The story of Raymond Lewis (A Legend Searching for His Past, Oct. 16) is indeed a sad one, though one from which many lessons can be learned. The achievers of the world are those individuals who not only have a talent but also put that talent to use. There are countless people who have talent. Those who rise to the top use their skills and knowledge and persevere.
Sports in America have benefited countless thousands of people, some economically, others socially and emotionally. Raymond Lewis got caught in the wheels of the sports machinery and was severely harmed. Yet no one can place the blame entirely on "the machinery"—not even Lewis. The old saying "there is no such thing as a free lunch" comes to mind. It seems that you only get back what you give. The first contract Lewis signed was admittedly a bad one, but a year of sticking it out and showcasing his skills would have helped his cause immensely.
EDWARD J. AMATO
New Haven, Conn.
Although Barry McDermott's article on Raymond Lewis was extremely interesting, I wish it hadn't appeared in your magazine. Anybody who leaves a gymnasium at half-time of a game, who leaves practice and flies home, and then says he would be a star if he were white doesn't deserve to play professional basketball.
I enjoyed the article on Elvin Hayes and his search for an MVP award (The Big E Wants an MVP, Oct. 16). I thought it was amusing that he recalls as his greatest thrill his University of Houston team's 71-69 victory over UCLA and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who, although he had an eye injury, was bothered more by Hayes.
Do you suppose Hayes recalls the rematch later that year in the semifinals of the NCAA tournament? Just to remind the Big E, the final score was UCLA 101, Houston 69. Hayes scored a total of 10 points and got five rebounds. It would seem that Kareem wasn't aware that Hayes was in the game!
Long Beach, Calif.
Special thanks to John Papanek for his down-home portrait of Elvin Hayes. The Big E will be remembered for the remarkable man he is.
CYNTHIA ROBB RITER
Tonka Bay, Minn.
Please don't carry the debunking of the 1926 World Series too far (YESTERDAY, Oct. 9). Too many good stories are ruined by oververification. I don't mind losing the myth that Grover Cleveland Alexander had a hangover on that day, but the myth I would hate to lose has him coming back to the dugout after surviving Tony Lazzeri's almost home run and saying, "There you are, boys. There's only three feet between a hero and a bum."
W. C. RANDELS
Palo Alto, Calif.
I believe you are in error in asserting that Detroit's 86-75 mark this year is the best fifth-place record in baseball history (BASEBALL'S WEEK, Oct. 9). If memory serves, the 1964 National League race, won by the Cardinals with a 93-69 record, probably provided not only the best fifth-place record (88-74 by the Braves) but also possibly the best fourth-place record (90-72 by the Giants).
In any event, it was probably the closest five-team finish in history, after being a Phillies runaway most of the year. The Phils lost 10 straight, then won a two-game season finale from the Reds to allow St. Louis to win by one game over Cincinnati and Philadelphia. San Francisco was fourth, and Milwaukee finished fifth, only five games out of first.
G. DOUGLAS GRIMES