A No. 1
It's wonderful to see the Oakland A's on your cover again (April 27). After some lean years, they're back on top, and it looks as though they'll stay there for a while. Congratulations to Billy Martin and Pitching Coach Art Fowler on a great job, but let's not forget the man who put this team together: Charlie Finley. He brought Rick Langford, Mitchell Page and Tony Armas to the A's in a shrewd trade with Pittsburgh, and it was his system that produced Mike Norris, Rickey Henderson and Matt Keough. Sure, Charlie had his faults, but now that he's gone, let's give him credit for assembling one of the game's finest teams.
DANIEL S. WARD
West Lafayette, Ind.
As an Oakland fan, I've watched Charlie Finley get rid of just about every player who was on the team that won the World Series in 1972, '73 and '74. I had almost given up hope when Charlie finally did something good by hiring Billy Martin and selling the club to a group of people who care more about Oakland baseball than about money. In one year Martin has turned a basement team into a contender for the American League pennant. He has also raised spirits on the team. I tip my hat to Martin, his five aces and the rest of the Oakland A's.
I sorely missed the wonderful mug of Billy Martin on your cover. Billy is the wild card that gives the A's the winning hand.
JOSEPH F.J. CURI, M.D.
Your cover brings back memories of the early 1970s, when the A's were the best team in baseball. In fact, in your latest picture, Matt Keough shows a striking resemblance to the great A's pitcher of that time, Jim (Catfish) Hunter.
I noticed that all five Oakland starting pitchers sport mustaches. Maybe this is the key to an A No. 1 season.
New Rochelle, N.Y.
Mike Norris may or may not be the best pitcher in baseball, but he certainly is the biggest crybaby. I'm tired of hearing him whine about not winning the Cy Young Award last year. No matter how you slice it, the fact is that Norris had fewer wins and more losses than Steve Stone.
HOWARD B. CAPLAN
Your article on the A's was fine, but the caption for the picture of the bullpen is wrong. The person you have identified as Catcher Tim Hosley isn't Hosley but Kelvin Dixon, a ball boy.
You have once again lapsed into that unfortunate modern-day practice of zealously exalting winners. At the same time the Oakland A's were roaring off into the blue skies of victory, the consistently bedraggled but universally beloved Chicago Cubbies were inching through the muck of defeat on their way to one of the worst starts in modern major league history. Their story is as worthy of coverage as is that of the A's.
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
The baseball season has just begun, the Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing and your April 27 issue contains a cover story on the Oakland A's and totally ignores hockey, and, yes, I know this letter contains no periods, but your magazine didn't either, just a lot of innings!
As I read Frank Deford's article on Chris Evert Lloyd (Love and Love, April 24), I kept thinking how blessed we all are to be able to read this gifted author. I'll never forget his piece on Bjorn Borg last summer (A Match Goes Down in History, July 14) after Borg's record fifth Wimbledon triumph. The article on Evert Lloyd is in the same fine tradition. Deford enables us to see that behind Chris' phlegmatic facade beats the heart of a warm and giving woman. Thanks for this revealing and incisive portrait of a gracious lady and true champion.
THOMAS G. MACLENNAN