•Weaver has been thrown out of 81 major league games by 36 different umpires. Luciano and Marty Springstead share the "record," each of them having given Weaver the thumb seven times.—ED.
Nearly seven years ago, I took a giant step outside the city limits of Hamilton, Ohio and have never been back. However, my mind and heart got the opportunity to return to my residence of 10 years, thanks to Peter Davis and his excellent article A Town Divided Against Itself (March 1).
I respect Davis' work both as a journalist and as a former resident of Hamilton. One of the most memorable moments in my life was pulling off the warmup suit of my red-and-gold Garfield uniform and entering the game against Taft High. The emotion of the contest made my minute and a half of playing time seem like an hour.
Davis' insight is far deeper than that of many of the people still living in Hamilton. I always find it amusing that people talk about keeping politics out of sports only when it's time for the Olympics. Davis welcomes us all to the real world.
In examining the Biblical and Lincolnian logic of the story's headline, it would follow that "a town divided against itself" could not stand. But having grown up with and among the people of the Lindenwald, North End and Second Ward sections of Hamilton, I know they have a substance that—divided or not—will not let the city fall.
MICHAEL L. BLACKBURN
Bristol Newspapers, Inc.
Having grown up in Hamilton, Ohio, having graduated from the old Hamilton High, and having completed my student teaching at Garfield, I take my hat off to Peter Davis for an incisive, right-on sociological study that perfectly captures the essence of life in Hamilton and in many similar small cities throughout this country. What better microcosm of that type of community can be used to mirror social, economic and political issues and realities than the big high school game?
Though my objectivity has been dimmed by time and distance, I remember the homecoming parades down High Street, and the 13,000-plus fans who trekked to the Cincinnati Gardens twice a year to see us play Hamilton High's archrival, Middletown, in basketball. Witnessing a city unified in the interests of the young in their pursuit of wholesome competition is something I miss dearly. Although Davis has taken the edge off my romanticizing, I still feel that Hamilton was a perfect place in which to grow up.
Dean of Students
Hollywood High School
As executive director of the Boys' Club of Hamilton, Inc., I thought you might like to know that several of the article's leading characters—Tony McCoy, Scott Grevey and Robbie Hodge—were members of a Boys' Club basketball team in 1971-72. In our small way we tried to prepare the boys for the antisocial factors presented in Peter Davis' story. They were coached by a black volunteer, in a Boys' Club building paid for by black and white volunteer contributions, located on "Hamilton's older, shabbier East Side." Norm Grevey, who doesn't need me to defend him, made sure that his sons played their first organized basketball in this setting.
The Boys' Club is one of many institutions that know our hometown has its faults but are working to improve our lot.
The most remarkable aspect of Virginia's performance on the basketball court this year (Not Alone at the Top, Feb. 22) is that the school has achieved a measure of success in the athletic arena while maintaining a high academic standard. The New York Times Selective Guide to Colleges rated Virginia as one of the country's best universities, with a "rigorous" curriculum and "tough" grading. Furthermore, during four of the past five years, Virginia has had more student-athletes on the ACC Honor Roll than any other ACC institution. In Charlottesville it seems the concept of the student-athlete lives.
SCOTT B. MYERS