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August 21, 2006
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August 21, 2006


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Kudos to Rick Reilly for exposing youth sports travel teams as what they really are: a way for parents to make up for their own childhood sporting disappointments (Life of Reilly, July 31). These teams do more harm than good to the parents, the kids and the family structure, not to mention the family bank accounts.
Greg Bowman, Murrieta, Calif.

Reilly wrote about how we live every day. This isn't funny: It's sad, it's true, and my husband and two sons, ages 13 and 14, are living proof. We have spent our summer schlepping around for soccer, baseball and football conditioning. I'm frankly tired of it. Our bank accounts are drained, and I haven't been home all summer to enjoy the pool in our backyard. Where does it end? And what are we doing to our kids?
Sue Seanor, Gilbertsville, Pa.

Are you sure Reilly doesn't live in Murrysville, Pa.? We are considered the town weirdos because we don't let our son play tournament ball. We like hanging out at the pool, grilling on our deck and visiting the grandparents. Word on the street is that we are denying our son opportunities. Quite the opposite, I think.
Mary Warwick, Murrysville, Pa.

Knuckling Down

Recounting his days catching Phil Niekro's knuckler (PLAYERS, July 31), Bruce Benedict said, "Phil could have pitched every day. I was the one who needed four days off." I wonder how he would have felt had he caught the 1944--45 Washington Senators' staff, which boasted four knuckleballers: Mickey Haefner, Dutch Leonard, Johnny Niggeling and Roger Wolff. That was Hall of Famer Rick Ferrell's job. Rick caught 179 games in those two seasons and was named to the American League All-Star squad each year--two of his eight appearances. Oh, yes, Ferrell was 38 at the start of the '44 season and didn't benefit from the hinged pillows that knuckleball catchers now wear.
Randall L. Chuck, Miami

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