Nothing can take away from the history, pageantry and charisma of the Brickyard. Years from now Eddie Cheever's likeness will remain on the Borg-Warner trophy for all to see. No one will remember Alex Zanardi's irrelevant CART victory at St. Louis.
GARY GRAY, St. Louis
The Braves' Biggest Trading Blunder
Your story brought to mind the trade that in my view cost the Braves a dynasty. Before the 1954 season they dealt Johnny Antonelli, a first-rate starter, for Bobby Thomson of Coogan's Bluff and Ralph Branca fame. Thomson broke his ankle in spring training, leading the Braves to bring up a kid named Henry Aaron, who would hang around for a while. Antonelli, meanwhile, anchored the '54 world champion Giants' staff and pitched well for a number of years. If the Braves had kept Antonelli with Warren Spahn, Lew Burdette and Bob Buhl (and, oh well, Gene Conley), they would have won the two more games they needed to beat the Dodgers for the National League pennant in '56, would have won one more from the Bombers to prevail in the '58 World Series and would have avoided the playoff that they lost to Los Angeles in '59. In terms of its impact on the teams, the Thomson-Antonelli crime ranks with Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas and Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio.
DAVID B. KANIN, Rockville, Md.