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Original Issue


Barry's Blasts

Even though BarryBonds has gotten to 715, he will never compare to Babe Ruth. A player'sgreatness is not measured solely through statistics--it is also measured by theimpact he has had on the game and the legacy he left behind. What kid grows upwanting to be like Barry Bonds?

Gage Rodriguez,Ashton, La.

It's too bad thatthere wasn't enough room on the cover for a couple hundred more asterisks.

James P. Biggs,Ridley Park, Pa.

Bonds's home runtotals may be inflated by steroids and human growth hormone, but Ruth's mayhave been inflated due to the absence of black players, not to mentionlefthanded relief specialists with knee-buckling sliders (Hard Number, May 15).And who would be the home run king if Willie Mays and Hank Aaron had switchedhome fields?

Andrew McDaniel,Walnut Creek, Calif.

If Bonds had comeclean, he would have been forgiven by now, but it does not excuse the classlessdisplays by pitcher Cory Lidle, who criticized Bonds to the media, or by thefans in my hometown, who derided Bonds in front of his mother.

Tom Mazza,Philadelphia

About half ofthose who've tested positive for steroids are pitchers. Should we consider thatin the course of hitting 700-plus home runs, Bonds probably faced many pitcherswith an extra foot on their fastballs due to performance-enhancing drugs?

Don McMorrow,Newark, Calif.

Men WithoutWomen

Alan Shipnuckmissed an important point in his essay on Hootie Johnson (Scorecard, May 15).Johnson had a rare and special chance to be courageous. He failed. Hishistorically irrelevant accomplishments as chairman of Augusta National pale incomparison with what might have been if he had been man enough to stand up toblatant sexism and discrimination.

Allison Chang, SanRamon, Calif.

Culture Clash

As the daughter ofa Korean mother and an African-American father, I enjoyed Karl Taro Greenfeld'sstory on Hines Ward (The Long Way Home, May 15). The story brought back vividfeelings about the daunting challenges my mother endured both in Korea andafter becoming a U.S. citizen in 1974. I applaud Hines for becoming Uncle Hinesto the biracial children in Korea, but most of all I applaud his mother, KimYoung-He--and my mother--for never giving up and for working their tails off sotheir children could become somebody.

Jan Meyers,Pittsburgh

I have been a bigHines Ward fan since the first time I saw him play. Ward doesn't have theblazing speed of many other receivers, so he must always put in a lot morework, and he uses his skills as a blocker to make an impact when he doesn'thave the ball. As I read of the hardships Ward went through in his childhood, Igained even more respect for the stone-faced Steeler.

ArjunChandrasekhar, Chandler, Ariz.


I was moved bothby the article on Hines Ward and by Rick Reilly's column on Earl Woods (Life ofReilly, May 15). As a father and an Asian-American, I found it interesting tonote the differences in the lives of these two outstanding athletes, both ofwhom have Asian mothers. Tiger seems to be at peace with himself, while Hinesseems bitter and angry. One seems to be fine with being an Asian-American,while the other has only recently found peace with his dual identity. One had afather who was always there for him, but the other didn't. Do fathersmatter?

Ken Tokuno,Kaneohe, Hawaii

Earl Woods willforever be remembered as a black father who did more than stay: He simply andpublicly loved his son.

Sam Tesconi,Healdsburg, Calif.

Wrong Number?

Why not mention the true home run record--believed tobe 962--set by Josh Gibson, who played in the Negro leagues from 1930 through'46 (Laughing on the Outside, June 26, 2000)? Why exclude Gibson again, as hewas back then? This, not Hank Aaron's 755, should be the record everyone ischasing.

Scott Roddy, Oklahoma City

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THE BLACK BABE Gibson never made the majors but got to Cooperstown.