I was disappointed to find no mention of Foul!, the book about Connie Hawkins by David Wolf. For me, Foul! was the ultimate in sports literature, combining the biography of an athlete with the story of a system that not only did nothing to protect him but actually used him for its own ends. Although I am only 22 and never had a chance to see the Hawk soar, his story introduced me to his game, his life and the powerful way in which the sports establishment affected him.
The problem with many of today's sports autobiographies, beginning with Ball Four, is that they break an unspoken yet time-honored tradition among athletes on all levels: The locker room, the team bus and the hotel room were places where players could let down their guard without fear of being exposed. They could be gross, foul, silly, angry, etc., always with the comforting thought that what they did or said there stayed there. Today's sports star authors, with their superficial chatter about teammates and managers, are little better than gossips. And the greater shame is that we, the fans, lend them support by buying their books.
BRUCE D. NICKLES
HEAD LINES (CONT.)
Bruce E. Blackmore of Traverse City, Mich., recently (Letters, Sept. 28) referred to the classic line about Dizzy Dean's head: "The X-rays revealed nothing." He went on to say that the line was widely circulated after Diz was hit in the head by a batted ball during the 1934 World Series.
That is not quite accurate. After he was sent in as a pinch runner at first base by manager Frank Frisch, Dean was hit on the head by a ball thrown by Detroit shortstop Billy Rogell, who was trying to complete a double play.
WALTER SIPPEL JR.
Stone Mountain, Ga.
I loved Peter Gammons's account of the American League East championship battle between the Tigers and the Blue Jays (Birds on the Wing, Oct. 5). But one question remains: Is the picture of Bill Madlock taking out Toronto shortstop Tony Fernandez at second base backward, or does Fernandez always switch his glove to his right hand when making tough plays?
?The picture (shown correctly below) was flopped.—ED.