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Letters to the Editors

Profiting from fame does not equal greed

© St. Petersburg Times
published May 26, 2002

If Larry Csonka is so greedy (Reader Views, May 19), why doesn't he do more than one or two shows a year? I do not find any fault in someone trying to make an extra buck. I found Csonka personable and accommodating to fans.

The autograph as a business is a new phenomenon. If it was profitable back when Johnny Weissmuller and Joe DiMaggio were active, I have no doubt they would have charged money. DiMaggio made a fortune later in his life peddling his autograph. Once again, here is a guy trying to make an extra buck off his fame. DiMaggio should not be faulted and neither should Csonka.
-- Eric Sloss, St. Petersburg

Radio days, good ol' days

Bruce Lowitt's Voices of the Past (May 17) was the most enjoyable sports article I have read. It brought back many memories of my childhood, eyes glued to the radio listening to games. Hearing the crack of the bat and visualizing the ball just hit by "Mr. Cub" lined into center or over the fence. Those were the good old days of baseball. Players were the true idols of every kid having that American dream of one day playing our national pastime.

In my case it was at Wrigley Field. In grade school I used to sneak in my plastic fit-in-your-pocket transistor radio with the ear plug, anxiously waiting for 1 p.m. to listen to the World Series. Knowing that while I physically sat at my desk, I was actually in the stands seeing every pitch, hit and out. To be able to imagine and visualize was an art that every kid who loved baseball was able to master.
-- Joe Krucina, via e-mail

Romano article "Finest'

I'm not a sports fan, but something in the presentation of John Romano's The Finest (May 19) captured my attention. After it did, I read through to the end of his article on John Wooden. He took a routine assignment -- cover an old coach's speech to college students -- and built it into a compelling, substantive story by providing a lot of telling details, using adjectives sparingly and keeping a sharp focus on his subject.

Thanks for transporting me into another person's perspective on life. It was a delightful journey.
-- Valerie Hyman, via e-mail

Please pass on my compliments to John Romano for his fine article about Wooden. It was a pleasure to read something on the sports page that had a positive tone and, in particular, to read about Wooden. I don't think I tend to view the world through rose-colored glasses, but I'll admit I am sick of reading about what a rotten team the Rays are.
-- Ed Mansfield, St. Petersburg

Baseball in need of savior

Thank goodness for Gary Shelton. Finally, someone brave enough to state the obvious (Strike may be the best thing for a fading sport, May 19). Baseball is a dying sport, and since 1994, it never has been the same. With the recent retirements of Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn and Mark McGwire, who will save the sport this time? I'm still upset the city of Clearwater is going ahead with plans to build a $27-million sports complex for the Phillies. Is this a good use of taxpayers' dollars?
-- James Devine, via e-mail


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