I've had two memorable personal experiences involving Dave Winfield (Richest Kid on the Block, Jan. 5):
A few years ago he was interviewed on the radio by Lou Boudreau during a rain-delayed Cubs game. I tuned in during their talk and clearly remember saying to myself, "Who is that guy?" He was so intelligent, so enthusiastic, so articulate.
The following March I was eating dinner in a restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. with an old Chicago friend who had moved to San Diego. Nearby, a tall, handsome man got up to leave. As he walked by our table my friend recognized him and, as a sports fan will, began a conversation with him. Yes, it was Dave Winfield, and he was warm, outgoing and as friendly as a native Chicagoan—and that's friendly!
To me, Winfield is a class person, and Ron Fimrite's incisive article helped to show it.
I think Dave Winfield is a super individual, but I don't care what anybody says, he's not worth $22 million. I have looked at his statistics. If he's worth $22 million, then George Brett must be worth $50 million!
College Park, Md.
The House That Ruth Built cost less than Dave Winfield.
Dave Winfield wants us to believe he has never reached his potential because he has performed for a team mired in the second division. The implication is that Winfield will now excel for the contending Yankees. However, a super professional athlete should reach high standards of achievement regardless of his team's standing. I hope George Steinbrenner won't be surprised this season when Winfield hits .280 and knocks in 85 runs.
RICHARD P. CLEAVES
I can't understand why anyone would object to Dave Winfield's salary. Noted Las Vegas entertainers earn $250,000 and up a week. People pay to see them. Baseball "nuts" will also pay to see a Yankee outfield of Winfield, Reggie Jackson and, maybe, Fred Lynn.
PAUL M. NIEDZWIECKI
Your magazine has long had a knack for selecting athletes with intriguing personal stories and then writing excellent profiles on them. That tradition continues with the article on Gayle Olinek ("Greatest Legs to Ever Stride the Earth," Jan. 5). Olinek may well have the greatest legs in the world, and she surely has led an interesting life. I admire her for her ability to come back from adversity and for her dedication to "non-glamour" sports. She is a credit to all marathoners and women bodybuilders, and Dan Levin's story and Richard Mackson's photographs instruct us as to just how much dedication and ability those sports require. If hers is, indeed, the body of the '80s, we could do much worse.
My knees grew weak, I couldn't speak. Those Olinek legs—just magnifique!
Captain, USMC (retired, but not dead)
Forest Hills, N.Y.