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Covers – Up (1977)

Covers – Up (1977)

By Paul Semendinger

February 20, 2022

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Magazines and newspapers today are falling (or have already fallen) out of favor. Print media is a dying business. People want this information fast and quick and immediately. Fans don’t have the patience to wait a week for Sports Illustrated or The Sporting News to come around. Baseball Digest used to have statistics people couldn’t find anywhere else, but now almost every stat is only a few clicks (if that) away.

Still, as I look back, I miss all the sports magazines. I used to collect and save whatever ones I could get my hands on. I my day, the aforementioned magazines along with Sport, Inside Sports, and before the season Street and Smiths and Who’s Who In Baseball were the most popular periodicals that I got my hands on.

I thought it might be a fun exercise to start in 1977 when my baseball fandom began and to tally which players were featured on the covers of these various magazines and newspapers and to see how many future Hall of Famers were featured.

This will be a fun way to look back on the stars of the day and reminisce and see if those stars had enough “staying power” to reach baseball’s glorious Hall of Fame. I’ll also draw other conclusions based on the information as presented.

1977 Baseball Magazines and Newspapers:

Who’s Who in Baseball (one yearly issue): Thurman Munson and Joe Morgan

Street & Smith’s (one yearly issue): Thurman Munson

Baseball Digest (published monthly):

January- World Series (Chris Chambliss & Ken Griffey),

February –Thurman Munson

March – Amos Otis

April – Mark Fidrych

May – John Montefusco

June – Steve Carlton

July – Dave Parker

August – Manny Trillo & Ivan DeJesus

September – Carl Yastrzemski

October – Steve Garvey

November – Bump Wills

December – George Foster

Sport Magazine (published monthly, but baseball was not always the cover image)”:

July – Mark Fidrych

October – Rod Carew

The Sporting News (published weekly, but baseball was not always the cover image):

Joe Rudi, Don Baylor, Bobby Gritch (March 7)

Wayne Garland (March 26)

Mike Schmidt (April 2)

Don Gullett & Reggie Jackson (April 9)

Bert Campaneris (April 16)

Rick Monday (April 23)

Rollie Fingers (April 30)

Amos Otis (May 7)

Joe Rudi (May 14)

Ted Simmons (May 21)

Ron Cey (May 28)

Mitchell Page (June 4)

Dave Parker (June 11)

Richie Zisk (June 18)

Bruce Sutter (June 25)

Butch Wynegar (July 9)

Jeff Burroughs (July 16)

Frank Tanana (July 23)

Steve Carlton (July 30)

Joe Morgan (August 6)

Jim Rice (August 13)

Three Expos (Ellis Valentine, Andre Dawson, Warren Cromartie?) (August 20)

Bump Wills (August 27)

Tommy John (September 3)

Graig Nettles (September 24)

Greg Luzinski (October 1)

Al Cowens (October 8)

Rod Carew (October 15)

Four Dodgers (Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey) (October 22)

Sports Illustrated (published weekly, but baseball was not always the cover image):

Tommy Lasorda (March 14)

Bump Wills (March 28)

Joe Rudi (April 11)

Reggie Jackson (May 2)

Dave Parker (May 30)

Mark Fidrych (June 6)

Tom Seaver (June 27)

Rod Carew & Ted Williams (July 18)

Sadaharu Oh (August 15)

Greg Luzinski (August 29)

World Series (Thurman Munson, Bill Russell) (October 24)

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CONCLUSIONS –

The baseball preview magazines focused on Thurman Munson and Joe Morgan. Morgan is in the Hall of Fame. If he didn’t die tragically, Thurman would be there too. He will get there eventually.

Baseball Digest featured two eventual Hall of Famers (Steve Carlton and Yaz).

The Sporting News featured ten eventual Hall of Famers (Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson, Rollie Fingers, Ted Simmons, Bruce Sutter, Steve Carlton, Joe Morgan, Jim Rice, Andre Dawson, and Rod Carew).

Sports Illustrated featured four eventual Hall of Famers (Tommy Lasorda, Reggie Jackson, Tom Seaver, and Rod Carew (with Ted Williams).

Sport only featured baseball twice, but had Rod Carew.

Bump Wills appeared on the cover of Baseball Digest, Sports Illustrated, and The Sporting News. There were big hopes for him.

Mark Fidrych was a popular cover photo still as were Dave Parker, Greg Luzinski, Joe Rudi, and Amos Otis.

#CoverUp

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