As I was browsing Sports Illustrated’s archive of covers, I came across something so disturbing that it forced me to reevaluate their legitimacy, and consider a moratorium on my ‘Classic Sports Illustrated Covers’ series. Sure, I know that it is part of their business to market what is trending across sports, but it is not their business to disgrace living legends. I get that Jeff Francoeur was one of the most exciting, young, baseball players when he graced the cover in 2005, but there is no way that Sports Illustrated could have honestly believed that he was Cooperstown bound. To make matters worse, SI’s contentious cover proclaimed Francoeur as “The Natural,” exactly as it did when Ken Griffey, Jr. burst on the scene in 1990. Comparing an over-producing rookie to what Junior had done in the 15 years since that first cover is a blatant insult. Hell, even Robert Redford should be pissed off.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
August 29, 2005
“Can anyone be this good?”
Really? Pretend for a second that you did believe that Francoeur was the next star, is it in any way logical, or professional for that matter, to compare him to “the Kid”? I would have figured(hoped) that Junior’s relentless career set a new precedent for such recognitions and labels. But hey, what do I know? I’m only realistic.