I was puzzled to read that Chicago White Sox co-owner Jerry Reinsdorf gave copies of my book, The Dodgers Move West, to Illinois Governor James Thompson and Chicago's late Mayor Harold Washington (The Sunshine Sox? May 30). Reinsdorf should reread the book.
The relevant point of my study of the Dodgers' move is not the incompetence of public officials (Reinsdorf's apparent conclusion) but the remarkable gall of owners who expect the public to build them stadiums.
Whether or not one recalls Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley fondly, the fact is he was willing to gamble his own money in building Dodger Stadium, and Los Angeles has enjoyed the benefits of economic stimulus and property taxes without the burden of stadium ownership. O'Malley is still criticized, naively, for turning a sport into a business, but Reinsdorf and friends are turning that business into a public charity to which even people who don't follow sports have to contribute.
Neither Chicago nor St. Petersburg nor any other city should cave in to the demands of millionaire owners who want the public trough sweetened before they deign to eat. The most compelling sounds in America today are the cries of suffering children. Surely it is unconscionable to ignore those cries to finance the hobbies of dilettantes.
NEIL J. SULLIVAN
Associate Professor, Public Administration
New York City
June 26, 1988
The real problem of the White Sox is a marketing one. In the first year of their ownership, Eddie Einhorn and Jerry Reinsdorf attempted to divorce themselves from the Bill Veeck era by changing uniform style, putting the Sox on their pay-cable network and raising ticket prices. They grossly underestimated the reaction of the public, who abandoned the Sox in droves. By the time Einhorn and Reinsdorf realized their mistakes, the Cubs were on a roll.
As a fan, I am left with a bitter taste from the whole affair. I'm tired of Einhorn and Reinsdorf's maneuvers to get rich on my tax dollars. The sooner they both get out of town the better—with or without the Sox.
I am a longtime fan of the Chicago White Sox, but if the team's owners don't get a new stadium, I hope they will move. They don't need to put up with this nonsense. The city can have the Cubs—and lose every year.
What a beautiful article (Never Too Old To Learn, May 30) about Dean Tolson and his mother, Melba. She is quite a person. All athletes should learn a lesson from Tolson's story: While you're in college, education comes first. However, with his traits, nothing should hinder Tolson in his future endeavors, especially now that he has his Arkansas degree. I wish him the best.
R. THORNTON PUGSLEY
During the past few basketball seasons, whenever I saw Dean Tolson at Razorback games, I would nudge my husband and say, 'Look, there's Dean Tolson, a super player.' Now when I see him at games, I will look at him in a much different light: Look, there's Dean Tolson, a super person and a courageous, intelligent man.
CAROLE I. MARTIN
We here at UNLV have an extensive alumni-return program, spearheaded by basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian's wife, Dr. Lois Tarkanian. On May 22, UNLV graduation ceremonies featured two Runnin' Rebels, who, through Dr. Tarkanian's efforts, decided to return to school for their degrees—Sidney Green, 27, of the New York Knicks, and Ricky Sobers, 35, who recently retired after a dozen years in the NBA.
Sports Information Director
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
OTHER VALLEY BOYS
Congratulations to Ron Fimrite for his story The Valley Boys (May 23). My grandfather, Richard (Brains) Padden, was the first major league baseball player from Martins Ferry. He played second base and shortstop from 1896 until 1905 for Pittsburgh, Washington and St. Louis. Although many great athletes have come from this area, only a few sports fans were aware of the fact. I am glad to see these superb athletes are being recognized.
DANIEL G. PADDEN
St. Clairsville, Ohio
Colt League baseball, an international youth baseball program for 15- and 16-year-olds founded as a follow-up program to Pony League ball, was formed in Martins Ferry in 1953 by the town's longtime mayor, John Laslo. The first Colt League World Series was held in Martins Ferry that year and was won by a team from Canton, Ohio. Today more than 2,000 teams play Colt League ball across the U.S. and in seven foreign countries.
In his excellent story, Ron Fimrite notes that two Valley boys, Lou Groza and John Havlicek, are Hall of Famers. Make it three.
Olympic wrestler Bobby Douglas, who was captain of the 1968 squad, was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (located in Stillwater, Okla.) last November.
In addition to coaching Arizona State to this year's NCAA wrestling championship (A Cactus Supplants Corn, March 28), Douglas coaches the Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, which won the National Team Freestyle Championship on April 30.
What's more, Douglas's wife, Jackie, is a Valley girl.
JOHN T. VAUGHAN
President, Board of Governors
National Wrestling Hall of Fame
I thought you might be interested in the enclosed picture (below), because this does look like the year for a Subway Series. That's my friend Thom lies of Des Moines, on the left. I'm the Mets fan.
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