I am a 20-year-old student-athlete who has just won a hard-fought battle against cancer. Although my setback has had a great impact on my thoughts about my recent collegiate baseball experiences (at State University of New York at Albany), as well as on my plans for the future, your story The Graduates in the June 8 issue has also had a profound effect on me. I now realize that there is more to life than merely succeeding on the baseball diamond.
It is true that dedicating yourself to excellence in athletics and having success follow is a wonderful experience, but it is just a stepping-stone, a building block to many other great things in life. Thanks for helping me on my way.
Bay Shore, N. Y.
In 1959 I left Harlem to attend Wilber-force University, a black college located in Ohio. I was a small (5'7") basketball player who wanted desperately to get an education. I knew there would be no NBA for me.
Participating in college sports offers more than the thrill of winning and the pain of defeat. It truly can add another dimension to the college experience. Today I deliver babies for a living, and I'm sure that what I learned on the hardwood floor helped me to reach my goal.
IRVING WARD ROBINSON, M.D.
New York City
June 28, 1987
We need more articles like The Graduates to show that the true student-athlete is a good, solid kid and that there are far greater numbers of these good, solid kids than there are of student-athletes who get in trouble.
State University of New York at Stony Brook
I, too, am maintaining my grades (3.8 GPA at Georgetown Day High School) while I play three sports (volleyball, softball and basketball) a year. Reading the article gave me even more inspiration to excel on and off the court and field. I have just one question for Mount Union graduate Scott Gindles-berger: Will you marry me?
Peter Gammons may be justified in bemoaning the fact that colleges are not grooming baseball players to major league tastes (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 1). However, Gammons failed to mention the most important asset that goes with college baseball: getting an education.
As a former UC Davis shortstop who never "appealed" to major league scouts, I still have something many minor (and major) leaguers do not possess: a college degree.
I was saddened to read that major league teams "prefer high school prospects." It is too bad that some promising athletes must make a choice between education and professional sports at such a young age. Shouldn't these kids be able to benefit from both? Come on, let's see some cooperation between the pros and the colleges. The players and the game will be enriched.
M. KATE BURKE
My dad, now deceased, loved to relate old war stories and sports stories. I remember his telling me once about a guy who struck out 27 batters in nine innings. Some tales Dad told were quite unbelievable, as this one appeared to be at the time. Thanks to Pat Jordan and Ron Necciai for confirming my dad's tale (Kid K, June 1).
DAVID C. HICKS
References to George Detore, Ron Necciai's manager at Bristol, Va., caught my attention. I remember that when I was a youngster Detore was a splendid catcher for the old Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, winners of the Little World Series in 1936. It is good to know that George is still around at the "young" age of 80.
I am sure that college tennis would not be where it is today without Dan Magill, but for him to condone the behavior of the Georgia fans as part of putting on "a good event" is inexcusable (Getting Fed to the Dawgs, June 1). The people of Athens need to realize that this behavior is inappropriate for tennis events.
I must agree with coach Dick Leach of Southern Cal. The players should decide the team championship, not the fans. It is more than unfair to hold the NCAA tournament every year on Georgia's home court, especially when a team must play four matches to win. That's like giving Bobby Knight a home-court advantage for subregional, regional and Final Four NCAA championship basketball games!
JAMES M. GRIFFITH
I feel it was poor judgment on the part of USC coach Leach to proclaim that "all Southerners can go to hell" after his son Rick lost his match against Furman's Ned Caswell. I would also like to remind Leach that he may have to revisit the beautiful city of Athens next year. Thanks in part to his ridiculous statement, Athens just might resemble hell for coach Leach. In fact, you can count on it.
DAVID F. HENSON
In your article on stress fractures (The Pain That Won't Go Away, April 27) you stated that Bill Walton "sued the Trail Blazers and [Dr. Bob] Cook, claiming that the [painkiller] injections had masked the pain—the symptom that might have prevented him from playing and from breaking the foot."
This is false in that the Trail Blazers were not named as a defendant. In fact, Walton has never sued the Trail Blazers for any matter whatsoever.
OWEN D. BLANK
Portland Trail Blazers
•We apologize for the error.—ED.
My brother-in-law Lyle Kurtenbach was killed by the tire that flew into the crowd at the Indy 500 (LEADING OFF and Have Helmet, Will Travel, June 1). Too often it seems we treat fatalities in a cold fashion, considering the deceased as only another statistic, or as "the other guy."
For the past 10 years, the 500 has been the focal point of an annual reunion for 10 of my family. Lyle's wife, Karen, and the rest of us will remember Lyle as a loving, giving human being who was struck down in his prime. God bless him. This picture of Lyle and Karen was taken on Christmas Eve 1984.
DAVID K. PIERCE
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