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Original Issue


Andy Van Slyke
Thanks for the fantastic article about Pittsburgh Pirate centerfielder Andy Van Slyke (Playing for Laughs, Sept. 21). He is the kind of down-to-earth, family-oriented, Christian athlete that I want my children to admire. Naturally, all athletes can't have his off-beat sense of humor, but wouldn't it be wonderful if they all had his principles?
Bridgeport, W.Va.

Before everyone else writes claiming that Andy Van Slyke is a homophobe or, heaven forbid, a conservative, I would like to extend my thanks to SI for publishing an article about an athlete who is intelligent enough to form his own opinions and brave enough to voice them. Not only that, he plays the game as well as anybody today. Andy Van Slyke is a credit both to baseball and to mankind.
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

How arrogant of Van Slyke to glorify his wife's decision to stay home with the children. It must be nice to earn $4 million a year and have the luxury to make that choice. For the rest of us, two incomes are essential.
Lawrence, Kans.

Hillary-bashing, gay-bashing—let's hope baseball's most amusing clown confines his antics and opinions to the clubhouse and doesn't bring them to the political arena. One Dan Quayle is enough.

Adios, Gary
I salute San Diego Padre third baseman Gary Sheffield (Can't Take Nothin' Off Nobody, Sept. 14) for his tremendous year but wonder what will happen the first time he feels shortchanged. Will he tank it in San Diego the same way he admits to having done in Milwaukee? My guess is he will.

Rick Reilly's profile of poor old Gary Sheffield was an insult to the Milwaukee Brewers and their fans, who are among the most loyal and forgiving in all of baseball. Had Sheffield pulled his act elsewhere, he would have been the target of more than occasional boos.

There isn't a third baseman alive who has not been saddled with a tough error by an official scorer, but have you ever heard of one who threw the next ball hit to him into the stands in response? What a professional.

Cover Choice
Allow me to commend you for having the good sense to put Stefan Edberg on your Sept. 21 cover after he won the U.S. Open for the second year in a row. I was sure you would feature an American player, as you did last year, when you highlighted Jimmy Connors instead of the champion.
Arroyo Grande, Calif.

By getting his 3,000th hit, Robin Yount achieved something only 16 other players in the history of baseball had achieved, yet he didn't make the Sept. 21 cover. What's wrong with you guys?
Franklin, Wis.

Impartial Jury
As a female law student, I was extremely offended by your implication (SCORECARD, Sept. 21) that the all-woman jury in the NFL antitrust trial was so enthralled by the appearance of San Diego Charger Dave Richards (and turned off by the hair of former Detroit Lion and St. Louis Cardinal Niko Noga) that it couldn't render damage awards in the case impartially.

While it is true that a witness's appearance contributes to his credibility in the eyes of the jury, to imply that the jury members rendered their judgment because of their hormones, and not as a result of the evidence, is insulting and naive.
Lancaster, Pa.

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.