It is sad that Bill Veeck is not the Commissioner of Baseball, because then the whole baseball world would benefit from this great man's innovative genius instead of just the Chicago White Sox fans (Y'All Come On Down, Y'Heah, March 13). Hats off to Veeck for restoring some of the magic and flair of baseball's golden era.
DAVID L. DORN
Beaver Dam, Wis.
It was great to read about Veeck's Wrecks and their striving to be No. 1. What really caught my eye, though, was the disgruntled look on the face of superstar Bobby Bonds. Could you have him smile next time? It looks as though he can hardly wait for next year when he may be a free agent.
Bobby Bonds' description of the Chicago White Sox uniform is accurate. "Different" is just the word. Shirts not tucked in and collars sticking out—that is not the way I think a baseball uniform should look.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE
Ron Reid's article, Coach, You're Fired! (March 13) was an emotional view of pro football and its big-business overtones. When big business finds itself lagging behind its competition, it replaces the field general and his crew much the way the head coach of a team is replaced. The one difference is that a pro sports franchise is in a way the spiritual property of the fans. Corporate firings occur every day, but they don't affect us the way a firing in sports does. It hurts even more when a man of Paul Wiggin's stature is involved.
RICHARD W. DAIDONE
New York City
Your article exposing the untimely and unjust dismissal by the Kansas City Chiefs of Coach Paul Wiggin and his staff represented journalism at its finest. In 1957 I was recruited by Stanford University, and Paul Wiggin, then a graduate student, spent two days with me. In later years I talked with him several times when he served as an assistant coach for the 49ers. He is an extremely dedicated and personable individual. It's a shame Lamar Hunt & Co. did not stand by this fine man.
Westlake Village, Calif.
Why all the sympathy for Paul Wiggin? I can see his family getting upset, but all the crying seems a little ridiculous. Wiggin never did anything to warrant staying on as coach. Taking a 5-9 team halfway through a season that would see it finish 2-12, second worst in the league, doesn't take too much talent, and getting paid $65,000 a year for three years isn't bad.
THE WORLD OF CLAIMERS
Thank you for Demmie Stathoplos' earthy insight into the world of trainer June Johnson (It's June in Midwinter, March 13). Solid reporting on all levels of racing is what a great sports magazine must give its readers.
It's too bad June and her husband Wade ever left quarter-horse racing, Los Alamitos Race Course and the legend that is Go Man Go. While Charles Town and Shenandoah Downs arc battling cold weather (3�F.) and uncertain futures, quarter-horse racing is booming. Los Alamitos' winter meeting averaged 6,909 fans, who bet $886,335 daily. And this Orange County, Calif. track seldom, if ever, sees a below-freezing day.
One may thrill to a magnificent race run by a beautiful colt like Alydar, but the majority of racehorses are like those that haunt the tracks of Charles Town and Shenandoah—nameless, broken-down, doomed; appearing for a brief moment, then forgotten. This is the true face of racing, not the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness or the Belmont.
I commend your reporting the facts on what really goes on behind the scene at tracks such as Charles Town, but I must condemn your position. You almost made the use of Butazolidin and Lasix sound humane, when, in my opinion, the drugs are used so that crippled horses, not feeling any pain, will run faster than their old and sore legs or torn membranes would otherwise carry them. The result is a breakdown, and the miserable animal is finally put out of its pain for good. It would be interesting to see statistics on how many horses on Bute break down as compared with horses not on Bute.
St. Davids, Pa.