Chaws by Roy Blount Jr. (July 4) is simply one of the finest, most entertaining articles in your magazine in recent years.
After many years of informative and enjoyable reading, my first letter to you is a criticism. Printing Chaws was unfortunate. It was obnoxious, disgusting, uncalled for and beneath you.
JOHN W. MCMENAMIN
New York City
Fine work. First time I have ever felt like taking an Alka-Seltzer after reading something.
River Grove, Ill.
Many players were quoted as saying that chewing was a help to them while playing. Although I don't chew during games, just having a snuff can (Happy Days) in my pocket proved to be a help. I was hitting .160 before I put the can in my pocket and I finished at over .300.
Fort Monmouth, N.J.
The chaw is an important part of baseball. In fact, legend has it that the bullpen received its name because the pitchers sitting out there chewed Bull Pen tobacco.
My friend and I went to a recent Tiger-Red Sox game. After Bill Campbell signed his autograph for me, he slobbered over a picture my friend had drawn of three Red Sox. I am happy to say that the tobacco juice dried up, and the picture of the Red Sox has only a couple of spots now.
Social attitudes restrict my chewing, but when I do indulge, I've noticed that for some reason a wad seems to fit comfortably only in the left side of my mouth. I was sorry Blount didn't answer a question I've pondered for some time: Am I a southjaw?
Huntington. W. Va.
Blount says the Reds' Champ Summers chewed licorice, but I read an item about Summers getting a pinch-hit, inside-the-park home run against the Expos and all but collapsing as he crossed home plate. He explained he had swallowed "about $2 worth of tobacco" after he hit the ball and almost didn't make it around the bases. Maybe he shouldn't have mixed his chews.
I'm glad you've finally recognized the great power in the Red Sox (BOOM!, July 4)—but "The Boomer and The Crunch Bunch" as a nickname? The "Over-the-Wall Gang" would be more fitting for the future world champions.
How about "Tater Mashers"?
JOHN R. SULLIVAN