OUT OF THE GHETTO
I thoroughly enjoyed your article on Albert King and Rodney Parker (Uneasy Rise of a Brooklyn Star, Aug. 23). It is a fabulous thing that Parker has done for basketball stars such as Jim McMillian. It's too bad there aren't more people like him to help ghetto youths. Bravo SPORTS ILLUSTRATED! Bravo Rick Telander!
The article on Albert King and Rodney Parker was one of the best inside stories that has ever found its way into your publication. Thanks.
My interest in baseball began in 1962 with Casey Stengel's New York Mets. In SCORECARD (Aug. 23) you related an anecdote in which the Ol' Perfessor referred to Pitcher Bob Miller as "Nelson," although no one (including Miller) apparently knew why Casey called him that. I think I can provide an explanation.
In that first season, the Mets carried two pitchers named Bob Miller. There was a right-handed pitcher named Robert Lane Miller and a lefthander named Robert Gerald Miller. Calling the righty "Nelson" may have been Casey's way of differentiating between the two.
HOWARD S. WOLK
?Not so, according to the real Nelson. Stengel always called Bob L. Miller "Nelson," and he always called Mets Broadcaster Lindsey Nelson "Miller." Says Nelson, "Both names had six letters, and that was close enough for Stengel."—ED.
THE 1969 METS
I enjoyed the article Begging for a Miracle (Aug. 16) on pennant winners that came from behind. But let us set the record straight on the 1969 Mets.
According to the text, "On Sept. 15 Cardinal Steve Carlton set a record by fanning 19 Mets and still lost as Ron Swoboda hit two two-run homers. Later the Mets swept a doubleheader when Pitchers Don Cardwell and Jerry Koosman helped themselves to 1-0 wins by driving in the only runs."
The doubleheader sweep wasn't "later," it was earlier. Three days earlier, on Sept. 12, to be exact. Got to keep these historic events in proper perspective.
Baseball Writers Association of America
Huntington Station, N.Y.
A MAN AND A CITY
I enjoyed talented Roger Kahn's incisive analysis of Stan Musial in Part II of the series Still a Grand Old Game (Aug. 16 et seq.). Kahn was right—right down to his criticism of the horrible statue of Musial outside St. Louis' downtown stadium—but he didn't squint closely enough at the inscription.
No one "composed" it. In ceremonies before Stan's last game on the final day of the 1963 season, Commissioner Ford Frick said that when Musial went into the Hall of Fame, he hoped the Man's plaque would not dwell on records or statistics, but instead would say: "Here stands baseball's perfect warrior; here stands baseball's perfect knight." To those of us thinking about the statue, Frick's comment seemed right on. Thus the inscription, for which Frick is duly credited.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch