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The story of the Macon Ironmen highlights the impact that baseball has had on small-town America. Macon's improbable journey reminds us of the timelessness of this country's revered pastime and helps us appreciate a team playing not for personal accolades or dream-seeking parents but for the joy of the game.
Jeff Vandlen, Cadillac, Mich.
Thank you, Chris Ballard, for the colorful game-by-game description of Macon's journey to the 1971 Illinois state title game (The Magical Season of the Macon Ironmen, June 28). I was on the edge of my seat rooting for every win. What a refreshing contrast to today's over-hyped high school programs and their multimillion-dollar facilities and ESPN telecasts.
This article made me appreciate the teammates and coaches I was lucky enough to play with when my baseball team made an improbable run to state in 2007. Winning is a good goal, but it's the relationships we make that we'll remember down the road. The 1971 Macon High team shows us that.
Webster City, Iowa
The Yankee Ripper
Although Tom Verducci's piece on Robinson Cano's hitting prowess was excellent, it told only half the story (Second to None, June 28). Cano also has a whipsaw arm and excellent hands, and he arguably turns the double play better than any second baseman since Roberto Alomar. Verducci also failed to mention that in 2009 Cano and Derek Jeter were the first middle infield partners to each have at least 200 hits in the same season.