Is it just me, or was it more than a coincidence that your Oct. 4 cover, the first after your 50th Anniversary Issue, bore such an eerie resemblance to your first cover? Nice touch, SI. Nice sense of history.
Bruce Hoof, Durham, N.C.
The real story of this year's St. Louis Cardinals (The Pride of St. Louis, Oct. 4): players playing for less money to be a part of the Cardinals' organization, players willing to play different positions for the good of the team, players genuinely supportive of each other on and off the field, and players unwilling to insult or denigrate other players or teams. Toss in the sea of red that pours into Busch Stadium and celebrates the best both teams have to offer.
Glenn Trueman, Alton, Ill.
Stats All, Folks
Stupid stats (The Life of Reilly, Oct. 4)? Listen, Reilly, most of the time I agree with you, but to the best of my knowledge George Sisler--whose autograph I proudly possess--did not face 95mph pitching in the ninth inning, at night, after a 2,500-mile plane ride. Ichiro's record, 262 hits, in any league, in 161 games, heck, in 180 games, is an outstanding achievement. Perhaps we should discount your own professional successes. After all, you have the benefit of spell-check. Grantland Rice never did.
Michael Wilber, Chugiak, Alaska
I'd rather skip the asterisks and appreciate each record for what it is.
Bill Deaner, Williamsburg, Va.
Thank you to Steve Rushin for showing us that hockey will never have a place in our sports culture (Air and Space, Oct. 4). Move it to Canada where it is actually appreciated--and while we're at it, why don't we get rid of soccer too?
Brad Andrew Thornton, New York City
As an able-bodied 41-year-old nursing a muscle pull in my right shoulder, I opened SI to see the prostheses Ervin Kovacs leaves on the pool deck, Jeffrey Fabry holding an arrow in his teeth and Victor Màrquez cycling with his only leg. Great Leading Off (Oct. 4)! I don't care in what place any of them finished, they are first in my book.
Jim Burke Merrick, N.Y.
Bob Martin captured the heroes of the 2004 Paralympic Games in stunning athletic glory, showing us the meaning of determination. The next time I try to talk myself out of jogging, I'll have the inspiration I need to lace up my running shoes and hit the streets.
Michael Lyle, Helotes, Texas
I'm glad that H.G. Bissinger finally made a trip back to Odessa, Texas (Return to Odessa, Oct. 4), to confront the living ghosts from his book Friday Night Lights. For so many high school football coaches and fans to despise Bissinger and the book the way they did, Bissinger must have gotten a whole lot of the story right. Writing the truth was painful to a lot of people, but because he did just that, he changed some attitudes about Texas high school football for the better.
Mike Hoelscher, College Station, Texas
I know I'm (gasp!) a 16-year-old girl, but having been on the sidelines as a student athletic trainer at Texas 5A football games, I believe it's one of the most exciting--and terrifying--feelings in the world. Reading Friday Night Lights scarred me for life, and I think that's what I love about it.
Lisa Marie Ivarra, Martindale, Texas
It breaks my heart to see and read so many stories of adults who are all too present for the kids' moments of glory but are nowhere to be found the other 99.9% of the time.
Jennifer J. McGuire, Springfield, Pa.
In Good Faith?
Why does it seem to be O.K. for Shawn Green to sit out Game 2 of the Dodgers-Giants series in observance of Yom Kippur (Scorecard, Oct. 4), yet Andrea Armstrong of the South Florida women's basketball team is excoriated for wanting to wear a head scarf, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt in observance of her Muslim beliefs (Scorecard, Sept. 27)?
Larry Munoz, Flower Mound, Texas
In our story about New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield (Swinging Away, Oct. 11), we wrote that Sheffield, while with the Milwaukee Brewers, had "flattened" teammate Mark Knudson after the pitcher told writers that he didn't want the ball hit to Sheffield in the late innings. SI has subsequently learned that no punches were thrown between the two men, and, says Knudson, "there was never any sort of physical or even verbal confrontation between myself and Gary." Knudson also says that "never in my 12 years in professional baseball did I go to the media and criticize a teammate." SI regrets the error. --ED.
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DAVID E. KLUTHO (2004)
Oct. 4, 2004
Aug. 16, 1954