It's not about race, it's about who gets there first. McGwire got there first. End of story.
—Mike Toto, Los Angeles
McGwire and Sosa
I was excited when I received your magazine with Sammy Sosa on the cover, only to be devastated when I looked further (The Race Is On, Sept. 21). Hitting 62 home runs is an incredible accomplishment, and both Sammy and Mark deserve praise. But what else has McGwire done to earn so many of your magazine's pages? Granted, he got there first, but was he sparking his team to a playoff bid, did he lead the major leagues in RBIs, does he credit his success to Flintstone vitamins and say how much he loves America every time he is interviewed?
Jonathan Peters, Inwood, Iowa
Two pages devoted to Sosa's 62nd homer, focusing on how we were all caught unawares and failed to celebrate him as we did McGwire for his historic feat. Smith writes: "We won't be fooled again. Thump our hearts and hope to die." Smith's story was promptly followed by four times as many pages devoted to McGwire.
Dinah Swain Schuster
I disagree with Smith's perspective. The hype surrounding the events of Sept. 7 and 8 was for McGwire and Sosa as they faced off in St. Louis. The question he should have asked was, Where was Sosa? Answer: stuck on 58.
Dan Proctor, Denton, Texas
Yes, as Sammy insists, Mark is the Man, but �Sammy es el Hombre!
N. Lee Polhill
Hilton Head, S.C.
Thank you, Gary Smith, for the fable of the fans who caught McGwire's historic homers (The Mother of All Pearls, Sept. 21). Their unselfishness proves that sometimes in sports there are moments of pure joy that are more powerful than greed.
James White, Chapel Hill, N.C.
It is no longer a time when people look out only for themselves; rather it's a time when people turn down the opportunity to get rich quick. For once, the heart has beaten out the pocket. The thing fans can ask for in return is that the NBA owners and players follow our example.
Scott Moore, Manchester, N.H.
Call me cynical, but I would gladly give the "pearl" to the appropriate player as soon as players stop whining, striking and sulking, and the owners provide free parking and hot dogs for less than $3.50. Until then, my pearl would go to the highest bidder.
Kenny Heisig, Houston
While I like your list of the top 10 college football upsets of the 1990s, I remind you of a game you failed to include (INSIDE COLLEGE FOOTBALL, Sept. 21). The 1996 Big 12 Championship Game: Texas 37, Nebraska 27. The Longhorns were three-touchdown underdogs.
Chris Paugh, Houston
How could you forget Arizona's 1992 upset of Washington, a 16-3 Wildcats win?
Stephen Sharpton, Tucson