Stefanie Spielman said that Chris felt sorry for all of the
people who bought Spielman jerseys now that he has retired. I
bought mine today.
--ANN RAKOWIECKI, Williams Bay, Wis.
AROUND THE HORN
I believe that your rationale for not including the catcher's
position in your story on the Mets' star-studded infield can be
debated (Glove Affair, Sept. 6). Without Mike Piazza, the Mets
would not have had such a successful season. If Gold Glover Ivan
Rodriguez was behind the plate for New York, would he have been
JON LIEB, New York City
--Yes, because baseball tradition dictates that defensively the
catcher is primarily a member of the battery, not the infield.
October 17, 1999
Your cover line The Best Infield Ever? has one thing seriously
wrong with it. The question mark should be replaced by an
JAMES E. TRIMBLE, Simsbury, Conn.
I'll take the Indians' infield of first baseman Jim Thome,
second baseman Roberto Alomar, shortstop Omar Vizquel and third
baseman Travis Fryman over the Mets' any day of the year.
DOUGLAS C. FRATER, Apollo, Pa.
Consistency and longevity are crucial in achieving greatness. To
bestow such an honor on an infield that has been together for
only a season is premature. Let's see them play even half as
long as the Los Angeles Dodgers' Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill
Russell and Ron Cey before we anoint them.
TODD ELIASON, Allen, Texas
As a Philadelphia Phillies fan it hurts to recall the 1964
season, but I feel compelled to speak up for the '64 St. Louis
Cardinals infield of Bill White, Julian Javier, Dick Groat and
PHILIP DI BARTOLO, Philadelphia
DREAMS OF THEIR TEAMS
How could you leave the 1967 Red Sox off your list (Our Favorite
Teams, Sept. 6)? Led by Carl Yastrzemski, they went from next to
last in the league to Game 7 of the World Series in one year. By
winning game after game in improbable fashion, Boston captivated
an entire nation.
DAVE MUNSON, Kalamazoo, Mich.
The 1972 Boston Bruins were boring compared with the '74
Philadelphia Flyers of Dave (Hammer) Schultz, Bob (Hound) Kelly,
Andre (Moose) DuPont, Don (Big Bird) Saleski and Hall of Famers
Bernie Parent, Bobby Clarke and Bill Barber. This bunch led the
Flyers to two Stanley Cups, scared the Soviets off the ice in
1976 and were preceded by their reputations when they went on
the road. Lock the doors and hide the children, the Broad Street
Bullies are in town!
MARK DICKENS, Sewell, N.J.
You forgot the 1972 Dolphins, the only undefeated Super Bowl
TIM PHILLIPS, Naugatuck, Conn.
Torvill and Dean? You must be joking. I can come to no other
conclusion than to assume that their selection was some small
sacrifice to the gods of political correctness.
JASON TRENNERT, New York City
I'm sure your more Neanderthal-type readers will object to the
inclusion of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean among the
favorite teams. Don't pay attention. The fact that they
performed to music makes what they do that much better, and,
yes, figure skating is sport. The reason Torvill and Dean made
it look so easy was that they worked so hard at it.
LYNNE SAGINAW, Brooklyn
The original Olympic basketball Dream Team. Imagine this
sequence: rebound by Charles Barkley, outlet to Michael Jordan,
touch pass to Magic Johnson, behind-the-back pass to Scottie
Pippen, alley-oop pass to Karl Malone for the
backboard-shattering slam. Sweet!
SHAWN WOOD, Charlotte
The 1988 Jamaican bobsled team. All guts and so little glory.
The Jamaicans exemplified competitive resilience each time their
sled managed to cross the finish line. They made us cry the one
time it didn't.
ROBERT O'HARA, Norwalk, Conn.
Your article on Chris Spielman should be read by all pro
football players (Inside the NFL, Sept. 6). An extremely
talented linebacker gave up what would have been his last year,
though he didn't know it at the time, to help a wife who was
struggling with breast cancer. His career may have ended
suddenly, but I will remember the honorable act he performed off
the field more than his helmet-popping tackles on it.
ADAM CLEVENGER, South Bend
HUNTER HEADS HOME
I finished the story on Catfish Hunter and the 1974 A's just
hours before I heard on the radio that Catfish had passed away
(Motley Crew, Sept. 6). It turned an enjoyable piece into an
unforgettable slice of history. Thanks for the memories,
Catfish, and rest in peace.
PHIL DIETMEYER, Cincinnati
What a wonderful piece from Steve Rushin. Although it wasn't
intended as such, it is the best obituary I've ever read.
TOM STEIG, Martinez, Calif.
THEIR KIND OF COACH
Hurray for Rick Reilly and his article in the Sept. 6 issue (THE
LIFE OF REILLY). As a former Little League coach who put up with
fathers wanting nine-year-old pitchers to throw curves, I
applaud his attitude. Baseball, and all sports, at that stage
should be fun first. No wonder kids burn out at an early age.
JIM RYAN, Willow Springs, Ill.
Every year I watch the Little League World Series and long for
those years when I was wearing shiny new cleats, a concrete
glove and an oversized helmet. Congratulations to Phenix City
coach Tony Rasmus, but give me Coach Reilly any day.
DAVID HESSE, Eau Claire, Wis.
Practicing six days a week! Four-hour workouts! No family
vacations! Too bad Rasmus and more coaches don't know what
Reilly seems to know: Little League should be about a child's
having fun, not game preparation that resembles Navy SEAL
DAVID LEDBETTER, Midlothian, Ill.
I'd send my kids to play on Reilly's team. But if they were good
players, I'd send them to Rasmus's instead.
KAREN GROSSET, Yarmouth, Maine
PASS THE KLEENEX
How is it that three articles in a sports magazine could bring
me to tears? First was Rick Reilly's account of the kid who
caught his first fly ball. I teared up and smiled. Second was
the article about Chris Spielman's forced retirement. I teared
up and sighed. Third was the story of how Miami made Ohio State
look like a bunch of winded gym teachers (Flying Start, Sept.
6). I teared up, then sobbed.
JONATHAN QUILTER, Delaware, Ohio
THE KING AND I
Too bad we didn't have ESPN when Eddie Feigner (above) was at
the peak of his popularity. He was not only a great athlete but
a great entertainer, driving up to the mound in his red Cadillac
convertible, always late, with a beautiful girl at his side. I
played against him twice and in six at bats had a foul tip to
show for it.
GEORGE G. SILVA, Perth Amboy, N.J.