WHO'S ON FIRST?
Regarding the controversy over sexually integrated sports, let me add my voice to those of the girls who plead to be allowed to play Little League baseball (Now Georgy-Porgy Runs Away, April 22). As a child, I was supposed to be sickly and was never permitted to play with the boys in the streets of New York City, where I grew up. As a married woman, 28 years old, a fan of the Yankees, the Knicks and many other teams, I have only now, with the help and encouragement of my husband, discovered the joy and invigorating feeling of running, playing volleyball and everything else I might want to try.
It is too late for me to go back and reclaim those lost times, those long summers on the city streets with nothing to do but play hopscotch and jump rope. Those games were fun but they certainly don't compare with running headlong at something or someone with a goal in mind.
Please let the girls play, don't deny them this joy. I can assure you that we'll all be better and freer for it.
New York City
For many years the girls in my high school have been trying to get equal rights in sports. In the beginning we were put down and laughed at. Now we are supported and, finally, we are in league competition. Each team has uniforms, officials and everything else boys' sports have. We are still not as strong in number as we would like to be, but we are working at that.
There are injuries, but not bad ones. Not one girl has gotten breast cancer from being hit in the chest with field hockey balls, basketballs, softballs or lacrosse balls. Plenty of girls get hit with lacrosse balls, which are thrown harder than baseballs. Everyone has survived. Considering that girls do not wear any protective equipment in lacrosse—we are supposed to act like ladies—I do not see why girls in baseball should be in any more danger of getting hurt than boys are. If girls want to play baseball, they should be allowed to.
New Hyde Park, N.Y.
I don't think girls should play in Little League. Little League prepares boys to play in higher leagues when they get older, and if girls can't play in those older leagues, why should they play in Little League?
I can see it now. Women will be suing major league baseball teams to allow them to play. I can imagine some of the problems: partitioned showers, women complaining that the colors of their uniforms clash with the color of their eyes, and people like Leo Durocher, Ralph Houk and Billy Martin taking etiquette lessons so as not to offend the ladies. And picture the arguments in the Pirate clubhouse. Poor Dock Ellis would have to fight for rights to the hair curlers.
MARK G. PRESTON
Frank Deford expressed both sides of the problem without partiality. My view is that girls should not be allowed to play. I know, as a Little Leaguer myself, that I would be uneasy with a girl around.
PHIL ST. ONGE
Once again girls are forced to go to court and fight for something that has been provided for boys almost as an inalienable right. How many communities have gone to great expense and effort to organize Little League teams, complete with pro-style uniforms, manicured fields and elaborate equipment, and then put up a sign saying "Boys Only"? In many areas no similar activity was provided for girls. Now the Little League and those local communities must answer for their neglect.
LYDIA L. HINSHAW
Cape Canaveral, Fla.
I feel that girls should have sports programs equal to the boys'. However, I don't think girls should be allowed to participate in boys' programs. Take a look at Charlie Brown's baseball team; he has girls on his team and has never won a game.
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho