Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Street and Smith

It’s February and, as a sufferer of BSAD (Baseball Seasonal Affective Disorder) wherein I get depressed after the World Series and don’t come out of it until right around now, I want to acknowledge the loss of  The Street and Smith Baseball Yearbook. For me, the first true sign of Spring.  

I understand why it’s gone. The internet, and particularly this site provides me with all the baseball I need year-round, but there was always something truly wonderful about the day when it finally appeared on the magazine rack. 

I always held off  buying the earlier arriving but crappier ones like Athlon and Dell. But even they gave me joy as their appearance meant it was just a matter of time until the Street and Smith showed up.

Stretched out on the couch, holding the promise of a new season in my hand, was always a turning point for me.

I always started with the Baseball Targets. That page that listed where the best current players stood in terms of the greats. 37 hits away from passing Willie Stargell. 12 Victories from Koufax.  

Next the team reviews. Particularly the Yankees (Duh!) Who they got. Who was up and coming, always wrong BTW, but that small paragraph was pretty much the only thing I read all year about the minors.  

And of course, their predictions on how the teams would finish. Also, always wrong.

When I ran out of articles I would stare at the baseball card ads or the one for Strat-o-Matic. 

Soon I wouldn’t have to wake up ½ hour earlier to warm up the car. Soon I could open a window. Soon there would be an article in the newspaper with my favorite phrase of all,  “Pitchers and Catchers arrive next week.”  




HoraceClarke66 said...

I hear ya, Doug K. For me it was always The Sporting News predictions (also wrong, most of the time).

But still. I used to buy that issue first thing, up to maybe 5-6 years ago. No more.

13bit said...

I like the yearly rituals. You may all call me a moron, but I used to start my post season - for years - by watching the Ken Burns Baseball documentary - every episode. This went on for a long time, but I have not done it the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely with you brother. Picking up an S&S around the first week of Spring Training was the first sign of new life. Still picked it up when ever I saw it. I was so bad about Yankee material in the day, I once got a subscription to the NYT through an offer in HS just so I could read the Yankee articles. I t would get delivered at school every day around 11 and I would read it at lunch with all the other "intellectuals." [ Jesuit school, early 70's, Four Dead in Ohio; you get it]I remember when Rich McKinney was going to be our new answer at 3B. I also remember reading the articles about his 3 errors in one game. Strange how the mind works, I remember that game vividly, but I forgot my next-door neighbor's name yesterday.
The Archangel

JM said...

Thanks to this post, for the first time in over 50 years I remembered a baseball game I played one summer sitting on the front stoop, rolling dice to determine outcomes for every AB.

I have no idea what it was. Another bit of data erased.

Playing stepball, where we slammed a tennis ball against the front steps of a neighbor's house and where it ended up determined the score...that I remember pretty well. The trick was to nail the corner of a step to get that high, arcing HR over the facing neighbor's front yard fence.

We were easily amused.

HoraceClarke66 said...

I remember that game all too well, Archie. It was against the Red Sox, and growing up as a Yankees fan in New England—I was horrified. Plus they traded Stan Bahnsen, a constant Sox-killer, for him.

Awful. But hey, that's how we got Celerino Sanchez—and after him, Graig Nettles.

Anonymous said...

Horace, OMG, I forgot that we gave up Stan the Man for him. Yeesh, h e was going to be our #2 starter, before that term was used, behind Mel S. and help lead us to Nirvana. That trade is best summed up as an example of Man's Inhumanity to Man.
The Archie

Dennis and Valerie said...

So, it really is not coming out? I have been waiting and looking but I hadn't heard that it wasn't coming out this year. :(

Unknown said...

I am so sad! The day before yesterday I couldn't find Street and Smith at Barnes and Noble, and this afternoon I complained to Amazon.com because they didn't have it available either. I can recall buying and reading and thoroughly enjoying Street and Smith as a kid, and I'm 80 years old.

Anonymous said...

I bought my first Street and Smith Baseball in 1968. I also always started out with Targets.
I I have bought S&S every year since 1968. I also have Football and Basketball.

Anonymous said...

I bought my first Street and Smith Baseball in 1968. I also always started out with Targets.
I I have bought S&S every year since 1968. I also have Football and Basketball.