A Tale of Two Men and One City (Sept. 29) is a masterpiece. Having met Ernie Banks on a few occasions and having observed him on a hundred, I would say that Mark Kram has perfectly captured the mood, personality and quality of this rare man. For years we've heard the expression "Beautiful Wrigley Field," but a more fitting use of the adjective would surely be "Beautiful Ernie Banks." We spent a recent week at Wrigley Field and saw one very striking example of the love of the Chicago fans for their Mr. Cub. A batter came up for the Cubs in a crucial situation and was greeted by the fans with the exhortation, "Come on, get Ernie in the World Series."
After reading Mark Kram's feature on Ernie Banks, Mr. Chicago Cub, I think the title of the article should have been changed to A Man for All Seasons. Ernie Banks' soul is too big for one city.
Thank you for writing a feature on Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs. However, I was surprised that you did not mention Ernie's many extracurricular activities. Ernie is a tremendous person, and he spends so many evenings working with the Boy Scouts, the Boys' Clubs, the YMCA and all community projects. Mr. Cub is the most sought-after speaker for local community meetings.
Ernie is a great man and a sports hero, a civic leader and a real American. Even on a losing team, he has been a standout and a real leader.
You might also have mentioned that the team Banks works for has signed its players long before other teams, and Mr. Wrigley deserves credit for having a team with contracts, day baseball and a harmonious organization. Too bad they had their cold spell at the end of the season.
Another year ahead for the Cubs with the Lion, and they will win it all. And right there will be No. 14, Mr. Cub, and he will make everything go.
CLAUDE W. OTTO, M.D.
After having read so many articles expounding the loyalty and devotion of Chicago's Bleacher Bums, I have a question: where oh where have the Bleacher Bums gone? Certainly not to Wrigley Field. Following the Cubs' fall from first place in the Eastern Division, the Bleacher Bums became scarce. During a two-game set with Philadelphia, the Cubs had a total paid attendance of slightly less than 12,000 fans. In a game with Montreal a week later, they barely drew 3,000 fans.
Although this was partly due to the low standings of Montreal and Philadelphia, the fact still remains: the Bleacher Bums had given up. Despite all their banners, cheers and other demonstrations, the Bleacher Bums became the type of fans who only support a winner. They have shown that they are not the superfans they proclaimed themselves to be.
The Met fans are just the opposite. They have stayed with the Mets throughout the season. Even when the Mets were 9� games behind the Cubs as late as Aug. 13, the fans kept coming. They have shown the Bleacher Bums what baseball fans really are.
PHILIP E. MCLAUGHLIN
Staten Island, N.Y.
BLACK AND WHITE
Congratulations on your article about Jimmy Jones and the University of Southern California team (Getting by Nicely Without O.J., Sept. 29). It was a good article, but it lacked a few minor details about Jim. He played his high school football at John Harris High School, Harrisburg, Pa., the home of the best football in the country