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Covers – Up (1978)

Covers – Up (1978)

By Paul Semendinger

February 27, 2022

***

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.

In a way, along with baseball cards, these magazines shaped the way I understood the game. I learned who the great players were because they were, most often, the ones who the magazines focused 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 is the next article in the series.

This will be a fun way to look back on the stars and big names 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.

1978 Baseball Magazines and Newspapers:

Who’s Who in Baseball (one yearly issue): George Foster and Rod Carew

Street & Smith’s (one yearly issue): Rod Carew

Baseball Digest (published monthly):


January – Reggie Jackson


February – Willie McCovey


March – Rod Carew


April – Tom Seaver


May – Cesar Cedeno


June – Gary Templeton


July – Dave Kingman


August – Jim Rice


September – Ron Guidry


October – Clint Hurdle and Rich Gale


November – Reggie Smith


December – Dave Parker

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


April – Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage


May – Baseball in the Combat Zone (Graig Nettles)


July – Jim Rice


August – Tom Seaver


October – Carl Yastrzemski

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


Rod Carew and George Foster (March 4)


MLB Team Patches (April 8)


Lymon Bostock (April 15)


Gary Templeton (April 22)


Jason Thompson and Steve Kemp (April 29)


Don Money (May 6)


Ross Grimsley (May 13)


Pete Rose (May 20)


Jim Rice (May 27)


Prime Pitching (San Francisco Giants (June 3)


Gary Alexander (June 10)


Ron Guidry (June 17)


Vic Davalillo and Manny Mota (June 24)


Paul Splittorff (July 1)


Oriole Aces, inc. Jim Palmer (July 8)


All-Stars inc. Tom Seaver, Jim Rice, Ron Guidry, Steve Garvey, George Foster (July 15)


Larry Bowa (July 22)


Jim Sundberg (July 29)


Terry Puhl (August 5)


Paul Molitor (August 12)


Jack Clark (August 19)


Davey Lopes (August 26)


Carlton Fisk (September 16)


Dave Parker (September 23)


Goose Gossage (September 30)


Steve Garvey (October 21)


Ron Guidry (October 28)

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


Clint Hurdle (March 20)


George Foster and Rod Carew (April 10)


Mark Fidrych (April 24)


Billy Martin (July 31)


Pete Rose (August 7)


World Series (Fred Stanley) (October 23)

***

CONCLUSIONS –


The biggest cover star was Rod Carew. He appeared on four of these covers.


The only other Hall of Famers who were on more than one magazine cover were Jim Rice (3) and Tom Seaver (2) (Not counting The Sporting News’ All-Star Game cover.)


Of the non-Hall of Famers, 1978 was Ron Guidry’s big year so it’s no surprise to see him on numerous covers. Dave Parker was also somewhat ubiquitous.


I was surprised that following his heroics in the 1977 World Series, that Reggie Jackson was not featured more. He made just one cover (Baseball Digest).


I am also surprised that Pete Rose only made two covers.


There was still hope for Mark Fidrych. He made a Sports Illustrated cover, but that was his swan song, I am sure.

***

Previous Articles In This Series:

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