As a longtime Andre Agassi fan, I was thrilled by his win at Wimbledon (Agassi and Ecstasy, July 13). Reporters who have written about his supposed lack of heart and courage got it all wrong. Agassi has always been gracious in both victory and defeat. In the ways that count, Agassi is a champion.
LAURIE A. LOWE
What is it with Curry Kirkpatrick? We know he dislikes Andre Agassi, but come on! The first U.S. male to win Wimbledon since John McEnroe in 1984, and all Kirkpatrick can do is criticize. His article was tilled with tongue-in-cheek praise. Agassi deserved a better tribute.
As a karate instructor involved with the martial arts for 27 years, I have trained thousands of students who want to discipline themselves, create a strong mental focus and develop a winning edge. Part of the internal energy, focus and explosion of power in karate comes from the ki-ai, a shout that connects the body and mind to produce power.
Monica Seles developed ki-ai naturally. When she stopped using it, she lost her timing, focus and power. Not only should she continue to employ ki-ai, but she should also develop it so that her shots will have more velocity and accuracy. People who have no understanding of the ancient categories of the martial arts refer to ki-ai as grunting.
Simi Valley, Calif.
August 16, 1992
The British Open
How is it that the best golfer in the world wins the most important championship in the game on the finest course in the British Open rotation (Nick of Time, July 27) and still does not get pictured on your cover? If Joe Montana is fortunate enough to lead the 49ers to this season's Super Bowl championship, I will expect to see Nick Faldo featured on your cover that week as he tunes up for the 1993 golf season.
Why does Norman Chad "have to watch"—as he puts it—eight hours of the British Open (TELEVISION, July 27)? Coverage of the tournament is so extensive because sponsors know that serious golfers appreciate serious coverage. If Chad gave up his Putt-Putt and took up golf, he would understand Steve Melnyk's and Bob Rosburg's concern about a ball's lie.
Beaver Springs, Pa.
The Negro Leagues
Thank you for the thoughtful portrait of the Negro leagues (Remembering Their Games, July 6). Memories of ball clubs such as the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays and of talented ballplayers such as Ray Dandridge, Double Duty Radcliffe, Buck Leonard and Jimmie Crutchfield are, unfortunately, seldom recalled. Just as I wish the major leagues had welcomed these players, I wish more fans knew of their accomplishments and the hardships they endured to play the game they loved.
Bill Ballenberg's photographs were superb. They brought life, richness and poignancy to Shelley Smith's fine article.
White Plains, N.Y.
Your story refers to the Pittsburgh Crawfords, the Toledo Crawfords and the Indianapolis Crawfords. Can you tell me the origin of the name Crawfords for these Negro league teams?
•In 1926 a group of black teenagers from two public schools in Pittsburgh organized a semipro sandlot team. The team was sponsored by the Crawford Bath House, which was located on Crawford Street in Pittsburgh. It served primarily as a bathing and recreational facility for migrants, black and white.
Over the years the Crawford Colored Giants became better and better, and for two years, 1928 and '29, the team included the future Negro league star Josh Gibson. In 1931 Gus Greenlee, a tavern operator, bought the team and renamed them the Pittsburgh Crawfords. They became part of the Negro leagues in 1933, flourishing until Greenlee relinquished his ownership in February 1939. Later that year, despite the loss of several key players, the team was bought by a group of Ohio businessmen, who moved the team and renamed it the Toledo Crawfords. In 1940 the Crawfords moved to Indianapolis.—ED.
I would like to thank Leigh Montville for his splendid article on Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine, and Manny Rubio for his photograph showing a close-up of Glavine's grip on his circle change (A Gripping Tale, July 13). After seeing that picture, I finally found a comfortable grip for a changeup that I desperately needed for my pitching repertoire. It took me a couple of days to get used to it, but I had it down before the Delaware County Teener League championship game. In that game I pitched five innings and my team, the Chichester Crusaders, won 12-3. I also used it in a district VFW Tournament game that we won 9-2.
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