Where did you get the idea that Connie Mack and Burt Shotton "are the only skippers ever to work in civvies" (SCORECARD, May 13)? There were at least a dozen others in the 20th century, including Hall of Famers Frank Selee, Ned Han-Ion and Ed Barrow, who managed the Red Sox in a suit as late as 1920. George Stallings of the 1914 "Miracle" Boston Braves wore street clothes too. The clothing issue was once straightforward. Player-managers wore uniforms; non-playing managers didn't. The change was probably hastened by skippers like John McGraw, who continued to make token appearances in exhibition games long after their formal retirements as players.
KEITH OLBERMANN, New York City
Saving the Land
I just finished E.M. Swift's article on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Pipeline Dreams, May 13). I have one question for any proponent of drilling: Is nothing sacred anymore? Why protect land as a wildlife refuge if years later that distinction can be reversed and pristine land can be forever destroyed? What's next? Tract housing developments in Yellowstone National Park? The author is dead-on when he describes America as a gluttonous, wasteful society, which I am reminded of by every housewife driving a gas-guzzling SUV to the supermarket.
DAVID WASILESKI, Auburn, N.Y.
In the future, please limit your reflections on frozen tundra to football games in Green Bay.
GARY DUFF, Granite City, Ill.
One way to protect and increase the Porcupine caribou herd would be to prohibit the noble Gwich'in Indians from killing pregnant females. The "people of the caribou" are all for protecting the herd in ways that inconvenience others, but refuse to make any sacrifices themselves.
TERRY GRINER, Spokane
Steve Rushin (AIR AND SPACE, May 13) not only brought back memories of smelling and tasting the bubble gum inside the pack of cards, but he also reminded me of hearing the cards rattling in the spokes of our bicycles—attached with Mom's trusty clothespins—as my friends and I rode around the neighborhood.
GARY WIMMER, Souderton, Pa.
When I was 11, I purchased my first packet of Topps baseball cards. In 1997, a year before he died, my dad invited me to go through boxes and closets to see if there were any childhood things I might want to keep. Amazingly, I found one of my original five cards. My dad had saved Tom Seaver's rookie card for me. In perfect condition, there it was, 30 years later. It's the best five-cent investment I've ever made. At 45 I am a collector of sports memorabilia as a hobby, but that card, now worth about $500, isn't for sale. Thanks, Dad.
CHRISTIAN HURLEY, Baltimore
Tales of Hoffman
Thanks for your article on Trevor Hoffman (Case Closed, May 13). As a Padres season-ticket holder I deeply appreciate how you have made the nation aware of Hoffman's skills. When I go on trips and talk baseball, I often call Hoffman the greatest closer of all time. Unfortunately, almost everywhere I go, people respond by asking me who he is. Now you have shown everyone Trevor's magnificence.
KYLE GLASER, San Diego
I was fortunate to work with Ed Hoffman, Trevor's father, at the post office. It was obvious from the way he talked about his boys that he was very proud of them as they were growing up. Trevor thinks of his dad when he hears the national anthem before each game, and when I see Trevor or Glenn on a baseball diamond, I too think of Ed and how proud he would be.
ROD PORTILLO Garden Grove, Calif.
In the past six years the Yankees have won 10 playoff series and four World Series, due in no small part to Mariano Rivera's dominance. His fastball is commonly recognized as the most devastating pitch in baseball, and his regular-season stats are comparable to Hoffman's—despite having to face the DH on a regular, not part-time, basis. However, when you consider postseason records, there is no comparison: Rivera is 6-1 with an 0.91 ERA and a record 24 saves in 52 appearances. Hoffman is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.09 and three saves in 10 appearances.
RICK BUETI, Chappaqua, N.Y.
Santo the Survivor
I commend Rick Reilly for his touching tribute to Ron Santo (THE LIFE OF REILLY, May 13), a hero to every young diabetic who has even a remote interest in playing sports. There is no way for diabetics or our families to properly thank Santo for the example he sets other than to live our lives to the fullest of our abilities.
TY YOUNG, Tucson