I guarantee what Jeff experienced at Yankee Stadium will forever overshadow what he missed in history class.
ANDRES CORREAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.
Michael Farber's POINT AFTER regarding the use of instant replay in baseball was right on target. When a 12-year-old boy plays hooky from school, catches a ball in an area adjacent to fair territory where fans are not supposed to intrude and with his action, alters the outcome of a playoff game because the umpires are not allowed to use TV replays, it is time for a change.
THOMAS STIGGER, Louisville
It is often said that baseball is too traditional to change. However, since sports is one place where fair play is expected, changes like the use of instant replay, which improves the fairness of the game, should be not only allowed but also encouraged.
MARSHALL PLAUT, Baltimore
Instant replay is not the remedy to Maier-itis. What makes baseball great is human error, be it seven out of every 10 times at the plate for a Hall of Fame batter or once every dozen or so calls for umpires. Baseball in this way reflects real life better than any other sport.
TOM ROCK, Levittown, N.Y.
Hockey has found a good use for instant replay in deciding if a puck actually crosses the goal line, and it could be used in baseball for deciding if a ball was indeed fair or foul, but for fan interference I believe it would serve no purpose. In the case of Jeff Maier, how will we ever know if Tony Tarasco would have caught Derek Jeter's long fly ball? Many an outfielder has dropped what appeared to be a routine out.
AARON KEEPING, San Diego
Baseball should be looking for ways to shorten the game, not lengthen it by reviewing close calls. In addition baseball purists, of which I am one, are fed up with the tampering of America's Pastime.
KEVIN L. SMITH, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Against All Odds
Special thanks to Leigh Montville and photographer Bob Martin for their look into the life of 1996 Olympic marathon champion Josia Thugwane (Run for Your Life, Oct. 21). Thugwane's journey from poverty to Olympic glory is all the more inspiring given that he made it on sheer determination, street sense and an education consisting of life on the veld and Ndebele tribal customs.
JOHN M. LACSON, Austin
Reading of the difficulties and dangers experienced by Thugwane in simply running makes me realize how much we take for granted. That he was able to get to Atlanta was quite an achievement; that he was able to win against such a high-quality field was remarkable.
GEORGE MOSCHIS, Woomera, South Australia
To me, as a South African-American and a sports fan, the most recent meaningful event involving South Africa took place in the U.S., on the last day of the Atlanta Olympics. As Josia Thugwane received his marathon gold medal, I was moved to see the flag of a new country raised in victory. Both national anthems were sung, representing the new South Africa under the pragmatic leadership of Nelson Mandela.
SHANE RAHMANI, Springfield, N.J.
Your story about the struggles of the Nets' Jayson Williams left a lasting impression on me (So Young, So Old, Oct. 14). It is astonishing that after all he has endured, he has maintained his strength and determination to succeed. Moreover, he shows his deep love for his family by making it his top priority—a diminishing value among today's celebrities. Before I read your story, I barely knew who Jayson Williams was. Now he has made me one of his fans.
JOSEPH BIEGEL, Montvale, N.J.