Right after I read Steve Wulf's wonderful profile of Max Patkin (Max, June 6), Max performed at Holman Stadium, home of the Class A Vero Beach Dodgers. That was the first time I ever saw him. When he had finished his act, Max walked through the stands. I offered my hand and a "Great show, Max." He shook my hand and said thanks with a broad, genuine smile.
Vero Beach, Fla.
In 1983, I was the assistant general manager of the Class A Macon (Ga.) Redbirds. We, of course, had a Max Patkin Night. After the game I took Max out to dinner, and the next day I dropped him off in Chattanooga on my way to Louisville. Max kept me in stitches the whole time, but nearly always there was a hint of sadness in the funny story. I wonder if he realizes that the clown is always loved.
I feel sorry for people who live in big cities and only get to see major league games. They haven't seen real baseball until they've been to a minor league Max Patkin Night and witnessed Max and his Old Faithful routine.
Salt Lake City
I can say from experience that, no matter how many times you see Max Patkin, he remains funny. He is truly a national treasure and deserves every honor baseball can give him, including enshrinement in Cooperstown.
DAVID C. MILLS
In 1984, the 5,800 sports fans who belong to our organization elected the irrepressible Max into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. True story. The brilliant pool player, Willie Mosconi, on whom you ran an UPDATE in that same June 6 issue, is also in our Hall.
THOMAS P. HARLAN
Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame
I was pleased to read the story about Abdi Bile Abdi (Hero for a Thirsty Land, May 30). Kenny Moore did a wonderful job of describing Somalia's history and its people. Since the October Revolution of 1969, Somalis have had little to be proud of because they've been living under the shadow of a dictatorship. Bile has accomplished not only an athletic victory, but also a spiritual victory for all Somalis. He is our hero, and he symbolizes our hopes for a brighter future.
ABDIRAHMAN D. MOHAMED
The June 6 INSIDE BASEBALL item on Dave Parker and Dave Henderson, "Hot Dogs with Mustard and Relish," disturbed me. My dad is trying to keep me from having a bad attitude, and it doesn't help to have major leaguers dancing and showing off on the field.
Manny Millan's photo (Scared Team, Scary Team, June 6, page 33) captures the essence of pro basketball—from the ballet-like hook shot of our native Minnesotan, Kevin McHale, to the stern vigil on the sideline of Celtics coach K.C. Jones. I intend to hang the picture on the wall next to my Homer Hanky.
CHRIS HENNESSY COMMON
Apple Valley, Minn.
RODMAN AND THE RICHES
After reading Walter H. Gibson's letter (June 6) about Dennis Rodman and the Rich family, I feel I must write in Pat Rich's defense. I have known the Riches for a long time, and to me their relationship with Dennis has been one of Christian love. Love and concern for their son Bryne let their friendship with Dennis begin, and a love for God let it continue. We all need to have the Riches' attitude toward our fellow man.
KNIGHT TALK (CONT.)
While Bob Knight needs no one to defend him, I speak in my own defense in response to the June 6 letter from Anne B. Koehler, Indiana, A.B. '62, A.M. '63, Ph.D. '68. Koehler's pedigree is impressive, but surely during her lengthy education, the pitfalls of generalization were made apparent. Not "all women" were offended by Knight's comments.
B.A. DePauw '60, Mrs. '60, Mom '62, '64
What's wrong with the baseball card people? After reading Steve Wulf's article, Max, I checked for a Max Patkin card, but it does not seem to exist. If this oversight is not corrected, it will be another tragedy in the life of a clown.
•Last year, in recognition of the Clown Prince of Baseball's contributions to the game, ProCards created a Patkin card (see below). Some 45,000 of them were printed, and all were given to Patkin, who likes to sign them and hand them out to the kids at the ballparks.—ED.
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