ALZADO AND THE DISABLED
It was a joy to read about the tremendous success of Little League Baseball's recently established Challenger Division, for physically and mentally disabled children (SCORECARD, July 2). You quoted spokesman Steve Keener as saying, "It's as therapeutic for the [volunteer] buddies as for those playing. The buddy gets a better appreciation for people with disabilities, and it gives the disabled child a new friend."
I don't know if you did this intentionally, but in the same issue you had a story about Lyle Alzado ( Lyle Alzado: The Sequel), in which he made light of his practice of parking his black Mercedes in a handicapped parking space. It's great to know that those young Little Leaguers are already learning something that the 41-year-old Alzado still hasn't. Shelley Smith's story states that Alzado's body fat is 9%. It sounds as though it's all between his ears.
Your Alzado article began inauspiciously, with a healthy man, trying to make a comeback to play pro football, feeling it is his right to park in a space reserved for the handicapped. As a former college football player ( University of Pittsburgh, 1963 to '67) and a physician who has been permanently disabled as a result of an automobile accident, I find Alzado's actions repugnant. Many a time I have had to go home unable to attend a lecture, shop or eat at a restaurant because able-bodied people have parked in the spaces reserved for the handicapped.
I would like Alzado to look me in the eyes—me, a former athlete a few years older than he who would be happy just to be able to walk again without pain—and tell me that he needs to park in a spot for the handicapped.
HOWARD A. HEIT, M.D.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Leigh Montville's POINT AFTER about Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan (One for the Middle Ages, June 25), was so beautifully written that I am going to cut it out and frame it. And what a coincidence that the cover story in that issue was about another old-timer, the 45-year-old three-time winner of the U.S. Open, Hale Irwin.
DONALD H. GORDON
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Not only does Ryan's success at 43 serve as an example to those over the age of 40, but also, perhaps more important, his demeanor serves as an example for all generations, young and old.
TODD A. MISENHEIMER
The photograph of Irwin high-fiving spectators (Hail, Irwin, June 25) captures the ultimate difference between golf and other spectator sports. In golf everyone is overjoyed by a spectacular performance. There are no downcast faces because the "other team" succeeded.
In your May 5, 1969, SCORECARD, you ran an item about two team captains at Columbia University, golfer Bob Bly and me (I was an oarsman). Noting the notorious reputations associated with our names, you suggested that Columbia might round things out by acquiring a captain named Hook. I am pleased to report that the captain of the Lions' 1990 varsity heavyweight crew is Matt Hook.
Rick Telander's mind must have short-circuited from watching his pet hamster, Peachy, crank out revolutions on an exercise wheel. In his VIEWPOINT (June 4), Telander equated our squandering of earth's limited energy reserves with the energy that exercisers expend in their fitness pursuits. The analogy doesn't work.
In the 20th century the quality of our environment has declined because we have burned energy (fossil fuels) at a faster rate than the earth has been able to create it. The quality—that is, the health—of the human body has also declined in this century, but for the opposite reason. The human body has suffered from creating more potential energy (read "fat") than it has burned, resulting in an increase in a variety of so-called life-style illnesses.