After reading Bob Nightengale's "Has Nomo Saved Baseball?" (Sept. 17) I realized I hadn't been to a Dodger game since Sandy Koufax was pitching, Maury Wills was stealing and Willie Davis was putting a halt to line drives. Back in those days, attending a baseball game was a real event. The players spoke with the press; giving interviews was part of the job. The fans wanted to feel that they were part of the game, and knowing a little about one's favorite player added real pizazz to a day at Dodger Stadium.
But today's ultimate insult to baseball fans is Nomo's refusal to be interviewed by the press. He seems to overlook the fact that his fans are largely responsible for his fame and fortune.
After "giving up everything" in Japan and taking advantage of some legal loopholes, Nomo turned his nose up at the Dodgers' first offer and threatened to take off for New York. Only after good old Peter O'Malley forked up another million did he stay on.
Don't expect Nomo to honor us with his presence for more than two seasons. Then, I'd guess, it'll be back to Japan with all those lovely American dollars.
The answer to "just how big is Hideo Nomo," may be "too big for his britches."
How big is Nomo? Maybe not quite as big as the hype mill wants us to believe. Amid gushing prose that suggests insatiable demand and prompts mental imagery of zealous fans storming the gates, there's the real image of the panoramic photo of Dodger Stadium showing more vacant seats than occupied ones.
Nomo is a huge talent, and being a crossover success in any field is an admirable achievement. But, gee, can someone explain how any ballplayer who, by most accounts, is an egocentric, reclusive, self-indulgent boor is supposed t be the savior of baseball? Don't we have plenty of those already?
Nomomania, or Nomonausea?
Singer, a sportswriter, was a longtime baseball beat writer for the old Herald Examiner. *
The comparison with the Fernandomania of the '80s was somewhat incomplete. Now it's the '90s, and baseball fans world-wide have found a new way to powwow: the Internet! One Koichi Ono, a longtime Nomo fan who lives in Amagasaki (outside Osaka), Japan), created the "Tornado Boy Home Page" on the World Wide Web, where baseball fans from around the globe meet. As a West Coast volunteer staff member, I would like to invite readers to visit and learn more about the man who "saved baseball" at http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~k6--ono/tornado/index.html.