When my wife and Isaw that the Cubs were on your cover, our hearts sank. We should haveimmediately canceled our plane tickets to Chicago to save ourselves the time,cash and misery. The black cat at Shea, the billy goat and Bartman were a fewof our top excuses, but Sports Illustrated is next.
Al Maag, Scottsdale, Ariz.
I speak for allCubs fans when I ask you to please never put us on the cover again (Are YouReady for a Howling, Pagan, YouTube Oktoberfiesta?, Sept. 29). In fact, don'teven mention us in the magazine at all. When the 2009 baseball preview comesout, pretend we don't exist.
Todd Lokken, Franklin, Wis.
I have finallyfigured out what Cubs fans meant by their constant proclamation, It's GonnaHappen. They were obviously referring to being swept out of the postseason inthe first round.
Kevin Kauffman, Johnstown, Pa.
The Cubs wereeliminated just after appearing on your cover. That's not the SI jinx; that'sthe Cubs.
Colin Streng, Greensboro, N.C.
I must complimentGary Smith's story on life in Wrigley's bleachers. I have spent dozens ofafternoons sunning, sweating and cheering in rightfield, shouting raves toKosuke and insults to every visiting team outfielder. As a lifelong Mets fanenjoying his fourth year in Chicago, I feel a twinge of guilt every time I singGo Cubs Go. But this team—and more important, this stadium—provide a baseballexperience that is purely delicious.
Matthew Smith, Chicago
If you weren'tmoved to tears by the part of the story about Ron Santo, you ain't a Cubs fan.Thanks, Gary.
Bob Eaton, Gibson City, Ill.
Chicago Cubs fanshave had to wait 100 years for a championship—so what! At least in the meantimethat city had Michael Jordan and the Bulls. It had the Bears and the Super BowlShuffle. Pity Philadelphia and its loyal fans. Outside of the Mummers NewYear's Day strut, we haven't seen a parade down Broad Street in more than 25years.
Tim Griffiths, Phoenixville, Pa.
When will theChicago Cubs win the World Series again? According to the 1989 movie Back tothe Future Part II, it will be in the year 2015. So far, that's right ontrack.
John Krueger, Grand Rapids
Chuck Solomon'sphotograph of Yogi Berra from the final home game at Yankee Stadium (LEADINGOFF, Sept. 29) reminded me of the famous photo of Babe Ruth making his lasttrip to the park on Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium in 1948. All that wasmissing was a bat for Yogi to lean on.
Robert W. Maxwell, Covington, La.
In your photo ofBerra, I particularly enjoyed seeing a player who knows how to wear a uniform,with pants just below the knees, navy blue socks exposed with stirrups pulledup just enough to reveal the white socks beneath. At 83, Berra still looks morelike a baseball player than many of those from today.
Tom Toensmeyer, Fairfield, Ohio
I loved HeinzKluetmeier's photograph of a Tennessee football player untying the shoelace ofhis Florida opponent while on the bottom of the pile. Random, fun moments likethis, when men play like boys, are why so many people love the game offootball.
Patrick Brown, Los Angeles
You wrote that mysculpture of running back Ernie Davis, commissioned by Syracuse for its campus,included historically inaccurate Nike swooshes on his jersey and cleats(PLAYERS, Sept. 29) and said that "the sculptor will fix his mistake."The swooshes were only on the cleats, and that was because I was working frominaccurate source materials provided by Syracuse. I was shocked to learn thatthe materials given to me were incorrect and readily agreed to makecorrections.
Bruno Lucchesi, New York City
In constructing adream house made from stadium landmarks (JUST MY TYPE, Sept. 29), Dan Patrickdidn't mention anything about flooring. I'd suggest, for the rec room, thebasketball court from Indiana University's Assembly Hall, with its beautifulIndiana logo in the middle.
Douglas T. Foy, Fort Wayne, Ind.
The U.S. team'seffort in this year's Ryder Cup (American Revolution, Sept. 29) was golf at itsbest. With Justin Leonard rolling in clutch putts, Anthony Kim staring downSergio García and Boo Weekley getting under Lee Westwood's skin, CaptainAzinger's team was exactly that, a team. He had them ready. If not for MichaelPhelps, Paul Azinger would be the choice for Sportsman of the Year.
Tony Pangonas, Round Rock, Texas
Just once I'd liketo see a reporter conclude that the captaincy and pairing of players haveabsolutely nothing to do with who wins the Ryder Cup. In my view, it's theplayers who deserve 100% of the credit.
Danny Herns, San Jose
A Toast toTowny
Lee Jenkins'sstory about the many major league players who have come from youth leagues inthe southeast corner of our state (Virginia's Boy Wonders, Sept. 29) capturedthe spirit of Marvin (Towny) Townsend, the coach who launched the area's firstAAU program. In 2006 I had the honor of working as Towny's assistant coach withthe Ruffner Middle School baseball team in the Norfolk RBI league. Cancer wasalready tearing Towny apart, but that didn't stop him from working six days aweek (unpaid, of course). Towny believed that inner-city kids could learnlessons from baseball that would make a difference in their lives and give themhope for the future. We can see some of the kids he coached here playing inhigh school now, and dreaming of bigger things than they once ever thoughtpossible. Oh, yeah, his last team finished 6--0 and won a championship.
Don Lloyd, Chesapeake, Va.
Last off-seasonthe six major league stars from your story—Michael Cuddyer, David Wright, RyanZimmerman, B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds—came back to thecommunity and participated in a home run derby at a new high school to helpraise money for its athletics programs. (Cuddyer won handily, topping Wright inthe final.) Fans in the Hampton Roads area have a lot to be proud of.
Tina Marino, Virginia Beach
In his column onrefunds that should be available in sports (POINT AFTER, Sept. 29), ChrisBallard tries to imagine Andruw Jones, the nonperforming Dodgers outfielder,offering to return his salary. It would not be without precedent, as somethinglike that actually happened once. In 1978 Lyman Bostock of the CaliforniaAngels, after playing below what he considered to be his level in April, askedowner Gene Autry to take back that month's salary. The team refused, so Bostockdonated the money to charity.
Skip Nevell, Los Angeles
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