Letters

June 13, 1993

Missing Socks
I enjoyed Ron Fimrite's tongue-in-cheek May 17 POINT AFTER about baseball uniforms, especially his observations about the disappearance of socks. The article brought back fond memories of my high school baseball days in the early 1980s. We judged a teammate not by his ability to hit the curve or scoop up a grounder, but by how much elastic his mother had sewn into his stirrups. The more elastic, the more sanitary sock he could show by rolling the legs of his baseball pants up past his kneecaps.

Although my .192 batting average kept me on the bench for all but the most lopsided games, I could often be found playing catch with my fellow scrubs on the sidelines, trying to impress the girls in the stands with my sharp appearance.
LARRY PACANOWSKI
Depew, N.Y.

Ron Fimrite is on target. It's sad that so many fans have never seen, for example, the classic socks of the St. Louis Cardinals or the Boston Red Sox. One wonders whether some players have been issued a uniform or a pair of Dr. Denton's.
TOM PETERSON
Lodi, Calif.

You know where the socks went? They're on the players' arms in the form of sweatbands. And not narrow sweatbands, but six-inch monsters. Tell me who sweats that much. Pro basketball players rarely wear sweatbands, and they perspire more than baseball players. Barry Bonds is wonderful to watch, but he even wears sweatbands at night!
PETER H. DEUTSCH
Burlingame, Calif.

Ron Fimrite's POINT AFTER on the failure of baseball players to display their socks was the most worthless use of paper I have seen in a long time. I usually look forward to the back page of your magazine for a discussion of a hot issue or for comic relief, but Fimrite's subject had me shaking my head in disbelief. My experience has taught me that baseball socks are a pain in the neck to put on and serve no purpose, although Gaylord Perry might dispute the latter.
JOHN M. GUNTHER
St. Louis

Buster Douglas
How many times have we heard someone say, "If I made $25 million in the ring, I'd take it all and then walk away"? Well, someone has finally done just that, and I say hats off to Buster Douglas (Get a Load of Me, May 17). He is living his life the way he wants to. Why should Douglas return to the ring and have his reputation or skull battered for a few more millions? He has what he wants; let him enjoy it.
JOE LOUISELL
Grosse Pointe, Mich.

Fluke or not, it was Buster Douglas who defeated Mike Tyson. His victory over Tyson was one of the defining moments in sports—that of an ordinary athlete achieving the extraordinary. Moreover, in sharp contrast to Tyson, Douglas is a devoted son, husband and father who lives quietly and doesn't break the law.
C.L. STANTON
Irving, Texas

Reggie Lewis
In his interesting article on Reggie Lewis's telltale heart (Heart of the Matter, May 24), William Oscar Johnson quotes several sources who imply that team physicians may have their loyalty divided between player and management. As a team doctor for the Atlanta Braves for 18 years and as a cardiology consultant to the Georgia Tech athletic department for 10 years, I have not found this to be the case. We are paid to do our job and provide players with the same professional confidentiality we do any other patient.
JOHN D. CANTWELL
Atlanta

Changing Fashions
Until I read your May 17 POINT AFTER, I thought I was the only sports fan who was disturbed by baseball players' disregard of the traditional stirrup. What's interesting is that the pants and socks of baseball and basketball players seem to travel up and down together. In the '70s and early '80s, baseball pants were more like knickers and stirrups went well up the leg. Remember Reggie Jackson? Basketball shorts looked like Speedos compared to what players wear today, and the white socks were pulled up to the knee. Remember Calvin Murphy?

Now players in both sports wear black hightops with their pants long and no visible socks. Michigan's Fab Five is said to be the originator of this awful trend, but I recall having seen a boxer dressed this way a few years back when the Fabbers were in junior high. Remember Mike Tyson?
TOM DENARI
Indianapolis

PHOTOWALTER IOOSS JR.The ups and downs of fashion: Reggie; Chicago's Frank Thomas; Murphy, a former Rocket; Fab Fiver Jalen Rose. PHOTOJOHN IACONO[See caption above.] PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH[See caption above.] PHOTOANDY HAYT[See caption above.]

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.

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