Baseball America began in 1981, which turned out to be a watershed year for the minor leagues, college baseball and the draft. BA has been there to document their changes every step of the way. The publication’s signature moment occurred in 1983, when it moved to Durham, N.C.
One of baseball’s redeeming qualities is that it is trapped in a time warp. Basically, the fundamentals of the sport today are the same as they were 50 years ago. Even 100 years ago.
That truism hardly applies, though, when the game is viewed through a Baseball America prism.
At a time of reflection as we mark the occasion of BA’s 40th anniversary, it’s relatively safe to say that baseball in 1981, in our first year of publication, was hardly the same stable entity we’d always come to expect, just as it wasn’t in 2020, in our 40th year, either.
Between the pandemic that brought unimagined chaos to every facet of the game, along with the sweeping, systematic changes administered by Major League Baseball that brought a noble institution like Minor League Baseball to its knees, baseball in 2020 was hardly a game we recognized. For certain, it tested the resolve and resilience of Baseball America to cover the series of unsettling events in a manner that faithful readers had become accustomed to over the last 40 years.
Understandably, it was BA’s most challenging year since, well, 1981, when I had the temerity to launch a bold, new, all-baseball publication out of the garage of my home in Canada. As ambitious and perhaps misguided as I was in believing I could succeed in making inroads on the game with a niche approach as basically a one-man operation with no conventional publishing wisdom or tools at my disposal hardly does justice to the term “humble beginning” in describing the early days of Baseball America.
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LET THERE BE LIGHT
New ballpark lighting standards will help hitters and fielders see the ball better at the lower levels
THE RULE OF THREE
Bobby Witt Jr., Riley Greene and CJ Abrams are three of the prospects we’re most excited to see this season—and for good reason
HIGH SCHOOL- THE TALE OF TWO TOOL SETS
Jackson Jobe realized his true upside is on the mound
RESOLVE WILL BE TESTED
Teams will face new challenges entertaining fans, but they should emerge stronger for it
MINORS- SURVEY SAYS
Our annual survey of minor league operators highlights the ways in which things will never be the same
The Time Is Now
Ethan Wilson looks to lead a talented South Alabama club back to a regional
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE . . .
College baseball teams continue their search to make their sport a revenue generator
The 2021 college season will be unlike any before it, with more talent across the country than at any other time in the history of the sport.
Jud Fabian and No. 1 Florida sit atop the SEC standings following a 16-1 start to the 2020 season
MARIAHVS.J.LO: THE NEXT ROUND!
A PAIR OF DIVAS!
Covid Means There's Even Less Joy in Mudville
Capacity constraints and distancing rules bring big headaches for season ticket holders
Umstead Spa channels the native terrain of North Carolina.
ARod's - PROMISE TO JLO
After Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez dialed back news of a split, the baseball great, dogged by rumors of a fling with reality star Madison LeCroy, was ready to grovel.
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WRITER AND SPORTS CARTOONIST MURRAY OLDERMAN ACCOMPLISHED A LOT IN HIS 98 YEARS, INCLUDING DRAWING SOME OF THE EARLIEST SKETCH CARDS
A NEW KING
1952 TOPPS MICKEY MANTLE SELLS FOR $5.2 MILLION – HIGHEST EVER FOR A BASEBALL CARD
GERBER’S TERRACRAFT FACES BOTH URBAN AND RURAL CHALLENGES LIKE A PRO
Soured on Pickles
IT STUCK TO the bar of soap in the bathtub, so you didn’t want to wash with it.
Playing Games Honduras-style
Would you play the same games in Honduras that you do in the United States? You might. Children in Honduras enjoy many of the same games North Americans do. They go fishing and shoot baskets. They play sandlot baseball—called bate (BAH tay). They fly kites and ride bikes. Their parents may go horseback riding or play golf or tennis.