A Toast to
story about the many major league players who have come from youth leagues in
the southeast corner of our state (Virginia's Boy Wonders, Sept. 29) captured
the spirit of Marvin (Towny) Townsend, the coach who launched the area's first
AAU program. In 2006 I had the honor of working as Towny's assistant coach with
the Ruffner Middle School baseball team in the Norfolk RBI league. Cancer was
already tearing Towny apart, but that didn't stop him from working six days a
week (unpaid, of course). Towny believed that inner-city kids could learn
lessons from baseball that would make a difference in their lives and give them
hope for the future. We can see some of the kids he coached here playing in
high school now, and dreaming of bigger things than they once ever thought
possible. Oh, yeah, his last team finished 6--0 and won a championship.
Don Lloyd, Chesapeake, Va.
the six major league stars from your story—Michael Cuddyer, David Wright, Ryan
Zimmerman, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds—came back to the
community and participated in a home run derby at a new high school to help
raise money for its athletics programs. (Cuddyer won handily, topping Wright in
the final.) Fans in the Hampton Roads area have a lot to be proud of.
Tina Marino, Virginia Beach
In his column on
refunds that should be available in sports (POINT AFTER, Sept. 29), Chris
Ballard tries to imagine Andruw Jones, the nonperforming Dodgers outfielder,
offering to return his salary. It would not be without precedent, as something
like that actually happened once. In 1978 Lyman Bostock of the California
Angels, after playing below what he considered to be his level in April, asked
owner Gene Autry to take back that month's salary. The team refused, so Bostock
donated the money to charity.
Skip Nevell, Los Angeles
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