GUTS, BUT NO GLORY
Congratulations to Jack McCallum and Mischa Richter for treating us middle-aged—and older—gents to a lighthearted but fact-filled account of that bane of male maturation, the paunch (Gut Feelings, July 30).
J. DANA DARNLEY
I think McCallum should have included in his Most Valuable Paunch (MVP) list former Braves pitcher Terry Forster, who uttered the rallying cry of fat people everywhere when he said, "A waist is a terrible thing to mind."
RICHARD C. LEWIS
McCallum, not being a fat person all his life, is obviously not familiar with the gut terminology and errs when he lumps all of us fat boys together under the term "potbellied." If you are the same size from shoulders to hips, you are barrel-chested, or maybe stocky. If you are normal in the arms and legs but have a waist measurement larger than your chest, you have a beer belly. You have a potbelly only if you are thin to medium; are normal in arms, legs and chest; and have a discernible bulge from the diaphragm down, centered on the belly button. Real potbellies look like those in Richter's opening illustration except that they're mostly in the front, not in the love handles. A guy looks normal, all except for that bulge around the belly button.
Babe Ruth and Jackie Gleason had beer bellies rather than potbellies, although a real beer belly hangs over the belt and makes it hard to read that good ol' boy's belt buckle.
I hope that this brief discussion is of value to you.
JON K. EVANS
Sherman Oaks, Calif.
My gut reaction to McCallum's article was pleasurable, but the line about basketball's producing few fat men was tough to digest. Kevin Duckworth is no Manute Bol. Maybe the team name should be changed to the Portly Trail Blazers. And how about former Bullet Mel (Dinner Bell) Turpin and former Cav Paul (Big Mo) Mokeski? Let's not forget the Round Mound of Rebound, Sir Charles Barkley. In the City of Brotherly Love, there's a lot of him to love.
Mount Clemens, Mich.
Tim Kurkjian notes in INSIDE BASEBALL (Aug. 6) that not much was made of George Brett's hitting for the cycle on July 25, even though the cycle is rarer than throwing a no-hitter. This is true. However, I believe a great deal should be made over the fact that the Royals have two players on the active roster who have hit for the cycle twice. This was, as noted, Brett's second cycle. But Frank White also hit for the cycle twice—on Sept. 26, 1979, and Aug. 3,1982.
Prairie Village, Kans.
Red Sox second baseman Jody Reed's hitting into a triple play and a double play in two consecutive at bats in two successive games (INSIDE BASEBALL, July 23) brought to mind the most famous triple play of all: In Game 5 of the 1920 World Series, Clarence Mitchell, a lefthanded pitcher with the Brooklyn Robins (later the Dodgers), hit into an unassisted triple play in the fifth inning, executed, of course, by Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss. In Mitchell's next at bat, in the eighth inning, he hit into a double play (unfortunately, it was not unassisted), so he created five outs in two at bats in the same game. Mitchell, one of the few left-handed legal spitballers in the major leagues at the time, was a good enough hitter to occasionally fill in at first. His lifetime batting average was .252.
I enjoyed Merrell Noden's article about Joe Falcon's Dream Mile victory at the Bislett Games (Mile High, July 23). I saw the race on TV, and it was exciting to see an American miler come to the fore. He seems to have the mental toughness and sense of history that often elevate an athlete to even greater victories. For Joe Falcon, the best is yet to come.
? Beatty was the first to break the four-minute mile indoors, when he ran 3:58.9 on Feb. 10,1962, in Los Angeles.—ED.