Beneath the clipping, the letter went on:
"I hope you give it some consideration for your column. Thank you.
"The one back home."
Last April baseball players from two Virginia high schools got into a fight during a game. One school is predominantly white, the other predominantly black. Witnesses tended to contradict one another, but all agreed that on a pickoff attempt at first base tempers exploded and the fight began. Michael Moore, the batter, and Christopher Swecker, the catcher, moved down the line toward the battle and Swecker received a head cut that required eight stitches. Moore, 18, was arrested and charged with hitting Swecker, 17, with his bat. On Sept. 19 Moore, a black who is now attending St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, N.C. on a baseball scholarship, went before Circuit Court Judge Paul W. Ackiss in Virginia Beach. After a two-hour trial, Judge Ackiss found Moore guilty of malicious assault and sentenced him to four years in prison.
Before passing sentence, the judge said, "All the defense evidence is negative evidence. The defense witnesses said they didn't see anything. The prosecution's evidence is all positive. They say they clearly saw the boy hit with the bat." He told Moore he was guilty of an "unprovoked assault...an act of violence."
Moore's lawyer said the decision was "incredible and unbelievable," and that he would apply for a writ of error from the Virginia Supreme Court. "This happened at a baseball game between two groups of high school students when tempers were flaring. This boy is not a criminal."
AGE MUST HAVE ITS FLING
The minor league version of the Riggs-King match, a $500 winner-take-all confrontation between 62-year-old Byron (Bitsy) Grant, the former Davis Cup star, and 19-year-old Betsy Butler, reaffirmed the dreadful proposition that a good old man is no match for a good young girl. Betsy whupped Bitsy 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. Grant said, "When a tennis player gets to be 62 he's a fool to play singles, and I'm the biggest fool around." Grant's age showed during the match when he was called for a foot fault by a young male linesman. "I've been playing tennis 50 years, since long before you were born," protested Grant. "That still doesn't make you right," retorted the youngster.
Maybe a Riggs-Grant match would put everything back into perspective.