100,000 AAdvantage miles for your thoughts.
We enjoy hearing what you think about the magazine — so much so that if your letter to the editor is published in a 2013 issue, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win 100,000 AAdvantage miles. Want a chance at the miles? Simply e-mail your thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I very much enjoyed the April 1 issue of American Way. I thought it made for the best airline magazine I’ve ever read. I’m a die-hard baseball fan, and when I was 10 years old, my dad gave me a copy of the April 1987 Braniff magazine that featured then-Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine on the cover. I still have that issue, and I had considered it the best airline baseball magazine I’d ever seen. Your issue surpassed that.
Editor Adam Pitluk Responds: Well-done, James. Well-done. You really “get” what we’re trying to do. And to be in the same company as Braniff when it comes to baseball is like putting us in the same category as The New Yorker when it comes to narrative nonfiction. Which I put us in regularly, but I’m biased. Thanks so much for your comments.
Our April 1 edition covered all the cultural issues we address in each magazine — food, music, movies, books, fashion, equipment, memorabilia, history and entertainment. The only difference was that the entire issue was devoted to baseball, which has a diverse and fascinating culture that is unique among sports. The feedback we received from readers was phenomenal. There is no doubt our intent was to swing for the fences, and many readers were nice enough to tell us that we connected.
Little did I know that a recent flight would provide me an entrée into appreciation of a sport I had long ignored. Having Harrison Ford on the cover of American Way was the perfect carrot, and I was inspired to read about baseball making civil-rights history [“Passionate Man”]. I also learned about the admirable Miguel Cabrera [“Setting the Record Straight”], and I started understanding that this sport is the source of good things. It was reading “It’s on Wally,” the “Editor’s Note” [“A Perfect Game”] and “The Hits Keep Comin’ ” that clinched the deal. I am a newly born baseball appreciator. I have also forwarded the articles to my baseball-loving friends with new understanding of their lives. I know my game attendance will be up from the zero of last year.
A.P. Responds: It worked! The proselytizing actually worked on you, Marcia! For the first time in my life, something I advocated actually worked! Which makes you my new best friend.
GREAT OPENING DAY
Thanks for the well-timed and well-done American Way baseball issue. I literally read it flying across the country to attend opening day in San Diego between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The articles, news and notes captured many of the great facets of the game that keep us entertained and engaged. As an AA “million miler,” I have flown American to attend games in all 30 major league ballparks
and never missed a first pitch. Keep up the good work and writing.
Managing Editor Travis Kinsey Responds: Your 30-ballpark odyssey makes me smile, Mike. I am eight ballparks away — A’s, Blue Jays, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Twins, White Sox — from completing it myself. I’ll gladly sit for nine innings in any ballpark in America with no complaints.
I’m not all that interested in sports. Maybe once a year I’ll look at the sports page to see who is playing in the Super Bowl or who won. So imagine my surprise when, during a trip from Los Angeles to St. Louis, I read your April 1 baseball issue cover to cover. It was very interesting. I had never heard of the name Bob Uecker [“For the Love of the Game”], but I enjoyed reading about his great moments in baseball and his achievements as an announcer. In grade school, I was an outfielder but a wannabe pitcher. So I enjoyed imagining myself throwing a knuckleball as described in “Throw the Perfect Knuckleball.” I was very reflective while reading the article comparing baseball to a religious experience [“More Than a Game”]. I am a firm believer in trying to slow down the fast pace of life in order to notice the simple things, but I hadn’t given much thought to how baseball might be an example of that. There is a lot more to baseball than I realized.
A.P. Responds: Strangely, Father Jim, we have a disproportionate number of nonbaseball fans to baseball fans here in the editorial offices of American Way. And yet, they had reactions similar to yours while working on and reading the issue. Baseball, as I submitted in my column, is the tie that binds — even if you’re not a fan. It’s the perfect game.
Thanks to Jan Hubbard for the great piece on Harrison Ford and his work in the film 42. It’s been a truly great couple of years for American movies. Films such as Lincoln and Django Unchained have taken bold and serious looks at race relations in our country. It sounds like 42 may be yet another chance for moviegoers to look at the issue of race. As an actor myself currently preparing for a role in Clybourne Park, the award-winning play about race relations in the Chicago area, I was inspired by Ford’s deep and intelligent work preparing for and working on 42. Who knows? In a few years, maybe I’ll be the one being interviewed by the American Way editors.
Associate Editor Jan Hubbard Responds: We’ve received many different types of letters, Jeremy, but yours may be the first hoping that we’ll interview you someday. That’d be fine with us. Thanks for the compliments on the Ford article. It was fun to do, and interviewing him was something very special.
A GREAT TRIBUTE
I always enjoy reading American Way on my business trips, but I wanted to write and express how well-done your April 1 magazine was. It was so well-done that I slipped it into my briefcase to bring home to share with my husband. The cover story about the Jackie Robinson movie was exceptional, and we are counting down the days to see 42. Applause for such a comprehensive tribute to America’s national pastime and to a pioneering hero in racial equality.
J.H. Responds: The great thing about Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey was that what they did was bigger than baseball, but it was made possible only by baseball. As you know by now, Kristina, 42 tells a great and powerful story.
My name is Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen, and I was featured in the April 1 issue of American Way [“The King of Cards”]. I must tell you that your staff, photographers and all personnel I came in contact with and who contributed to the article were very professional. In my 35 years of experience in the sports-memorabilia business, I have spent millions of dollars advertising, and I never had the response I did from your magazine. In the ’90s, Sports Illustrated did an eight-page story on me that didn’t even come close to the response that your magazine offered. If I ever can do anything more for your magazine, it would be my pleasure.
A.P. Responds: You were a very compelling subject for our first baseball issue in our 47 years of publishing American Way, Mr. Mint. Thank you for working with our team. Now, if you could make me an offer on my 1981 Brett Butler rookie card from his time with the Atlanta Braves …
It may have been released on April Fools’ Day, but the first baseball issue in your history was no joke. It may be the best issue in your 47 years. Congratulations and thank you — it made a long travel day quite enjoyable.
Associate Editor Jessica Jones Responds: As a big baseball fan myself, it was a joy for me to get to work on this issue. The fact that you enjoyed reading it is great to know.
During recent flights from Chicago to Monroe, La., I had time to read the baseball issue that included everything from Wade Boggs saving the Field of Dreams [“Reliving the Dream”] to the story on Wally, the Boston Red Sox mascot. The story about Harrison Ford playing Branch Rickey in the new film 42 shows the determination that both of these men had for their professions. Frankly, it’s not very often that a magazine will cause me to take action, but this American Way did just that. After I got home, I did my best Alan Rosen (“Mr. Mint”) impression and looked through all my baseball cards to see if there were any hidden treasures. Nope, I’m not getting rich anytime soon. The next day I watched Major League again with two of my sons. It’s still a funny movie, no matter how many times I watch it. I ended the day following instructions in the article “How to Throw the Perfect Knuckleball,” playing catch with my son. Thanks to American Way, I had a wonderful time reliving baseball with my boys.
T.K. Responds: From your enjoyment of our baseball issue to you sharing the game with your sons, your letter brings smiles to our faces, Scott. As a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, Major League holds a special place in my heart, as does the game itself. I can’t throw a knuckleball, but that doesn’t keep me from daydreaming of the Indians offering me a contract one day.
GREAT WAY TO PASS TIME
The April 1 American Way made my flight from New York to Los Angeles enjoyable. I was reminded that nothing beats sitting in your favorite ballpark, watching your favorite team on a hot, sunny day with a hot dog smothered with all the goods in one hand and an ice-cold beer in the other. From the Q&A with the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout [“Brief: Q&A”] to the interesting story about ballpark food going from hot dogs and cracker jacks to gourmet [“Brief: Go”], the stories brought back great memories of watching baseball with my dad. It was wonderful to read how passionate Harrison Ford was to make the film about one of the great figures in American history, Jackie Robinson. While so many people know the story about Robinson, many are unaware that part of the first real progress in the civil-rights movement occurred when Branch Rickey signed Robinson.
T.K. Responds: We’re thrilled that our baseball issue was a grand slam with you, Eric. (Please excuse the easy pun.) We enjoyed putting this issue together and are thrilled that you enjoyed reading it.
As a frequent traveler, I always enjoy American Way, especially when my departure and return trip bridge the time from one issue to the next. It’s like getting two for the price of one, or a nice “buy one, get one” with two different issues to read in a short period of time. I never miss the consistently well-written “Editor’s Note” by Adam Pitluk. Three words regarding your baseball issue: Best. Issue. Ever. Keep up the good work.
A.P. Responds: This is exactly the sort of response we were hoping for from our baseball issue, David. Every single person who’s written in has praised the first-ever baseball issue of American Way. Every. Single. One. Like you, they love it.
NOT A GREAT ENDING
I’m a loyal Executive Platinum flyer with American Airlines. I love the airline. I look forward to each issue of American Way, which is full of a wide variety of articles. That was, until the April 1 issue. Not everyone enjoys or even likes baseball, but for whatever reason, you decided to fill the magazine with baseball articles and the rest with advertising. I understand the advertising but really, because it’s the start of the baseball season, that’s all you got? Very disappointed.
A.P. Responds: D’oh!