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19TH HOLE: THE READERS TAKE OVER
Edited by Gay Flood
November 15, 1976
YEAR OF THE REDS Sir:Congratulations to Ron Fimrite and SI's photography crew for a fantastic view of the World Series (Ah, How Great It Is, Nov. 1). Your comparison of lineups and batting averages of great teams was very beneficial for those who like to study statistics. Incidentally, judging by your picture on page 22 of Pete Rose diving into third base, I would give him the Anti-Gravity Award of 1976 over Julius Erving, whom you show on page 24.JIM RAMSEYWatertown, Conn.
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November 15, 1976

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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RUSHING RECORD
Sir:
I want to thank Mike DelNagro for mentioning my name in connection with the all-time small-college rushing record in his fine article on Michigan Tech Tailback Jim Van-Wagner (A Rambling Wreck from Another Tech, Oct. 11). It is quite a thrill to see one's name in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.

The record is something I am very proud of, but it is also a record I had no knowledge of until it was about to be broken by Howard Stevens four years ago. To hold a record for so long (1962 to 1972) but know about it for only a short time somehow seems unfair. I guess I would have liked to bask in the glory of being No. 1 for a while longer.

Many things about the Van Wagner story remind me of my college days—a small school (Panhandle State), the same kind of scholarship setup and having fun playing football.
JERRY LINTON
Altus, Okla.

?Linton can bask in glory a while longer. Stevens gained only 2,574 of his 5,297 yards at a small college ( Randolph-Macon), rushing for the rest at a major school ( Louisville). Thus, Linton's 4,839-yard total is still recognized as the NCAA Division II and III career-rushing record. Van Wagner, however, is 169 yards away with one game left.—ED.

BALLOON RESCUES
Sir:
With reference to John Neilsen's article on ballooning (Ditching the Dream, Oct. 25), please let me clarify the statement in the second paragraph wherein it is mentioned that I reportedly received a bill from the Russians in the amount of $100,000 after their ship picked me up in the North Atlantic. This statement is entirely incorrect. In fact, the Russians aboard the Dekabrist did more than their share to make me feel at home and did not charge a penny (or a ruble).

I might point out one thing in favor of the West Germans' charge of $5,000 to Ed Yost. It is my understanding that Yost asked the West Germans to divert their ship from its normal course to drop him off, which they did.
KARL THOMAS
Troy, Mich.

?The charge to Yost, for which he has yet to be billed, was 5,000 marks, or a little more than $2,000.—ED.

CELTIC PRIDE
Sir:
I'm sorry but I cannot agree with your predictions for the Atlantic Division of the NBA (Scouting Reports, Oct. 25 and The Doctor Doubles His Fee, Nov. 1). Picking Philadelphia ahead of Boston is crazy.

Once again Red Auerbach has made a great move by obtaining Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe. The acquisition of these two should allow John Havlicek to eventually move back into a sixth-man role. It also gives Boston a blend of experience, speed, muscle and savvy unseen elsewhere in the division.

Dr. J and George McGinnis are a potent scoring combination, but they can be had at the other end. You also mentioned the Philly backcourt. I agree that Doug Collins is good, but I would add that Charlie Scott is just as good. And there isn't another guard in the division with the cool class or floor leadership of Jo Jo White. As for center, I don't care if Caldwell Jones is 10 feet tall, David Cowens will get the best of him. He has proved time and again that he can outrun, outquick and outhustle every monster center in the league.

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