Tuesday, May 3, 2011

End of an Era?

In the last 10 years many things have come to an end. Within the neighborhood, the National Record Mart, Blockbuster, Borders and Barnes Noble have all closed their doors. They were all swept away by the passage of time. No one buys records or CDs anymore, its all down loaded music. No one goes out and rents a movie from an exclusive video store anymore. Finally, the print media  seems to be slowly fading away.

In the summer of 1979, when I was a kid, I went to the local library and found a book that would change my life. It was a copy of the 1969 Baseball Encylopedia. It contained stats for all major leaguers up through 1968. The 1969 season was on the back pages of the book. I took the book out for 3 weeks, returned it and took it out for 3 more weeks that summer. I went through that book and memorized stats and seasons that stay with me today. I got to know about players from that late 19th century and early 20th century. Off the top of my head players like Riggs Stephenson, Billy Hamilton (how many steals? wow), Fred Clarke came to life.

However, since 2008, there has not been a Baseball Encyclopedia printed. The last Sporting News NBA Guide printed was 2006, which was also the last season the Football Encyclopedia (sponsored by ESPN, like baseball) contained. In the age of the electronic media, I doubt we will ever see a Baseball Encyclopedia (or any other sports) printed again. There is just something about turning the page and seeing those stats that flipping from screen to screen just does not feel the same. I will miss you Baseball Encylopedia. RIP.

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