Where did you get the idea that Connie Mack and Burt Shotton
"are the only skippers ever to work in civvies" (SCORECARD, May
13)? There were at least a dozen others in the 20th century,
including Hall of Famers Frank Selee, Ned Hanlon and Ed Barrow,
who managed the Red Sox in a suit as late as 1920. George
Stallings of the 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves wore street
clothes too. The clothing issue was once straightforward.
Player-managers wore uniforms; nonplaying managers didn't. The
change was probably hastened by skippers like John McGraw, who
continued to make token appearances in exhibition games long
after their formal retirements as players.
KEITH OLBERMANN, New York City
Saving the Land
I just finished E.M. Swift's article on the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge (Pipeline Dreams, May 13). I have one question
for any proponent of drilling: Is nothing sacred anymore? Why
protect land as a wildlife refuge if years later that distinction
can be reversed and pristine land can be forever destroyed?
What's next? Tract housing developments in Yellowstone National
Park? The author is dead-on when he describes America as a
gluttonous, wasteful society, which I am reminded of by every
housewife driving a gas-guzzling SUV to the supermarket.
DAVID WASILESKI, Auburn, N.Y.
In the future, please limit your reflections on frozen tundra to
football games in Green Bay.
GARY DUFF, Granite City, Ill.
One way to protect and increase the Porcupine caribou herd would
be to prohibit the noble Gwich'in Indians from killing pregnant
females. The "people of the caribou" are all for protecting the
herd in ways that inconvenience others, but refuse to make any
TERRY GRINER, Spokane
Steve Rushin (AIR AND SPACE, May 13) not only brought back
memories of smelling and tasting the bubble gum inside the pack
of cards, but he also reminded me of hearing the cards rattling
in the spokes of our bicycles--attached with Mom's trusty
clothespins--as my friends and I rode around the neighborhood.
GARY WIMMER, Souderton, Pa.
When I was 11, I purchased my first packet of Topps baseball
cards. In 1997, a year before he died, my dad invited me to go
through boxes and closets to see if there were any childhood
things I might want to keep. Amazingly, I found one of my
original five cards. My dad had saved Tom Seaver's rookie card
for me. In perfect condition, there it was, 30 years later. It's
the best five-cent investment I've ever made. At 45 I am a
collector of sports memorabilia as a hobby, but that card, now
worth about $500, isn't for sale. Thanks, Dad.
CHRISTIAN HURLEY, Baltimore
Tales of Hoffman
Thanks for your article on Trevor Hoffman (Case Closed, May 13).
As a Padres season-ticket holder I deeply appreciate how you have
made the nation aware of Hoffman's skills. When I go on trips and
talk baseball, I often call Hoffman the greatest closer of all
time. Unfortunately, almost everywhere I go, people respond by
asking me who he is. Now you have shown everyone Trevor's
KYLE GLASER, San Diego
I was fortunate to work with Ed Hoffman, Trevor's father, at the
post office. It was obvious from the way he talked about his boys
that he was very proud of them as they were growing up. Trevor
thinks of his dad when he hears the national anthem before each
game, and when I see Trevor or Glenn on a baseball diamond, I too
think of Ed and how proud he would be.
Garden Grove, Calif.
In the past six years the Yankees have won 10 playoff series and
four World Series, due in no small part to Mariano Rivera's
dominance. His fastball is commonly recognized as the most
devastating pitch in baseball, and his regular-season stats are
comparable to Hoffman's--despite having to face the DH on a
regular, not part-time, basis. However, when you consider
postseason records, there is no comparison: Rivera is 6-1 with
an 0.91 ERA and a record 24 saves in 52 appearances. Hoffman is
1-2 with an ERA of 4.09 and three saves in 10 appearances.
RICK BUETI, Chappaqua, N.Y.
Santo the Survivor
I commend Rick Reilly for his touching tribute to Ron Santo (THE
LIFE OF REILLY, May 13), a hero to every young diabetic who has
even a remote interest in playing sports. There is no way for
diabetics or our families to properly thank Santo for the example
he sets other than to live our lives to the fullest of our
TY YOUNG, Tucson
Imagine: Ron Santo with Bill Veeck's wooden leg. World Series
STUART SENESCU, Highland Park, Ill.