Having the writers describe the sporting events they would like
to have attended was like handing the readers a time machine.
--PAUL LOVELACE, Middletown, Ohio
Congratulations on what is the finest issue of any magazine I
have ever read (Nov. 29). The text of I Wish I'd Been There is
matched only by the sterling illustrations.
DAN DE CARBONEL, Portland
My knowledge of certain events took a quantum leap: Shoeless Joe
outside the owner's office, the talent of Don Hutson, Gertrude
Ederle...wow. Give me the stories of Althea Gibson and Francis
Ouimet over Ryan Leaf and Lawrence Phillips anytime.
MICHAEL RANGEL, Asheville, N.C.
January 10, 2000
Two things Tom Verducci left out of his article on the heroics
of Cookie Lavagetto and the sorrow of Bill Bevens: The next day,
Oct. 4, 1947, in Game 5, Lavagetto struck out to end the game
with the tying run on second. Two days after that, Bevens
relieved starter Spec Shea and put down an early Dodgers threat
in an eventual 5-2 victory that gave the series to the Yankees.
JOHN SCIMECA, Kentwood, Mich.
While reading William Nack's article A Match Made in Heaven, I
could feel Seabiscuit thundering down the stretch en route to
defeating War Admiral! My heart actually began to pound as I
felt I was at the rail, beating a program against my hand and
urging Seabiscuit to a win. Nack was wrong when he said he
wondered what it was like to be there on Nov. 1, 1938. He was
there! He relived it for all of us.
DAVE SCHIMPF, Saginaw, Mich.
As I sat stunned (at age 13) with my transistor radio to my ear,
I didn't know that the history of Philadelphia sports could have
been changed forever if Gary Smith's LOOK OUT!! sign had been
there to alert all to Chico Ruiz's audacity. I have felt our
pain ever since.
CHARLEY TIRNEY, Downingtown, Pa.
Congratulations for nominating Otto Graham for the football
award (A Gathering of Greats, Nov. 29). If we agree that
championships are what sports competition is all about and that
the quarterback is the key to pro football championships, then
Graham is the choice. Ten years and 10 league championship games
with seven wins. Case closed.
RONALD GRIES, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I thought for sure that Dan Gable would be mentioned. As one of
our most visible and inspiring athletes at the 1972 Munich
Olympics, Gable dominated the world's best wrestlers in the 149
1/2-pound class, winning Olympic gold without giving up a single
point. He won a record 181 straight matches in high school and
college. His only loss came in the last match of his college
M. CITRO, West Milford, N.J.
Forty-two greatest athletes of the century, and you couldn't
find room for Jim Thorpe?
DAVID WUELLNER, Sedalia, Mo.
THE HOKIES ARE NO JOKE
It would be difficult to find anyone who disagrees with Rick
Reilly's assessment of the Bowl Championship Series process (THE
LIFE OF REILLY, Nov. 29). I would remind him, however, that
neither Virginia Tech nor its fans created this process.
Reilly's comments about the school, fans and people of
southwestern Virginia were mean-spirited.
JERRY GILMORE, Roanoke, Va.
Reilly criticizes the Anderson & Hester/Seattle Times rankings
for not taking into account margin of victory, and he invokes
Titanic to make his point. While wondering whether Reilly would
have awarded the 1996 World Series (won by the Yankees) to the
Braves for outscoring the Yankees 26-18, I respond as follows:
Rick, the iceberg won; the ship lost. What more do you need to
The Anderson & Hester/Seattle Times Rankings
One constant left out of his BCS formula--0: Rick Reilly's
knowledge of college football.
CHET MCPHATTER, Lynchburg, Va.
TAKING A STAND
In his SCORECARD (Nov. 29) article Michael Farber suggests that
today's athletes should take a more active role in politics. I
wholeheartedly disagree. In today's quick-fix,
instant-gratification society the last thing we need is to hear
what ill-informed or overly passionate celebrities think about a
particular political issue.
DAVID J. SCHNETTLER, Houston
Do I need to know the political stance of Karl Malone? What's
refreshing about his pro-gun-lobby stance? Athletes with valid
viewpoints who really had something to say--like John Carlos or
Muhammad Ali--vanished a generation ago.
JULIUS BANKS, Columbia, Md.
ERIC THE GOLD
I'm amazed that you neglected to nominate Eric Heiden in the
U.S. Olympian category. He not only won at all five speed
skating distances in the 1980 Olympics but also set Olympic
records in all five events and a world mark in the 10,000 meters.
LAURA HIGGINS, Wayzata, Minn.