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Original Issue


Amid all the drug scandals and guaranteed megacontracts that have reduced the sport to a business absent loyalty from either players or fans, I often have to remind myself why I am still a baseball junkie. After reading Joe Posnanski's brilliant piece on one of the game's immortals, it has never been more clear. Think of the lessons that could be learned if everyone, not just ballplayers, tried to emulate Stan Musial.

Ed Lachcik, Heathrow, Fla.

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I have always found it curious that Musial and his storied career are not more widely appreciated outside St. Louis (Aug. 2--9). It is a mark of how wonderful a man Musial is that despite his tremendous statistical achievements, the article focused more on the Man's joyful personality and his genuine desire to make those around him happy.

Paul Blawie, Avon, Conn.

Since the Man lived a few neighborhoods away as I was growing up in St. Louis, he was my only hero. When I started working for SI out of college, he stayed my only hero. By the time I left SI more than a quarter century later—after meeting, getting to know and writing about what seemed like every athlete in every sport—he remained my only hero. And now, still. Whaddya say! Whaddya say! I say heartfelt thanks for the amazingly joyous picture of the Man before his final game, and congratulations to Joe Posnanski, whose feel and prose for my only hero was as memorable and elegant as Stan Musial himself.

Curry Kirkpatrick Hilton Head, S.C.

Contrary to what Posnanski wrote, Fox devoted several minutes exclusively to Stan the Man at the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis, airing historic clips and his golf cart ride into the ballpark while Joe Buck referred to him as "one of the sweetest, most genuine men ever to play baseball, who just happens to be one of the greatest players ever." Our cameras stayed on Musial right until the moment he handed the ceremonial first- pitch ball to President Obama.

Lou D'Ermilio Senior VP Communications Fox Sports Media Group New York City

Ice Queen

Words can't express my excitement over Andrew Lawrence's update on figure skater Michelle Kwan (Aug. 2--9), who spent more than a decade as the No. 1 U.S. figure skater. I have looked to her as a role model for the past 17 years and admired the way she handled both success and failure on and off the ice. It is so wonderful that an athlete of Kwan's caliber has remained true to herself and gives of herself so generously.

Barbara Stansbury Toms River, N.J.

Gator Hater

As a Michigan State fan I remember Florida guard Teddy Dupay as the guy whose questionable hard foul injured Mateen Cleaves in the 2000 NCAA championship game (Aug. 2--9). I hoped this article would erase the negative memories I have from that event. Instead, I read about his efforts to make money off a marijuana legalization website and his brushes with the law over gambling and assault. The fact that his former coach Billy Donovan declined to comment says it all.

Jeff Munroe, Grand Rapids

Revisionist History

Comparing Reggie Bush to Alex Rodriguez is like comparing apples to oranges (SCORECARD, Aug. 2--9). While A-Rod has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, the former USC running back's accomplishments on the playing field have never been questioned. Yes, the NCAA found that Bush and his family accepted perks from an agent, but explain to me how this helped him score touchdowns?

Darrell Wilson, Irvine, Calif.

Copy Bats

Phil Taylor's column brought back fond childhood memories (POINT AFTER, Aug. 2--9). My friends and I would get the Sunday sports section, conduct a draft from the MLB stats page, create lineups and then play Wiffle ball in my backyard. The requirement was to imitate each hitter in your lineup. We became experts on the pronounced crouch of Pete Rose, the flattened bat of Rod Carew and the extremely closed stance of Disco Dan Ford. For pitchers, deliveries would range from the "drop and drive" of Tom Seaver to the submarine styles of Kent Tekulve and Dan Quisenberry.

Jeff Leavitt, Reardan, Wash.

... The Willie Stargell bat twirl—one of the alltime great batting styles. Who didn't do that one in the '70s?

Bruce Ascher Cortland Manor, N.Y.

... Fernando Valenzuela's eyes raised skyward during his windup? How about Mickey Rivers's walk? Surely he must have had blisters from toe to heel with a walk like that.

Joyce McDonnell Rosemont, Pa.

... John Kruk, summer of 1993. I could do not only his batting stance but also how he stood on first base chomping on what seemed like the entire pouch of Big League Chew.

Mike Scancella, Holland, Pa.

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