Thank you for your articles on hockey by Ken Dryden and E. M. Swift. Dryden was especially interesting. We would disagree only with Swift's prediction of the New York Islanders as the Stanley Cup champions. As Dryden said, the Canadiens are a special team, "more than just a hockey team." Come May, Guy Lafleur and Les Habitants will once again be sipping champagne from Lord Stanley's cup.
Prairie Village, Kans.
You think the Pittsburgh Penguins goofed by trading Goalie Denis Herron and a draft choice to Montreal for reserve Forward Pat Hughes and minor league Goaltender Bob Holland? Maybe not. It seems to me that the Pittsburgh front office has heard that criticism before for exchanging well-liked, highly skilled players and draft picks for NHL unknowns. But these trades have resulted in Pittsburgh's acquisition of Orest Kindrachuk, Ron Lonsberry and Tom Bladon for a first-round draft choice. We got Peter Lee for Pierre Larouche and Gary McAdam for Dave Schultz. In the last year the front office has wheeled and dealed to bring Pittsburgh the likes of Dale Tallon, Rod Schutt, George Ferguson, Randy Carlyle, Gregg Sheppard and now Nick Libett. Looking over the list, I think the front office should get a pat on the back. In fact it did, with General Manager Baz Bastien receiving Executive of the Year honors from Hockey News. The Penguins have brought excellent hockey to Pittsburgh, and we thank them for that. So if the Herron deal was one-sided, maybe it will turn out to be right and our side will win in the end.
BLACKS IN BASEBALL
Your SCORECARD item (Oct. 8) suggesting that there is an "enduring color line" in baseball made some curious points. Among others were 1) that no more than 10% of recent top draft choices are black and 2) that with Willie Mays and Henry Aaron gone, blacks do not identify with baseball the way they once did. Omitted was the fact that according to the last census only 11% of the U.S. population is black. Thus, if the 10% figure compares unfavorably with basketball and football, I suggest that the latter sports have a disproportionately high share of black prospects. Concerning the absence of Mays and Aaron, if black youths cannot identify with the likes of Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, Reggie Jackson, Jim Rice et al., then they probably cannot identify with the Ervings, McAdoos, Paytons and Simpsons.
Baseball may need more black managers, umpires and spectators, but it does not suffer from a lack of black players or stars.
H. W. MARLOW
Lake Zurich, Ill.
IF THE SHOE FITS...
This letter is just to point out how varied your subscribers are. My alltime favorite article is Ron Fimrite's VIEWPOINT (Oct. 8) on "the joy of sedentary life." I subscribe to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to read with wonder and amazement about all of those marvelously active people who parade through your pages as I lie propped up in bed. Nothing ails me. I'm just resting!
While I don't agree with Ron Fimrite's view on physical fitness, I do agree that everyone should decide for himself whether or not to keep fit. However, I am sure the space taken up by his article could have been put to better use, even if you had to put in another advertisement.
I subscribe to SI for the pleasure of reading about competition and the mental and physical abilities of the people who compete. Pardon me, but I don't recognize Fimrite's ability.
Walla Walla, Wash.
A big 10-4 for Sports Wit of the Year Frank Deford ("Lordy, Let Those Big Wheels Sing to Me," Oct. 1). Keep those big wheels and bonus pieces rolling.
Your article about Tyrone Malone and his trucks was most interesting and amusing. I hope, however, that Frank Deford never gets called upon to help out in Malone's pit crew. There might be a carburetor in de Ford, but there is no carburetor in de diesel.
FRANK GARRISON JR.
I guess I was just a little shocked to find out that your bonus piece was about trucks. Uh, well, it had nice photographs.