I discovered Who’s Who In Baseball when I was in middle school, and purchased my first copy in 1973 – it had Steve Carlton and Dick Allen on the cover. When I saw that there was a book celebrating the 100th anniversary of it’s first publication, I added it to my To Read list right away.
This retrospective reprinted the covers of each year’s edition of the book, and summarized the seasons and careers of the player(s) pictured on those covers. There were two things that struck me as I read this book.
- There were no African Americans pictured on the cover of WWIB until 1966, when Willie Mays appeared on it. Latin American players Juan Marichal (Dominican Republic) and Tony Oliva (Cuba) made the cover one year early, in 1965. With all of the fantastic African American ballplayers in MLB from Jackie Robinson’s debut through Mays’ selection to be on the cover, their exclusion is ridiculous.
- It absolutely blew my mind to find that Ken Griffey Jr. was never on the cover. After Griffey won the AL MVP award in 1997, WWIB used A-Rod instead, who had won the AL batting title.
100 Years of Who’s Who In Baseball was a nice trip down memory lane, but I could only give it three stars on Goodreads because of multiple factual errors in the text. There were typos in statistics and years cited plus other inaccuracies.