FOR JUNE 5, 2017
Michael McKnight's heartfelt quest to hit a homer in an MLB ballpark inspired this former player, who had his baseball dreams dashed by injury. McKnight's persistence and willingness to put his body through the wringer was so dope. So now, at 41 and slightly out of shape, I'm headed to the cage to see what's left!
Damon A. Alford, Stone Mountain, Ga.
It's been so long since my last letter to SI, typed on a Corona and mailed with an 18-cent stamp, but the passing of my first journalistic hero compelled me to share what Frank Deford meant to me. While I searched for just the right words, I realized Alexander Wolff had hit them all in his tribute: beloved, humane, sensitive, poised, confident and a true pro.
June 26, 2017
Hershel Goulson, Los Angeles
Nearly 30 years ago I received in the mail an autographed copy of Deford's book about his daughter, Alex: The Life of a Child. It remains among my most treasured possessions, signed, in his trademark purple ink, ALEX'S FATHER. How terrific that Deford saw himself, first and foremost, that way.
Gary Piccirillo, Auburn, N.Y.
Within a few days SI lost its most admired writer, Deford, and in many ways its most important one, Robert H. Boyle, who pointed out inconvenient truths about pollution and climate vulnerability decades before they were mainstream. Boyle's passing is a great loss, but his contributions to the world will live on.
New York City
The notion that these superteams, like the Warriors and the Cavaliers, have ruined the NBA seems to be gaining popularity (Fo' Better or Fo' Worse?). I, however, feel lucky to know that in 20 years I will be able to tell my kids I had the honor of watching the greatest teams that ever played.
In your item offering tips for power swimming, I was concerned about a dangerous, even deadly issue associated with "building stamina by holding your breath and swimming as far as comfortable underwater." My son drowned in 2014 doing something very similar, experiencing what is called shallow water blackout. I am now executive director of a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about the hazardous practice of prolonged breath-holding.
Dean E. Haller
Underhill Center, Vt.
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