You probably have already noticed something unusual about this week's issue: It has two covers. Here's why. When our Sept. 14 issue closed on Monday night, Sept. 7, Mark McGwire had hit 61 home runs to equal the 37-year-old single-season record set by Roger Maris. Not knowing when McGwire would smack number 62, we published die Sept. 14 issue as scheduled, with a cover of McGwire belting number 61 (above, left), and made arrangements to create an Extra Edition of that issue just for newsstands if he broke the record within three days after our close. Sure enough, McGwire connected at 8:18 p.m. CDT on Sept. 8 at Busch Stadium.
In St. Louis five SI photographers captured the moment with 21 cameras (some remote-controlled) from seemingly every angle, save the top of the Arch. Director of photography Steve Fine and baseball photo editor Maureen Grise rushed the 32 rolls of film to a lab 15 miles away for developing. Meanwhile, in the Busch Stadium press box, senior writer Tom Verducci put the finishing touches on his story and filed it to our editorial offices in New York City at 10:30 p.m. EDT, barely more than an hour after the historic clout. Two dozen staffers assembled in the City That Never Sleeps to edit Verducci's piece, select pictures from the 41 low-resolution digitized images transmitted by Fine and Grise, design a new layout and insert a three-page foldout detailing each of McGwire's 62 blasts (the same foldout begins on page 6 of this issue). High-resolution versions of the chosen photos were transmitted to New York by 5:30 a.m. The finished package was then zapped to the printer in time for our 6 a.m. deadline, and the CNN/SI Web site posted the new cover and photos and Verducci's story a few hours later. The Extra Edition, featuring the cover above, on the right, reached newsstands across the country by rush hour on Thursday morning.
We knew that subscribers would like to have the 62! cover to commemorate McGwire's feat, so we reprinted it in this issue. We like to think that, like McGwire, we're touching all the bases.