Although BryceHarper's potential is exciting, I can't help but feel concern about his beingrobbed of his youth. Even LeBron got to finish high school. Adulthood will comesoon enough for Bryce, and it will last much longer than his shortenedchildhood.
Chuck Chubbuck, Stow, Ohio
I have no doubtBryce Harper may be the greatest prospect of his generation (Baseball's LeBron,June 8), but your story left this Little League coach with an empty feeling.Nowhere was there mention of Harper's relationship with his Las Vegas Highteammates; in fact, there was very little in the article that led one tobelieve he has ever experienced the joy of being a member of a team. HisWildcats may have won a game by a score of 31--1 this season, but they finisheda pedestrian 27--12 and didn't make it to the state tournament. I would arguethat Harper has work left to do at the high school level.
Alan McKay, Reno
Consider thispassage: "He hits for power to all fields.... He's an instinctive defenderwith a phenomenal arm and a smooth, quick stride that helps him cover thealleys with ease.... 'Can you imagine someone so good at so much that he couldbe a lefthander throwing 96 miles per hour—and not be wanted as a pitcher? ...He's better at this game than anyone else I've seen in high school orcollege.'" It comes not from your Harper cover story but from the SIVAULT—specifically, your May 17, 1999, story on a young kid named Josh Hamiltonwho made it big but not without some severe impediments along the way. Acautionary tale for Harper, perhaps?
Jeff Cobb, Katy, Texas
I stopped readingTom Verducci's story on Harper when I reached the words "Scott Boras."Why does a kid who wears a Bible citation on his wrist tape have as an adviserthe devil incarnate of MLB? One word: money.
North Providence, R.I.
I have threesons, all of whom are baseball players. I showed them the picture of MarkMiller, pitcher for the College of Wooster, leaving the field after losing theNCAA Division III championship game to the University of St. Thomas (LEADINGOFF, June 8). We were all struck by the dignity Miller displayed while walkingoff the field, glove in hand and head held high. While St. Thomas may bechampion, Mark was a winner too.
Newtown Square, Pa.
Rock the Vote
Dan Patricksuggests using All-Star fan voting for Manny Ramirez as a referendum on howmuch people care about performance-enhancing drugs (JUST MY TYPE, June 8). Whatwe need is a referendum on fan voting itself. For example, who needs anotherInternet campaign on behalf of some local second-rate player? Give theselection of All-Star starters to the players and the press. That way real fanswill get real All-Stars.
Farmington Hills, Mich.
Pujols & Co.Criteria
In noting thatAlbert Pujols joined an exclusive group of players who had .330 career battingaverages at the time they hit their 300th home runs (INSIDE BASEBALL, June 8),you omitted these Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Hornsby, BabeRuth and Al Simmons.
River Forest, Ill.
EDITOR'S NOTE:Because of an editing error, the parameters should also have included thelimitation that the hitters had fewer than 500 strikeouts—in which case theoriginal grouping (Pujols, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial) would havebeen correct.
Phil Taylor'sstory about former Olympic basketball player Robert Jeangerard (POINT AFTER,June 8) touched my heart. My father died with Alzheimer's, and as the diseaseprogressed we all heard the stories over and over about his American Legionbaseball team and his Michigan Tech basketball and track accomplishments. Thosestories seemed to be the only thing he could remember.
Susan Guy, Kalkaska, Mich.
Incidents likeJeangerard's wandering off may be dealt with more easily in the very nearfuture. GTX, a technology company, and Aetrex Worldwide, a footwear company,have announced plans for shoes containing a GPS chip that will allow familymembers or safety personnel to locate anyone wearing the shoes through onlinetracking software. The technology additionally includes "geo-fence"capabilities, triggering an automatic alert if the individual crosses a setperimeter around his home or neighborhood. I'm the director of George Mason'sprogram in assisted living/senior housing administration, and I served as anadviser in the development of this product.
Andrew Carle, Fairfax, Va.
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ROBERT BECK (COVER)