10 Great Baseball Magazine Covers
Major League Baseball’s opening day this year was April 3. We’ve dug deep into our archives to present 10 of our favorite baseball magazine covers to celebrate the start of the season. Thanks to Linda Rubes for co-producing this story.
(Above): Time, August 28, 1971, illustration by Bob Peak. Left-handed Oakland Athletics pitcher Vida Blue was the American League Cy Young Award winner and MVP in 1971 as he posted a 24-8 record.
Life, April 25, 1938. John Thomas “Long Tom” Winsett was a left fielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he appeared on the cover of Life magazine. He had his most productive career in 1937 when he belted 15 doubles and five HRs, and batted in 42 runs. Winsett slugged a home run in his first major league at-bat for the Boston Red Sox, but after an erratic career he retired in 1938 after a final season with the “Daffy Dodgers.”
Time, September 8, 1969, the year the New York Mets won their first World Series. Illustration by Willard Mullin, the long time New York World-Telegram sports cartoonist who created the famous Brooklyn Bum character.
Sport, August 1951. New York Yankees catcher Lawrence “Yogi” Berra was a three-time MVP, 15-time All Star, won 10 World Series rings, and as manager took teams from both the American and National Leagues to the World Series. Berra got his nickname from a friend who said he resembled a Hindu holy man (a yogi) whenever he sat with arms and legs crossed waiting to bat.
Baseball Magazine, March 1916. Baseball Magazine was published from 1908-1957, and briefly in the mid-60s. “Shoeless Joe” Jackson has the third highest career batting average in major league history (.356), but is remembered best for his role in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, where he and members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the previous year’s World Series.
Sports Illustrated, June 22, 1970. Photograph by Neil Leifer. Tony Conigliaro was a right fielder for the Red Sox, who led the American League in home runs with 32 in 1965. In 1967 he was hit by a pitch on his left cheekbone in a game against the California Angels. Although his eyesight was permanently damaged, he made a comeback a year and half later.
Time, September 22, 1947. Illustration of Jackie Robinson by Ernest Hamlin Baker. Robinson was the first African American Major League Baseball player of the modern era when he broke the color line playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He was named Rookie of the Year that year, and went on to win the MVP title in 1949. Robinson may also have been the first African American to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
Esquire, July 1966, design by George Lois. “What’s Joe DiMaggio doing with himself these days?” asked the cover headline. That’s Lois posed as Joltin’ Joe in Yankee Stadium.
Sports Illustrated, April 13, 1964. Left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1955-66. He pitched four no-hitters in his career, and won the National League Cy Young award in 1963, 65, and 66 by unanimous votes. Born in Brooklyn, the two-time World Series MVP famously did not pitch game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.
Sports Illustrated, August 21, 1995, marking the death of New York Yankee Mickey Mantle. The Mick played his entire 18-year career for the Yankees, winning three Most Valuable Player awards, 16 All-Star nods, and seven world championship rings. In 1956 Mantle won the Triple Crown crown, leading the American League in home runs, batting average, and RBIs. Design: Steven Hoffman. Photograph by George Silk.