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July 23, 2007
July 23, 2007

Table of Contents
July 23, 2007

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
Baseball
  • Henry Aaron is about to be displaced from his spot atop the alltime home run list, but 755 will endure as one of baseball's magical numbers, a lasting monument to an underappreciated star and to the courage and integrity with which the Hammer attained his crown

  • It's after midnight on the East Coast: Do you know where baseball's best closer is? J.J. Putz is in Seattle, saving games with near-historic efficiency

Pro Football

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This is an article from the July 23, 2007 issue

BASEBALL

40 The People's King
Henry Aaron's home run record is about to be eclipsed, but 755 will endure as a monument to an underrated star and to the integrity with which he attained his crown
By Tom Verducci

PRO FOOTBALL

46 It's Close-Up Time
With a golden arm and an Entourage-like band of buddies, Matt Leinart owns the spotlight. All he has to do is lead the Cardinals out of the darkness
By Michael Silver

PRO BASKETBALL

50 Back in Her Groove
After an injury-plagued 2006 season, Lauren Jackson traveled the world, playing and falling in love with hoops again. Now she's having a career year
By Kelli Anderson

BASEBALL

54 Lights Out
It's after midnight on the East Coast: Do you know where baseball's best closer is? J.J. Putz is in Seattle, saving games with near-historic efficiency
By Michael Farber

BOOK ADAPTATION

HURRICANE SEASON

A teen without much of a home before Katrina struck New Orleans, Joe McKnight escaped to find a second family and even greater high school glory
by Neal Thompson
PAGE 58

Departments

8 Leading Off

14 Letters

18 Players
• First Person: Cole Hamels
• ESPN's Who's Now? Stop. Now
• Remembering Shag Crawford
• On the set with the Mannings

36 Faces in the Crowd

76 Life of Reilly
Tips on how to celebrate the Fake Break: When Barry Bonds belts number 756 by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

68 Olympics
• Rio's big push in the Pan Ams

69 The NBA
• Milwaukee's top pick will stay put

70 NASCAR
• The bidding war for Kyle Busch

72 Baseball
• Bargain pickups for contenders

74 College Basketball
• A recruit skips the sneaker circuit

Cover
PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL LEIFER

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NFL Training Camp Kickoff

32 TRAINING CAMP POSTCARDS IN THREE WEEKS

Get the true flavor of training camp, everything from what Peter King is ordering at his favorite lunch spot in Latrobe, Pa., to which player is giving Don Banks the scoop at the Redskins camp, to which big-time Cowboys star Michael Silver is rolling with in San Antonio.

SI.com's training camp coverage also includes ...
> Scouts Bucky Brooks and Marc Trestman break down the key offensive trends
> Ranking the 25 toughest players in the NFL
> Top training camp battles
> Old faces in new places
> The 25 most unstoppable players
> Quarterbacks on the hot seat
> Weekly rookie watch
> Key fantasy players for every team

> Plus: Join Andrew Perloff for his Daily Camp Debate about the hottest topics in the NFL on FanNation.com.

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SPECIAL THIS WEEK

THE BEST GAME I'VE EVER SEEN

> To see all 34 SI writers' picks, go to SI.com/games.

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PHOTOJOHN CORDES/ICON SMI (PUTZ)54 PUTZ'EM TO BED With his late-night deliveries this season, closer J.J. Putz has pitched the Mariners into contention.PHOTOMARVIN GENTRY/US PRESSWIRE (MCKNIGHT)PHOTOCMS PHOTO (BOOK)PHOTOJAMES D. SMITH/ICON SMIPHOTOMITSU YASUKAWA/STAR-LEDGER/US PRESSWIREPHOTOWARREN WIMMER/ICON SMIPHOTOBRYAN C. SINGER/ICON SMIPHOTOAP/W MAGAZINE (BECKHAMS)ILLUSTRATIONFLICKERLAB (REILLY)PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIERPHOTOCHARLES ARBOGAST/APPHOTOROBERT STINNETT/OAKLAND TRIBUNE/AP