You've done it again! Each spring your special baseball issue rekindles my infatuation with our national pastime. I agree that "the game keeps all who care about it young."
As a lifelong Pirate fan, I found this year's pictorial feature on Pittsburgh's batting champions especially gratifying, particularly the classic, full-page painting of the late Roberto Clemente, who was, to my mind, the exemplar of batting excellence. But, alas, there was no mention of Matty Alou, 1966 batting champion with a .342 average. He had a .327 average for his five seasons as a Pirate.
GREGORY P. KUZMA
New York City
For a recently transferred Pittsburgher, it was very satisfying to see the article on Pirate hitters of the past. And the story on Dave Parker was excellent. New Yorkers can talk to me all they want about their fabulous Yankees, but no one can tell me that Parker is not the best player in baseball.
What a great cover on your April 9 issue! Dave Parker can clown all he wants about being No. 1, but Boston's Jim Rice means business.
Santa Monica, Calif.
At last an accurate appraisal has been made of the New York Yankees. On paper the Yankees are unbeatable, but baseball games are not won on paper. Your scouting report raised many questions about the Yankees. This just might be the year the Red Sox have more determination to win than the Bronx Bombers.
The Milwaukee Brewers are the hit team this year, and you'd better start believing it.
As usual, I found your baseball issue informative and penetrating. However, in your scouting report on the American League East, you said that both the 1954 Yankees and the 1954 Dodgers had just won two or more consecutive world championships. That is obviously impossible, because they played each other in the 1952 and 1953 Series. And it is also impossible in the case of the 1910 Tigers and 1909 Cubs, who met in 1907 and '08.
I'm sure you meant to say that each of the teams listed had won two or more consecutive league championships. And speaking of seemingly unbeatable teams coming off consecutive league championships, what about the 1969 Cardinals?
CURTIS A. CHEATHAM
It's true the 1973 Bucs looked unbeatable, but they had not won two consecutive world championships, or even two consecutive National League titles. Pirate fans painfully recall a wild pitch by Bob Moose in the ninth inning of the final National League playoff game that gave Cincinnati the pennant in 1972.
THOMAS STEPHEN TERPACK
Although the years have not diminished Jim Bouton's somewhat oversized ego, neither have they lessened his insight into the psyche of the contemporary baseball player (Son of "Ball Four," April 9). My congratulations to Ted Turner for giving Bouton a chance, to Johnny Sain for giving him a slider and, most of all, to Bouton himself for having the physical courage and the artistic desire to ply his trade once more. I hope to see Bouton back in baseball in another 10 years and in your pages again much sooner.
CHARLES E. WATTS JR.
New Philadelphia, Ohio