Among the articles Gerald Holland has written for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED readers may particularly remember two broad surveys of sports—The Golden Age Is Now in our first issue and 1954, The Year and its Sportsman (SI, Jan. 3). In this week's issue, however, with the opening of the major league training camps, Holland is concentrating on one sport, baseball, as seen through the perceptive eyes of an outstanding executive, Branch Rickey, who has devoted more than half a century to the game.
Holland entered his recent assignment with an uncommon, if somewhat sidewise, understanding of Rickey's baseball talents. During the '30s at Sportsman's Park, the St. Louis Cardinals, the wild Gashouse Gang, were riding high in the National League. Rickey was their general manager. Playing in the same park but riding low in the American League were the hapless St. Louis Browns. Holland was their public relations director. And when he speaks of those days, Holland muses that he might best have improved the Browns' public relations by suppressing their box scores or, even less likely, suppressing the Cardinals' Branch Rickey. But speaking of today, as another season breaks into its first wide-scale activity, Holland is glad that this inventor of the farm system, developer of championship teams and relentless baseball student is as vigorously on hand as ever. And I'm sure that you will enjoy his pungent, vivid report on Rickey's perspective on baseball, 1955 (page 38).
Mr. Rickey and the Game is but one of many exclusive baseball features in issues to come, which include highlights from the soon-to-be-published memoirs of Al Schacht, baseball's clown prince; authoritative reports on the people of baseball, its players, managers and administrators; and, of course, previews of the big-league seasons.
Readers of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, already familiar with how our newly developed techniques of sports journalism added depth, color and excitement—in effect, another dimension—to the national coverage of football, can look forward to equally authoritative and penetrating coverage of baseball.
For this will be our first full season, from spring training to fall World Series; and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will be your season pass—to the best of the action and drama which make baseball one of the great continued stories of sport in America.