I thank Frank Deford for the warning about the TV movie on Rocky Bleier. It's a shame that moviemakers feel they must incorporate romance and sex into the stories of fine individuals. I can only hope that if a movie is made of the life of the late Cal quarterback, Joe Roth, who died of cancer in 1977, it will be done in an unsensational manner. If there is an athlete who displayed more courage than Bleier, it's Roth.
ROBERT J. KUWADA
Long Beach, Calif.
CARDS ON THE TABLE
Franz Lidz' article on APBA Major League Baseball (SIDELINE, Dec. 8) has caused a commotion in my household. After reading it, I admitted to my family that I too am an APBA addict. Now I can come out into the open and shake those itty-bitty red and white dice to pit the 1977 Red Sox against the 1977 Yankees. But the fiction of APBA baseball resembles fact too exactly. My APBA Red Sox pitching staff always collapses in September, and the hated Yankees win the pennant, just as in real life.
FRANK DRIGOTAS III
I am a Strat-o-Matic Baseball fanatic, but thanks to Franz Lidz' article on APBA baseball my wife now realizes that I'm not crazy just because I have my cards run laps around the kitchen table after a bad game. The cards do come to life!
KEVIN T. PESTA
East Lansing, Mich.
RIDING THE RAILS
Your Nov. 24 SIDELINE on the railcycle conjures up pleasant fantasies. The open vistas, the sense of freedom and challenge all act as a powerful magnet, drawing the potential railcyclist to the tracks.
However, such an idyllic picture is clouded by some harsh realities. Anyone engaged in railcycling would be trespassing on railroad property, and the second-leading cause of death associated with railroads arises from trespassing. In 1979, 516 trespassers—those with no legal right to be on rail property—were killed and 805 were injured.
Although the inventor of the railcycle usually makes use of unused or abandoned lines, his occasional use of active lines is extremely disturbing. Even more disturbing is the casual description of his head-on meeting with a train coming around a bend.
You say that Dick Smart "fears what would happen if [his railcycle] were used by people not as careful as he." We fear what Dr. Smart intends to do with his recently acquired patent on his invention. Such a dangerous pastime does not deserve encouragement.
LAWRENCE H. KAUFMAN
Vice-President, Information and Public Affairs
Association of American Railroads