How could you omit Jay Sigel from both the Nice Things and Golf sections of your Year in Sports issue? The playing captain of our winning Walker Cup team, Sigel won both the Amateur and the Mid-Amateur tournaments in 1983, becoming the first golfer since Bobby Jones to win two USGA national championships in one year. To quote Chris Perry, his final opponent in the Amateur: "You can't help but think about him, about what he's done in amateur golf and done for amateur golf."
I thoroughly enjoyed Ron Fimrite's story on Tom Lasorda and his off-the-field activities (He Goes Where the In Crowd Goes, Jan. 30). Fimrite captured the true Tom Lasorda that we, his friends, know. However, for accuracy's sake, I must point out that the Dodgers' policy of hiring managers "one year at a time" doesn't go back to the last century. It began with Walter O'Malley and his manager, Charlie Dressen, in 1951. Before that, Max Carey had a multiyear contract in 1933-34 and was paid "not to manage" in 1934. Casey Stengel similarly had a multiyear contract in 1936-37 and also was paid "not to manage" in 1937.
Baseball Writers' Association of America
New York City
?Reader Lang is correct: The Dodger policy of hiring managers one year at a time does not go back to the last century. However, some further research by SI reporter Bruce Anderson reveals that Carey never had a two-year contract with the Dodgers. In August 1932 the Dodgers renewed Carey's one-year contract, signing him to another one-year pact for 1933. Then, in August 1933, the club gave him still another one-year deal (for less money) for the 1934 season. When the Dodgers fired Carey in February 1934 and hired Stengel, they had to buy out Carey's 1934 contract. When Stengel signed in 1934, on the other hand, he was given a two-year contract, and at the end of the 1934 season he was given one for three years. The Dodgers had to buy out the third year of this pact when they fired Stengel and replaced him with Burleigh Grimes for the 1937 season. In earlier days Wilbert Robinson, Dodger manager from 1914 through 1931, was signed to at least five contracts of two or three years each.—ED.
Bud Grant's athletic accomplishments are matched by few. He played on teams in two professional sports (the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers, the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers), coached two pro football teams to a total of 283 victories (122 at Winnipeg and 161 at Minnesota), won 11 NFC Central Division titles, appeared in four Super Bowls and was successful in four Grey Cup championships. Grant also has the rare distinction of never having been fired from any position he held.
So what does SI do to honor the retirement of this extraordinary man? It prints a pitiful SCORECARD item (Feb. 6) by Paul Zimmerman insinuating that Grant may have retired for reasons other than he stated. Instead of praising Grant, Zimmerman chose to bury him.
Perhaps, though, the item is what the humble Grant would have wanted. Throughout his career he has always given the credit to his players and assistants. Grant's concern for his players' well-being superseded his desire for victories, and it is that which may be his greatest accomplishment. Bud Grant's name will always be held in high esteem, despite SI's degrading farewell to him.
JOHN J. DELATE
Bud Grant has been one of the game's premier coaches for 20 years. If Bud says the Vikes have no talent to work with. Dr. Z had better take heed. If Bud can't inspire a team to play up to its potential, then no one can. It's a shame that such a brilliant coach didn't get the send-off he deserved.
ANTHONY D. CRECCA JR.
Your SCORECARD item (Jan. 30) about the basketball record and national ranking of various high school teams around the country named after Dayton poet Paul Laurence Dunbar was certainly informative. It also offered a bit of insight into the brief life of Mr. Dunbar. I'm sure, however, that some readers have wondered whether there is a Dunbar high school in Dayton and, if so, how its basketball team is doing. Please allow me to supply the answer: Dayton's Dunbar Wolverines are averaging 93 points per game, have a 15-3 record and are ranked eighth in the state.
LLOYD G. PHILLIPS JR., M.D.
While reading your article on the U.S. Olympic hockey team (Playing in a Dream World, Dec. 12), I was amused to learn that coach Lou Vairo had adopted the disciplinary policy of an unnamed college basketball coach "who made everyone on his team run laps when one player broke a team rule—except the culprit, who was forced to stand and watch."
As a former assistant in the sports information office at the University of Evansville, I recognized the tactic as being very similar to one employed a few years ago by Dick Walters, head basketball coach of the Purple Aces.