THE REDS' STREAK
I have been a Cincinnati Reds' fan for many years and I can't remember a team as exciting as this one (Cincy Doesn't Kid Around, Aug. 4). Power, speed, defense and excellent pitching, from starters to relievers, have given the Reds the best won-lost record in the majors. Now, after the Reds' May-July streak, we Cincinnati fans anxiously await the playoffs and the World Series. The Big Red Machine is in high gear.
Kent Hannon's article on the Reds is a fine piece of research, except for one slight inaccuracy. The Reds' record of 41-9 does not equal the best 50-game record, as far as I can establish. If I remember correctly, the 1906 Cubs won 44 of their last 50 games. The Cubs' hitting and pitching statistics may not have been as devastating as the Reds' but they did manage to do something right.
Kent Hannon handed out accolades for previous hot streaks, but he did not list the 1942 Cardinals, who won 43 of their last 52 games to overcome a 10-game Brooklyn lead. They spotted the "invincible" Yankees the first game in the World Series, then took the next four, running their end-of-the-season streak to 47-10. Now that was a baseball team.
JOHN E. HERZOG
•SI's comparisons were made on the basis of a 50-game period, but the 1942 Cardinals still deserve credit—they won 42 of their last 50 games.—ED.
August 17, 1975
It's time someone recognized the talents of Greg Luzinski (He's in a Zone All His Own, Aug. 4). If he keeps on getting publicity, maybe he'll start in the All-Star Game next year. He should have started this year. He's a superstar.
And don't think the NL East race is over. Danny Ozark's men will prevail when the dust settles and the Battle of Pennsylvania is over.
Jack Mann's article on Greg Luzinski may bring in a flood of letters from Phillie fans. They'll probably say something like "Greg Luzinski is no one to fool with. Neither are his teammates, and the Pirates know it." And they have reason to say so.
Still, the Bucs have no need to be scared of the Phillies, if they believe in tradition. Along with the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers, the Phillies will choke. Los Angeles already has. Even under Fireball Billy Martin the Bronx Bombers will end up duds. Forget the Red Sox; they have won only two pennants since 1918. Big Greg, Big Mike and Big Dick might smack 100 more homers for the Phillies, but Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Oakland and Baltimore will win.
JAMES LEE LAREGINA
Greg Luzinski has hit only three homers since the All-Star Game, but in the first 15 games after the All-Star break, Reggie Jackson hit eight homers, knocked in 21 runs and raised his average from .247 to .271. Jackson has the same number of home runs as Luzinski and is rapidly approaching him in RBIs.
It has been said that one picture is worth a thousand words. I didn't believe it until I saw the one of Greg Luzinski.
BOOG'S BATTING AVERAGE
As I recall, in your April 7 scouting report on the Cleveland Indians you said it would be nice if Boog Powell could manage to hit better than his weight (250). Well, he was hitting .301 as of Aug. 1, with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs. I just thought I'd let you know.
North Lauderdale, Fla.
Another fine attempt has been made to figure out us Southern Californians and the games we play (They've Stepped Way Over the Line, Aug. 4). Curry Kirkpatrick wrote a warm and thought-provoking article on the game of Over the Line and its resulting insanity. But at least he pointed out how serious the teams are. It is not a joke to those who come from all over the country to compete in this invigorating tournament.
RICHARD A. HOFF
Royal Clarke, Mr. Over the Line at the ripe old age of 40, is given credit as a co-inventor, whereas he should be called a resurrector of the game. I was introduced to Over the Line and Hit Through the Infield on the playground of Horace Mann Jr. High School (Los Angeles) in the summer of 1932. My arithmetic says this was three years before Mr. Clarke was born. The numerous ball-playing alumni of Horace Mann who got their start in the game some 20 years before Mr. Clarke's "invention" must shudder at the total absence of this fact.
Miss Emerson was nice, though.
JACK E. SMITH
In Los Angeles during the 1930s, Over the Line was our mainstay throughout the summer. Royal Clarke apparently eliminated the baserunning. In my era the batter got as many bases as he could reach before the fielding team returned the ball over the line.
The elimination of running is a doubtful improvement, but the addition of Miss Emerson is a grand slam.
R. W. HEGGLAND
How can you lose two elephants, especially in Oklahoma (The Great American Elephant Hunt, Aug. 4)? We Okies know that our state is not all flat prairie land. Around Hugo some areas are so thick they make the jungles of Africa look like the cornfields of Nebraska. That is the reason the elephants eluded searchers for nearly three weeks. Jeannette Bruce did a terrific job of describing this unique occurrence. Isa and Lilly were finally captured (SCORECARD, Aug. 11), but those who searched so long must remember the area for its thickets.
Address editorial mail to SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, TIME & LIFE Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, N.Y. 10020.