LETTERS

February 17, 1997

While they won't admit it publicly, most fans simply don't find
it enjoyable to watch women play team sports.
RODNEY V. BENNETT, Columbus,Ohio

THE LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

Steve Lopez is right that women in the American Basketball
League are playing the game the way it should be played, with
constant motion on offense, rather than perfecting the
360-degree jam as is done in the NBA (Quest for Fans, Jan. 20).
Concerning the point made in the article that the Women's NBA
will be more successful than the ABL because the WNBA is backed
financially by the NBA: I hope both women's leagues not only
succeed but also eventually merge, the way the ABA and the NBA
did in 1976.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, Bemus Point, N.Y.

If Columbus is too busy for the Quest, send the team to
Baltimore. We already know that the city is receptive to taking
in former Ohio residents.
SONIA G. LEWIS, Burtonsville, Md.

I am one of the many basketball fans in Seattle who has become a
rabid Reign fan. I can see intense, fast-paced basketball played
by athletes who are thrilled to be here and who give their all
each time out for a lot less than what it costs to get a good
seat for a Sonics' game. I can live without the slam dunks. I'd
rather watch good defense, accurate free throws, fast breaks and
players who don't spend their time sulking because someone else
on the team is earning more money.
MIMI HUNT, Seattle

It should come as no surprise that the women's pro basketball
league is having a tough time finding fans. What attracts
spectators to a sport is the fact that the athletes playing it
can do things that the average person cannot. The women in the
ABL are generally only around six feet tall, and they play the
game below the rim at a snail's pace compared with the men's
college and pro games. Why would the average fan pay to see
something he can do himself?
GREG JOHNSON, Lenexa, Kans.

HALL OF FAME

How can SI suggest with a straight face that Sadaharu Oh of the
Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo might be a worthy candidate for the
Baseball Hall of Fame (SCORECARD, Jan. 13)? This is the same
individual who, as the manager of the Yomiuri Giants, ordered
his pitchers to throw nothing but balls (or, at the very least,
looked the other way as they did so) to Randy Bass. At the time
Bass, a former U.S. major leaguer with a career total of nine
home runs, was threatening to eclipse Oh's Japanese League
single-season home run record of 55.

In the final game of the 1985 season, Bass, playing for the
Hanshin Tigers, was one home run short of tying Oh's mark. He
came to bat five times, was walked four times and lunged at an
outside pitch for a single the other time.
GLENN HOLCOMBE, Appleton, Wis.

I can think of an omission from Cooperstown that may be an even
greater injustice: former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill
Mazeroski. The highlight of Maz's illustrious career was his
bottom-of-the-ninth home run in the seventh game to win the 1960
Series.
CORY DOBROWOLSKY, Duncansville, Pa.

If you want to start a campaign to put someone in the Hall of
Fame, try urging the election of the greatest hitter of all
time, Pete Rose.
JAMES FORRESTAL, Cranford, N.J.

INDURAIN RETIRES

I was disappointed in the way you marked Miguel Indurain's
retirement from cycling (SCORECARD, Jan. 13). You bore us with
seemingly endless articles about whiny, spoiled superstars, but
when a true world champion in a universally contested sport
leaves the arena, he is given short shrift. You deprived us of
an inspiring story about an athlete who accomplished something
no other man has ever done: win five straight Tours de France.
ALFRED J. PAUL, Chicago

HOME SWEET HOME

Isn't it great that many of the major leaguers who are Minnesota
natives will sign less lucrative contracts so that they can
finish their careers in the Twin Cities (Cold Sweet Home, Jan.
27)? Players like Terry Steinbach, who passed up a four-year
$18.75 million offer from the Toronto Blue Jays to play with the
Twins for a three-year, $8 million contract, are exactly what
baseball needs to get back on track.
JASON FINK, Rochester, Minn.

COLOR PHOTO: HEINZ KLUETMEIER Should Rose be headed for the Hall of Fame?[Pete Rose diving into base]

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)