Clyde the Glide
People here in Portland are tired of hearing about Michael Jordan. As Jack McCallum points out in his article Driving for a Title (May 11), Clyde Drexler may be "only" the second-best player in the NBA. But I know he has to take a backseat to no one when it comes to being a role model.
After a Jan. 28 night game at Golden State this season, Drexler came back to Portland and spoke to our seventh-grade language class at Cedar Park School about overcoming prejudice. He talked for about an hour and then signed autographs for everyone there—all this came after the trip the night before from Oakland—and was always mild mannered and polite.
Drexler lets his actions on the court do the talking, and he hasn't felt the need to ornament his style of play by sticking his tongue out when he dunks, kissing an opponent before a big game or spitting at a heckling fan. Thank you for giving him the recognition he deserves.
MICHAEL W. SHIELDS
McCallum states that Drexler is no worse than the NBA's number two player. That's a compliment? Why does the media continue to punish players simply because they do not play in so-called major markets? McCallum's backhanded compliment is typical of the lack of respect and exposure that smaller-market teams receive. Drexler would probably have been voted the league's MVP this season if he played in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago.
June 15, 1992
By the way, McCallum's article was no worse than my third favorite in that issue.
I traveled to Fort Myers, Fla., in March to see Andre Agassi (Image Is Not Everything, May 11) play in the Davis Cup tie against Czechoslovakia, and unless I was blinded by the Florida sunshine, he looked extremely fit to me. Shame on those so-called experts who would like to turn Agasssi into just another boring, bleached-white, health-food-eating tennis robot.
I don't believe unorthodox training habits are to blame for his recent slump, nor will they prevent him from rising to the top again in the near future. Besides, you've got to love a guy who would go to France and choose to eat his meals at McDonald's.
LAURIE A. LOWE
Franz Lidz's INTERVIEW with Leigh Steinberg (May 4) gave great insight into a little-written-about part of professional football. For once a sports agent was not portrayed as a blood-sucking vampire. Steinberg's commitment to charities and to promoting athletes as role models is inspiring. Those who criticize Steinberg should realize that in the big business of the NFL, you can't play Mr. Nice Guy all the time.
Thank you for bringing to light one agent's point of view on the business of pro football.
Walnut Creek, Calif.
Third Basemen's Stats
After reading the hitting and fielding stats of the 10 current and surefire future Hall of Fame third basemen (LETTERS, May 11), I couldn't help but think of Graig Nettles's credentials. Although he has a lower career batting average than any of the 10 players listed, Nettles's run production (1,193 runs, 1,314 RBIs, 390 home runs) is comparable to the top five third basemen of all time.
What were his fielding statistics? I think that when everything is taken into account, Nettles should also get into the Hall.
•Nettles's fielding stats for the 2,412 games he played at third: 1,898 putouts, 5,298 assists and 295 errors, for a fielding average of .961. His percentage ranks third among the illustrious 10.—ED.
I would like to nominate my own candidate for a Hall of Fame third baseman: Ron Santo of the Chicago Cubs. For some reason Santo has been ignored by those who vote for the Hall of Fame, even though his stats indicate that he should be in it.
Santo ranks about fifth in every offensive category you listed in your chart, and he was also an outstanding defensive third baseman. He was a 10-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glover, and he led National League third basemen in putouts seven times and in double plays five times.
GREGORY T. REWERS
Terre Haute, Ind.
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.