Civic Treasure

Gary Smith's article on Perry Reese Jr. is what journalism should
be (Higher Education, March 5). Let the crumb bums of the sports
world wallow unheralded in their gutters. Reese's story is one
for all seasons.
MARY USDROWSKI, Wilmette, Ill.

We need more articles like the one by Smith. Send out a posse of
writers to find positive, real-life stories. There are more Perry
Reese Jr.'s out there than there are WWFers, XFLers, rappers and
trash-talkers. Please find them.
JIM PHILLIPS Lake Villa, Ill.

Coach Reese's salary may have been only $28,000 a year, but he
was one of the richest men in the world.
JEFF KELLMANSON, Pittsford, N.Y.

Perry was my student at Muskingum College and a member of my
brother's church in Millersburg. More than anything, Perry was a
decent, well-centered man. Once he commented to me that perhaps
he should have been a priest, but as a coach and mentor he
touched as many lives as any man of the cloth.
LORLE PORTER, New Concord, Ohio

As a Mennonite and as a historian interested in Amish and
Mennonite life and culture, I found Smith's article more
insightful than an entire buggy load of Amish cookbooks and
picture books on quilts. An insular religious community with
long traditions and strict standards received a valuable lesson
about grace from a man who seemed the antithesis of almost
everything the community believed proper and right. Reese's life
was a wonderful lesson in humility and tolerance that can
benefit us all.
FRANKLIN L. YODER, Kalona, Iowa

As a player on a team that opposed Hiland High, it was obvious to
me how much the players and the community respected Coach Reese.
His teams played with great heart every minute of the game. He'll
be missed by everyone associated with Ohio basketball.
JOSH GAST, Prospect, Ohio

Fenway Phenomena

Nomar Garciaparra's muscles and batting average are impressive,
but how about his affinity for the fans (.400 Reasons, March 5)?
After the Red Sox lost to the Indians at Fenway Park in the final
game of the 1998 playoffs, Garciaparra's teammates sulked in the
dugout. Garciaparra, however, charged onto the field and
applauded the Boston faithful. That's part of his greatness.
DONALD S. KNIGHT, Kensington, Md.

How refreshing to learn about someone in baseball who actually
works hard to earn his keep. I hope Frank Thomas read the
article. Tell you what, Frank, if you go through Nomar's workout
schedule for a month, the White Sox will pay you the $6.85
million he makes instead of the $10.3 million you get.
MARTY CLAM, Naperville, Ill.

My wife has her own reasons for appreciating the cover shot of
Garciaparra. Mine? No tattoos. Not every pro athlete these days
has to be a walking billboard.
ROBERT CARROLL, Plymouth, Mass.

When I saw the March 5 cover, my first thought was, Whose body
did you attach to Nomar Garciaparra's head?
JACKIE MITCHELL, Lansford, Pa.

The Nomar cover arrives the same day he injures his wrist? Would
you please stop cursing my Red Sox.
DAN TOBIN, Los Angeles

Nomar? Omar? A-Rod? How many rings have they won? None. Unless
one of them is traded to the Yankees--to play third base--that's
not going to change very soon. Four and counting. Go, Derek!
TED BERARDICELLI, Parlin, N.J.

Cavalier Attitude

I just read Rick Reilly's article about Chris Gatling's trade
woes (THE LIFE OF REILLY, March 5). Reilly says that Chris threw
the first staying-in-Cleveland party ever. Mr. Reilly, I live in
Cleveland, and I throw a staying-in-Cleveland party every night.
Andy Blesi, Cleveland

Every two weeks Gatling picks up his check. Each one is at least
double what I make in a year. I tried and tried, but I couldn't
bring myself to feel sorry for the guy. Not even a little.
BILL KESSLER, Seattle

COLOR PHOTO: COURTESY OF TOM MULLET

It's great you put Nomar Garciaparra on your cover. He's the
rarest of sports creatures: an in-shape baseball player.
--JAY FRANCIS, Colorado Springs

Philanthropic Act

Please tell us how we can contribute to the scholarship fund that
Perry Reese Jr. (above, with three of his former players at their
graduation in 1995) started.
WALT TAYLOR, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Contributions may be sent to the Perry Reese Jr. Memorial
Scholarship Fund, c/o Hiland Academic Boosters, P.O. Box 275,
Berlin, Ohio 44610. --ED.

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