Too often we hear a son condemning his father for not being
perfect. It lifts my spirits to see how loyal Pete Jr. is.
BILL DONLON, East Hampton, Conn.
PETE ROSE JR.
I read with interest about Pete Rose's son (Honor Thy Father,
Aug. 11), but I take issue with Pete Rose Jr.'s statement that
his father was "the best hitter the game ever saw." If Big Pete
wants to call himself the Hit King, fine, but he ranks 124th in
career batting average and required some 2,000 more at bats than
Ty Cobb, who ranks first, to match Cobb's hit total. If he were
my dad, I guess I might say the same thing, but as far as being
one of the greatest hitters ever, Big Pete is way down the list.
R. STUART KASTEN, Salt Lake City
I was moved by Pete Rose Jr.'s unconditional love for his
father. He may never stick in the big leagues, but his humble
determination to make his father proud is a human quality any
son can appreciate.
STEVE GUY, Milwaukee
Pete Rose Jr. will never be half the hitter his father was. Pete
Rose Sr. will never be half the man his son is.
JAMES DREW, Colorado Springs
I am 16 years old and play basketball on a youth-league team. I
have taken it for granted that my dad would be there in the
crowd at every game. Now for the first time I realize how great
he is for being there for me, cheering for my team.
EREZ GARNAI, Pardes-Hanna, Israel
As the president and general manager of the Chattanooga
Lookouts, I have gotten to know Petey pretty well during his
fabulous season with our team. I watched his dad play throughout
his career, but I had no idea that hustle was hereditary. I have
never seen anyone play as hard as Petey has day in and day out,
regardless of the score or our place in the standings. A
promotion to the Show could not have happened to a nicer or more
deserving young man.
FRANK BURKE, Chattanooga
I am a part owner of the South Bend Silver Hawks and watched
Peter Rose Jr. play for us with talent and gusto, though it was
apparent that he wasn't a natural.
Last year I saw Big Pete at Santa Anita on his way to the
betting window. I fell in step with him, identified myself and
my South Bend connection, and gave Big Pete my observations of
Pete Jr. He never looked at me, or smiled, or broke stride. All
he said was, "Did he hustle?"
STUART N. ROBINSON, Los Angeles
I was surprised to see the article about Olympic gymnast Kerri
Strug (Happy Landing, Aug. 11). Along with millions of others, I
had to put up with two weeks of Kerri Strug in tears, and now I
get to read about her transformation from little girl to "small
woman" in college. Strug's injury was severe, and I do not doubt
her pain, but "the embodiment of athletic heroism"? Because of
injuries some athletes are not able to climb out of poverty, but
Strug is at UCLA, driving around in a BMW. I am left to wonder
what would have happened if Bo Jackson had wept tears of pain
and if Al Davis could have carried him for his final salute to
the Raiders faithful. Would we still be reading about Bo?
MATT CORBETT, Calgary, Alberta
Pudge Rodriguez is the best catcher in the American League and
deserves his five-year, $42 million contract, his five Gold
Gloves and six All-Star appearances (Pudge Factor, Aug. 11), but
he is not "the most irreplaceable player in baseball." Mike
Piazza has better offensive numbers than Rodriguez and is as
valuable to the Dodgers as Rodriguez is to the Rangers.
Through Sept. 4 Piazza was third in the National League in
average (behind Larry Walker and Tony Gwynn) and tied for fifth
in round-trippers. Rodriguez had less than half as many homers
and was batting 43 points less than Piazza. Piazza, in his fifth
full season, had more than 100 RBIs and 77 more home runs than
Rodriguez despite having had about 700 fewer at bats. Piazza is
the most essential catcher in baseball.
JORDAN STERNLIEB, Tarzana, Calif.
I enjoyed the chart listing the stats of 10 All-Star catchers
through their 900th game and for the three seasons thereafter,
but you didn't include the best catcher in the world. Of course
I am referring to Johnny Bench, whose career, like Rodriguez's,
started when he was very young. His numbers remained consistent
through more than 1,500 games at catcher.
TIM BROWN, Huber Heights, Ohio
I happened to read your item about the hazing of rookies in NFL
camps (SCORECARD, Aug. 11) the day after seeing on TV a Seattle
Seahawks rookie being taped to a tackling dummy, taunted by
teammates and left on the ground, all in front of a slew of
cameras and reporters. This image shocked me. In reporting these
incidents as funny and normal, we give a green light to hazing
at all levels of sports.
MATT LARUSSO, Annandale, N.J.