For those who fear the so-called "Sports Illustrated cover jinx," you'll be unhappy to learn this week's issue of the magazine available today just one day after their White House visit features "core of four" veterans Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. For those who enjoy quality sportswriting, the article was written by former Newsday baseball columnist Tom Verducci, a longtime SI staff member.

Verducci gets those four talking about their experiences together coming through the Yankees' organization. The first three have played 16 seasons together, and Pettitte, who came up at the same time, has 13 seasons but was present for all five World Series titles won by the group, having missed three seasons in the middle while playing for Houston.

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All four are off to terrific starts this season. Jeter is hitting .316 with 3 HR and 12 RBI; Posada is hitting .315 with 4 HR and 11 RBI; Pettitte has a 3-0 record and 1.29 ERA, and Rivera is perfect in six save attempts with a 0.00 ERA in eight appearances. Talk about a great foundation, it doesn't get any better.

Speaking of great Yankees, today is the 63rd anniversary of Babe Ruth Day at the old Stadium. Stricken by throat cancer, the great home-run hitter addressed Yankkes fans in his next-to-last appearance ever at the Stadium.