Our readership has been particularly responsive to recent articles and topics covered on Press Pros: On records vs. Winning…on baseball bats…on Coach Jim Hardman…and, on Proctorville, Ohio and the Fairland Dragons. Enjoy a good read!

We are frequently asked, and even criticized, about why there is no reader forum board on Press Pros.

And if I felt the liberty to share some of the responses received in the month of January pertaining to the January blog on our opinion on “winning”, as compared to the current politically correct view, you’d soon see why we don’t allow people to air their uninhibited and emotional responses.

To quote the great sportscaster Jim Carr, from the movie Slapshot, we’d prefer they keep their comments within the bounds of good taste. So while we welcome opinions on both sides, and difference of opinion, we will not descend to the offensive level of butchering King’s English…if you get our drift.

But there were respondents on both sides of the argument regarding If Records Are So Important…Why Isn’t Winning?

“Thank you for writing to support the values of competition, accomplishment, and winning.” … Jonathan Delawder (Chill Town)

“A nation is only as good as its leadership, and those who participate in sports with a goal of winning have always gone on to be good leaders in business, community,schools, and even government. Which, by the way, makes me wonder if members of Congress have ever made a tackle or scored a point.” … Robt. Workman

“Once again, it’s the vocal minority in our country who find winning offensive, because they want to lay a guilt trip on the strong who pass by the weaker, or less motivated, on their way to the top.” … Tom Killilea (Hilliard, Oh)

“Records matter because they represent people who want to set themselves apart. Nothing wrong with that.” … Jim Davidson

“Records and winning are a natural instinct that all of us have. It’s just that some of us are willing to work harder than others.” … Scott Parks (Columbus)

“I don’t care what Abraham Lincoln said, all men are not created equal. Thus, some are winners, and leaders, and others are followers willing to take what life passes down.” … Joe B.

“I have interviewed thousands over the years for employment opportunities, and one of my primary questions was about participation, competition, and personal accomplishment. Those are the attributes I’ve always looked for in hiring, and they have never let me down. I enjoy your site.” … Jas. Pogue (Peach Tree City, Ga…and formerly of Centerville)

“There are thousands of people who ‘win’ over their personal circumstances every day.  Accomplishment of any kind makes them champions without trophies and recognition.”  …  Kay (Troy)

“My issue with your statements about records and winning is the divisive attitude you, and others, promote.  If you ‘win’, you somehow think you’re more worthy than those who would rather participate for a different benefit. What you don’t acknowledge is that one size does not fit all, and that there are those of us who really do believe that helping someone weaker across the finish line is superior to getting there first and being recognized for it. The person who reaches down to help someone is just as much a winner, and for you to point out that there are no halls of fame for mediocrity is simply stupid. If that shoe fits, sir, wear it!” … Syl

(Ed. Note: And yet, Syl, there are no halls of fame for mediocrity, as I did point out, while we could not be more proud, as a country, to honor those enshrined at Canton (football), Cooperstown (baseball), and Hollywood (entertainment) – and even recipients of the Nobel Prize – in recognition of achievement.  Your point is valid, by the way, because it signifies character to take the time to help someone, if that’s your goal.  But one size, as you say, does not fit all. There is room for both arguments, and it’s no less idiotic to paint those who aspire to finish first as being selfish and divisive. Ironically, those are the ones who all too often go on to be leaders in business, industry, the military, and even in human causes. And I might point out, my friend, that you have benefited greatly from the personal attributes of achievement and prosperity. One who lives in a house with so much glass should think twice before chucking rocks.)

Our recent story on baseball bats and the Phoenix Company, in Plain City, brought response from some bat-and-ballers anxious for that particular sound of spring.

“Very good. I enjoyed your story a lot, especially the comments of two major leaguers who sound like regular people. Well done.” … David Waller

“I really liked the Eddie Mathews story because I remember him when he played for the Braves and hit all those home runs. Looking forward to Buckeye baseball. Thanks. Press Pros is a special website.” … Jim (Westerville)

“Liked the story and did not realize that there was such a company in Plain City.  I wondered what happened to all the ash trees.” … Jack Wilson

(Ed Note: You blame the ash borer for that, not Phoenix.)

One of the reasons we regularly reference Coach Jim Hardman is because he impacted so many local lives during his decades-long tenure as a baseball coach. It never fails to touch someone, baseball or otherwise.

“I did not know Jim Hardman personally, but your characterization of him reminds me of so many of my own coaches and teachers who personalized sports and learning.” … Matt Hartings

“Thanks for remembering Coach Hardman. His impact will always be felt in Piqua.” … Eric

And finally, our January 26th feature on Proctorville, and the Fairland Dragons found alumni and displaced Lawrence Countians from as far away as New York.

“I almost cried when I read your story. It was forwarded to me by a family member in Huntington and it was so wonderful to read about home in such a positive manner. Thank you.” … Carla Harrelson (Pomeroy, Oh)

“Great story on Fairland Basketball. I’m sure that was very nostalgic for you seeing old faces again. I especially loved the photos. Thanks for the coverage down here on the river!” … Ryan Bloomfield (Gallipolis)

“I was shocked to see tiny Proctorville written about on the internet. What a great story and thrill to read about the Dragons. I still have relatives in the area.” …  David Heiner (Binghamton, NY)

“Oh my gosh, this started out nice enough and is a good piece, but when I saw the year 1961, I knew what was coming. My husband is in the Class of 1964 for Ayersville. I have heard this story for over 40 years. Jerry was a freshman that year, and I’m pretty sure they went back to the tournament the following year. The story was very nicely done.” … Denise Kline Derge

The new face of Fairland, a new high school was built a decade ago signifying progress and a new generation of basketball excellence in Proctorville.