Should Minnie Play?
I applaud Leigh Montville for his POINT AFTER (April 22) showing how absurd the baseball commissioner's office is being. Fay Vincent's decision not to approve Minnie Minoso's one-day contract with the Miami Miracle so that he can become the first player to play pro ball in six decades is disturbing. After all, Minoso wants to do it for the love of the game, not for the almighty dollar.
In 1960, Minoso spent a day visiting patients in the head and spinal injury rehabilitation ward at Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston, where I was working as an intern. He came without fanfare or publicity. Quietly he chatted with each patient, one by one, encouraging them to make the most of the abilities they still had. After his visit, the renewed vigor with which the patients engaged in their physical therapy was obvious.
If now, with a little publicity, Minoso can encourage some people to realize that they can stay in good condition as they age, more power to him. Commissioner Vincent should allow him to play baseball in a sixth decade.
M. RICHARD TROEH, M.D.
If Minoso can still play, then he should be on some team's roster, still playing. Baseball records should not be gimmicked up by old people, midgets, etc., trying to get into the record book. Records should be set by genuine players.
May 12, 1991
The Masters golf tournament (Fight to the Finish, April 22) demonstrated that one need not travel abroad to observe the Ugly American syndrome. I was appalled by the behavior of the gallery toward Ian Woosnam. Considering the rude treatment he received, Woosnam is not only a champion golfer but a gentleman as well.
JOHN M. HANAN
Gig Harbor, Wash.
I wasn't surprised to read that Olympic swimmer Janet Evans decided to drop out of Stanford to concentrate full-time on training for the 1992 Games (Evans Can't Wait, April 15). Can you blame her? When the NCAA ruled that practices were to be limited to 20 hours a week during the season and to eight hours during the off-season, did it expect collegiate athletes with serious Olympic aspirations to abide?
Evans realizes that this may be her last shot at the Olympics. She can always go back to college. Good for you, Janet. Go for it!
BARBARA J. HAGUE
How ridiculous these rules are. Evans is obviously a student-athlete who, given her 4.0 average, has her priorities in order, despite the fact that she trains 35 hours a week. And how unfortunate for the NCAA that 14-year-old Anita Nail will probably never compete collegiately. If the rules remain the same, what reason will she have to restrict her development by reducing her workout time in college? By the way, it seems that 6 a.m. workouts have not hurt her academic performance, either.
Assistant Athletic Director
Southern Vermont College
I hope all major league players saw Steve Rushin's article about their lack of knowledge of baseball history (Going, Going, Gone, April 15). Ballplayers should try to understand how the fans feel. We love baseball, including its illustrious past and the heroes of our youth. Williams, Mantle, Mays, et al. laid the groundwork for the game of today. Kids followed their exploits, memorized the backs of their baseball cards and tried to copy their playing styles. These are the same fans who buy the tickets and products that help support the salaries of today's stars.
Please, guys, have some appreciation for what this game means to us fans. It's not just a game, not just a business. It's baseball.
Bethel Park, Pa.
I beg to differ with Rushin's conclusion about the modern ballplayer. Money, Cash, Bonds and Banks—I can guarantee you that these words are meaningful to today's player, who's making an average salary of nearly $900,000 per year. Unfortunately, the names of Don, Norm, Bobby and Ernie are treasured only by the true fan and baseball historian.
BRIAN P. FARRELL
Palos Heights, Ill.
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