins can't fly?" The New York Islanders did, and they proved it.
DAVID M. PERL
Rick Telander's article The Blotting Out of Time (April 28) is one of the best I have ever read. As a third-year law student, I work for the Richland County ( S.C.) Public Defender's office and am in almost daily contact with men like Floyd (Jumbo) Cummings. The athletic and mental potential in U.S. prisons is enormous, but, with a few exceptions, it is untapped. Telander's article and Neil Leifer's photographs expose this and will, I hope, open the eyes of prison officials and lead to long overdue changes that will improve life in U.S. prisons.
GEORGE BRANDT III
I found your story on prison weight lifting and boxing more than just a sports story. It was a story of men, of the "dregs" of society. The photos by Neil Leifer complement the text perfectly, and they show that a man's will once broken can be mended but never healed completely.
I for one am hoping that Jumbo Cummings will be allowed to compete in the 1976 Olympics and will cheer him on if he is.