DOWN ON THE FARMS
I'd like to thank you for the story of and by Bobby Mitchell ("And You Dream About Tomorrow," March 21). For many years I have dreamed about playing one professional sport or another, and I'm sure many other boys across the country have, too. But now that I understand the hardships that go with the good times in pro sports, I have reconsidered my choices for a career.
Vero Beach, Fla.
Bobby Mitchell, stand up and take a bow. Playing in the minor leagues and living to tell about it is an achievement. Just be glad you didn't play in the Southern League. I worked for the Orlando Twins of the Southern League for eight years, and I saw players come and go.
You mentioned Joe Gates. I saw Joe Gates play for Knoxville. He was in the Joe Morgan mold but did not get his shot. The Twins had a pitcher named Lewis. He was one of the best relievers in '77, only to be released at the end of the season. They re-signed him for the '78 season and then released him again. That's management.
You might climb on a bus after a night doubleheader, drive 12 hours and play in another city the next night. A player who survives the minors really has something worth writing about.
JEFF (CANDY BAR) UNGER
Former Orlando Twins bat boy
Your March 21 issue provided a study in contrasts in the baseball "system." The article A Pair of Young Sox with Sock portrayed two young ballplayers whose talents kept developing as they played: Neither Ron Kittle nor Greg Walker drew rave notices their first couple of years in the minors, but because of something someone saw in them, they were allowed to reach their potential.
Bobby Mitchell, however, writes that he was "tired of questionable prospects being rewarded at the expense of proven performers." He was caught in a situation that many a player, from the Little Leagues to the majors, encounters at one time or another: Just because you're good doesn't mean you'll play.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
I would like to commend Bruce Newman on his well-written article about the Paxson brothers (A Family Tradition, March 21). I'd also like to know where their father, Jim Sr., has been for the past few years. He states, "You have to understand that the University of Dayton is the only game in town." He seems to have forgotten about a school on the other side of town called Wright State University. Or maybe he has just overlooked the fact that Wright State finished at 28-4 and won the NCAA Division II title this year and has been 120-26 over the past five years under Coach Ralph Underhill. Perhaps if Dayton would quit ducking Wright State's repeated invitations to play a game, then we could establish which is "the only game in town."
STEPHEN H. SMILEY
It was with great pleasure that I read your article on the Paxson family. We here at St. Francis College have had the opportunity to play against John Paxson twice during his career at Notre Dame. The dedication, sportsmanship and leadership that he has developed are qualities which make him an All-America both on and off the court. With his 3.64 grade point average in marketing, he was the runaway winner in the balloting for the 1982-83 Academic All-America team as voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He is the true student-athlete.
College basketball will miss John. He was always a pleasure to compete against. He's one All-America who doesn't need the NBA to be sucesssful in life.
Assistant Basketball Coach
St. Francis College
GOING TO THE MAT
As a college wrestling coach I feel obligated to comment on your article on the NCAA wrestling tournament (The Hawks Soar as Before, March 21).