Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pulp Fiction

I used to read a lot of sports related publications back in the day. Most notably Sport Magazine and The Sporting News. Every spring I had a copy of Street and Smith's Baseball, too. But my friends and I would also pick up the occasional cheap baseball rag. I have been looking to pick up one on eBay for awhile now. I wanted any of the ones that I remembered having when it was published.

I finally found one, Baseball in Action from 1965.

I had cut out that cover picture of Brooks Robinson and pinned it to the cork-board over my desk. And I cut out and saved the Wally Bunker feature. He was a real favorite of mine. Finding a copy of it on eBay was pretty neat.

You know you had a cheap baseball mag when you saw the cover story teasers that sounded like the stories your mom read on the mags in line at the checkout stand. Sandy Koufax: As good as new? Whatever. And the paper stock would already be turning yellow by the time your dad borrowed it to read on the train (or in the bathroom).

They were entertaining though. Lots of black and white pics to take up space and stories that promised controversy but delivered platitudes.

And one of the best parts was reading the ads. Here is a blowup of the ads on the page above.

The one touting a way to hear 'whispered secret conversations ... though solid walls' is a classic that seemed to run in every cheap baseball mag. The ad soliciting 'New Story Ideas' is one I don't remember. I wonder how many ideas Leslie Goodwins got?

These Strat-O-Matic ads were everywhere in the mid-to-late 60s. There was a smaller version in every single issue of The Sporting News back then. I was always fascinated by a friend's APBA board game but the Strat ads just made it sound better. I finally saved enough to buy the game in 1967.

Charles Atlas usually advertised his muscle building methods in these mags. If he wasn't there you could count on his less famous competitor, Mike Marvel.

"Yes! The girls laugh at you now when you take off your shirt--they'll be breaking down the doors...blah blah blah." Just $1.98!! And a Free! 'Secrets Of Attracting Girls'!  

Oh wow. classic stuff. Sadly the mag, which came in nice condition other than being yellowed, fell apart in the process of scanning. No matter, I got my moneys worth in nostalgia.


  1. "Fell apart in the process of scanning"????


  2. Afraid so. Like a $20 suit. The glued binding was just dried out. I might use my heavy duty stapler to save it though.