It's players like Mark McGwire who make the Albert Belles and Mo Vaughns disappear.
—GEOFFREY S. GOLLIHUR
Bravo to the Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire (Man on a Mission, March 23). In this age of selfish, self-absorbed multimillionaires, how refreshing to see a man embracing his community and giving back to children in need.
DAVE GORDON, Sacramento
We are Oakland A's fans who have coached a Challenger Little League team for children with special needs. In the league's first year, McGwire donated the funds for all the uniforms and the equipment. We will miss McGwire's power and leadership on the A's, but we wish him the best in St. Louis.
LINDA AND AL LECK, Danville, Calif.
If Roger Maris's record is to be broken, it seems McGwire is the man most worthy of the honor.
JANET BARRY, Bethlehem, Pa.
Please let me know how to get in touch with McGwire's Foundation for Abused Children.
DAVID KONJOIAN, Andover, Mass.
? Cardinals Care, 250 Stadium Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102-1722, Attn. Dr. Ed Lewis.—ED.
I haven't been to a big league baseball game since 1917, at Fenway Park in Boston (no, he didn't hit one), but I follow baseball. Your Scouting Reports (March 23) were over the plate.
MAL CLARKE, Harpswell, Maine
You argue that not every team is doing all it can to win, because of, among other things, clueless management and weakness of will. If one compares SI's rankings (based on how much a team is doing to win, as stated) and the team payroll, the two are highly correlated. Your presentation ignores the plight of small-market teams. Owners have not addressed the issue of revenue sharing adequately.
J.M. MILES, Kansas City
Tim Crothers's report on the Pirates was disturbing. "Moribund," "boring," "a fluke"? Come on, give us a break! The young, low-budget 1997 Bucs were a shot in the arm for baseball. Money and power take center stage in your report. What about heart and loyalty? Do you think Marlins fans are excited this year after going from buyout to burnout?
DAVID WEIBLE and BOB DULL, Knox, Pa.
Records in Jeopardy
In your listing of records likely to be broken in 1998 (Caution: Falling Records Ahead, March 23), you include the mark for the worst ERA by a league (5.04), set by the American League in 1936. That made me mindful of the National League of 1930, which was not far behind, at 4.97. To illustrate the value of pitching, the Philadelphia Phillies that year helped balloon the league average by having a 6.71 ERA, still a major league record. The Phillies had eight hitters bat better than .300 and had a team average of .315, but they finished last with a 52-102 record, 40 games out of first.
JACK MEYERS, Kansas City, Mo.