LETTERS

December 23, 1996

On the baseball fields and the battlefields, when he was needed,
Ted Williams was there.
ALLEN E. MERRILL, Clearwater, Fla.

TED WILLIAMS

On a rainy day just before the start of the 1946 baseball
season, I was waiting at the bus stop in Brookline Village,
Mass., for a bus to take me to Cushing General Hospital in
Framingham, where I still hadn't received my medical discharge
from the Army. Many cars passed by, but one stopped. The driver,
an athletic-looking fellow about my age, beckoned to me to get
in. He asked me about myself and where I was going and why. I
told him that I had been shot through my left elbow.

He said, "Are you a righty or a lefty?"

I said, "I'm a righty."

He said, "Jeez, that's good. I worry about my throwing. You know
if you can hit the ball, you can always hit the ball."

"You're Ted Williams, aren't you?"

"Yup. By the way, have you heard the fans ride that kid George
Metkovich, who's been taking my place while I've been in the
Marines ... those bastards."

This is the way that I prefer to remember Ted Williams (Rounding
Third, Nov. 25): someone who could reach out and give a fellow
soldier a lift, someone who wanted to be a complete ballplayer,
in the field as well as at the plate, someone who cared about
those who could not play the game as magnificently as he could.
THOMAS J. MCELLIGOTT, Venice, Fla.

Ted Williams hit .400 one year, but as for raising his kids when
they were young, his average was .004.
WILLIAM HARBOWY, Taylor, Mich.

Whatever other reactions there were to him on or off the field,
Ted Williams was widely admired as a patriotic hero who gave up
much of his baseball career to be a pilot in World War II and
the Korean face-off.
EDWARD H. HOFFMAN, Orlando

HOLTZ'S DEPARTURE

Higher admission standards and a new administration have been
instituted since Lou Holtz came to Notre Dame in 1985 (Inside
College Football, Nov. 25). Notre Dame can recruit about one
third of the high school All-Americas ready to enter college. As
a result, we saw an increasing number of disputes between Holtz
and the administration. How can a school maintain such high
expectations for a football program when its coach is not given
access to the resources needed to achieve them? While Holtz may
not have been fired, it's fair to say he was pushed. As the new
bumper sticker being sold on campus goes, DON'T BLAME ME, I
VOTED FOR HOLTZ.
BEN MAGNANO, South Bend

Some say it's unfair to judge any coach by the number of
national championships won, but it's interesting to note that
Lou Holtz's single national title places him even with Dan
Devine and one ahead of Gerry Faust, his two most recent
predecessors at Notre Dame.
J.J. MARKS, Homewood, Ill.

SECOND CHANCE

Finally someone has given a break to an athlete who is not a
superstar millionaire (Scorecard, Nov. 25). Why do former
college athletes have to suffer financially after they have paid
their dues to society?

Christian Peter has paid his fines and served his time. The New
England Patriots wouldn't take him. The New York Giants intend
to have a "one strike" clause in his contract. Did Steve Howe
have such a clause? Or Vida Blue? Or Darryl Strawberry? No.
These guys were stars, and the owners needed them to make more
money. Until rookies prove that they can make the money for the
owners, they suffer.
FREDERICK W. VAN HECKE Muscatine, Iowa

Yes, Christian Peter deserves the opportunity to "get on with
his life," but it shouldn't be a life of pro football, in which
his aggressive tendencies will be encouraged and rewarded with
dollars and publicity. People like Peter should get the message
that offenders, although they earn a second chance, should not
be allowed to pick up where they left off as if nothing had
happened.
JOAN MIGTON, Clark, N.J.

B/W PHOTO: CARL IWASAKI/LIFE Williams has been a hit as a player, a Marine and a man.[Ted Williams]

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