LETTERS

December 02, 1996

Revolutionary War enthusiasts may find it ironic that the man
who led the Yankees to victory was a Torre.
DAVID BLUESTEIN, New York City

THE WORLD SERIES

As a Red Sox fan I never thought I could root for a Yankees club
after that tortured summer of 1978, and yet I was actually happy
that the Yankees beat the Braves (Stroke of Fate, Nov. 4). Maybe
it was because these Yankees don't seem to have the arrogance of
past Yankees champions. Most of the players on the current
roster are likable, low-key guys. They played great ball and
deserved to win.
BOB ROSSI, Stoughton, Mass.

There's no greater championship moment in sports than when a
baseball team celebrates its World Series victory immediately
after the final out. My congratulations to the Yankees for their
achievement, and my thanks to SI and photographer John Iacono
for capturing their moment. The cover itself is a Fall Classic.
PETER T. KELLY, Milton, Mass.

The cover photo of pitcher John Wetteland and catcher Joe
Girardi about to leap into each other's arms with joy captured
the excitement that only a baseball comeback can produce. It
even made the spine of an old Brooklyn Dodgers fan like me
tingle. But in an instant the image was erased: Wetteland and
Girardi filed for free agency less than two weeks after the end
of the World Series. Whether they re-sign with the Yankees or
not, the wonderful simplicity of being a fan is gone. Business
as usual. Fan loyalty is an anachronism, equally unimportant to
team owners and players.
NED SCHNURMAN, New York City

What a wonderful compliment Gerry Callahan paid to the Braves
when he compared them to the Buffalo Bills (Going Down in
History, Nov. 4). The baseball Braves and the football Bills
have shown a sustained excellence over an extended period of
time. Just don't call our beloved Braves the Atlanta Falcons of
baseball.
MIKE VAN FRAYEN, Duluth, Ga.

Instead of comparing the Braves to the Bills, I suggest that a
better comparison would be to the Dodgers of 1952 through '56.
Each team played in four out of five consecutive World Series,
and each was victorious only once. Forty years later those
Dodgers are remembered as one of the greatest teams in baseball
history. It may be hard to call the Braves the team of the '90s,
but they've put together a run not many teams have been able to
match.
STUART GREENLEE, Duluth, Ga.

Only in sports journalism can appearing in four of the last five
World Series (including one title) be deemed a failure. The
Braves went from perennial losers in the 1980s to contenders in
the '90s. For some reason SI seems bent on fostering the image
that wins and, worse yet, championships are the only things that
define a team's success. Braves fans have had the pleasure of
seeing their team in the Series on a regular basis. We'll take
those "flops" any day.
ANITA D. PRATHER Harvell, Philadelphia

A REMARKABLE ACT

I want to thank Rick Reilly and SI for the moving article about
Daniel Huffman (An Easy Choice, Nov. 4), who sacrificed his
senior year of high school football to donate a kidney to his
grandmother. I wept while reading this article because it
brought back memories of Jan. 23, 1995, when I donated a kidney
to my mother, Josephine. As with Daniel's grandmother's illness,
dialysis wasn't a long-term solution for my mom's kidney
ailment. I just wanted to let Daniel know that he will never
regret making this decision. Even while I was struggling through
the tremendous pain after the surgery, I never regretted the
gift I gave to Mom, who died suddenly on Oct. 8 as a result of
health problems unrelated to the kidney. After she died, I was
even more grateful that I had had the chance to help her, even
though she had my kidney for only 20 months.
STEVE KAMINSKI, Walker, Mich.

An Easy Choice was read in all five of our English classes by
120 eighth-grade students. We learned a lifetime lesson.
NICOLE STEFFEN, KRISTINA SCALI, ANTON ZITZ, TODD DECATALDO, SETH
STEIN and JIM MURPHY, Teacher
Manalapan-Englishtown Middle School
Manalapan, N.J.

People often hear about the sacrifices that athletes have to
make to be successful. It isn't every day that you hear of a
sacrifice of the magnitude of Daniel Huffman's. The courage and
selflessness that this young man displays far exceed the courage
and selfishness that consume pro sports.
MATTHEW J. KENNY, Grand Haven, Mich.

I am a high school assistant principal who works with all kinds
of kids who are products of all kinds of circumstances. It never
surprises me that some kids turn out so messed up when you look
at their situations. What constantly amazes me, however, is that
some kids can turn out to be so great in spite of the conditions
in which they are raised. Daniel Huffman is the type of kid who
makes it worth going to work every day.
JOHN GEBERT, Everett, Wash.

Who can think of a more selfless act than giving up an organ to
help someone else to live? And that this decision was made by a
17-year-old young man not yet out of high school is all the more
astonishing.
JOHN CHIUMENTO, Norfolk, Va.

PLAYING SHARP

I can understand a father's frustration at seeing his son being
battered on the football field, but to sharpen the buckles on a
helmet to purposely inflict injury on other players is
disgusting (SCORECARD, Nov. 4). That father didn't want to see
his own kid hurt, but he had no problem making sure someone
else's was.
KENNY CONLON, Towaco, N.J.

UPDATE

I was a fervent nine-year-old Yankees fan when Hank Bauer was on
your July 22, 1957, cover (CATCHING UP WITH..., Oct. 28).

I wore number 9 on my Little League uniform and tried my best to
emulate Bauer's "clenched fist" visage. Bauer and I retired our
gloves the same year, 1961.

In recent years I have had the privilege of co-chairing the
Franciscan Health Care System's annual golf tournament with Hank
and his buddy and fellow former Yankee Moose Skowron. Bauer,
that tough old Marine, also has a velvet heart. He is generous
with his time, humor and memories. Thanks to Hank and Moose,
many people in need are receiving, at no charge, some of the
best health care available. (Sorry to soften your image, Hank.)
JOHN J. NUNZIATA, Ramsey, N.J.

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER Was it fair to liken the Braves to Jim Kelly's Super loser Bills? [Jim Kelly]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)