SI Vault
August 31, 1970
MAD ABOUT JOESirs:Regarding your horror cover of Aug. 17, what was it?
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August 31, 1970

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

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If you want to get picky, you can point out flaws in any player. Mays, for example, has had a baffling succession of slumpy Septembers and, on the occasions when the Giants have made the World Series, bad Octobers. Despite all his home runs, he has never hit one in three World Series, and his lifetime batting average for 17 Series games is .234.

Aaron, on the other hand, is not an outstanding fielder. His arm is not strong, and he does not make many long running catches or good plays in the corner to hold hitters to singles instead of doubles as Clemente does.

Mays, Aaron and Clemente are all great players. Let's leave it at that.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Statistically, I must agree that Aaron and Mays have hit more home runs and driven in more runs than Clemente. But sometimes statistics don't hold any value. For example, Ty Cobb led in more statistical departments than Babe Ruth, yet the Babe was named the greatest ever last year. This greatest ever stuff is all decided in people's minds. To me, if a man contributes his best to baseball he can never be overrated.
Lynnwood, Wash.

It occurs to me upon looking at the baseball standings in today's paper that something is amiss. Two years ago when division play was proposed all we heard were promises and more promises of more exciting pennant races. Just think—four exciting down-to-the-wire races instead of two. Well, here it is, barely a month after the All-Star Game, and three of those promised races are over. It doesn't take any great insight to see that Baltimore, Minnesota and Cincinnati are in like Flynn. The Pirates and the Mets will probably go down to the wire, so maybe you just have to write the National League off as having one of those years.

How many more years does Minnesota have to waltz away with the Western AL crown before people realize that its division needs help? And if Baltimore wins one more Eastern AL title I'm going to be sick all over my morning sports page! A definite reorganization is called for.

The most obvious move would seem to be the transfer of some of the better teams in the stronger Eastern to the Western Division. How about New York and the Red Sox for KC and Milwaukee, or Detroit and Cleveland for Oakland and Chicago, or anybody for anybody?

As long as Baltimore gets the privilege of playing its cousins from Kansas City and the Twins are permitted to rampage through their cream-puff division, I see nothing but more of the same dull pennant "races" year after year.

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