This is an indignant reply to Bill Brooks's indignant, self-moralizing letter concerning the Seton Hall point-shaving scandal (19TH HOLE, April 7).
Did he read the entire article? The black players repeatedly refused the gamblers' point-shaving offers until the name-calling incident occurred. Obviously, the use of the word "nigger" strikes no sensitive nerve in Brooks.
Brooks's letter confirms my lifelong hypothesis that casual racial remarks are regarded as evil only by the victims—or perhaps the former Seton Hall tri-captain refuses to speak out against such remarks for fear of being considered a do-gooder.
Then again, maybe I'm being too hard on Brooks. In a society in which a team in our nation's capital is called the Redskins, I doubt if Brooks even stands a Chinaman's chance of realizing the amount of casual racial language that has found its way into the American vernacular.
I am replying to a letter (19TH HOLE, March 24) from my neighbor in Kansas City, Jack Meyers, who pointed out that Bret Saberhagen is about to receive $925,000 for the season, more than all the major league players combined received in 1911.
Such comparisons are amusing but fail to take into consideration two important points: inflation and productivity. Concerning the former, by using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (for which 1967 serves as the base year), we discover that $925,000 now was worth about $85,000 then.
Still, no one received $85,000 in those days; indeed it is probable that few received one-tenth of that amount. But we must also consider productivity. Baseball players are production workers in the entertainment business. How many people were entertained then as compared with now?
With the advent of larger playing facilities, radio, television, videotape machines, etc., it is clear that the number of persons Saberhagen can entertain is vastly higher than the number entertained by his counterpart of 75 years ago. My hunch is that, compared with the salaries of the old days, Saberhagen might be a bargain.
JAMES L. WARNER
Shawnee Mission, Kans.
ONE ARM DAILY
In capsulizing the plot of the ABC made-for-TV film A Winner Never Quits—The Pete Gray Story (FIRST PERSON, March 31), Armen Keteyian refers to Gray as "the only one-armed ballplayer to reach the majors." Taking nothing away from Gray's achievement, there has been at least one other one-armed player in the majors. Hugh Daily played in the National League for four years from 1882 until 1886. He was known as One Arm Daily; in fact, league statistics of his day list him as O. Daily rather than H. Daily. In 1884, while playing in the short-lived Union League, he pitched 500 innings and had 483 strikeouts—not a bad record for a one-armed man in any league.
?That's right. However, according to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Daily should have been called One Hand, instead of One Arm. His amputation—the result of a gun accident—occurred at the left wrist.—ED.