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|16-Aug-54||First Issue - "Night Baseball" in Milwaukee County Stadium and shows Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews at the plate; complete issue will contain tri-fold of 27 baseball trading cards opposite page 38. Player cards include: Jackie Robinson, Willy Mays, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews, Gil Hodges, Larry Doby, Ted Kluszewski, Al Rosen, Gus Zernial, Duke Snider, Bob Turley, Ferris Fain, Johnny Antonelli, Ray Jablonski, Wally Moon, Vern Law, Jim Rivera, Richie Ashburn, Bob Kegan, Pete Runnels, Jim Hegan, Harvey Haddix, Ray Boone, Harvey Kuenn, Hank Sauer, Granny Hammer and Mel Parnell. 146 pages and cards.||$41.00||$202.50||$135.36|
|23-Aug-54||Golf Bags at Masters; includes cards of Gil McDougald, Tom Morgan, Jerry Coleman, Bob Grimm, Tom Gorman, Irve Noren, MICKEY MANTLE, Enos Slaughter, Harry Byrd, Eddie Robinson, Andy Carey, Hank Bauer, Charlie Silvera, Bill Skowron, Gene Woodling, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto, Johnny Sain, Willie Miranda, Ed Lopat, Frank Leja, Whitey Ford, Joe Collins, Bob Kuzava.||$43.75||$250.00||$148.08|
|30-Aug-54||Swimsuit model at Jones Beach; Articles: Tennis, Canadian Football, and soapbox racing.||$10.00||$15.17||$12.92|
|6-Sep-54||Yachting; Articles: Poodles; Amateur Golf tournament; Ronnie Knox.||$5.15||$41.00||$18.93|
|13-Sep-54||Jim Kimberly/Ferrari; Articles: Rocky Marciano; Grand Prix racing; Climbing K2; college football.||$5.00||$37.00||$12.35|
|20-Sep-54||Calgary Stampede rodeo; Articles: Pro football; 1954 Minor League baseball; fencing.||$4.00||$5.00||$4.50|
|27-Sep-54||Calvin Jones Iowa guard; Articles: World Series preview; Notre Dame football; New York Horseracing||$10.00||$11.00||$10.50|
|4-Oct-54||Cowgirl model; Articles: Ernest Hemmingway; Diving; World Series.||$5.00||$16.00||$9.25|
|11-Oct-54||Oklahoma Sooners band member; Joe DiMaggio||$10.41||$35.00||$18.64|
|18-Oct-54||Steeplechase; Articles: Surfing in Hawaii; preview of the NHL season; Herman Hickmans Football predictions; Wisconsin football||$3.00||$21.50||$10.17|
|1-Nov-54||Oklahoma Sooner fans at Owen Field; Articles: big games in college football; NASCAR champion Lee Petty; races on the Bonneville salt flats.||$7.00||$13.00||$10.50|
|8-Nov-54||Surf fishing; Teddy Roosevelt||$4.65||$13.00||$7.79|
|22-Nov-54||Y. A. Tittle; Articles: Army-Navy Football; San Francisco 49ers football||$10.00||$20.50||$14.13|
|29-Nov-54||Classic Old Race Car; Swimsuits||$3.00||$5.00||$4.13|
|6-Dec-54||African Lion; Articles: Maurice Richard, Detroit Red Wings; Army vs Navy Football game. George Welsh, quarterback for Navy||$3.25||$18.00||$8.38|
|13-Dec-54||Horse Show; Articles: College Basketball Preview||$5.00||$5.00||$5.00|
|20-Dec-54||Ken Sears; Articles: Santa Clara basketball; Swimsuits||$3.00||$5.00||$4.25|
|27-Dec-54||Swiss village Klosters; Articles: College Football Bowl Preview||$5.50||$11.50||$8.50|
Johnny Bench, Michael Jordan, Dan Marino, Jimmy Connors, Jack Nicklaus, Mickey Mantle, Mike Bossy, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Yogi Berra, Arnold Palmer, Pete Rose, John Havlicek, Bob Cousy, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Dick Butkus, Wayne Gretzsky, Phil Esposito, Ken Dryden, Whitey Ford, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ted Williams, Wilt Chamberlain, Seattle Slew, Angel Cordero, Booby Hull, Bobby Orr, Patrick Ewing, Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Chris Evert, John MacEnroe, Joe Morgan, Hank Aaron, Roger Clemens, Al Kaline, Bob Greise, Paul Warfield, Kurt Warner, Tiger Woods, Secretariat, the Yankees, Chiefs, Raiders, Giants, Lakers, Celtics, Knicks, Bills, Black Hawks, Tigers, Mets, Lions, 49ers, Chargers, Dolphins, Royals, White Sox, Cubs, Bulls, Bears, Broncos, Rangers, Heat, Dodgers, Orioles, Twins, Red Sox, college and more players and teams are all represented in this extraordinary guide.
From the very first issue in August of 1954, the allure of Sports Illustrated was evident. Baseball, the national pasttime, was perfectly suited to the media. The action was sufficiently animated - though not too fast - that still camera techniques could record all of the nuances. The prosaic style of the early writers brought home the dynamics of the great pitchers and batters, the rugged style of the American League, the cunning of the National League brand of baseball. Stolen bases and fastballs were the steady diet in those early days, as the Milwaukee Brewers, Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees dominated the scene.
The game of baseball was blessed with great stars in those days. Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Eddie Mathews, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Richie Ashburn, and Duke Snider were just a few of the names familiar to the many baseball fans throughout the country.
As the decade wore on, SI became a household brand name and with it, other sports gained in popularity, mostly from the college ranks of football and basketball.
Those early years also saw a good deal of coverage to track and field, hunting, fishing and other recreational activities such as skiing and yatching, but always, baseball was center stage in the great panolply of sports which the magazine created.
In the 1954 World Series, the New York Giants (NL) swept the Cleveland Indians (AL), 4 games to none. Willie Mays of the Giants won the National League batting championship with a .345 average. Though Mays was young and his career outstanding for many years afterwards, 1954 was the only time he ever won the batting title.
Cleveland's Bobby Avila won the AL batting title with a .341 average, leading his team to the World Series. Mays was named the NL MVP, while Yogi Berra of the Yankees took home MVP honors in the AL.
The NBA Championship was captured by the Minneapolis Lakers, who won in seven games over Syracuse (4-3).
The 1954 National Football League championship went to the Cleveland Browns (9-3), who routed the Detroit Lions (9-2-1), 56-10. The Browns got their share of revenge, having been beaten by the Lions in the championship the two previous years.
In hockey, the Stanley Cup went to the Detroit Red Wings, but barely, as they defeated the Montreal Canadiens, (4-3).
At Wimbledon, Maureen Connolly bested Louise Brough (6-2 7-5), while Jaroslav Drobny defeated Australia's Ken Rosewall in 4 sets (13-11 4-6 6-2 9-7).
The Kentucky Derby Champion was a horse named Determine, who proved he was.
In college, the NCAA Basketball Championship went to La Salle. They defeated a powerhouse Bradley team in the championship game, 92-76. The NCAA Football Championship was split between Ohio St. (AP, INS) (10-0-0) & UCLA (UP, FW) (9-0-0).
Soccer's World Cup was won by West Germany, as they defeated Brazil, 3-2.