I was thrilled tosee a Tiger on your Aug. 28 cover, and this just a week after I ordered a newbaseball cap and a jersey with number 35 and verlander on the back. I, too,worry about whether the young pitchers on the team will be able to win in thepostseason (Welcome to September, Kids). They have, however, given us Tigersfans a reason to dream instead of having nightmares. Who woulda thunk it? GoTigers!
Buzz Rehe, Miami
When I read in TomVerducci's Welcome to September, Kids that no team in the wild-card era has hadtwo under-25 starters win a game in the same postseason, I immediately thoughtof Josh Beckett and Dontrelle Willis and was sure I'd caught an error. I wassurprised to learn Willis didn't win a postseason start in 2003--but then youknew that. I expect that stat will no longer be true two months from now.
Ryan Zeitler, Fairfield, Calif.
After reading AlanShipnuck's and SI's references to the "18 majors" won by Jack Nicklaus(All Business, Aug. 28), I reviewed highlights of the 1986 Masters broadcast.CBS announcer Pat Summerall talks about Jack's 20th major win and BernhardLanger congratulates the Golden Bear on his 20th as he helps him on with thegreen jacket. I know the two U.S. Amateur titles won by Nicklaus are the titlessome people don't count as majors anymore, but they were considered majors whenhe won them. And by the way, if Tiger's three straight Amateur championshipswere counted as majors, it would bring his total to 15.
Bill Spurr, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Although your highschool football piece Aiming for Perfection (Aug. 28) was outstanding, I couldnot understand how the matchup of Louisville's St. Xavier and Trinity was leftoff the list of 10 Games to Watch. If you're in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium onSept. 22, you would be one of 35,000 to 40,000 people enjoying this fantastichigh school sporting event. The Tigers or the Shamrocks win nearly every statefootball title. I find it hard to believe there are 10 games equal to thisannual battle.
Tom Lukish Jr., Midlothian, Va.
Tony Franklin,offensive coordinator for the Troy Trojans in Alabama, says, "Kids don'tlike to play smashmouth football like they used to." I couldn't disagreemore. Franklin should travel out of the pass-happy, run-and-gun,finesse-football South and head up to Pennsylvania, where the kids still playgood-old smashmouth football from grade school through high school, and intocollege and the NFL.
Tim Collins, Mount Joy, Pa.
Doing the RightThing
The NBA has neverbeen better represented than by the picture of the ice packs covering the kneesand ankles of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (Leading Off, Aug. 28). It shows thecommitment these talented young men are making for the love of their countryand the game. They are both in a position to be doing anything they want in theoff-season, yet they choose to represent the U.S. on a world stage at the riskof injury and wear on their bodies. Charles Barkley once remarked thatprofessional athletes should not be viewed as role models, but this imagebuilds a case against that opinion.
Rick Shonak, Sturbridge, Mass.
Steve Rushin'scolumn about Myron Finkbeiner's dream of a World Sports Humanitarian Hall ofFame (Air and Space, Aug. 28) left me wondering how ordinary folks and fans ofmany of the great people in sports can donate to support this effort. Mr.Finkbeiner deserves the kudos, and the contributions, of all fans of realsportsmen and sportswomen.
Rabbi Larry Mahrer, Dothan, Ala.
Editor's Note: Tomake a donation or for more information visit www.sportshumanitarian.com.
With all duerespect to Jessicah Schipper for her outstanding 200-meter butterfly swim atthe Pan Pacific Championships, I did a double take when I read that she"churned out the fastest final 50 in history" with her 32.94 (INSIDEOLYMPIC SPORTS, Aug. 28). Having competed as an age-group swimmer in the 1970sand early '80s, I remember the phenomenal 200-meter butterfly of Mary T.Meagher at the '81 national championships, when she set her final world recordin the event (2:05:96). Mary T. came home in 32.27, more than a half secondfaster than Schipper. It's nice to know one of history's greatest swimmerscould compete with today's athletes.
Andy Cinoman, Coralville, Iowa
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CLOSING TIME Meagher's finishing kick in '81 may be the fastest ever.