While they won't admit it publicly, most fans simply don't find it enjoyable to watch women play team sports.
RODNEY V. BENNETT, COLUMBUS, OHIO
The League of Their Own
Steve Lopez is right that women in the American Basketball League are playing the game the way it should be played, with constant motion on offense, rather than perfecting the 360-degree jam as is done in the NBA (Quest for Fans, Jan. 20). Concerning the point made in the article that the Women's NBA will be more successful than the ABL because the WNBA is backed financially by the NBA: I hope both women's leagues not only succeed but also eventually merge, the way the ABA and the NBA did in 1976.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT, Bemus Point, N.Y.
If Columbus is too busy for the Quest, send the team to Baltimore. We already know that the city is receptive to taking in former Ohio residents.
SONIA G. LEWIS, Burtonsville, Md.
I am one of the many basketball fans in Seattle who has become a rabid Reign fan. I can see intense, fast-paced basketball played by athletes who are thrilled to be here and who give their all each time out for a lot less than what it costs to get a good seat for a Sonics' game. I can live without the slam dunks. I'd rather watch good defense, accurate free throws, fast breaks and players who don't spend their time sulking because someone else on the team is earning more money.
MIMI HUNT, Seattle
It should come as no surprise that the women's pro basketball league is having a tough time finding fans. What attracts spectators to a sport is the fact that the athletes playing it can do things that the average person cannot. The women in the ABL are generally only around six feet tall, and they play the game below the rim at a snail's pace compared with the men's college and pro games. Why would the average fan pay to see something he can do himself?
GREG JOHNSON, Lenexa, Kans.
Hall of Fame
How can SI suggest with a straight face that Sadaharu Oh of the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo might be a worthy candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame (SCORECARD, Jan. 13)? This is the same individual who, as the manager of the Yomiuri Giants, ordered his pitchers to throw nothing but balls (or, at the very least, looked the other way as they did so) to Randy Bass. At the time Bass, a former U.S. major leaguer with a career total of nine home runs, was threatening to eclipse Oh's Japanese League single-season home run record of 55.
In the final game of the 1985 season, Bass, playing for the Hanshin Tigers, was one home run short of tying Oh's mark. He came to bat five times, was walked four times and lunged at an outside pitch for a single the other time.
GLENN HOLCOMBE, Appleton, Wis.
I can think of an omission from Cooperstown that may be an even greater injustice: former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski. The highlight of Maz's illustrious career was his bottom-of-the-ninth home run in the seventh game to win the 1960 Series.
CORY DOBROWOLSKY, Duncansville, Pa.
If you want to start a campaign to put someone in the Hall of Fame, try urging the election of the greatest hitter of all time, Pete Rose.
JAMES FORRESTAL, Cranford, NJ.
I was disappointed in the way you marked Miguel Indurain's retirement from cycling (SCORECARD, Jan. 13). You bore us with seemingly endless articles about whiny, spoiled superstars, but when a true world champion in a universally contested sport leaves the arena, he is given short shrift. You deprived us of an inspiring story about an athlete who accomplished something no other man has ever done: win five straight Tours de France.
ALFRED J. PAUL, Chicago