"Now that I understand the method of John Chaney's madness, I wish more people were crazy like him. The world would be a better place."
PAUL KELLY, ALTA LOMA, CALIF.
Congratulations to Gary Smith for giving us a glimpse into the life of Temple basketball coach John Chancy (The Whittler, Feb. 28). From 1984 to '88, while a student in Temple's doctoral program in sports administration, I sought to further my education and coaching skills by working informally with Chaney's program. I learned more sitting in the bleachers at 5 a.m. than I did from any course. Coaches are too often judged on their win-loss percentage, and Chaney has proved himself by this standard, but what really separates him from his peers is that he is an outstanding educator who happens to be coaching basketball.
STEVE ALTEN, Boca Raton, Fla.
Smith's story froze for a few minutes in time one of the most mercurial and captivating subjects in sports.
THOMAS O'TOOLE, Washington, D.C.
As a former Philadelphia college basketball beat writer who covered Temple for several years, I think I have some credibility to say that Gary Smith captured the essence of John Chancy. The piece moved me to tears. I feel privileged to have gotten to know such a great man.
MICHAEL G. MISSANELLI, Merion, Pa.
March 28, 1994
It's a shame when upstanding coaches like Chaney and Bob Knight gain their greatest notoriety from incidents that have nothing to do with the things they do on a day-to-day basis: act as fathers, psychologists and coaches while getting kids ready to graduate and face the challenges of life.
PAUL C. VECCHIO, Alfred, N.Y.
I don't care what kind of a hard life a man has growing up. There is no excuse for Chaney's behavior. To suggest that "all the rage of his 62 years" should be accepted because of his upbringing does nothing but promote the same behavior in others. Chaney should be fired by Temple, not glorified by SI.
CARY PHILLIPS, Sweeny, Texas
I hope your readers kept turning the pages of your swimsuit issue until they learned about one of college basketball's best-kept secrets, the sport's winningest coach, Dick Baldwin of the State University of New York at Binghamton (A Life in the Shadows, Feb. 14). Coaching at the Division III level at one of the academically toughest public colleges in the country, Baldwin is doing what he has always done—winning with class and integrity.
STEPHEN D. KEANE, Saratoga Springs, N. Y.
Alexander Wolff captured not only Baldwin's personality but also the admiration and respect Binghamtonians, of whom I am one, have for Baldwin. Bob Knight et al. helped me get started in coaching, but not before Dick Baldwin had made me want to be a coach.
New Mexico basketball coach
There was a notable omission from your list of star athletes who have injured themselves away from the field of play (SCORECARD, Feb. 21). In 1967 Red Sox pitcher Jim Lonborg was 22-9 and won the American League Cy Young Award. Lonborg's pennant-winning game against the Twins on the last day of the season, followed by one-and three-hit games against the Cardinals in the World Series, ranks among the most thrilling pitching performances in Red Sox history.
Boston fans spent the off-season looking forward to another run at the pennant, only to have their hopes dashed when Lonborg injured his knee skiing. He was off the mound until May 28, finished 6-10, and the Red Sox ended up fourth in the standings.
JOSEPH A. LeBRITTON
Woodland Park, Colo.
You left out Dick Allen, who on Aug. 24, 1967, while with the Philadelphia Phillies, was pushing his car with his right hand on a headlight when the glass broke. He missed the rest of the season.
JONATHAN L. KATES, Somerset, Pa.
During spring training in 1927, Freddie Fitzsimmons, an able New York Giant pitcher, was relaxing in a rocking chair on a hotel porch when he accidently rocked on the lingers of his pitching hand, nearly severing a couple of them. He was sidelined for the remainder of spring training and also missed four starts.
JOHN MCCORMACK, Dallas
The Lone and Short of It
Recently, much has been made of Cal Ripken's surpassing the record Ernie Banks (below) set for most home runs by a shortstop (SCORECARD, March 7), but I have yet to read that Ripken needed 2,500 more at bats than Banks to achieve the mark. Moreover, in '58 and '60, not only did Banks lead all shortstops in home runs, but he also led all major leaguers, including guys named Aaron, Colavito, Killebrew, Mantle, Maris, Mathews and (Frank) Robinson.
JEROME S. MANN, Greenwich, Conn.
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