Great article on Fernando Valenzuela (Something Screwy Going On Here, July 8), but I take exception to Ray Gonzales's comment that Hispanic-Americans consider Valenzuela a role model for not learning English and having "succeeded while not selling out." This points out the problem America faces as many try to convert us to a bilingual society. When Hispanic-Americans assimilate into the mainstream by speaking and using English, they are far from "selling out" but are "buying in" to the values and system that make their success possible.
I don't care if Fernando speaks Spanish, English or Sanskrit. On the field he has a unique body language that features peeks upward while pitching, taking major league cuts when at bat, and exuding fun while shagging balls in batting practice or playing leftfield in an extra-inning game. As Tony Castro's article clearly points out, Fernando communicates by winning or losing with class, poise and skill, ingredients that—when present—are apparent in any language.
Bravo for Torito! Enjoyed every minute of your terrific article. Good job, Tony Castro.
I would like to compliment Jim Kaplan for his story about the exploits of Rickey Henderson (Hot Stroke, Hot Streak, July 8). I have been a New York Yankees fan for 30 years, and Henderson has brought a new dimension of excitement to Yankee baseball. There was only one thing wrong. My copy of that issue had a picture of Fernando Valenzuela on the cover.
I was delighted to read about the annual Gus Macker three-on-three basketball fest (The Only Came In Town, July 8). It was a breath of fresh air to know there are sporting events held regularly whose main purpose is fun instead of winning.
I was fascinated by the origins of this tournament and amazed at the rate at which its popularity has grown. My neighborhood has had a small tournament of its own for the past three years, so I know how much fun the small "driveway" tournaments can be. Ours is called the NBA—Neighborhood Basketball Association. It's a round-robin with seven teams. Every year we have a great time, and I can imagine how exciting it must be to take part in the Gus Macker.
Thanks, SI, for letting us see sports in its rarest form.
I violently disagree with the article on Bud Collins (TV/RADIO, July 8) written by William Taaffe.
I believe there are some basic criteria for being a good broadcaster—first, you must be very personable, and second, you must learn not to say incredibly inane things. Collins is, by far, the most biased tennis commentator on the screen today. Fans of Kevin Curren found the telecast of the Wimbledon final disgusting. The grace of Wimbledon was lost amid Collins's absurd comments.
ANNE WHITE'S WIMBLEDON
Thank God the lords of Wimbledon chased Anne White (Wow!, July 8) off the court before all tennis "tradition" crashed into the Thames.