Another record for RipkenNow that Cal Ripken has the...

LETTERS

October 15, 1995

Another record for Ripken

Now that Cal Ripken has the major-league consecutive-games record, I hope he will eclipse the world record held by Sachio Kinugasa of Japan -- 2,215 consecutive games played for the Hiroshima Carp.

Next season, if Ripken breaks Kinugasa's record, I think it would be great if the Orioles could bring Kinugasa to Camden Yards to congratulate Ripken personally.

Matt Fenton

Baltimore

Stereotypes

In reference to Shelley A. Greenberg's Oct. 4 letter, "Congratulations, Cal," let me first say that Cal Ripken deserves a hearty congratulations.

But this country could use less of the negative images to characterize and define African Americans -- whether athletes or otherwise -- every time a member of the majority culture wants to make some comparison between good vs. bad and right vs. wrong.

During Streak Week, there were at least one too many stories communicated through the press that showed Darryl Strawberry and other African American athletes as lazy, unmotivated, whining, overpaid millionaires who do a disservice to the reputation of the sport while the Cal Ripkens are everything that is best about the game.

Now, Greenberg brings attention to Deion Sanders and Dennis Rodman as egotistical, greedy, obnoxious and the norm.

Yet, neither she nor any press read by yours truly has bothered to mention that Cal Ripken directly attributed his professional work ethics to his "role model" -- Eddie Murray.

There is evidence that the baseball strike has caused a 20 percent decrease in baseball attendance, but could the previous and continuing decline of African American interest in baseball be the byproduct of these continuing stereotypes?

Jimmy Wilson

Hunt Valley

A CFL experience

On the weekend of Sept. 30, I was one of a group of Baltimoreans who traveled to Regina, Saskatchewan, to see the Stallions play the Roughriders. I'd been told by a Canadian friend that Taylor Field could be windy and chilly, and Riders fans make lots of noise.

What I found in Regina was a sense of team pride and spirit that reminded me of Baltimore's love affair with the Colts of the 1950s and 1960s. There were Riders displays in our hotel and in shop windows all over downtown, many of them promoting this year's Grey Cup festival and game. Regina is holding a week of activities leading up to the Nov. 19 game, with an estimated impact of $40 million (Canadian) on the local economy.

Before the game on Oct. 1, we were pleasantly surprised to hear the Riders pep band play the Colts fight song. We found the fans to be vocally loyal to their team, but genuinely pleased to see a group of Baltimore fans in their midst. Several people made a point of seeking us out to shake hands and thank us for coming out to support our team.

Some of the people we met traveled as far as 250 miles one way to see the game. Many people brought their children.

Being there was a vivid reminder of the way football used to be in Baltimore -- and the way it could be again. The Stallions organization is committed to putting a quality team on the field and to making the team an integral part of our community.

The fans, the business community and the local media ought to give the Stallions the support that they're earning. After visiting Regina, I'm convinced that the next chapter in Baltimore's football history could be one of the best ones yet.

Barbara A. Morgan

Baltimore

Stallions coverage lacking

It was dismaying to read your poor coverage of one of the most fiercely fought football games ever played at Memorial Stadium. More than 31,000 fans saw the Baltimore Stallions overcome five lead changes to beat Saskatchewan on a field goal with five seconds left -- that's heart-stopping football of the highest quality.

Take a good look at the Oct. 8 sports section of The Sun. The Mariners and the Yankees got huge headlines, the Atlanta Braves got a three-column photo, and the University of Maryland story got a five-column spread with a picture -- again, front-page coverage. What did the Baltimore Stallions rate? About as little coverage as possible.

In other recent issues, the NFL -- which supported Bob Irsay's taking the Colts from Baltimore and has repeatedly thumbed its nose at Baltimore's attempts to regain a franchise -- has gotten top billing on Page 1. Your coverage of the NFL and the University of Maryland show that you fail to support what should be your first interest in football. You are The Baltimore Sun, and your first interest should be in Baltimore.

There seems a general failure of both television and print to recognize that media coverage can help to make a team, and the city it represents, a successful enterprise.

It is about time for The Baltimore Sun and the local television stations to get behind the Baltimore Stallions by giving them top or at least equal billing with the NFL. After all, when the Stallions win, Baltimore wins.

Doug and Lisa Forrest

Towson

*

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