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Old 05-03-2017, 08:43 PM
Hot Springs Bathers Hot Springs Bathers is offline
Mike Dugan
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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Default Unofficial History of MLB Media Guides

I have enjoyed the recent interest in media guides on the site. I have collected them for decades and during that time I treasure the lengthy late night debates on guides I shared with my late friend Joe Cronin.

Joe was a historian of the first degree and while pro football guides were his specialty and favorite, his collection was near if not complete on all four of the major sports.

Below is a list of what Joe and I believe are all the major league guides though there are many that come close to fitting his definition of what a guide consists of between the covers. Joe felt that you had to have a season preview, bios and some history. I think two of those elements fill the bill on some 1930's and 40's issues that are not included in this UNOFFICIAL list. Some say multi pages and staples fill the bill.

Beginning in the teens some teams issued "Rosters" which are typically a tri or quad fold sheet of paper obviously listing the teams roster at the time of release. In the 1920's several teams began issuing what can be best termed hybrids of either a yearbook or media guide. Many teams issued guides for a number of years and then returned to rosters such as the lengthy gap the Reds have from 1953 through 1968.

Every new franchise from 1960 on up has issued a yearly media guide.

I hope this is of some help or interest, I will do my best to answer any questions from Joe's notes and my log.

National League

Boston/Milwaukee Braves 1947, 48, 50, 51-53 and 1960 on
Brooklyn/ Los Angeles Dodgers 1939-53, In 1958 the first year in LA the Dodgers only issued a roster sheet and then guides from 1959-on
Chicago Cubs 1937-42, 1958-on
Cincinnati Reds 1939-52, 1969-on
New York/San Francisco Giants 1941, 46 1951-on
Philadelphia Phillies 1964-on (We disagreed on the 1964)
Pittsburgh Pirates 1964-on
St. Louis Cardinals 1948-on

American League

St. Louis/Baltimore Browns/Orioles 1952, 53, 1956-on (Baltimore had nice rosters in 54 & 55)
Boston Red Sox 1953 & 54 Player Profiles, 1955-on
Chicago White Sox 1941, 1947. 1952-on
Cleveland Indians 1947-on The first true guides in the modern sense
Detroit Tigers 1948-on
New York Yankees 1955-on
Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics 1942-on
Washington Senators 1940-on

This is very unofficial and I am hoping others might add to or clarify the list.
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