One can only imagine what other numbers, including additional Triple Crowns, Ted Williams would have amassed had his baseball career not been interrupted by five years in the Marine Corps.
ROBERT J. SCARRY, Moravia, N.Y.
Long before Ted Williams, Ty Cobb owned the patent on near Triple Crowns. Between 1907 and '11 Cobb won the award once and missed it three other times by a total of nine home runs. During this extraordinary run, the Georgia Peach put together the most impressive statistical offensive season ever. In '11 Cobb led the league in batting average, RBIs, hits, runs, doubles, triples, stolen bases and slugging percentage. His only shortfall was his missing the home run title by three homers.
SAM FINLEY, Greenville, S.C.
The "Two Outta Three Ain't Bad" list in Tom Verducci's article included one of baseball's least known sluggers, Clifford Carlton Cravath, but Cravath's nickname was misspelled. It was actually Gavy, but sportswriters added the extra v to help with pronunciation. Gavvy rhymes with savvy. It is not uncommon for modern sportswriters to think his name was Gabby.
I have been campaigning for years to get Gavvy Cravath into the Hall of Fame. He is the answer to a great trivia question: Whose career home run record did Babe Ruth break?
BILL SWANK, San Diego
You left out Eddie Murray, then with the Baltimore Orioles, as one of those who won two thirds of a Triple Crown. In 1981 Murray led the American League in RBIs with 78 and tied for the home run lead, with three other players, with 22 dingers.
DAVE BLANCHARD, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
The main reason the frequency of Triple Crown winners has decreased in recent decades is that league expansion has increased the number of players competing for these titles. Just as an individual's chance of being the tallest, fastest and smartest person within a small group is greater than it would be in a large group, the likelihood of a player's leading a league in multiple statistical categories was much higher in the eight-team-league era than it is with today's 14-team leagues.
JERRY ROBBINS, Alameda, Calif.
To hear the media tell it, the biggest surprise of the Olympic track and field trials was not that Michael Johnson broke the world record in the 200 meters or that Gwen Torrence did not make the team in the 200, but that it was hot in Atlanta (Hot Stuff, July 1). For all the heat, more people attended the Atlanta trials than those held in Los Angeles in 1984 and in New Orleans in '92, where the media must have been astounded at the heat and humidity.
JACKIE WILLEY, Marietta, Ga.
Your article on Seattle Mariners shortstop Alex Rodriguez (The Fairest of Them All, July 8) not only depicted him as an all-around great guy but also gave me hope that our national pastime (the way the game used to be) is not dead. I hope his dedication and loyalty to his sport and to his team will be like those of Cal Ripken and Alan Trammell, two class acts this fan will hate to see retire.
STEVE CYNCEWICZ, Dearborn, Mich.
I concede that Alex Rodriguez is an outstanding player—in the mediocre collection that makes up today's baseball rosters. I take with a large grain of salt, however, any of today's statistics because the talent pool is so diluted. Soon major league baseball will expand again and, after that, once more, until we have 32 teams.
To compare Rodriguez with Rogers Hornsby, Al Kaline, Mel Ott or Ted Williams is absurd. With the quality of pitching today, Williams would hit .600, drive in 250 runs and hit 75 homers. Hornsby (my god, man, look at the records!) would hit 70 homers, and Kaline would hit at least .500.
BILL HUGGINS, La Habra, Calif.