I agree with your choice of Roger Bannister's four-minute mile and Edmund Hillary's successful ascent of Mount Everest as the two greatest sporting feats of the 20th century (Our Favorite Feats, Dec. 27.-Jan. 3). While Sir Edmund might not wish to be defined as such, he and Sir Roger are heroes for the glory of their deeds and for the selfless and gentlemanly way in which they have lived their lives.
NATHANIEL P. DEAN, Washington, D.C.
Grantland Rice would have been impressed by Frank Deford's interweaving of the feats of Bannister and Hillary into one poignant story. Deford's ability to paint a word picture was matched by the lead photos by Bob Martin and Jeffrey Lowe. The black-and-white shots of the era added the perfect touch.
BARRY BERTRAM, Campbellsville, Ky.
Although I was not born when those two events took place, I consider myself lucky to be old enough to remember when athletes and politicians presented an image, at least, of role-model worthiness.
AARON SHROGIN, Santa Maria, Calif.
You did a disservice to Tenzing Norgay when you focused primarily on Hillary in your favorite feats. An ascent of Everest is one of those accomplishments in which the first is impossible to name without insulting those who are also directly involved. You could have used the climbing term on the rope, which would have signaled that there was no first or second, just one dedicated team.
ROBERT W. BOORMAN, Phoenix
There is an omission from your list, one that belongs in the top five. One of the greatest feats in baseball history occurred on May 26,1959, when Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates threw 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, one of baseball's best hitting clubs, only to lose 1-0 in the 13th inning. Thirty-six up, 36 down! No one else has even come close.
JOHN OGLIORE, Kenmore, Wash.
Favorite feats of the century without Jesse Owens's dominating the 1936 Olympics in Berlin?
LEE CARYER, Columbus, Ohio
It seems that John Rocker and Mets fans have met their match in each other.
—TIM WILLIAMS, Sterling, Va.
I think that Emil Zatopek's performance in the 1952 Olympics belongs among your feats. He entered three of the most grueling events in sports (the 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters and marathon) and won them all.
MICHAEL GOODWIN Sioux City, Iowa
To put Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 career points in perspective: One would have to average 100 points for almost 29 seasons to break Gretzky's record. If you think this is attainable, the NHL record for most seasons played is 26 by Gordie Howe, and he finished with 1,850 career points.
VINCE WISEMAN, Ottawa
Here's one more feat for your list: Jim Thorpe's double gold medal performance in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics.
KARL GINTER, Carlisle, Pa.