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Original Issue


"Our Lenny certainly wowed those Europeans! I wonder if someone followed him around with a golden spittoon."

Dykstra in Europe
I was delighted to find a baseball story (Oo-la-la, Lenny, Dec. 6) during the football playoff scramble but was disappointed when I read it. The story offered only a brief recap of Lenny Dykstra's World Series accomplishments and no real mention of European leagues and players. Instead, it concentrated on statistics that have become in vogue in sports: a $78,000 gambling loss, a $41,000 ring, two $3,000 bottles of wine, a $25 million contract.

"This is baseball," the article says. It sure is: Players insulted by offers of megamillion-dollar contracts, owners continually threatening cities with franchise relocation, dilution of talent through expansion, wild-card teams in the playoffs and unrelenting greed amidst a shower of money. I've had my fill. The day Robin Yount retires, I'll quit reading the box scores and turn off the radio.
PETE OLSKI, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

Man, our Lenny Dykstra certainly wowed those Europeans! What class! I wonder if someone followed him around with a golden spittoon.
JOSEPH B. DAVIS, Chico, Calif.

While Lenny Dykstra may have acquired a taste for fine wine and a keen eye for hitting a baseball, when it comes to classical painting, he doesn't know Dutch art from Dutch Daulton. The painting he is shown admiring belongs not to Rembrandt but to Bartholomeus van der Heist's group portrait of The Company of Captain Bicker.

Perhaps the Ch‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¢teau Whatever clouded his vision.

Jim Boni
I read with great interest E.M. Swift's story about the plight of Italian hockey player Jim Boni (A Cruel Blow, Dec. 6), and I am sure that the irony of featuring Dale Hunter (SPORTS PEOPLE)—whose hit on Pierre Turgeon in last season's NHL playoffs left Turgeon with a separated shoulder—in the same issue was not lost on you. Both incidents appeared to be intentional, but it was horrifying to read that Boni could serve 10 to 18 years in prison for something that seems mild compared with much of the hitting that goes on in hockey every night, while Hunter, whose hit seemed to be far more vicious and who seemed intent on hurting Turgeon, received nothing but a 21-game suspension.
COLIN JOHNSON, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Speaking as a neurologist (and a hockey player of 35 years), I was mystified by the statement by Dr. Peter Schwartz, the Milan cardiologist, that Miran Schrott's "epilepsy was no factor" in his death. How docs Schwartz explain Schrott's jaws being locked in a tonic contracture and his cyanotic appearance? To me it appears likely that some type of seizure occurred. Whether it occurred before or after the collapse is another question. Hockey sticks weigh less than two pounds. I see virtually no way such a blow to a padded chest could generate the force needed to create an arrhythmia, assuming a healthy heart.
CRAIG J. JOHNSON, M.D., Director, Northland Neurology, Williams Bay, Wis.

Save the Minor Sports
Thank you for relaying some insightful information to Cedric Dempsey, the NCAA's new executive director (SCORECARD, Nov. 15). In the seven years I have been a men's collegiate gymnastics coach, I have sadly watched as the number of college gymnastics programs dramatically declined. The NCAA men's gymnastics championships will most likely not be held after 1995 because only 35 colleges now field varsity teams, well below the number the NCAA requires to hold a national championship.

I hope the business side of universities will recognize the worth of men's gymnastics and the other struggling collegiate sports. A major part of every U.S. Olympic men's gymnastics team has been made up of current and former collegiate student-athletes. Without the support of the college programs, the future of our Olympic effort will be drastically altered.
MARK WILLIAMS, assistant gymnastics coach, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.

The announcement last March that Princeton was discontinuing its successful, 88-year-old wrestling program came without consultation with the coaches, the wrestlers, the trustees, the Alumni Council Committee on Athletics or the Friends of Princeton Wrestling, another alumni support organization. The Friends are committed to saving Princeton wrestling. So far we have obtained $1.3 million in commitments to endow the sport.
H. CLAY MCELDOWNEY, Princeton '69, Clinton, N.J.



The NCAAs are vital to our Olympic gymnastics team.

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