OH! OH! OH!
After reading Frank Deford's article Move Over for Oh-san (Aug. 15), I was disheartened. Not because a great player like Oh is not playing in the U.S., but because of the marvelous attitude of the Japanese ballplayers Deford wrote of. I'm sure that if our "millionaire crybabies" had half the pride in baseball the Japanese have, we'd have more Oh-type players over here.
Big deal—300 feet down the line and 395 in center. You say the Japanese don't have our pitching and they have to generate their own power. Heck, with those measurements they don't have to generate much power. If Sadaharu Oh is so great, just imagine what Henry Aaron, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle would do. In Japanese ball Rod Carew would have a field day.
West Bloomfield, Mich.
Aaron could have hit 1,000 homers in Japan.
Sadaharu Oh in the Hall of Fame when he has never had to face Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson or Tom Seaver? No way.
DAVID L. ANSELL
New City, N.Y.
Who exactly has been serving up those egg rolls? Certainly not Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver or Steve Carlton.
JUSTIN J. CATANOSO
North Wildwood, N.J.
Comparing matrix tables and frequency charts through computers, we have reached two conclusions: If Henry Aaron had spent his entire career playing Japanese baseball, he would have 922 home runs. If Sadaharu Oh had played in the U.S., his total at present would be 502.
Baseball's home-run champion? Oh? No!
Deford says, "Let us examine this athlete who has hit 742 home runs, more than Babe Ruth and, soon, more than Henry Aaron, more than anyone in the world."
Well, you are wrong! That record is not held by Aaron. It is held by Josh Gibson, who hit 800 home runs (including 84 in one season) for the Homestead Grays of the Negro league between 1930 and 1947. If Josh Gibson was good enough to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, then he should be the "All-League" leader in home runs. Sadaharu Oh has his work cut out for him.
Certainly Sadaharu Oh deserves credit for his outstanding feats, but only in his own country. Comparing him to the likes of Babe Ruth and the king, Henry Aaron, is almost blasphemy.