Bravo! As a longtime dedicated reader of SI, I wish to compliment you on the outstanding Rod Carew analysis by Ted Williams and John Underwood ("I Hope Rod Carew Hits .400," July 18). I also wish Carew good luck in his quest for a .400 season.
WILLIAM D. NUESKE
None of our sportswriters have enough guts to say it in this town, but Rod Carew is not an All-Star first baseman! He is a great hitter, but he is playing out of position. Rod is not a big enough target for his infielders to throw to. His shorter stretch gives runners almost a full step on close plays. On wide or high throws he can't keep his foot on base, and they go past him, giving the runner an extra base—or, if he gets the throw, the runner is safe because Carew had to leave the bag to make the play. You don't have to be left-handed to play first, but it helps. Rod throws right-handed. Of course, he never claimed to be a first baseman. The owner of the Twins can take the credit for that.
After reading everything I always wanted to know about chewing tobacco, the following week my efforts are concentrated on Rod Carew, baseball's best hitter. Rod has clouded one issue for me. How can he bat left-handed and chew tobacco in his right cheek, as pictured, and expect to hit .400?
Ted Williams' analysis of Rod Carew was full of backhanded compliments and qualifications and loaded with egoisms in reference to Williams' own glorious career. The title should've read: "I hope Rod Carew hits .400...but I hope the fans will never equate Carew's prowess with mine."
I think Rod Carew could hit .400 if he faced the Twins' pitching.
The day I received your copy of SI with Williams on your cover, Carl Yastrzemski passed him on the Alltime Red Sox Hit List.
Rod Carew—the best hitter in baseball? Sure. It's hard to even get into a good discussion or argument on the matter. But the worst hitter in major league baseball? Ah, that would be a topic for scintillating debate in barrooms the baseball world over!
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
It was the best cover story I ever read in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Garden City, N.Y.
I recall another article, actually a series of articles, written by Ted Williams on hitting, which appeared in your magazine approximately 10 years ago. I dug out my old clippings and found Part V of that series, entitled The Science of Batting, which I had cut out for reference to improve my batting when I was active in baseball. After reading the article again, I am convinced this is the best piece on hitting I have seen.
Of all the great athletes in sports over the years, no other had the ability not only to analyze his own great talent but, more important, to pass it on to us in such profound and understandable terms.