October 13, 2002

Vecsey should write about Baltimore teams

I just wanted to thank new Sun columnist Laura Vecsey for her recent glowing columns on Baltimore's favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees. Now that the Yankees have sadly been eliminated from the postseason, maybe Ms. Vecsey can spend the fall covering Baltimore's favorite pro football teams (she'll have her pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts or Washington Redskins -- we love them all equally), then shift right into the winter season, when she'll be able to sing the praises of our beloved Duke University men's basketball team.

But why stop there? With so many teams, individuals and events so close to every sports-minded Baltimorean's heart, Ms. Vecsey shouldn't run out of material anytime soon (or at least not until a better offer from another newspaper comes her way).

I'm sure Sun readers would love to read a "Where Are They Now" piece on that wacky duo Rich Garcia and Jeffrey Maier. Or maybe Ms. Vecsey could take a road trip to Cleveland to confirm that Browns fans still think their city got screwed worse than Baltimore -- we just never get tired of hearing that heartwarming story.

Better yet, how about an in-depth interview with our all-time favorite guy, Paul Tagliabue. I'm sure ol' Tags would love the opportunity to inform everyone that he still doesn't believe Baltimore is worthy of a pro football franchise and that we really should have built that museum.

Marc Bouchard Timonium

Leave Augusta alone to make its own rules

The piece in The Sun by Laura Vecsey regarding Augusta National and its men-only policy for membership ["The really difficult lie at Augusta National," Oct. 7] reaches beyond objective sports journalism when it attempts to tie the membership of Augusta National to the recent accounting and stock scandals.

To my knowledge, none of the members of the club has any problem with ethical or moral issues connected to any scandal. I am sure the club would not tolerate such conduct within its membership.

Ms. Vecsey, please leave these gentlemen alone to invite whomever they want into their club. Theirs is a private club, with all the rights that privacy implies.

Sam Davis Towson

Palmer ideal choice to be Orioles' GM

Lately there has been a lot of discussion centering around the Orioles' potential search for a new general manager (or whatever title Peter Angelos is using for the job these days).

Many people have speculated that former pitcher -- and current broadcaster -- Mike Flanagan would be an ideal choice for the job due to his knowledge of the game and his overall role of "helper" within the organization.

I would suggest, though, that the best choice for general manager has been overlooked ... in spite of the fact that he shares the same broadcast booth with Flanagan. I'm speaking of the Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Palmer in person a number of times, and each time I have come away impressed not only with his baseball knowledge, but also with his people skills.

While many might say that Jim Palmer is both inexperienced and pompous, it is my opinion that Palmer would be the perfect choice to step in and fix everything that has been broken in the warehouse over the past few years.

Jason Curry Towson

Gracious Unitas made `everyone feel at ease'

Johnny Unitas was not only one of football's greatest icons, but also one of Baltimore's ultimate, and most loved sports heroes.

He was a man who was admired and respected by so many for his unsurpassed genius on the field, and his humble demeanor off the field.

I had the privilege of knowing him, and on one occasion, after running into him in a Florida airport after Sept. 11, 2001, he sensed my apprehension of flying and invited me to sit with him while waiting to board. Meanwhile, handfuls of people approached him both in the airport and on the plane asking for autographs.

His graciousness and warm smile were always present, making everyone feel at ease. He had the memory of an elephant, remembering things spoken to him from months earlier, about sick family members or other life events, inquiring about them with the utmost sincerity. He had a heart filled with kindness and was a truly honorable man. May his memory remain a part of us forever.

Karen Brafmann Andrews Mount Airy

At one charity event, Unitas first to show

I'm a news photographer at WMAR-TV in Baltimore.

Several years ago, our former sportscaster Ted Patterson's son had some serious health issues, and we decided to put on a charity softball game to raise funds and awareness.

We got a lot of Channel 2 personalities and some local sports figures like former Orioles pitcher Dick Hall to donate their time to come out and play.

My friend Andy Barth and I were excited to be playing so we got there early ... about an hour ahead of time.

The field was deserted, or so we thought as we walked across the outfield, coolers and bats in hand.

In the distance, we noticed a solitary figure standing behind the backstop. As we got closer, we could hardly believe what we saw.

There standing alone -- the first to arrive --was Johnny Unitas.

Tim Rutherford Owings Mills

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