What an article on Ken Hall (Whatever Happened to the Sugar Land Express? Sept. 27)! What a family! What a man—athletic ability, a stable marriage, humility, love, business competence, an enduring maturity! No hype. No drugs. No scandal. No superinflated ego. No rancor over past events. Hall "would love sometime to shake hands with [Billy] Sims, [Herschel] Walker, [Tony] Dorsett." I'd be honored to shake hands with Hall.
Normally, art imitates life. But, in the case of Ken Hall, the reverse seems to be true. The small Texas town of the early '50s in which Hall performed his heroics calls to mind the setting of the film. The Last Picture Show, in which civic pride rose or fell with the fortunes of the high school football team. Literary works which seem strangely echoed in Hall's real-life story include Irwin Shaw's The Eighty-Yard Run, John Updike's Rabbit. Run and Frank Deford's Everybody's All-American. There is, however, one important difference, for while the youthful heroes of these three works slide ever deeper into shabby postathletic mediocrity and despair. Hall picked himself up and adjusted successfully to life in a nonathletic world and did so without bitterness.
A century ago, A.E. Housman lamented those "lads that wore their honours out/runners whom renown outran/and the name died before the man." It is reassuring to know that even though the name does die, the athlete has an option other than "dying young."
THOMAS N. LONGSTRETH
As I read the article on Ken Hall, I thought to myself that it would have been nice to watch the Sugar Land Express run with the football. But, wait! When I read the last page I realized that I had seen him play! I was 11 years old at the time and my older brother and his friend took me to see my very first pro football game: the New York Titans vs. the Houston Oilers. If I remember correctly, it was a damp, gray day at the old Polo Grounds. After a Titan score, Hall took a kickoff four yards deep in the end zone, right in front of us. As he took off straight down the left sideline, he slipped to one knee, got up and sprinted, untouched, 104 yards for a touchdown! I've been to more than 50 pro games since, but Hall's run is still the greatest one I've witnessed. Thanks for bringing the man behind that fantastic run into my life!
Coral Springs, Fla.
Hats off to Robert W. Creamer for his article on Robin Yount (This Robin Is a Rare Bird, Sept. 27). It's about time Yount received national recognition. As a teenager, I had the opportunity to see him get his start in professional baseball, playing for the now-defunct Newark Co-Pilots of the New York-Penn League. Watching Yount then was a pleasure, and to see how he has developed into one of the finest all-around shortstops in baseball is truly gratifying. Yount fully deserves MVP honors for '82.
Robert W. Creamer's enumeration of the 10 best shortstops of all time was an admirable first attempt, but there was at least one glaring omission: Maury Wills.
MICHAEL G. HERMAN
I can't believe that anyone could make a list of the 10 greatest shortstops and not include Joe Sewell.
RICHARD L. CURRY
Could you have been shortsighted in selling short Luke Appling?
DONALD A. LEVENSON
?Indeed, Creamer regretted that his list couldn't include other fine shortstops, among them Joe Tinker and Rabbit Maranville, "both currently denigrated by some critics who think neither deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, although a close study of their records shows that both do"; Hugh Jennings, "who with the old Orioles of the 1890s was the best shortstop who ever lived for three seasons, but who had a very short career at the position"; Sewell, "a first-rate all-around player'; Appling, "known solely as a hitter, although he led his league in assists seven times"; Herman Long and Bill Dahlen, "stars at the turn of the century"; Donie Bush; Travis Jackson; Dick Bartell; Billy Jurges; Alvin Dark; Johnny Logan; Dick Groat; Wills; Don Kessinger; Leo Cardenas.... However, Creamer also asks, "Of the top 10 listed, whom should I remove?" And why?—ED.
You have unwittingly done me a disservice. You wrote in your article on the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (A Club Like No Other, June 21) that I was a conscientious objector. This was definitely not so. I served during World War II in the United States Army Air Forces.