Cynics may be rolling their eyes at Hillary Rodham Clinton's expression of a lifelong allegiance to the Yankees in tandem with "being a Cubs fan" [Style, June 11]. To a life-long Cubs fan raised in Clinton's hometown of Park Ridge, Ill., however, her assertion rings true.

The Chicago White Sox of the 1950s often contended for the pennant while the hapless Cubs invariably headed in the other direction. We Cubs fans were jealous of the Sox' relative success and thus became curdled White Sox-haters.

Our resentment would typically peak when the Sox edged into first place in August. The Yankees would then storm into town for a weekend set. When the dust had cleared, the Bronx Bombers would have settled the White Sox' hash by sweeping the series. The New Yorkers would go on to win the pennant and usually the World Series as well. We Cubs fans loved it! Out of the ashes of dashed White Sox hopes grew a North Side love of the Yankees that was firmly rooted in Schadenfreude, a joy in South Side troubles.

On the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, therefore, we North Siders became fervent Yankee fans. My mother used to chide us by saying, "Boys, I know you love the Cubs, but if they can't win the pennant, why not root for the other Chicago team?" We would look at each other and sadly shake our heads; she just didn't understand.

Nor, I'm afraid, does Richard Cohen ["The First Pretender," op-ed, June 29]. But Hillary Clinton got it right. In the Chicago of our youth, a combined allegiance to the Cubs and the Yankees went down as smoothly as peaches and cream.

-- David Hart Nelson