The following letter recently came to me from Parma, Italy. Its opening appeal to my vanity was personally hard to resist. But its significant appeal, I think, may get a more useful response:
Dear Mr. Sidney L. James:
You have to settle many and important things and we hope you will want to excuse our impudence to write to you; but our wish is you advice us to reach our aim, to become better and draw nearer to the founders of baseball. We are students, workmen, employees and in the 1950 we founded the Parma Baseball by many sacrifices. Our aim was to learn the baseball under the Olimpic flag of true dillettantism.
Our mothers and sisters sewed our uniforms and embroidered our simbol on the jackets; and when we go to other towns, we have our dinner in the bag with the glove and the baseball.
What we have is the result of our renunciations. We are players, practise during the free hours when we could rest or go to the bar; but our aim is to advance and to obtain some good results in Italy, in order to satisfy many young men, fans of this beautiful sport.
July 24, 1960
We don't obtain any helps because interests of Italian manufacturers are turned towards sports of professional players. We are true amateurs and of that we are proud. In our society we have many boys from 10 to 20 years old who would like to learn the baseball and practise the sporty of Joe DiMaggio. But at command we have few means. The new material is very dear in Italy; and the used material is not to be found.
I play catcher in our team and I learnt the baseball from the books and magazines. What we ask is for your interest in". helping us. We would appreciate it very much if you could put our team picture-in your magazine. We do think it would, do lots of good to us if some people that read your magazine would send us some old material that we could still use. We" will always be in gratitude with you.
Sincerely yours, the catcher,
B. Retto No. 40 Parma