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The Indy 500
It is difficult to believe that Moses failed to devote even one sentence to the most compelling story of the event. Gordon Johncock, the formerly retired 54-year-old driver and two-time Indy winner, developed a severe case of the flu just before the race. But he elected to drive despite having virtually no energy, a stiff neck and an upset stomach. He started from the last position and then lost radio communication in his car because a connector in his earplugs came apart during the race. Nevertheless, Johncock piloted his 1990 Lola-Cosworth to a sixth-place finish—ahead of A.J. Foyt, Bobby Rahal, Emerson Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan and Mario Andretti, to name a few. Johncock's performance dwarfed even Rick Mears's great run to the checkered flag.
Oil Can Boyd
The last time I saw Boyd was after the final game of the '89 season. I was standing with my son, Liam, in front of a souvenir shop on Yawkey Way in Boston when Boyd and his wife and son, in a convertible, smiled and waved as they drove away from Fenway for the last time. There was something melancholy about the smile on Oil Can's face, but the pictures in your story show me a different man and a different smile. His is a great story, and I am glad to see he has the friends and respect he has merited.
Swift ends his story "Free at last. Pity for Boyd, pity for Boston, pity for all of us that Oil Can had to play his baseball in Canada to feel it." Would it be a pity if Boyd had finally found "freedom" in Houston or Cleveland? I am tired of reading articles that put down the Expos and the Blue Jays solely because they are based in Canada. Boyd says, "In Montreal, a black man is just a man." I'm waiting for the day when, in the baseball media, a Canadian team is just a team.
As a Red Sox fan, I am incensed by your story. Swift does a huge disservice to the team by implying that Boyd's problems in Boston were racial. We have a long way to go in America toward racial equality, but I don't think that Canada has found all the answers, either.
Jimbo in Paris
Am I the only earthling who doesn't view Connors's performance as heroic? There's no denying that he played extraordinary tennis, but a professional does not suck up the glory of a standing ovation, then cave in on the next point.
Why was welterweight Roberto Duran ridiculed in 1980 for saying "No mas" as he quit in the eighth round of his championship fight against Sugar Ray Leonard, while Jimmy Connors is revered for retiring in the middle of a Grand Slam tournament? Connors turned a prestigious tournament round into an exhibition.