Atlas Shrugged

I was fascinated by The Great American Sports Atlas (Dec. 27--Jan. 3), especially by your focus on my childhood neighborhood of West Tampa. On my 1963 West Tampa Little League All-Star team were Nardi Contreras, who went on to pitch for the White Sox and has been the pitching coach of the Yankees, Mariners and White Sox, and catcher John Tamargo, who played for the Cardinals, Giants and Expos and for the last three seasons was the bench coach of the Astros.

Ted Mondzelewski, Exton, Pa.

Shame on you! In your article on Brooklyn you forgot to mention Vince Lombardi, who grew up at 2542 East 14th Street. He went to P.S. 206, in Sheepshead Bay.

Guy Martin, Brooklyn

You seem to have forgotten that Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn and moved to North Carolina at a young age. Why would you include Riddick Bowe on the map but not MJ?

Matthew Elias, Brooklyn

You should have featured St. Louis's Hall of Fame Place--it was renamed in 2003--in Where Stars Are Born. It's a block of Elizabeth Avenue in The Hill, on which Yogi Berra, Jack Buck and Joe Garagiola have lived.

Joe Carlson, St. Louis

There must be something in the water in Waterford, Mich.: The area has produced Kirk Gibson, Pat LaFontaine, Jim Miller and Mike York. I'd put those guys up against a group from Compton, West Tampa or Brooklyn any day, especially if they were playing hockey.

Lee Lusk, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Gale Sayers may have been born in Kansas and played his college ball there, but he grew up in Omaha and still holds the state long jump record. C'mon, just 'cause the Big Red had one bad year doesn't mean you should transplant one of Nebraska's finest football products.

Allen Dugan, Omaha

• All athletes were listed in the states in which they were born. --ED.

Money Talks

Jack McCallum's The Pros the Pros Would Pay to See (Dec. 27--Jan. 3) shows just how far from reality athletes and sportswriters actually are. McCallum uses a hypothetical $1,000 a ticket for NBA and MLB and $500 for NFL players because he says that is roughly equal to the $100 a typical fan has to pay. Based on average salaries of $2.3 million for MLB and $1.3 million for NFL players, McCallum thinks the typical fan brings home more than $200,000. As a seventh-grade teacher with 14 years' experience, I make about $40,000 a year. I have been on the Green Bay Packers' season-ticket waiting list for 28 years and am currently number 208. I am hoping when my number comes up, I will be able to afford the tickets and still feed my family.

Carl Rudi, Colfax, Wis.


I was extremely disappointed by the glaring omission of John A. Kelley, who died on Oct. 6, from your year-end obituaries (Farewell, Dec. 27--Jan. 3). Johnny ran in 61 Boston Marathons, finished 58, won in 1935 and 1945, finished second seven times and even finished in the top 10 at age 50. He also ran in two Olympic marathons and was named to the U.S. team for the canceled 1940 Olympics. Johnny continued to run as an old man and finished the Boston Marathon in less than six hours at age 84.

Steven M. Garran, Eastham, Mass.

... Billy Reay, 86. He played in the NHL for 10 years and was on two Stanley Cup champion teams. He also coached the Chicago Blackhawks--including Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony and Phil Esposito--for 14 seasons and is that club's winningest coach.

Richard J. Link, Madison, Wis.

... Indiana State basketball coach Bob King. In addition to coaching Larry Bird at Indiana State, King built the New Mexico basketball program. Its court--which SI deemed one of the greatest sporting sites of the 20th century--bears his name.

Craig Vineyard, Albuquerque

... Robert A. Cremins, the oldest former member of the Red Sox and the last link to Babe Ruth. In September 1927, pitching in relief, he got the Babe to ground out to first.

Tim Gallin, Glen Rock, N.J.

Just Say No

I noticed that you are offering subscribers the option of not receiving the Swimsuit Issue (LETTERS, Dec. 27--Jan. 3). Is there an 800 number I can call to receive some of the unwanted copies?

Peter T. Juliano, Buffalo

Saving Face

Saving Face Didn't Ben Roethlisberger appear in FACES IN THE CROWD when he played quarterback for Findlay (Ohio) High? Rex Bishop, King George, Va.

• Yes, in the Dec. 6, 1999, issue. --ED.

Ben Roethlisberger,

FINDLAY, OHIO > Football

Ben, a senior quarterback at Findlay High, set state season records for yards passing, with 4,041, and touchdown passes, with 54, while leading the Trojans to a 10--2 record. He connected on 66.4% of his throws and directed an offense that averaged 43.8 points.

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