Your nine-page valentine to Reggie Jackson (The Gall of Fame, Aug. 2) was pure fluff. To publish a fawning tribute to the man who set the standard for self-promotion over team goals reminds us once again that the phrase "journalistic integrity" is an oxymoron. The fact that sportswriters elected Jackson to the Hall of Fame proves that you can get there by being good copy as long as you hang around the game long enough. Who's on your next ballot, Jack Clark?
Virginia Beach, Va.
Reggie Jackson's being enshrined next to Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle and Mays dishonors the game. His lifetime batting average is an embarrassing .262, and he struck out 2,597 times. His strikeout-to-at-bat ratio is one of the highest ever.
Jackson's selection is a reflection of American culture. It doesn't expect much, doesn't receive much and then celebrates the mediocre. If he won by producing drama as Mr. October, he should be given an Oscar, not enshrinement in Cooperstown.
HAL G. GEISS
Play Like a Girl
Your SCORECARD item about the girls' soccer team in Middleburg, Ohio, that had to compete in the boys' division and ended up winning the Ohio Games title (Aug. 9) put a smug smile on my face. For all the times my daughter has played ball on coed teams and some ignorant father has yelled to his son, "C'mon, you're hitting like a girl," I wish that father could have seen that playoff. It gives new meaning to the phrase "play like a girl."
RONDA J. BAKER
August 29, 1993
Please continue to surprise your readers by printing the kind of top-notch journalism found in Robert H. Boyle's POINT AFTER (July 12). While it is not directly related to sports, his column addresses an issue that affects every aspect of human existence, including leisure activities.
I am acutely aware of the recent shift in the normally responsible press, including The New York Times, toward publishing articles that torture the truth about major environmental issues. But none of the twisted rationale of these articles has changed the facts: Poisons remain poisons, ultraviolet levels at the earth's surface are increasing, the earth is warming under the influence of heat-trapping gasses, and biotic resources around the world are becoming impoverished.
GEORGE M. WOODWELL
Director, Woods Hole Research Center
Woods Hole, Mass.
Mr. Boyle's commentary is typical of a vein of environmental journalism that has become too closely tied to an ideological orthodoxy about what is good and bad for nature and human health. This has produced blind spots among writers who confuse their roles as journalists and activists.
Much of what we know about the environment, and the policies we put in place to protect it, is undergoing rapid change. It is our responsibility as journalists to evaluate this new information and to follow it wherever it may lead. I am doing that. Mr. Boyle appears to be stuck.
The New York Times
New York City
I fail to see how environmental issues relate to sports reporting. It is unfortunate that we as a society have to be subjected to politically correct commentary every time we turn around. Enough is enough. A sports magazine should focus on sports.
Lost and Found
Your question "What ever happened to Hal Griggs?" (CLASSIC SPORTS PEOPLE, July 19) caught my eye because I am his youngest daughter. He is retired and living in Tucson. If you want to know more, I can put you in touch with him.
•We contacted Griggs, now 65, and he filled us in on his life since 1959, when he last pitched in the majors. After playing a few years in the minors and winter ball in Puerto Rico and Nicaragua, Griggs worked various jobs in sales, building maintenance and construction in Pompano Beach, Fla., Port Huron, Mich., and Tucson, where he has lived since 1969. Until he saw the SI article, he didn't realize he was among baseball's missing. "Everybody I know knows where I am," says Griggs. He has never attended any baseball alumni events because, he says, "I was never invited. I guess baseball didn't know where I was." It does now.—ED.
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.