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Original Issue


Jim Thome's season is emblematic of the outstanding career he's had since coming up with the Indians in 1991. Thome has produced year after year and helped his teams reach the playoffs nine times. Thank you for sharing this Hall of Famer's role and showing how important he is to baseball.

Steven Pincus, Woodland Hills, Calif.

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Your cover showing Jim Thome of the Twins hitting at Target Field had a familiar look to it (Still Going Strong, Sept. 27). I pulled out my copy of SI's inaugural issue (Aug. 16, 1954), which shows Eddie Mathews of the Braves in an almost identical pose. But that's where the similarity ends: The cover price on that first issue was 25 cents.

Clifford Haller Newburyport, Mass.

I grew up as a Twins fan and watched Harmon Killebrew hit many majestic home runs. Fans didn't leave their seats when Harmon was up. Thome brings that same excitement to the ballpark.

Scott Potter, Morgan, Minn.

Special Report

I am a team orthopedic surgeon for Florida State and served as orthopedic surgeon for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Reading David Epstein's and Melissa Segura's article (The Elusive Dr. Galea, Sept. 27), I was disappointed to learn that Jamal Lewis says he can't trust team physicians and that "anything they tell me goes in one ear and out the other." A doctor-patient relationship cannot exist on those terms. I can assure Lewis and others that team physicians have the patients' well-being as their top priority.

Bill Thompson Tallahassee, Fla.

I have a busy orthopedic physical-therapy clinic and have felt for some time that every patient who walks through our door would benefit from a controlled course of HGH therapy. My colleagues and I have spent hours discussing the social and psychological factors that have prevented good research into HGH's use in rehabilitation, and your article has provided many answers for us. We look forward to more studies regarding the healing power of HGH and to witnessing improved quality of life for everyone, not just elite athletes.

Scott Nossek, Payson, Ariz.

Youth Isn't Served

George Dohrmann's article describes what has been wrong with the summer AAU circuits for more than 20 years (The Education of Demetrius Walker, Sept. 27). Young players are being influenced by many coaches whose knowledge is limited, whose methods can be deplorable and whose long-term goals for each athlete are usually self-serving.

Troy Noble, Galesburg, Ill.

Double Good

Let me be the first to stump for Stanford's Owen Marecic for the Heisman Trophy (The Perfect Player, Sept. 27). Shouldn't we reward a student-athlete who starts at fullback and middle linebacker on a top 20 team while carrying a 3.9 GPA? Let's get him a seat in the front row for the ceremony in New York City.

Mark Crandlle Middleburg, Fla.

No-Win Situation

I reject Phil Taylor's argument that penalties imposed on colleges for violations after the perpetrators have left the school are unfair to the schools (POINT AFTER, Sept. 27). The threat of punishment encourages schools to hire coaches who follow the rules. While it isn't a perfect system, it is best for all parties concerned, especially the players.

Bruce Sage, Troy, Mich.

Why should a team, or school, suffer because of one or two "illegal" players? Punishment should be exacted on the real culprits. Agents should be fined and lose their access to players. Athletes should also be punished financially (perhaps by taking a percentage of any pro contract they sign). These situations will continue to happen until a real solution to the problem is found.

Stanley L. Dec Ellwood City, Pa.

Fraternal Order

Peyton Manning deserves praise for his meticulous preparation, accurate arm and leadership skills. But his most admirable quality is his refusal to lay blame or gloat (Oh, Brother..., Sept. 27). After the Colts' Super Bowl loss to the Saints he didn't point his finger at his special teams players, receivers or defenders who truly cost Indy the game, and after he beat Eli for the second time, he declined to be interviewed so that he could go talk to his brother.

Peter Anderson Willow Park, Texas

As a Giants fan I wish Damon Hack were correct that the gap between Peyton and Eli Manning is closing. The best comparison might be to the DiMaggios—Peyton, like Joe, is a certain Hall of Famer while Eli, like Dom, is a solid player, but not in his brother's class.

Richard L. Pacelle Jr. Statesboro, Ga.

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