THE YANKEES' YOGI
Congratulations to Roy Blount Jr. for a fine article on Yogi Berra (Yogi, April 2)! I am a doctoral candidate in Hinduism and its philosophy at Harvard, and in my five years of study here I have never come across a more revealing characterization of self than Yogi's: "I'd be pretty dumb if all of a sudden I started being something I'm not." Perfect.
I remain a devoted fan of No. 8 in the pinstripes, and I am grateful for at least one true yogi for our times.
DOUGLAS R. BROOKS
Yogi Berra gives the Yankee organization a positive image, while George Steinbrenner gives it a negative one. I respect Berra for his baseball knowledge, although when verbalizing his thoughts, he seems to lose clarity as he rounds third for home.
Let's enjoy Yogi while we have a chance. He's only back until he's gone.
April 16, 1984
Didn't Yogi say, "If you ain't got pitchin', you ain't got nothin' "? It's sad that one of the few remaining links the Yankees have to their years of glory might end up this season being haunted by his own wise words.
•Yes, Berra is supposed to have said that, although the quote has also been reported as, "If you ain't got a bullpen, you ain't got nothin'."—ED.
How could Blount leave out my favorite Berraism concerning attendance? "If people don't want to come out to the ball park, how are you gonna stop 'em?"
LEONE M. AMO
Manitowish Waters, Wis.
Roy Blount Jr.'s admitted inability to construct a Berraism for his brilliant feature on Yogi has given rise to a contest in our office. This week's winner was Yogi's presumed response to a city VIP who petitions for entry into Yogi's now closed clubhouse: "Sorry," he laments, "I only allow family in here, and then only if they're related."
El Toro, Calif.
It's not hard to make up a Yogi Berraism. All you have to do is think of one.
Concerning your Baseball Issue and Yogi: If I hadn't read it, I'd've missed it.
DONALD L. EVERTS JR.
Steve Wulfs article on major league umpires (The Umpires Strike Back, April 2) has given voice to the opinion of millions of baseball fans: If an ump wants to be paid as a professional, then he'd better act like one.
R. VICTOR SCOTESE
Just what can happen when umpires lose control of themselves was anticipated by John Milton in Book II, lines 907-909, of Paradise Lost: "...Chaos umpire sits,/ And by decision more embroils the fray/ By which he reigns...."
West Mystic, Conn.
All umps would be safe from critics if they followed the Andy Capp rule of deportment (see below).
Steve Wulf should try umpiring before he does any more writing on the subject. I'm not an umpire, but I am a basketball official, so I know how tough a job it is. How come we didn't get an umpire's view of what happened during any of the incidents?
Wulf says the umpires should check the National League's nine rules of deportment. Maybe the players and managers should take a gander at those rules. Why should it be a one-way street?
Ron Fimrite's article (He's Done His Daddy Proud, April 2) on Cal Ripken Jr. is a typical SI classic on a not-so-typical baseball player. Ripken's uncommon attitude toward money and the game is a breath of fresh air. Perhaps future major-leaguers will have something in young Ripken that I believed to be extinct—a hero.
We loved the article on Baltimore's No. 1 son. However, we were disappointed that the photographer was unable to capture the halo Ripken must surely be wearing. Cal's our favorite Oriole, but let's be serious. No one is that perfect.
I will return Bruce Anderson's prediction that the Orioles won't win the World Series (The Orioles Will Bite the Dust, April 2) for his consumption in October. Precedence is not destiny.
CHARLES ALAN HALSTRICK, D.D.S.
I was surprised to see your scouts pick the World Series-bound Detroit Tigers to finish fourth in the American League East. But then I remembered your NHL preview, in which you picked the Detroit Red Wings to be one of the few teams to miss the playoffs and laughed openly at them for picking up a "finished" "Brad Park (team leader, power-play point man) and a troublemaker like Ron Duguay (33 goals, 47 assists).
Letters should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.