To a seven-year-old kid the Big Red Machine (Welcome to the Machine, Aug. 31) was not a baseball team, but a collection of superheroes, each wielding his own special superpower. The way I saw it, basketball had the Harlem Globetrotters, and baseball had the Cincinnati Reds.
Dan Orr, Gahanna, Ohio
Joe Posnanski argues that the 1975 Reds were the greatest collection of talent assembled under one dugout roof. While it's impressive that Cincinnati had a Hall of Fame manager and four Hall of Fame--caliber regulars, I would suggest that the 1932 Yankees were better. Those Yankees had a Hall of Fame manager (Joe McCarthy) and six Hall of Fame regulars (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Sewell). Furthermore, the Yankees had three Hall of Fame pitchers (Lefty Gomez, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing), while Cincinnati had none.
Daniel Russo, Amherst, N.Y.
The 1975 Reds won the World Series only because the A's, who had won the three previous titles, began losing players to free agency. I'd take those Oakland teams over Cincinnati's any day—in fact, those A's beat Bench, Rose & Co. in the '72 Series.
Like the 1975 Reds, the Orioles of 1969 to '71 also had a Hall of Fame manager (Earl Weaver) and three players who made it to Cooperstown (Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer). The Reds may have had a slight edge on Baltimore in hitting, but the O's had far superior pitching and defense.
James Shell, Salem, Va.