HERNANDEZ'S HARD TIMES
William Nack's profile of Keith Hernandez (He's Still Not Home Free, Oct. 13) was one of the most poignant pieces ever to appear in your magazine. I have been an avid fan of Hernandez's since he entered the majors and, like many others, was puzzled when I discovered that this brilliant athlete had become a victim of drugs.
Now, after learning more about him, I am an even bigger fan of Hernandez's, if that is possible. The courage it took for him to bare his soul in the manner portrayed is remarkable and should constitute evidence for him that he is indeed not only a great athlete but also a super human being. God bless you, Keith. You will surely find your way to contentment.
SPENCER H. HOLLAND
I hope that the many readers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED who are fathers of young athletes—boys or girls—will take the time to read and really think about Nack's revealing portrait of Hernandez.
Sports analyses rarely cause us to reflect so deeply on the dark side of the competitiveness of a professional athlete's life. Many children will benefit if fathers can see a little bit of John Hernandez in themselves as they push their offspring to win in athletics.
WILLIS K. HARTE
It appears to me that your writer sensationalized a little crybabying into an 11-page article that can only serve to create a wider breach between a loving father and his two sons. I don't blame John Hernandez for declining to have his photo included with such an article.
I know a lot of guys, including myself, who lost their fathers early in life, and a lot of other guys who hungered for attention from their fathers. They would tell Keith to start counting his blessings.
It seems to get tougher every year for athletes to play the man while playing sports.
J.G. BRADDOCK SR.
Thank you. I had developed a prejudice against all baseball players who are or were involved with drugs. Your insightful story helped me to understand how it can happen. I'm glad Hernandez was able to beat the problem on his own.
JANICE A. PARR
William Taaffe's article on USA Today (The Sports Fan's Daily Spread, Oct. 6) described the paper perfectly.
This past summer I backpacked through Europe with two fellow sports fanatics. We hoped to come across The New York Times occasionally, but we didn't see it once. What we got was USA Today in every town we visited. Every day, Tuesday through Saturday ( USA Today's five-day week abroad)—with rare exceptions when the paper was sold out—we studied the sports section. We looked forward to Yankee box scores, football, basketball and hockey news, but we loved those stats. We memorized them and got funny looks while doing so. We read in trains, buses and even at the Vatican.