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Original Issue


Does McGwire, the good father, want his kid taking
androstenedione? Somehow, I doubt it.


My sincere thanks to Rick Reilly for his uplifting and
emotionally wrenching article on Mark McGwire (The Good Father,
Sept. 7). The faith that has carried McGwire over the chasms in
his life ought to serve as inspiration for all of us to deal
with the problems in ours.
ADAM LOEWY, Madison, Wis.

McGwire deserves admiration not only for his feats but also,
more important, for his relationship with his son. I will try
harder to be a father worthy of admiration from my son.

McGwire has referred to his home run journey as a product of
fate. Open the Bible to Mark 6:2, and you will find this
passage: "Such mighty works are wrought by his hands!"

Thanks for taking the high road in your profile of McGwire. His
use of legal, over-the-counter dietary supplements deserves
exactly the treatment you gave it--a passing mention.
RICHARD J. TONER, Lenox, Mass.


In the Sept. 7 LIFE OF REILLY, titled What Would No. 62 Be Worth
to You? Rick Reilly says, "Sal Durante? He went out and got what
he could for it!" But Reilly doesn't tell the whole story. Sal,
19 at the time he caught Roger Maris's 61st home run ball, was
engaged to Rosemarie Calabrese, 17, who had taken him to the
game. After Durante caught the ball, he gave it to Maris, but
when Maris found out that the two kids were going to get
married, he signed the ball, gave it back to Sal and said, Sell
it; you'll need the money. Sal sold the ball for $5,000, which
was used to help pay some debts and furnish the apartment in
which he and Rosemarie were going to live.
JOE SEPTON, Brooklyn


Kudos to Robert Beck and S.L. Price for their portrayal of
Monica Seles (There's Something about Monica, Sept. 7). Beck
captured Seles's outward beauty, while Price brilliantly
depicted Seles's inner grace. Seles is a breath of fresh air in
a sports world polluted by money-driven, egotistical and
unappreciative athletes.
A.C. MULLINS III, Elizabethtown, Ky.

Seles is a rare breed of sports celebrity. I witnessed her
willingness to accommodate her fans at the Federation Cup in
Atlantic City. When asked to pose for a picture with members of
the the Chestnut Hill College tennis team, Monica directed us to
a secluded spot, posed for several photos, signed hats, posters
and other sports paraphernalia and thanked us. It is no wonder
that she is the most beloved woman in tennis.
SUSAN M. BEAUSANG, Flourtown, Pa.


I'd like to add my affirmation to your SCORECARD Wish List item
in the Sept. 7 issue. I've loved Little League baseball since I
played it almost 25 years ago. But this year I had to switch off
the telecast after being subjected to the interminable vision of
pitcher Jeff Duda burying his face in sorrow after having given
up the game-winning hit in the international championship game
between the Japanese team and the kids from Langley, B.C. Why
can't ESPN and ABC focus more on the thrill of the victors than
on the agony of the little children who lose?
CHRIS PERRY, Piscataway, N.J.


It was refreshing to read the article by Michael Bamberger on the
Marlins and the Reds (Diehards, Sept. 7). Too often we learn
about the trials and tribulations of players. It's nice to read
about the spectators for a change: who they are and what drives
them to travel hundreds of miles to see two last-place teams
play. Such fans are the reason players have athletic careers at
the salaries they have come to expect.

I care only a little about the Reds and less about the Marlins,
but I loved Diehards.
JIM DAY, Lethbridge, Alberta

Any sportscaster who refers to a late season game between
cellar-dwelling teams as meaningless should read this and rethink
his script.

I went to Reds games with my father. The greatest thrill was
toward the end of the game. We'd run to take front-row seats
from departing fans. Thanks for bringing back the memories.
MATT MCGRAW, Wilmington, N.C.

COLOR PHOTO: TONY TRIOLO [Johnny Bench batting in game]


You were mistaken in saying that Todd Hundley set the major
league home run record for catchers with 41 in 1996 (Inside
Baseball, Sept. 7). My Johnny Bench baseball card says
otherwise. In '70 Bench hit 45 homers.
KENT DAVIS, Long Beach, Calif.
--In 1970 Bench hit seven home runs during games in which he was
not catching. --ED.