BEST OF THE WORST
Finally, Kent Hrbek gets the recognition he deserves (Local Boy Makes Good, Local Team Makes Bad, July 5). He was a great choice for a cover story. It's too bad they didn't put his name on the All-Star ballot instead of some of the other rookies on bigger-name teams. SI made it clear that the Twins can be proud to have someone like Hrbek playing for them, not only for his playing ability but also for his personality. Thanks again to Steve Wulf for the article.
The photograph of Kerry Hrbek in the article about her brother, Kent, exemplifies another of the ills of having fans select the major league baseball All-Star teams (SCORECARD, May 31). By writing her brother's name "on at least 20 ballots a day," Kerry is guilty of ballot-stuffing. How many friends and schoolmates has she enlisted to send a similar number of ballots daily?
Even more shameful are the television and radio announcers and club officials who exhort the fans to send in votes for local favorites. The entire selection procedure has become a hustle and should be abandoned. Turn the vote over to the managers and coaches or to the electors who select players for the Baseball Hall of Fame. They are the people who care about the integrity of the game.
Thank you for a great article on rookie sensation Kent Hrbek of the lowly Twins. But there's one thing I don't understand. You mention that there were 248 homers in 1961 at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, home of the Angels. I thought Wrigley Field was the home of the Chicago Cubs. Was that the name of the field of the Angels, too, or is it a mistake?
?That was indeed the name of the field—the Chicago Cubs used to own the L.A. Angels of the Pacific Coast League—but the city ordered the field razed in 1964.—ED.
I had the pleasure of hosting Don and Jo-Anne Carner (No Fish Story; Golf's Top Lady, July 5), at a cookout about a year ago. It was our first meeting, and I admit to being somewhat starstruck. After the meal, when most were leaning back with a cup of coffee, I was horrified to find JoAnne in the kitchen scraping dishes. Her reaction as I ushered her back to the other guests was typical JoAnne: "Why not? Somebody has to do it." The lady doesn't understand she isn't just "somebody."
JoAnne's winning the USGA's Bob Jones Award was appropriate. I think it was golf chronicler Herbert Warren Wind who once said of Bob Jones, "He's a golfer and a gentleman...and he's all there is of both." With allowance for the difference in sex, the same can be said of JoAnne Carner.
Sandy Springs, Ga.
Carl Schoettler's REMINISCENCE (July 5) about poolrooms in the 1940s and '50s was very accurate and captured the pulse of those halcyon days, which were similar to the ones we experienced here in northeastern Ohio.
Virtually all the regulars had nicknames. Among the many were Blackie, Haircut, Melon, Count, several Butches, Slims and Whiteys, and even a "Bob" Feller, � la Schoettler's "Cliff' Mapes.
Most of these "parlors" were sleazy, all right, but they also had a certain warmth. Who can forget the in-house shoeshine stands where older pool bettors perched like barons, the talcum powder and spittoons, the room's incoming Western Union ticker tape for breed-improvers or baseball plungers, the time clocks that the usually short and fat proprietors punched, as if they were in a factory. Or the daylong menu of smokies (sausage), hard-boiled eggs, sardines and cheese.