FOR JULY 7--14, 2014
No wonder Ernie Banks was such a great hitter. His cover photo has him kneeling with a Willie Mays -model Louisville Slugger!
Bob Overberger, Hagerstown, Md.
The photo was taken at Municipal Stadium in Phoenix, where the Giants held spring training.
As the Jets' beat writer for The New York Times in 1976, I didn't get a chance to cover that 0--14 Bucs team, but one quote in the terrific article stood out and resonated with me: " 'Mark Cotney was so tough,' said former teammate Danny Reese, 'he had both of his knee replacements done at the same time.'"
Gerald Eskenazi, New York City
Michael Rosenberg captured the devastation wrought by ALS as well as the recent hope for finding a cure.
Myles Schrag, Flagstaff, Ariz.
Thanks for the wonderful article about Van Earl Wright by Alan Shipnuck. I used to really enjoy Wright on KCAL in Los Angeles and often wondered what happened to him. I liked his style and his enthusiastic love for sports, and I think he will be a huge success at WSB in Atlanta. Everyone deserves a second chance.
Russ W. Bill
Fountain Valley, Calif.
I've been a Cubs fan for 62 years. I've tried many times to correct what many friends refer to as a "personality disorder," but every time I try, I remember Ernie Banks and how he endured the team's futility with dignity, grace and a positive attitude. So thank you, Ernie, for helping me avoid committing the ultimate treason—deserting the Cub Nation to become a White Sox fan!
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Ernie Banks in Chicago. He was chatting with my wife, Vicky, while she was getting her hair done and he was getting a shave. He told her to call me, and he told me he would stick around to meet me. I brought the WHERE ARE THEY NOW? issue, and he autographed the cover. He also reminisced with me for 20 minutes about players and events. He is "Mr. Sunshine."
Staten Island, N.Y.
Your story about retirees (Life After the Game) was an incredible read. It's easy to look at pro athletes and think, That must be the life! But it's even easier to forget how tough it must be when you're not the center of the world anymore.
Art Anthony, Manchester, England
It sickens me to read about one of baseball's true heroes, Hank Aaron, and one that brought disgrace to the name of baseball, Alex Rodriguez, in the same issue. The Hammer was true to his team, true to his fans and true to himself. The same can never be said of the other (whose name I don't even want to say again).
Jim Lavold, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Both Dave Johnson (left) and Dan O'Brien accomplished a lot. In 1992, on a broken foot, Dave won the first Olympic medal in the decathlon for the U.S. since Bruce Jenner's gold in 1976. And Dan is the ultimate phoenix story, turning a very public defeat into an Olympic gold medal, two more world championships and a world record.
Larry Ehmer, Suffolk, Va.
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