Has your magazine been so paralyzed by the baseball strike that you must stoop to covering bullfighting (El Texano Comes of Age, July 6)? If in the future you can find no better topic than this, please leave the pages blank. It would be a vast improvement over the glorification of the torturing of bulls, pictures of blood-soaked animals and the praising of a young matador brainwashed into believing that the killing of a bull is in any way associated with becoming a man.
GEORGE R. CORMIER
Sport connotes a contest between equals, with equal opportunity to display skills and equal freedom and motivation to compete. Your article is about the humiliation, torture and ritualized slaughter of an animal by a human masquerading as a "macho" athlete. Let the matadors start competing against other people with equal ability and like motive. I'd like to see one of these brave men climb into the ring with a Thomas Hearns or a Ray Leonard. The myth of courage would give way to the reality of cowardice and cruelty that is the bullfighter's true measure.
I've been a subscriber for close to 10 years. As far as I'm now concerned, you can consider that subscription canceled.
The article on David Renk should not have appeared in your otherwise fine magazine. I am an avid hunter, but hunting promotes a clean and sporting kill, not the cruel and grotesque methods by which matadors dispatch the bulls.
¡Qué repugnante! Bullfighting and boxing (Clearing the Way for he Big Payday) in the same issue! At least you could have spared us one of these bloody pastimes.
As an aficionado and collector of bullfight literature, I was delighted with Barnaby Conrad Ill's article about David Renk. No summary of American bullfighters can be complete, however, without at least some reference to the most successful matador born in this country. Jesus (Chucho) Cordoba was born of Mexican parents in Winfield, Kans. in 1927. He enjoyed success in Spain and Mexico and survived several serious gorings. On one particularly memorable day in San Luis Potosi, Mexico he was so successful with a Santo Domingo bull that he was awarded not only two ears but also the tail and a hoof.
ROSS A. PHELPS
Taurine Bibliophiles of America
La Crescent, Minn.
THE STRIKE (CONT.)
I'd like to respond to the letter from William T. Ocel (19TH HOLE, July 6), who referred to today's baseball players as "overpriced, egotistical and self-indulgent." I'm 31 years old, a college graduate (Florida Southern, class of 1972) with a B.S. in business management. I have worked at the same job for 11 years: pro baseball player. My average salary for my first seven seasons in the minor leagues was $6,600 per year. Overpriced? After Marvin Miller, our union leader, bargained for a new Basic Agreement in the summer of 1976, an agreement the owners accepted, I became an "Attachment 11" player—that is, a player covered by the 11th addendum to the agreement—which enabled me to leave the Yankee minor league system, where I had landed after being traded by the Texas Ranger organization in January 1977, and become a free agent in November 1977. I now have played nearly 3½ seasons in the majors with the White Sox, and my average salary from 1971 to 1981 is way up to $25,000 per year. Overpriced?
Unions run our country, and we ballplayers have a very strong one. We don't want to return to the dark ages of baseball that existed from 1900 to 1970. If Mr. Ocel or anyone else wants robots in the field, let him invent them. If he can't, then let him accept the players as free enterprise Americans pursuing a living in our capitalistic society.
This strike is not designed to benefit players who have signed multi-million-dollar, multi-year contracts. They have already received the benefits of their free agency, and if a secret ballot were taken, I believe many of them might vote not to strike. Instead, the strike is for the benefit of all those present and future players who may become free agents.
Chicago White Sox
THE SPLENDID SPLINTER
What a joy it was to read something on Ted Williams once again (Ted Williams at Midstream, June 29). Shivers went up my spine when I saw that magic name. Thanks to John Underwood for a masterpiece.
DUANE F. NORBURG