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Bruce Schoenfeld's article captured the romantic essence of a lost art in baseball. I wish more writers would pay attention to the nuances and details of sports. To hear players speak of the "mystical" nature of stealing home reminds us all that there is something still very pure about this game.

Chris Lang, Bethlehem, Pa.

While reading Schoenfeld's piece (Stealing Home, Aug. 16), I felt as though I were standing on third base waiting to see if the pitcher would foolishly revert to his windup. I recalled the flow of adrenaline and the way time slows down until the next delivery. Thanks for conjuring up those goose bumps and making me feel like I was 17 again.

Joshua R. Smith Taneytown, Md.

Schoenfeld contends that Grady Sizemore's steal of home in 2005 proved to be of only aesthetic value for the Indians because Travis Hafner homered two pitches later. I'd argue that the steal was responsible for two runs scoring. Each pitch does not occur in a vacuum. Would Hafner have seen the same two pitches from the Blue Jays' Dustin McGowan had Sizemore remained at third base? Also, it's very likely Sizemore's steal caused McGowan to lose focus, resulting in the gopher ball.

Greg Nelson, Duluth

I was disappointed that this story did not mention one of the greatest home plate thefts of all time. On Aug. 22, 1982, third-string catcher Glenn Brummer of the Cardinals broke for home with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 12th inning for a 5--4 win over the Giants. I was in Busch Stadium that day, and it was the most exciting sports play I have ever witnessed.

Dan Eichholz, Rochester, Ill.

What about Ty Cobb and his 54 career steals of home, including a high of eight in a single year (1912)?

Marc Gullickson Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Bucking the Broncos

Your cover photo brings glaring attention to an advantage shrewdly employed by the Broncos at Boise State for their home games (College Football Preview, Aug. 16). Imagine a night game in Boise, blue players on a blue field, along with a blue background from the fans and the blue perimeter padding. How do you find the Boise running back if you're the safety? All that's missing is a blue football. Maybe coach Chris Petersen will try that this year.

W. Gray Grieve, Eugene, Ore.

I disagree with your rating of Boise State as No. 3 in the country. The Broncos were undefeated last year, ranked fourth in some polls and have great returning starters, but don't you think their schedule has something to do with their success? Their soft WAC schedule allows them to rest important players, which makes it easier for them to be successful in late-season games.

Patrick J. Renzelman Sheboygan, Wis.

I was excited to see your projection for Kansas State. I noticed, however, that you predicted both Kansas State and Central Florida to go undefeated in out-of-conference play, which can't happen since they play each other on Sept. 25 in Manhattan. So, who do you think will win?

Michael Parker Westmoreland, Kans.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Central Florida's conference record should have been listed at 6--2, not 4--4. SI predicts that K-State will win their matchup.


As a high school teacher I was disappointed that your Aug. 16 issue included two references to hazing. SI describes a picture of Dolphins defensive tackle Travis Ivey shouldering his teammates pads in the hot sun as a "good-natured rookie hazing ritual," (LEADING OFF), and there was also a picture of Tim Tebow, who had been "scalped in rookie hazing" (Scorecard). SI portrays these acts as funny and to be expected. Our kids won't learn until we lead by example.

Nancy Urner-Berry Simsbury, Conn.

Not Having a Ball

Having watched a ballhawk scramble to grab 10 or more batting practice balls in the rightfield porch of Camden Yards, mostly at the expense of kids trying to catch one souvenir (POINT AFTER, Aug. 16), I would like to see the ushers duct-tape these guys to their seats instead of letting them terrorize normal fans. I'm glad Phil Taylor found one ballhawk who donates his proceeds to charity, but the vast majority are selfish opportunists trying to make a buck.

Rick Hanna, Great Falls, Va.

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