Jack McCallum's story about major league pinch hitters (Waiting Game, June 25) brought back memories of my attending games at Ebbets Field during the 1930s. In '32 Johnny Frederick (above) of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit six pinch-hit home runs, eclipsing a season record that had lasted 19 years. It is also interesting to note that Frederick in 1929 established a rookie record of 52 doubles, which still stands.
HERM BRUNOTTE, Town of Tonawanda, N.Y.
Put an asterisk next to the L.A. Lakers' last two titles (Double Dip, June 25). At the bottom of the page it should have read, " Shaquille O'Neal was permitted to use his bulk to knock his opponents off their legal defensive positions, resulting in many easy shots." To his credit, O'Neal is developing some legal low-post moves. If he continues and the Lakers dominate again, I'll consider them one of the greatest teams ever. Until then, no way!
ADRIAN GRIFFIN, Hobe Sound, Fla.
Shaq rarely makes a move in traffic without committing an offensive foul, and he takes more steps than Allen Iverson. As for his influence on the game, it's hard to imagine kids on playgrounds exclaiming, "I want to play like Shaq!"
MICK ANDREWS, Winter Park, Fla.
Allowing a player to shove another player in the face and to dunk over him is not basketball; it's thuggery and one reason the NBA has lost fans, including me.
J.D. EVANS, Richland, Wash.
Heads, I win. Tails, you lose. SI said at the end of the NBA's regular season that Phil Jackson deserved the blame for the dysfunction of the underperforming Lakers (INSIDE THE NBA, April 23). Then his team waltzes through the playoffs practicing Phil Jackson defense, using role players beautifully, and you don't mention his name.
LEON HOWELL, Silver Spring, Md.
Good Handle, Serious Hops
Alexander Wolff's article about scouting for the NBA was one of the best things I have seen in your magazine in ages (Your Lyin' Eyes, June 25). He got inside the games and helped regular fans understand things we couldn't see on our own.
JOE BAUER, Middleton, Wis.
Wolff's report on NBA scouting made my week. While Jason Hart led Syracuse's offense, for four years I drove my family and other Orange fans nuts raving about Jason's defensive play. It was like watching a training video on how to play defense. The comments by NBA scout "Finch" on Jason proved me right. Now I can shut up!
ROB SCHOFFEL, Trumansburg, N.Y.
Great job by George Dohrmann on the football camps (Sweat Shopping, June 25). As a participant in several of these camps, including last year's UCLA camp and this year's camp at USC, I've seen what he described. The studs are chatted up by coaches during warmups and given individual instruction, while participants who go to the camps to improve themselves are often ignored or, at best, given cursory tips. Campers are not treated equally, and anyone who says they are is wrong.
PAUL ESCOBAR, Burbank, Calif.
If the NCAA stipulates that schools cannot use camps to evaluate or recruit players under consideration for scholarships, and if Steve Mallonee, the NCAA's director of membership services, is correct in saying, "The intent of the camps should be purely instructional," then institute a rule stating that schools are not allowed to offer a scholarship to anyone attending their camps. Voil�! The problem disappears, along with the hypocrisy.
JOHN LARKIN, Chicago
Your "Sport? Not a Sport?" feature never fails to make me laugh (SCORECARD, June 25). I don't know or care if mountain climbing is a "sport," and whether it is sane is debatable. But I do know that Brewers reliever David Weathers's suggestion that people like Conrad Anker, Alex Lowe and Reinhold Messner aren't athletes is silly. If these guys (Anker is an amazing skier; the late Lowe could do more pull-ups one-armed than most people will ever do with two) don't qualify as athletes, where does that leave baseball players?
KYLE C. THOMPSON, Provo, Utah