I've read a few articles in SI that I didn't fully agree with but never one quite so absurd as your August 19 article on Curt Flood (Not Just a Flood, but a Deluge). The moment I took the magazine from the mailbox and read the caption, my stomach turned.
I do not wish to take anything away from Mr. Flood; he's a fine ballplayer (this year). But I believe that the greatest centerfielder—and I'm even bold enough to say the greatest all-round baseball player alive—is Willie Mays, aging though he is.
Ask any kid who Willie Mays is, then ask him who Curt Flood is. Curt who?
Your article on Curt Flood was very good, but proclaiming Flood as the best center-fielder in both the American and the National leagues is ridiculous.
Even though I'm a San Francisco Giant fan, I must admit that the August 19 cover of SI showed a great picture of Curt Flood making a spectacular catch. But the headlines made me mad.
All I have to say is this: I appreciate the fact that the author, after two pages and eight paragraphs of the article, mentioned the name of Willie Mays.
Your cover picture of Curt Flood shows why he's nor baseball's best centerfielder. A slight inspection shows Mr. Flood trapping the baseball, and any true-blue fan knows that Willie Mays (baseball's best centerfielder) would have caught that ball with his back to the wall.
Would you believe that I don't completely agree with your assertion that Curt Flood is the best centerfielder in the league?
The article on the Cardinals, and Curt Flood in particular, was great. However, you omit one fact that makes Flood even greater than your article indicated: Flood usually bats behind Brock, who leads the league or is second in stealing bases. Flood takes many a called strike, bluffs a bunt or swings at a ball that he does not intend to hit in order to aid Brock in his stealing. Despite this handicap, he still gets his 200 hits and .300 batting average pretty regularly.
You must have something against the Chicago Cubs, because you have been ignoring their great baseball all year. And now you ignore the fact that the Cubs have jumped from ninth to second in less than a month.