Your article about David Cone (The Headliner, April 5) has left me rather perplexed. Why would a publication that constantly carps about the off-field problems of today's athletes focus on, and somewhat glorify, the dubious actions of a man whose career has been anything but trouble-free? While Cone is undeniably one of the finest pitchers in baseball, perhaps next time you will highlight a player whose on-field talent is matched by his off-field character.
Thanks for explaining how Cone became noted, fairly or unfairly, for sexual irresponsibility. It was those mean old repressive Jesuits at Rockhurst High who tried to impose their Catholic morality on him. So that's it! Maybe if they had taught him, as more enlightened educators do today, that anything goes as long as you use a condom, he might have been spared all this anguish.
THE REV. JAMES DIGIACOMO, S.J.
New York City
The statement in your story that David Cone "was the star of the basketball team" is incorrect. He was a starter, not a star, at Rockhurst High in Kansas City. Anthony Augman, an all-metro player, was the team's leading scorer, and 6'8" Mike Teahan, an honorable mention all-metro player, was the leading rebounder. Yes, Cone did lead the school to a district football title, but he was one of the few Rockhurst quarterbacks in the 1980s who did not take his team to the state championship game.
Overland Park, Kans.
Hey, guys, give us a break! Your article about David Cone borders on tabloid stuff. You shine your "defining moments" spotlight brightly upon the alleged sexual escapades, fights, etc., but you barely illuminate with a few sentences all the good things he has done. I wonder how many highly paid athletes give as much back to family and community as Cone does. One thing not mentioned in the story is his recent donation of almost $1.5 million to his high school for a baseball diamond. Rockhurst High has had a baseball team for five or six years but does not have a baseball field. The team practices and plays home games in public parks.
May 2, 1993
I expect we haven't heard the last of Cone's good work in this community. We are proud to have him back.
Kansas City, Mo.
In your article about the history of the designated hitter (Distinguished History, April 5), one of your DH trivia questions was, Who was the last pitcher to bat in an American League regular-season game? The question that should have been asked is, What pitcher got the last hit in a regular-season game before the DH rule took effect? The answer to the second question is me, Larry Gowell. As a Yankee, I doubled off the Brewers' Jim Lonborg on Oct. 4, 1972, in my only at bat in the major leagues. That baseball, which I still have, represents the last hit and also a 1.000 batting average.
Another interesting fact is that Ron Blomberg and I were roommates on the Yankees when I was called up to the majors. He was playing first base in the game in which I got my hit.
I went to a benefit dinner some years ago, and Lefty Gomez was the guest speaker. He told a story claiming that the American League brought in the designated hitter rule because in his 14 years with the Yankees he had only two regular-season hits. One of his two hits was a double, and he got picked off second base. When Lefty returned to the dugout, the manager asked him what happened. Lefty's answer was, "I don't know. I've never been there before."
Charlie Brown for Sportsman
A game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth that ended a 43-year losing streak (SCORECARD, April 12)! This is as big as the Berlin Wall coming down. I nominate Charlie Brown for Sportsman of the Year.
MICHAEL B. CURTIS
The Rest of the Story
In your story about UCLA basketball and volleyball star Natalie Williams (Twin Killer, Feb. 22), you write, "Natalie is the daughter of Robyn Barker, a single, white, Mormon-raised woman, and Nate Williams, a black man who played for four teams in a nine-year NBA career. Her parents were sophomores at Utah State in 1970 when they conducted a romance that was the talk of the campus. The romance ended when Robyn got pregnant. Williams, himself the product of a single-parent home, had no way of supporting a family."
I guess Robyn and Nate were the talk of the campus in view of the fact that he had a wife, me, with whom he was living and who was working at the Edith Bowen Lab School to provide an income. I agree that it would have been difficult for Nate as a student to support two families. Our first child, a son, was born on Dec. 10, 1970. Natalie was born 10 days earlier. Barker sounds like a victim in your story, but she had an affair with a married man and got pregnant. I think my children (Nate and I had another son and a daughter before we were divorced in 1982) and I were the real victims.
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