His goal-oriented lifestyle, reverence for his family, and demeanor make Emmitt Smith a role model.
DAVID TURNER, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.
Thank you for the article on Emmitt Smith, who is a true role model on and off the field (Emmitt Unplugged, July 1). He is a breath of fresh air with his dedication to his faith, family and work ethic.
PETE DAL BELLO, Santa Barbara, Calif.
I have been a coach-educator for 15 years and have seen my young athletes idolize various players. I am going to cut out Smith's list of goals and put it up on my office wall for my students to see. Keep on shining, Emmitt. The young people of America are watching.
Thanks for a wonderful story.
ED LOZANO, Grand Prairie, Texas
Now there's a swimsuit cover that I can appreciate!
Little Neck, N.Y
I don't know which is more tasteless about your article, the content, devoted mostly to Smith's talking about how good he is, or the tone, a genuflecting adulation of Smith. How revealing it is that of all the goals Smith listed, every one was an individual statistic or accomplishment. Let's see some articles on real role models, not self-consumed megastars committed to topping Michael Jordan in endorsement money as a primary ambition.
MICHEL DI CAPUA
I read with interest your article on baseball's Triple Crown (Triple Threats, July 1). It is interesting to note that in his Triple Crown season of 1956, when he batted .353 with 52 homers and 130 RBIs for the New York Yankees, Mickey Mantle led both leagues in all three categories. The Triple Crown is rare enough, having been achieved only 14 times, but the major league Triple Crown is even rarer. Its winners have been Ty Cobb, with the Detroit Tigers in 1909, Rogers Hornsby ( St. Louis Cardinals in '25), Lou Gehrig ( Yankees in '34), Ted Williams ( Boston Red Sox in '42) and Mantle.
GEORGE PATERSON JR., Monmouth Beach, N.J.
In your discussion of near-miss Triple Crown seasons, you omitted a big one. In 1948 Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals led the National League in batting (.376) and RBIs (131), as well as on-base average (.450). He came within one home run of tying Ralph Kiner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Johnny Mize of the New York Giants for the league lead (40)—and he had one homer rained out. But that's not all. Musial also led the major leagues that year in slugging average (.702), hits (230), runs (135), doubles (46) and triples (18)! That rained-out home run kept Musial not only from the Triple Crown but also from the first clean sweep of all the important hitting categories since Tip O'Neill (no, not the congressman) did it for the St. Louis Browns in 1887.
MICHAEL FERRY, St. Louis
My view is that Ted Williams was robbed of a third Triple Crown in 1949 when he won the home run and RBI titles but was deemed to have finished second in batting (.3427 to Detroit Tiger George Kell's .3429). Because batting averages are listed only to three decimals, a difference of .0002 is surely de minimis and loses any real significance in the context of recordkeeping.
Your article does not mention that when Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox won the Triple Crown in 1967, he actually tied with Harmon Killebrew of the Minnesota Twins for home runs, at 44. I do not object to this. I liked Yaz, and I'm glad that he got the crown. But measured by the same standard, Williams should have won it again in '49.
ARTHUR D. WALSH, Minneapolis