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Dusty's Fan Club
Growing up a sports fan in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and early '80s, a kid had many choices for a favorite athlete: Magic Johnson, who was flashy and creative; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was stoic and dominant; and Steve Garvey, who appeared to be the perfect all-American. Mine was Dusty Baker, though I could never figure out why. Thank you for the explanation.
As a 50-year-old male growing up in the same era as Dusty, my idol was Martin Luther King Jr. I do believe that the night Mr. King had his dream, the person he was dreaming of was Dusty Baker. Baker is living the American Dream.
I've been fairly successful in life because my dad taught me a valuable lesson: Follow your dream, just don't pick a knuckleheaded dream. A grown man taking up a woman's sport—and it's not even so much a sport as a performance art—falls into the knucklehead category.
My heart bleeds for Bill May. As a pre-Title IX female, it's easy to empathize with him for being excluded from the thing he does best and wants to do most. Maybe someday the sports world will stop spinning out of balance, and another deserving white male athlete will be allowed to rise from the ranks of the oppressed. Dare William May dream? Maybe someday he'll be on the cover of SI's swimsuit issue.
It's about time that you gave some much overdue exposure to the great American pastime of synchronized swimming. I eagerly await the next issue's article on same-sex ballroom dancing, another great American pastime.
Profile in Courage