The story and pictures that will unfold on the following pages provide a brief summary of some of the highlights in this book. The book has been sitting in a box for over 20 years. Since I no longer live in a baseball town, no one I show it to seems the least bit interested in its story. This book is precious enough to warrant a few hours of my time (in creating this site) so that the world (or at least those few who will appreciate it) can see some of its contents. Enjoy!
As you can see, it is in pretty good shape, even though it isn't in mint condition. (How could it be given that I hauled it to and from hundreds of games?) I made a book cover for it in 1983 and never removed the cover until today (2007) in order to take these pictures. The spine has minor creases from opening it so many times to get the contents autographed. The corners are only slightly rounded. Too bad it is a softcover, rather than hardcover, book. There are no creases or bends in the front or back cover--something that probably can't be said for many softcover books this old, let alone those with over 500 autographs inside!
The format for this book is described on the back cover. Basically there is one page for each projected starter in the major leagues for 1983. Some utility players are given a half page at the end of their team's section. Rather than just descriptions of the players, there are the now well-known graphics showing where the batters hit the ball and what part of the field they usually hit the ball to. I had never seen these before this book. Remember that at the time, when you saw games on TV, they didn't have all the fancy computer graphics they do now.
You can see the price in the lower right hand corner of the following picture--$12.95. That was fairly expensive at the time for a softcover book, but the book is over 600 pages in length and very high quality. Do you think it is worth a little more than that now? ;)
On the inside of the back cover you can see what happens when you run into a Hall of Fame player and have nothing else for them to autograph. I think I obtained these autographs at an old-timers game. From top to bottom are: Warren Spahn, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, and Juan Marichal. Cepeda wasn't in the Hall back in 1983 but has since been inducted.
Notice that the glue binding this book has discolored but the pages have not. Luckily you can only see the glue on the insides of the covers.
The story and pictures continue below...