The start of the baseball season brings with it a host of annual traditions and reminders, and one of the most venerable – the annual Who’s Who in Baseball – will arrive on newsstands across the country in the coming weeks.
For close to 100 years, Who’s Who has delivered year-by-year stats to generations of baseball fans to quickly and easily track a player’s year-by-year performance from the minors to the majors. Who’s Who is trusted as an authoritative source, and has been used by generations of club executives, broadcasters, journalists and fans. For fantasy league players, it serves as a convenient resource just in time for annual drafts.
New for 2014 as Who’s Who approaches its 100-year anniversary is the Who’s Who in Baseball app available in IOS and Android formats. The Who’s Who app offers a fully digital, searchable and indexed format in addition to the print version, which has become a staple in every baseball fans’ library.
This year marks the 99th edition, and features the great Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the cover. Kershaw is the first Dodger since Fernando Valenzuela in 1982 to take the principal spot on the cover. Others featured include Andrew McCutchen, Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer.
More than 775 players are included this year, including the just retired Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Roy Halladay, Michael Young and Todd Helton, giving fans their final and complete year-by-year stats. And as with all players, minor and major league statistics are presented together, along with year-by-year postseason performances, as well as transactions and visits to the disabled list for all. It has been that way since William Howard Taft was in the White House, and the Philadelphia Athletics were the defending world champions.
The 2014 “journeyman” award goes to pitcher Darren Oliver, whose regular season stats cover 40 lines, with an additional 13 lines for postseason and 23 transactions or visits to the disabled list. LaTroy Hawkins’ regular season stats cover 38 lines.
This year’s Who’s Who includes 360 pages in its familiar 5 ¼ x 8 trim size with its usual eye-catching red cover. The cover price is $9.95.
The book’s origins go back to it being a spin-off of popular Baseball Magazine deep in baseball’s dead ball era, back in 1912. The second issue appeared in 1916, with Ty Cobb on the cover, and the publication has come out each spring since. Harris Publications Inc. (and its division, Who’s Who in Baseball Magazine Co.,) has published the book since 1956.
As one might expect for such an American institution, plans are already being made to mark the 100th edition next year – and edition that we already know will feature the final lifetime stats for Derek Jeter.