Your article on Tony C (Faith, Hope and Tony C, July 5) deserves special applause. With the rising tide of drug abuse revelations, it's good to read about a man who didn't hide behind his misfortune of 1967 and isn't quitting today though under the most extreme financial, physical and psychological pressure.
Don't get me wrong. I don't advocate brushing drug abuse in sports under the rug. Cocaine-wasted lives and careers are a sickening part of life today. If the Don Reese story ("I'm Not Worth a Damn," June 14) can save one person from a similar fate, a service will have been done to all.
But as long as fighters like Tony C are around to inspire us and remind us of the achievements that are possible, we need not wallow in despair. That service also deserves recognition.
I just read the article on Tony Conigliaro and the goose bumps are still evident. I'm a big fan of baseball and a bigger fan of ex-players like Tony who, against tremendous odds, are still in contact with the world. It's so unfortunate that a player with the capabilities Tony possessed would be the victim of so many horrible events.
You can have your Jacksons, Winfields, Benches—in my book, Tony C is the real superstar. Where can we send our letters of encouragement to help Tony through this ordeal?
?Tony C is in the Shaughnessey Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass.—ED.
Tony Conigliaro is an inspiration to everyone who puts on a baseball glove and dreams of the major leagues. Tony was up, Tony was down, and Tony C will come around. My prayers are with him.
West Palm Beach, Fla.
I'm writing to compliment you on your beautiful article on Tony C. Your title was very appropriate, because faith and hope are what Tony's family will have to have. I was in a car accident in 1971 and the doctors at the time thought I just had a fractured leg—little did they know I would lapse into a coma that would last three months. The purpose of this letter is to let Tony's family know I'll say a prayer for him every day, because I feel the only reason I'm alive is prayers—and the hope that all my friends and family had.
Tony, keep the faith.
Jack McCallum's story on Tony C was very moving. No one who was in Boston in the mid-'60s remained untouched by this brash and handsome young man who grew up to live his dream—and saw that dream become a nightmare. I had to wipe away tears as I finished the article. Three thousand miles and 15 years later, I'm still rooting for you, Tony. You owe us one more comeback. I'm going to hold you to it.