DOWN ON THE FARM
In INSIDE BASEBALL (May 25) you stated, "The Dodgers' farm system is so bad the best player they could recall from Albuquerque to replace Mike Marshall was Ralph Bryant, who was hitting .202."
The Dodgers have since called up Jeff Hamilton (who was hitting .381). Furthermore, on June 20, that "bad" farm team won the Pacific Coast League's first-half pennant by five games.
JEFFREY L. SHOULTA
The SCORECARD item "Blast from the Past" (June 15) reminded me of an article I read a few years ago. William T. Foster wrote, "The most obvious fact is that our system of intercollegiate athletics, after unbounded opportunity to show what it can do for the health, recreation and character of all our students, has proved a failure." He also said, "Only childlike innocence or willful blindness need prevent American colleges from seeing that the rules which aim to maintain athletics on what is called an 'amateur' basis, by forbidding players to receive pay in money, are worse than useless because, while failing to prevent men from playing for pay, they breed deceit and hyprocrisy."
While it sounds as though this article could have been written last week or last year, it was presented in the November 1915 issue of The Atlantic Monthly.
Some things never seem to change.
I took special interest in the May 18 FROM THE PUBLISHER, wherein you cited Don Mattingly and Payne Stewart as perhaps the two most athletically prominent FACES IN THE CROWD to have been featured in the same week (July 16, 1979). I had the privilege of becoming a FACE (March 27, 1967) as a nine-year-old gymnast. Obviously I never went on to become Sportsman of the Year. However, I did continue with the sport, winning the all-around and floor-exercise titles as a high school senior in the 1975 California Interscholastic Federation southern section finals and receiving the 1975-76 Olivers Club Outstanding Athlete award for Japanese American athletes. My college career was not as illustrious as my earlier one, but I competed in gymnastics at the University of California and "retired" in 1980.
Since then, I hope I have gone on "to bigger and better things," as you put it. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa in bioresource science at Cal, I completed my master's degree in forest science at Oregon State, where I am now in the Ph.D. program in that subject. My love of sports is never-ending, and I list cycling (right), swimming, Nordic skiing and triathlons as my current athletic hobbies.
STEVEN K. OMI
Steven Omi, 9, of Berkeley, Calif., who swims, plays baseball and recently took up gymnastics, won the overall title in his division at the Northern California Gymnastics Championships in Sacramento by scoring an unprecedented sweep of all eight events.