Letters

June 07, 1987

REGGIE'S VISION (CONT.)
I have long admired Reggie Jackson as a super athlete and as a man. He has had a great career and has brought thrills and excitement to ballparks all over the country. I, for one, am a grateful fan.

More important, Jackson is a bright, articulate, dignified man. That is certainly clear from his article ("We Have a Serious Problem That Isn't Going Away, "May 11). Baseball needs Jackson and others like him who can use their athleticism and insightfulness to remove prejudice and racism.
CRAIG E. SMITH
Malverne, N. Y.

Maybe the comments by Reggie Jackson and Frank Deford (POINT AFTER, Dec. 22-29) will lend credence to the fact that black people are held to a different and often higher standard than our white counterparts. The NFL, the NBA and professional baseball continually recirculate the same coaches and managers rather than look for new blood. It's interesting that the negative comments about nonwhite applicants for coaching positions always seem to involve style (poor attitude, not approachable) rather than ability. How about Billy Martin's great style?
DELANO W. TUCKER
Woodland, Calif.

Baseball's failure to involve blacks in managerial and administrative positions punishes all of us. We are being robbed of the unique talents and experiences of these individuals. Reggie said it well: It is time to break down that wall.
RICK HARBIN
Aurora, Colo.

I know of one executive position that I would like to see Reggie fill someday—commissioner of baseball.
DAVE BRADLEY
Houston

Considering the enormous salaries and playing expertise of many black and Hispanic major leaguers, I wonder why some of them don't form a group to buy a major league franchise. As owners, they could staff the front office and coaching ranks any way they pleased. If they are as talented and motivated as Reggie Jackson believes they are, their team would surely win and prosper.
DENNIS J. MINOGUE
Ithaca, N. Y.

It would be a mistake to hire Jackson as front-office boss of any baseball team. Over the past three years I have seen Mr. October on three occasions display the worst form of rudeness to fans when he has been asked for autographs. His attitude toward fans is uncalled-for.
DON N. CURDIE
Little Rock, Ark.

NO ENDORSEMENT
Your May 11 issue clearly demonstrates the paradox of American racism. The sensitivity of Michael Cooper (And...It's Super Sub!) and the straightforward common sense of Reggie Jackson are in sharp contrast with the illogic and stupidity of Pony in refusing to renew Zina Garrison's endorsement contract (SCORECARD).

In selecting the 46th-ranked Anne White (Garrison is ranked 7th) as its role model, Pony has chosen to promote "whiteness" over ability and skill. Has Pony ever considered that the "tennis market is predominantly white" precisely because there are no black role models being pushed?
LAWRENCE W. YOUNG
State College, Pa.

COOP'S EXAMPLE
I am a 10-year member of the Los Angeles Police Department who has known Michael Cooper for the past 12 years. Coop spends lots of time in the inner city during the off-season. He gives the community a lot of his money, and he is very active in the city's fight against cocaine. There have been numerous occasions when Coop has been in a hurry or very tired, but he has always made time to sign autographs. He truly cares about his fans and the public.

In a city of bright lights and movie stars, he stands alone. In fact, only two things about Coop have really changed in the past several years: his address and his income. He is a fine example for young people everywhere of what you can attain through hard work.
MIKE MONTGOMERY
Los Angeles

MYSTERY MAN
I very much appreciated Kenny Moore's article on Gerry Lindgren (A Life on the Run, May 18). I had read several news items about Lindgren and wondered what the complete story was.

I am a high school distance runner, and I was surprised to find that I have been employing the same peculiar airtight logic about racing that Lindgren used. I, too, am unhappy when I win a race, because I feel that my opponents are "more worthy" than I am, and if I lose, I am unhappy about not winning. I realize that this is not an optimal attitude. Lindgren's story has motivated me to try to change it.
JOAQUIN HARTMAN
Palo Alto, Calif.

That was the most interesting article I have ever read. By the way, how well did Lindgren do on May 16 in the Bud Light Legends Mile?
ROB L. LONG
Northumberland, Pa.

•Lindgren finished 11th in a field of 15 with a time of 4:39.6.—ED.

Gerry Lindgren was like a hero to me. I am glad to learn of his whereabouts, and I wish him well.
DAVE SEYMOUR
Hoquiam, Wash.

Lindgren's self-serving explanation for his seven-year flight from his past made me sick. Here is a guy who abandoned his children and who never told them why he left. Let's tell it like it is: Gerry Lindgren is an irresponsible, self-indulgent jerk.
JOHN MERWIN
Chatham, N.J.

Lindgren's story was truly disappointing. The only thing distance running has apparently taught him is how to artfully avoid his personal responsibilities to his family, his friends and, most important, himself.
PEGGY O'HARA-MCLINN
Indianapolis

FOR THE REFS
As a former college baseball umpire and high school hockey referee/linesman, I found it refreshing to read your vindication of referee Kerry Fraser for "the Call" {Three Sevens on One Roll, May 11). Very few fans realize that officials in virtually every major sport make as many as 400 judgments in the course of a typical game. Therefore, even the official who "misses" as many as five calls out of every 200 is still correct more than 97% of the time. So I hope some fans will think twice before they again begin to question the competence of sports officials.
EDWARD H. SIEGEL
Dallas

DYNAMIC DUO
On a rainy weekend 10 years ago, in my college dorm basement, I came across a large stack of old Sis. While browsing through the pages of one issue (Jan. 26, 1970), I found a couple of familiar FACES IN THE CROWD: Bill Walton, now with the Celtics, and Tony Dungy, now defensive coordinator for the Steelers and a prime candidate to become the first black head coach in the NFL. I tore out that section, fully intending to mail it to your attention but kept putting it off.

When we moved last year, my wife asked me why I would keep such a thing. I told her that one day I would be inspired to send it to you. Your May 18 FROM THE PUBLISHER, on another now-famous pair who once appeared in the same FACES IN THE CROWD, Don Mat-tingly and Payne Stewart, provided the necessary impetus.
STEVEN EVANS
Utica, Mich.

•Here are those 1970 FACES.—ED.

Tony Dungy, 14, student president of Frost Junior High in Jackson, Mich., threw 23 touchdown passes over the last three seasons, is high scorer in basketball for the third straight year and has never been defeated in high and low hurdles and long jump in track.

Bill Walton, 6'10½" senior at Helix High in La Mesa, Calif., was named MVP of the Covina Tournament after he scored a record 50 points and grabbed a record 34 rebounds as Helix defeated Pasadena High 110-68 for the title and its 31st straight win.

TWO PHOTOS

Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.

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