ON WITH THE GAME
The problem with the public nature of the baseball strike was that it demonstrated to the fan that ballplayers are guys who fight the same day-to-day fight he does. The players and the owners especially should have realized that the average fan does not want to know that the players are involved in the same lousy, excessive struggle for the buck, or that the ballplayer, a man capable of breaking off a curve or hitting one a mile, is worried about his future.
The survival of the baseball phenomenon requires that the players as well as their abilities remain bigger than life. The players and the owners should have stepped out of the arena, rolled up their sleeves and settled the pension dispute under the stands, out of view of the fan.
As long as the players remain larger than life, they can be paid, now or at 65, on a scale that is also bigger than life. But as soon as the players too clearly and too publicly assume their normal proportions, the fan will no longer put up with the game or its excesses.
Your baseball issue (April 10), with only lip-service coverage of the strike, was just what I needed.
In your article Sultans of Swat—and Some New Turks, Too (April 10) you state, "All Boston aches to see Yaz come off his woeful .254 season of 1971." All America aches to learn why superstar Henry Aaron was left out of the collection of Don Moss paintings as well as out of your article.
If you needed a young prot�g� to accompany the premier home-run hitter of today, Henry Aaron, what's wrong with our Rookie of the Year, Earl Williams?
How could you possibly have an article about hitters and not include the AL batting champion, Tony Oliva? And Roberto Clemente thinks he is underpublicized.
Lake Benton, Minn.
I am still looking for Bill Melton. As a White Sox fan I am used 10 the Sox being ignored, but this is ridiculous.
Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Alas, no mention of Harmon Killebrew.
You've got to be kidding! How can you possibly call Aurelio Rodriguez the second-best third baseman around? Haven't you ever heard of Graig Nettles? Last year he broke two fielding records—most assists in a season and most double plays by a third baseman. In 1970 he was the top fielding third baseman in the AL—yes, even better than Brooks.
JOHN M. URBANCICH
East Cleveland, Ohio