ONE DAY IN BASEBALL
I picked up your July 6 issue and couldn't put it down. It was a veritable feast for the baseball connoisseur. The pictures and descriptions captured the spirit of America's pastime. Congratulations to Bill Smith for a fantastic cover photo. There is no place quite like the friendly confines of Wrigley Field!
One Day in Baseball reaches beyond the box scores and transcends the personalities in our national pastime. And what does it find? People. Baseball is still a game for the people and by the people. Thank you.
Director of Publications
Easily the greatest issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ever published—and that takes in a lot of issues.
JOHN J. NIXON
Huntington Woods, Mich.
The stories! The photography! The warmth! Nothing will ever top this issue!
The photography was so clear and expressive I could almost hear the cheers of the fans, smell the hot dogs and taste the cold beer. I have just one question: Is it considered sacrilege for Fredbird to eat Chicken McNuggets?
Undoubtedly, the fans in Chicago are cheering, the fans in Boston are smiling and the fans in Milwaukee are happy. But there is still no joy in Brooklyn. It's time to right the wrong of the century. Bring back baseball to Brooklyn!
ROBERT G. ZEIG
Brooklyn Sports Foundation
The scoreboard at Wrigley Field has to be the best of any in the major leagues, with the inning-by-inning scores of National and American League games adding yet another element of enjoyment for those fortunate enough to view America's game inside that lovely old ballpark. However, I could not help but notice the exclusion of the Detroit-Baltimore game in your cover photo. Just out of curiosity, whenever there's a full slate of games, how do the Cubs determine which American League game to omit from their scoreboard?
EDWARD D. BRICKLEY
•According to Tom Cooper, the Cubs' director of stadium operations, that decision is left to the discretion of the scoreboard operators.—ED.
If Lee Miller's chance of getting a foul ball was less than one tenth of 1% (ON THE SCENE, July 6), then I would like to know what odds I recently beat. On July 12, 1986, I took my daughter to her first Giants game. That afternoon I snared my first foul ball. Twenty-five years of futility and I get my first foul ball on her first big league visit!
On June 27 of this year, my good luck charm and I attended her second Giants game. In the top of the ninth, the Astros' Glenn Davis fouled one straight back our way. My instincts took over and, as if in slow motion, I made a bare-handed catch, triumphantly shooting both fists skyward.
The streak's next test will be Aug. 7 against the Reds, when we attend game number three.
As a lifelong fan, I attend games regularly, always with the hope of catching a foul ball. I was rewarded one night in Baltimore, where I caught a line drive off the bat of then Texas Ranger Billy Sample. You can imagine my pleasant surprise as I continued reading the July 6 issue and came across Billy's comments in POINT AFTER.
After reading Billy Sample's POINT AFTER, I was heartened to see that there are at least some athletes today who do not take their professions so seriously that it ruins them. Sample should be admired not only for his athletic success but also for his perspective and sense of humor. I thank him for the entertainment he provided for us on the field, and I wish him continued success in his future endeavors.
New York City
Bruce Anderson's historic recount of the life and career of Wally Pipp (Just a Pipp of a Legend, June 29) was the perfect gift for the sports fan who has everything. Like many other ardent sports enthusiasts, I had heard of Pipp and knew that he had been Lou Gehrig's predecessor at first base for the Yankees, but I was unaware of the amazing story and subsequent controversies that began on that ill-fated day, June 2, 1925. Thanks to Anderson for clearing them up.
As a recreational baseball player who has had his share of being "Pipped," I can truly appreciate your account.
Thanks for the history lesson. I have been researching Wally Pipp for years and was well aware of his personal achievements in baseball. Nevertheless, I have always been teased about my namesake (Wally Pipp was my great uncle), especially because I have suffered from migraines for 30 years.
One shocking revelation: I had always believed that Pipp was a French name. Now I learn from you that I'm really Irish!
Alta Loma, Calif.
A special note of appreciation to Bruce Anderson for the super story on our dad. Headaches have been taboo in our family for a long time.
BEN, TOM AND WALLY PIPP
Bruce Anderson asks, "Who remembers who played Wally Pipp?" in the movie The Pride of the Yankees. You were right in saying it was George MacDonald but wrong in saying MacDonald was an actor. From 1936 to '44 and in '46 and '47 he was a classic-fielding first baseman for the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League and a good line-drive hitter.
Incidentally, MacDonald was a teammate of George Detore, who was mentioned in your recent story on Ron Necciai (Kid K, June 1).
La Mesa, Calif.
Cleveland Indians fans agree with manager Pat Corrales on one thing (It Won't Be an Indian Summer, June 29). It's not SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S fault that the Tribe has fizzled this season. But the feeling persists that this team has more talent than its record indicates and that with some pitching improvements, it will be a contender.
We have waited a long time for a winner, and when it happens, our joy will be that much greater.
But, hey, why take chances? No more covers, O.K.?
What do the Indians' '86 season and an episode of Dallas have in common? Both were just a dream. Your April 6 cover has to be a collector's item. I should know, I'm stuck with three copies.
STEPHEN G. MODORY
In his article on racism in baseball ("We Have a Serious Problem That Isn't Going Away," May 11) Reggie Jackson said, "When I was 13 or 14 years old, I played for a Pennsylvania all-star team against a team from Fort Lauderdale. Our coach didn't let me participate in the three games for fear there would be trouble if I slid hard into second base or got hit by a pitch. Even though I was the best player...I was allowed only one at bat. I was so afraid to swing, I looked at three straight strikes.... I walked home, crying, 'I'm going to be a big leaguer, I'm going to be a big leaguer.' "
Reggie's memory is hazy. In the third game of the series, Reggie almost took the pitcher's head off with a line drive that the pitcher caught for an out. I was that pitcher.
Reggie Jackson should get his facts straight. My father, Hank Gimpel, coached the Greater Glenside Youth club all-star team that played the all-star team from Fort Lauderdale. Not only did Reggie play every inning of every game, but he also received honorable mention as MVP. I have copies of the score sheets and a newspaper clipping.
Willow Grove, Pa.
You quoted Reggie Jackson as saying that when he was hurt during a minor league game years ago, a Lewiston, Idaho, area hospital refused to admit him because he was black.
Some weeks later, I came across an article in my local newspaper in which the director of that hospital was quoted as saying that Jackson was admitted, treated for two days and released. The article said that there is documentary proof of this.
St. Catharines, Ont.
•Records for St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston show that Jackson was admitted for observation on July 6, 1966, and released on July 8 of that year.—ED.
JOHN D. HANLON
One Day in Baseball: Cleveland Indians groundskeepers are busy working on a clean sweep.
Letters to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED should include the name, address and home telephone number of the writer and should be addressed to The Editor, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020-1393.