Congratulations to Sarah Pileggi and SI for the balanced and sympathetic treatment of President Carter's road-racing effort in the 10-kilometer Catoctin Mountain Park Run ( Jimmy Carter Runs into the Wall, Sept. 24). After all, he did refer to himself at the starting line as "just a senior-citizen jogger." I was one of the concerned runners who passed by shortly after he stopped. Two hours later at the awards ceremony he appeared refreshed and was acclaimed warmly by the crowd.
Did you notice that a race organizer with a sense of history assigned President Carter the number 39? Carter is, of course, the 39th President of the United States.
BRUCE H. BURNSIDE
Because of running, I was able to lose more than 65 pounds about three years ago. I enjoy the sport immensely. Regarding Jimmy Carter's 10K run in Catoctin Mountain Park, all I can say is that I'm proud that our President has the determination to keep in shape. Those who don't run can't know the discipline it takes to keep at it. President Carter should receive accolades for his courage. I am proud of his spirit.
R. NICHOLAS BURTON
While Jimmy Carter was taking up four pages in a major sports magazine, Carl Yastrzemski was shoved back into the Baseball department, given a small black-and-white picture in honor of his 3,000th hit and not even any mention in the table of contents (The Last Was the Toughest, Sept. 24). When the President is given much more coverage for overexerting himself than Yaz is given for a tremendous baseball feat, it makes me wonder if you didn't get your priorities mixed up.
The Notre Dame football team makes only seven first downs and fails to score a touchdown in its 12-10 victory over Michigan, and SI puts this "Flying Start" on the cover (Sept. 24). Your magazine should be entitled IRISH ILLUSTRATED.
If the Irish are flying high, then Purdue's Boilermakers, who beat them 28-22 the next week, must be out of this world.
BOBBY L. MEADOWS
GIPP AND MALE
After two weeks of attempting to dispel the myths of Notre Dame, Knute Rockne and George Gipp ( Knute Rockne: Legend and Reality, Sept. 10 and 17), it appears that you have turned around and joined the ranks of, the mythmakers in your Sept. 24 issue (Coming of Age in Ann Arbor). Doesn't your description of Notre Dame Coach Dan Devine discovering Chuck Male kicking footballs around the Notre Dame campus sound hauntingly similar to the Rockne-Gipp episode of 60-odd years before? Could it be that in 60 years another sportswriter will be trying to dispel this new Notre Dame myth?
THE UMPS' STRIKE
I read E. M. Swift's interesting article Odd Man Out on the Diamond in the Aug. 20 issue. Writing about the eight substitute umpires who worked during the strike, Swift stated that the eight were not strikebreakers "because the 52 regular umpires had been working under a contract with a no-strike clause." Swift was in error. Apparently some of your readers were misled by Swift's error (19TH HOLE, Sept. 3) and they, too, were critical of the regular umpires.
The fact is that the umpires' basic agreement did not include the subject of salaries other than the minimum. Umpires' actual salaries for many years have been negotiated annually with the league offices. The no-strike provision in the basic agreement applied only to those provisions which had been negotiated, and incorporated into the basic agreement. Indeed, when the league presidents went into federal court to request an injunction as a bar to concerted action on salaries, the court rejected the leagues' petition. The basic agreement was found not to bar a strike over salaries.
Accordingly, if "scab" is the appropriate definition of those who work as replacements during a legal strike, then the regular umpires' description of their replacements is accurate.
MARVIN J. MILLER
Major League Baseball
New York City