Letters

July 04, 2010

I am saving the June 14 issue and nicknaming it the Sportsmanship Issue, since it was full of people who understood the purpose and value of sports. Reading articles about Ken Griffey Jr., John Wooden and Armando Galarraga just made me feel good about the sports world.

Kerry Walsh, Clinton, Ind.

Thank you for your celebration of the life of John Wooden (Remembering the Wizard, June 14). More than a basketball coach—actually a teacher of life—Wooden was renowned for his dedication to conveying a message of faith and responsibility to young people. Even after his death he will continue to be someone for people, young or old, to admire regardless of their endeavors.

Raymond P. Bailey, Ottawa, Ill.

John Wooden's life reminds us that in this cynical, dog-eat-dog world there are principles that are universal and timeless. It didn't matter whether he was coaching an NCAA title game or teaching English at an Indiana high school, his message was always the same: Follow your moral compass wherever you go and whatever you do.

Jerry Schwartz, Alpharetta, Ga.

As dean of students at Brattleboro Union High, I often found myself counseling struggling students with John Wooden quotes. My favorite: "Discipline yourself, and others won't need to."

Jerry Gagliardi, Brattleboro, Vt.

Life Lesson

Tom Verducci's article about the call that denied Armando Galarraga a perfect game beautifully presented both sides of the story (A Different Kind of Perfect, June 14). I was impressed not only by Galarraga's gracious behavior and umpire Jim Joyce's admission of fault, but also by the effort Tigers manager Jim Leyland made to comfort Joyce after he learned how upset the umpire was. Galarraga may not make the history books for a perfect game, but I hope that his and Joyce's behavior will be remembered for generations to come.

Martha J. Payne, Muncie, Ind.

I find no fault with Joyce, whose call cost Galarraga a perfect game; however, I believe commissioner Bud Selig dropped the ball when he declared there was nothing he could do to set things straight. An asterisk or footnote in the record book indicating that Galarraga did indeed pitch the 21st perfect game would have been appropriate. There is a precedent for this type of modification: the asterisk attached to Roger Maris's home run total in 1961. If such a clarification can be used to wrong one player's rightful record, why can't it be used to right a wrong?

Ted Isseks, Liberty, N.Y.

Mistakes are going to occur in games, but that's what makes them games. I was always taught by my coaches that not everything is fair but we have to make the best of things. This lesson should apply at every level in sports.

Chris Reeder, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Why shouldn't umpires be privy to the technology that every viewer gets? Why not institute a system similar to coaches' challenges in the NFL? Each manager would get two challenge flags per game. I doubt it would lead to any real delays, as managers would carefully decide which play is worth a challenge.

Donna DeMilia, Princeton, N.J.

Galarraga and Joyce will be the Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca of the 21st century.

Richard Rossiter, Fairfield, Conn.

Cup Clashes

Thanks for the story portraying the battles between Chris Pronger of the Flyers and Duncan Keith of the Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup finals (A Cup Most Unkind, June 14). These stand-up guys gave all fans a great performance.

Dominic J. Clementi Hillsborough, N.J.

While most hockey players conduct themselves with grace and humility, Pronger stood out as one who does not value sportsmanship and fair play. In teaching his five-year-old son that an opposing player "sucks" and taking every game puck, even after Flyers losses, Pronger represents all that is wrong in sports.

Kelly Storey, Cheyenne, Wyo.

Still in School

Peter King's thoroughly researched article (The Making of a Quarterback, June 14) has to be ranked in the top 10 of SI's greatest stories. I always wanted to know if a famous college quarterback could learn a new game in the pros. King has me convinced that Tebow is going to make it—though maybe not right away.

Paul Carter, Salt Lake City

Junior Achievements

Great piece by Joe Posnanski about Ken Griffey Jr. and how he showed us all the way that a pro athlete should behave (SCORECARD, June 14). I enjoyed watching Griffey from when he was a kid, and he grew up to become one of the best players of all time. His big smile would light up the crowd no matter what team you rooted for. You made us proud, Junior, and you will be missed!

Joseph M. Tait, Maple Glen, Pa.

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PHOTONEIL LEIFER (COVER) PHOTO

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
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