Gwynn is one of a handful of millionaire athletes who seem underpaid for what they bring to a city and a sport.
JAMES HENNESSY, SAN DIEGO
San Diego's Tony Gwynn is indeed "the best hitter since Ted Williams" (Bat Man, July 28). Maybe one day Little Leaguers will pattern their game after his line-drive, spray-hitting style in place of the low-average, frequent-strikeout style of power hitters. Gwynn's off-the-field activities and clean image make him the West Coast's ambassador of baseball.
JOSH SMITH, Westminster, Md.
I think we can agree that Tony Gwynn is the best hitter since Ted Williams if we can also agree that hitting a single is as good as hitting a homer.
JACK SELZER, University Park, Pa.
It is not necessary to have the highest batting average to produce the most runs, and baseball's currency is runs, not hits. On-base percentage and slugging percentage measure the "how often" and "how much" far better than batting average. Entering this season, Gwynn was not among the top 10 active players in either category. A more persuasive case for "the best hitter since Ted Williams" can be made for Frank Thomas of the White Sox, who leads all active players in both on-base and slugging percentages.
RICHARD KERN, Dayton
Your article loses all credibility when the method you use to determine great hitters puts Willie Keeler way ahead of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
TED JACKSON, Terre Haute, Ind.
Somewhere in a discussion about home-runs-to-strikeout ratio there should be a mention of Joe DiMaggio, who had more home runs than strikeouts seven times in his career. Had he not played his final year with injuries, he would have ended his career with more homers than strikeouts. As it was, he was only eight over. During his famous 56-game hitting steak, he struck out only seven times.
JOHN O. HERBOLD II
Cal State-Los Angeles
Your "bat control freaks" box listed only Gwynn and the four most recent hitters to have more home runs than strikeouts in a season, but I wish you could have gone farther back in time to include Tommy Holmes of the Boston Braves. In 1945, Holmes led the major leagues with 28 home runs while striking out only nine times in 636 at bats. Incredible!
JERRY H. GREGORY, Annandale, Va.
The proposed league realignment, eliminating 121 years of baseball history and tradition (SCORECARD, July 21), would be the last straw in a long line of crushing blows to baseball fans. My father and I are both Yankees fans. His is the Gehrig and DiMaggio era, and mine is the Munson and Mattingly era. We talk about sharing our appreciation of baseball with my kids, but baseball seems determined to kill my love of the game.
HENRY PIERZ JR., Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.
Here's one fan who is wholeheartedly in favor of the plan to realign baseball into geographical divisions (SCORECARD, July 21). The logic is so obvious it's a wonder baseball owners are even considering it. True, rivalries are not automatically created by realignment, but they would grow. Why not have the fans vote on this idea? Imagine doing something because the fans wanted it.
North Syracuse, N.Y.
The old system has served baseball well for more than 100 years. A new, more geographically logical system could serve baseball well for the next 100 years.