That LEADING OFF�(Oct. 31) photo of Wayne Gretzky is priceless! I coached my five sons in bantam hockey (they're now in their 40s and still playing), and I never sneered like the Great One is at his Phoenix Coyotes. Well, maybe at the dinner table, when I'd tell one of them to "let your little brother have the last pork chop or I'll cross-check you off that chair."
Dan Spencer, Rochester, N.Y.
Thank you for the quote from Ohio Northern junior Derek Garrod (INSIDE COLLEGE�FOOTBALL, Oct. 31), after his school's win over Mount Union: "We believed all week we could win, we believed all game we could win, but now that we've won, we don't believe it." It's great to hear an athlete describe the thrill of victory without resorting to "There are no words to describe how I'm feeling right now."
Paul Smith, Osceola, Wis.
After reading Rick Reilly's column on White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski's superstitions (LIFE OF REILLY, Oct. 31), I watched Game 4's conclusion wondering one thing: When Pierzynski ran toward the mound to meet Bobby Jenks and celebrate their World Series win, did he think about which foot to start his dash with? His right foot for the righty Jenks? Or, with the season done, did he finally break from routine? I couldn't tell on TV, but Reilly's words made me wonder.
Anna Katherine Clemmons Brookline, Mass.
About six years ago while in Minneapolis on business I went to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome to watch my White Sox take on the Twins. Pierzynski, then the Twins' backup catcher, had the job of warming up the Minnesota leftfielder between innings. I was seated down the leftfield line, and when one of the outfielder's throws sailed over A.J.'s head and into the stands, I picked the ball up, thinking I had a souvenir. Suddenly I heard a yell and turned to see Pierzynski, glaring at me and motioning to me to throw it back. I shook him off, but as he moved toward me it became clear he wasn't kidding and seemed ready to come into the stands. So I tossed it back to him. Just before the inning started, the Twins leftfielder flipped me the ball, but I remember thinking that Pierzynski was not someone to be messed with--and hoped that he might someday join the White Sox and add some much-needed intensity to my favorite team. This year he did, and look at the result.
Thomas E. Mularz, Chicago