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Now "Baseball Digest" is hanging by a thread

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smasher_Sloan, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    They announced they will only publish six times a year. Had been monthly, then scaled back to monthly during the season, bi-monthly otherwise. Now it's six a year (maybe).

    They had a little empire in Evanston for a while, publishing Digests for Football, Basketball, Hockey and Auto Racing. There may have been others. They had a decent business plan where they used their pages to sell products. I think they blew a bundle trying to publish "Inside Sports" after Newsweek dropped it. I assume since then they've had the same problems everyone else has -- too much online competition and the lousy economy.
  2. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    I assumed that publication had died years ago.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Damn. Another shred of my childhood, about to disappear. It seemed like my Dad took me to get the papers and bought me a Baseball Digest every Saturday when I was a kid.

    To further Smasher's post, I think the Digests were especially done in by the ability to answer any trivia question with a couple clicks on the Interwebs. The best thing about the magazine was the extensive Letters to the Editor, with questions such as "My third cousin twice-removed says he played one game for the New York Giants in 1921. We think he's full of shit. Can you tell me if he played?" and in-depth answers that featured the entire boxscore. Now you can look that up yourself.

    Baseball Digest also had a really good stats section in the back, which of course has also been rendered irrelevant by the Internet.
  4. The first time my name appeared in print was on a Hockey Digest letter to the editor when I was 12. Sorry to see the Digests on the way out, but not hard to understand why.
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    I actually dumped some already-published features on various <i>Digests</i> over the years. I think they paid $75 or $100, which was basically "found" money since the work had already been done.

    Of course, there <b>was</b> that hassle of stuffing the copy into an envelope, taking it to the Post Office and laying out 40 cents to mail it.
  6. my first free-lance story ever was in baseball digest

    i'll never forget getting the acceptance card in the mail. a thrill for a kid just out of J-school. the $100 was nice too!
  7. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    OMG, I remember that:

    <i>Dear Hockey Digest,

    I just want to say you guys have the coolest magazine around and I never miss an issue. I wish the NHL refs didn't have it in for the Flyers and would give them a fair shake sometimes. They play rough, but within the rules. Now the Bruins are the REAL dirty team.</i>

    <b>anonymousprick, age 12
    Vorhees, NJ</b>
  8. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    In junior high school I happened on someone's copy of Baseball Digest in class. A slugging Joe Morgan was on the cover, with penciled-in doodles such as "What a blast," "There goes another homer," and cheering fan stick figures.

    Today, that all seems like hieroglyphics in the ruins of a lost civilization.
  9. Castaway

    Castaway New Member

    Spelled Voorhees wrong---obviously in need of an editor.
  10. Herbert Anchovy

    Herbert Anchovy Active Member

    I got these for years and years. They were small and easy to pack into anything. Still have a box of old ones somewhere. Ads for Bill James' abstracts and Stratomatic appeared here first before they did anywhere else.
  11. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Used to take or buy one on the family's summer camping trips, then read it at night in the car from the campground, using the dome light while listening to my favorite team's game broadcast on the scratchy AM radio. And my old man yelling at me to knock it off, because I was draining the car battery.

    Later, I had my first story picked up in the Digest and felt like I had joined the fraternity.

    Later still, I worked for a newspaper whose policy was to claim 75 percent of any revenues generated from re-published material. The Digest folks were sending our checks to our work address, and someone in Accounting would grab them first, then issue a line item on our paychecks for $18.75, our measly 25 percent of the $75 reprint fee. Glad to see that all those $56.25 contributions helped my newspaper plan properly for these Internet-challenged, new-millennium hard times.

    BTW, I get equally nostalgic when I see a Who's Who in Baseball on the newstand each spring. That was an annual ritual, sure sign of approaching spring.
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    No wonder <i>Hockey Digest</i> went out of business.
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