SI Vault
November 24, 1997
The Marlins succeeded because they attracted talent, and while they were at it, they built a roster reflecting the makeup of the city they play in.ALAN MIRZA, KENTWOOD, MICH.
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November 24, 1997


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The Marlins succeeded because they attracted talent, and while they were at it, they built a roster reflecting the makeup of the city they play in.

World Series
I disagree that the World Series was lackluster (Happy Ending, Nov. 3). Snow flurries, a record number of walks, 81 runs and crucial errors made the Series so unpredictable that you couldn't help but watch to see how it was going to sort itself out.

This was the first Series in many years during which I watched each game with interest. Neither team was my favorite, but I rooted and cried for both of them. Drama? Probably not. But fans got to see seven games full of everything that makes baseball what it is: superb plays, boneheaded baserunning, bunts, missed signs, monster hits, 0 for 5, a seven-run lead nearly lost in the bottom of the ninth, etc.
DOUG HAYS, Dimmitt, Texas

My thanks to S.L. Price for his article about front-running Miami fans (High Standards, Oct. 27). I found it sickening to hear the Marlins thank their fans and dedicate their championship to them. It made me wonder if the Marlins had noticed that they had as many folks in the stands in mid-September as the Carolina Hurricanes did in mid-October.

I was struck by the complaint by Don Ohlmeyer, president of NBC West Coast, that an extended World Series would be a ratings disaster for NBC (POINT AFTER, Oct. 27). Has it occurred to the networks that a return to daytime postseason games would obviate the dreaded preemption of Seinfeld et al.? Sure, day games might not bring in the big advertising bucks, but for a sport that needs to polish its image and broaden its appeal to young fans, a return to daytime play is worth considering.
BRIAN DONOHUE, Brunswick, N. Y.

Dean Smith Retires
At North Carolina, Dean Smith had 879 victories, 33 straight top-three ACC finishes, 27 consecutive 20-win seasons and 23 NCAA tournament appearances in a row, yet his most impressive accomplishments are not quantifiable (Dean Emeritus, Oct. 20). He has been a first-rate educator for his players and for the Chapel Hill community. As a former high school teacher and coach, I can't imagine a better advocate for students.

Smith gave more to college basketball than any other coach. For 36 years he demonstrated that a big-time college basketball program can win while maintaining academic integrity.

I would have thought that the retirement of the man who broke Adolph Rupp's record for wins, not to mention everything else Smith did for college basketball, would have beaten out a midseason college football game for the cover.
CHRIS ALSTON, Petersburgh, N.Y.

The NBA's Future
The David Stern years have brought the NBA back from near extinction and turned it into a thriving marketing empire, but, as Leigh Montville's POINT AFTER (Oct. 13) states, this success is now being threatened by the Monopoly money being given to third-year players like Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves. This trend will soon send the league into financial ruin because small-market owners will be unable to compete for high-priced young talent. As many times as I have heard Stern's name in the same sentence with the words genius and savior, I find it hard to believe that he cannot see that the NBA's future looks bleak.

Dean's List (Cont.)
Your effort to list all the Dean Smith-coached players who went on to the pros was admirable (CONTENTS, Oct. 20), but you had two omissions. You included five alums who played only in the ABA but left out Steve Previs and Don Washington. Previs (above left), a letterman at North Carolina from 1969-70 to 1971-72, played 30 games for the ABA's Carolina Cougars in 1972-73. Washington (right), who lettered for Smith in 1972-73, played 56 games in the ABA with the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Stars in 1974-75 and 1975-76. That means that 49 of Smith's players, not 47, went on to the pros.