Jane Bachman, our chief of reporters, is well acquainted with the figure on this week's cover. As a child growing up in Wellesley, Mass., she papered her bedroom walls with photographs of New York Yankees, and Yogi was a favorite. She also used to keep a Bobby Richardson glove under her pillow and wore out the grooves on her Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris cardboard records.
Bachman doesn't consider Berra her role model, but they do have one thing in common—both manage crack teams. "When people ask me what I do," says Bachman, "I tell them I'm a reporter, because that explains itself. When I say I'm chief of reporters, it sounds like I'm Sitting Bull."
What Bachman does is expertly juggle our staff of 22 reporters. This week she saw to it that everything in this issue, as well as stories for a number of upcoming issues, was checked for accuracy. She kept track of reporters scattered from Hawaii to San Antonio to Lake Placid, supervised our office renovations, trained a new reporter and brought bagels to the staff on Sunday morning.
As the black-and-white picture shows, Bachman may have been destined to work for SI. She went to her first major league game, at Fenway Park, when she was four. "All I remember," she says, "is that I was wearing patent leather shoes." At Wellesley High she lettered in field hockey and lacrosse and captained the basketball team, "Not because I was great on the floor," she says, "but because I made great signs for the locker room." A paper Bachman did while at Mount Holyoke College on media coverage of the Olympics spurred her interest in sports research, and in 1977 she was hired to work in our news bureau. Two years later she was made a reporter, and golf became her primary beat. But her first love remains baseball, though somewhere in between Mickey Mantle and Tony Conigliaro she gave up her allegiance to the Yankees to become a diehard Red Sox fan.
"The Yankees were just a phase," she says. "I think I did it to irk my three brothers." Now, when she pitches in one of our softball games, she wears a Jim Rice glove.
Bachman will carry her interest in the national pastime one step further when she marries one of our baseball writers, Steve Wulf, this' October. "We're keeping our priorities straight," she says. "The wedding date is four days after the Red Sox win the World Series."