Jim Kaplan can talk all he wants to about the National League and how it is better than the American League. It probably is. But the one thing that keeps me an American League fan is that the National League also has a monopoly on conceit.
ROBERT M. DONOVAN
When are we going to put an end to the stupid arguments over which league is better? It's like two children fighting over whose dad is better. There's just no way to make a fair judgment. For every reason one can offer as to why the Nationals are better, there's an equal argument for the Americans. All those loyal league supporters who insist on continuing this endless battle should take a tip from Albert Einstein. It's all relative!
The addition of Gary Smith's writing to your pages is wonderful news. His knack for exposing minute details and bringing his subjects to life was illustrated in his fine piece on Twins owner Calvin Griffith (A Lingering Vestige of Yesterday, April 4).
For many years, I have watched Calvin Griffith get rid of baseball players to save money. In the process, the Twins have become a minor league team with major league ticket prices. What emerged from Gary Smith's story was the portrait of a lonely old man meeting his emotional needs by trying to run a ball club. Maybe Griffith's history of peddling players on the verge of making it financially goes beyond saving money. Maybe it's his unconscious response to his having been permanently "traded" to his Uncle Clark at age 10. If so, may God help him. Maybe then Calvin will be able to sit back and let his talented young Twins grow and mature together, like a family.
Having been one of the thousands of college baseball players who never got his feet wet in pro ball, it's great to have one owner who would rather give a rookie a chance in the major leagues than keep on his team has-beens who should wear dollar signs instead of numbers on their backs.
Salaries have risen beyond the growth rate of the game, and, unfortunately, only one owner, Griffith, has had the guts to resist the trend.
I am a syndicated political cartoonist here in Minnesota and I've got Calvin Griffith's caricature down pat. He is an easy man to take pot shots at. But silently I respect his fortitude, admire his unequaled eye for young talent and thank him for keeping big league baseball in Minnesota. Your article simply brought to the attention of millions of SI readers what thousands of Twins fans already know: Calvin Griffith loves baseball and is doing the best he can. And how can you hate a guy for that?
Hang in there, Calvin Griffith. I'll take your approach over George Steinbrenner's anytime.
CARTER AND THE CARDS
What a pleasure it was to see Gary Carter beaming on the cover of your Special Baseball Issue (April 4)! Just reading Ron Fimrite's article (His Enthusiasm Is Catching) about this terrific player and sincere person is enough to make anybody an Expos fan.
I've been following Carter and his team for years, and I eagerly anticipate seeing him beaming on your cover again in October, when Montreal wins the pennant.
JONATHAN J. COHEN