Congratulations to SI and Mark Mulvoy for giving due recognition to Lou Brock (A Nice Place to Visit, July 22). After reading numerous articles about pitchers with flashy won-lost records or newly found home-run hitters, it is a pleasure to find one about a consistent ballplayer such as Brock. Base running is still the most exciting part of baseball and provides the entertainment we fans are often deprived of.
Lou Brock earns his paycheck; he is truly an asset to the game of baseball. Undoubtedly he will lead the Cardinals to the National League pennant, while at the same time breaking Maury Wills' record for stolen bases.
An item you overlooked, though, was that St. Louis also has a good pitching staff. With Lynn McGlothen already having won 12 games, John Curtis coming around and Bob Gibson off to another terrible start (which means he'll have another fine year), how can the Cards lose?
Lou Brock is not only a thief on the base paths, he is a thief in the field. In a recent Monday night game, two out, men on second and third, he robbed Johnny Bench of at least a double with a brilliant leaping catch off the wall. In the next inning Brock, the leadoff batter, singled up the middle. After dancing around at first, he broke for second base. But then Bench evened the score, nailing Brock with a perfect peg.
Lou Brock is without a doubt the premier base stealer in the majors. His goal of overtaking Maury Wills' 12-year-old record of 104 stolen bases in 165 games is very impressive. But in the Class A Northwest League, Reggie Thomas of the Portland Mavericks reigns as the supreme swiper of them all. In 1973 Reggie set a league record of 71 thefts in only 66 games, 27 more than the previous record for a short season.
In our first 27 games this year Reggie has stolen 32 bases and been thrown out only eight times. Unlike Brock, who steals only off the pitcher, Reggie steals off the pitcher, the catcher, the second baseman and the shortstop. Everyone on the field knows he's going, which eliminates the element of surprise. Thomas has stated that not only will he break his own league record of 71, he is shooting for a world record of 120 thefts in our 84-game season.
After reading J. D. Reed's article about the Superdome (The Louisiana Purchase, July 22), I think the answer to the question, "Where did it come from?" is fairly obvious. It was conceived and seemingly forced upon the people of Louisiana by a handful of egomaniacs. The name should be changed from Superdome to Super Ripoff.
North Charleston, S.C.
It's too bad that the Superdome Commission could not be renamed the New Orleans Power Commission and the Superdome turned into a generating station for electricity (approximate cost, $160 million) to provide cheap power for the city of Mardi Gras for the next century. That would be of benefit to all, not just the idle affluent.
ROBERT C. SERVICE
Why not dome over the entire state of Louisiana? Central air conditioning could be provided by Dave Dixon. All that lip-flapping provides a nice breeze.
Santa Clara, Calif.
Taking an educated guess, I would say that the New Orleans Superdome will be a sure success. Since almost anything can be played under the one roof and assuming some 200 events or more a year, it shouldn't be hard to pay back the $163 million cost.