Your article Sports and Suds (Aug. 8) was right on target. The TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) approach at Shea Stadium seems to be working. Two years ago, when I took my seven-year-old daughter to a Mets game, obscene drunks seemed to control the place. At a recent Mets-Pirates game, there wasn't a drunk to be seen.
Roselle Park, N.J.
Milwaukee County Stadium manager Bill Hanrahan is correct in his appraisal of the effectiveness of his drinking patrols. On Sept. 6, 1986, a group of 88 of us traveled nine hours by bus from Cleveland to Milwaukee to see the Indians play the Brewers. En route we consumed vast quantities of beer.
In the first inning of the game, the Indians scored seven runs, and in the next inning George Bamberger, then the Brewers manager, was ejected for disputing a home run call. We went bonkers. The Milwaukee fans behind us took none too kindly to our overenthusiasm and began pelting us with assorted projectiles. The ushers and security officers responded by immediately cutting off beer vendor sales in the section.
By the end of the game, which the Indians won 17-9, we had settled down, and all of us—Indians and Brewers rooters—were doing the Wave. County Stadium personnel quickly defused a potentially dangerous situation, while at the same time allowing all the fans to enjoy themselves.
August 21, 1988
My thanks go to Bubba Smith. He refused to be a hypocrite and set an example worthy of respect.
KEITH R. POWELL
William Oscar Johnson neglected to mention one aspect of sports drinking that, to my mind, is the biggest part of the problem. A good many of the hardcore, obnoxious stadium drunks are drunk before they ever enter the stadium. Tailgating parties have become as much the event as the game itself. For about a dollar more than the price of one stadium beer, you can buy a six-pack. A group of fans can fill a cooler with beer, arrive in the parking lot two to three hours before game time and load up before going in. This translates into five or six hours of drinking.
I took my copy of your Aug. 8 issue to the stadium so that I could read your cover story on beer before the start of a Pirates-Mets game. When play began, I put the magazine under my seat. My wife picked it up after the game, and it was soaked with—you guessed it—beer.
IN THE CARDS
Hank Hersch's sidebar (INSIDE BASEBALL) on Chris Sabo, the Reds' enthusiastic third baseman, and Jack McCallum's POINT AFTER on baseball cards ("The Memory Business") in the Aug. 1 issue were particularly satisfying. At a time when it seems that America's favorite pastime is becoming more and more impersonal and businesslike, it's nice to know that there are still people out there who understand what baseball is really about. I hope McCallum's son realizes this soon and puts his baseball cards in an old shoe box. I also hope that Sabo's card will be near the top of the pack, held there by one of those extra-thick rubber bands.
Spare us the sentimental nonsense about the good old days. There have been serious collectors as well as hobbyists for as long as there have been baseball cards, and neither has ever threatened the other. No, McCallum, the very things you ascribe to those golden years are what make baseball cards valuable.
JACK J. BENNETT
I enjoyed the article on Max Patkin, the Clown Prince of Baseball (Max, June 6), and the subsequent reproduction of the baseball card of Patkin (LETTERS, July 4). However, the original Clown Prince of Baseball was Al Schacht, who had a legitimate card in the 1939 Play Ball set (see below). Schacht won 14 games for the 1919-21 Washington Senators.
MURRY R. NELSON
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