Technically, by most definitions, I’m considered a millennial. But being born in 1985, I’m also an “old millennial”. Because of this, I grew up in a world that was still clinging to the last vestiges of many analog experiences. One of those was the daily newspaper.
As a child my family subscribed to our small town’s daily paper—the Fergus Falls Daily Journal—and as an adolescent I delivered that same paper on an after-school route. Most importantly, though, I credit a piece of newsprint for nurturing my love of baseball at that age.
Sometime in the mid-90s, my grandparents—somewhat in awe of my voracious appetite for anything baseball-related—purchased me a one-year subscription to Baseball Weekly. It was a gift that would end up recurring for about ten more years.
Each Wednesday, Baseball Weekly arrived in the mailbox and by Friday I usually had it read cover-to-cover. I mean, it was basically a mini-newspaper where every article was devoted entirely to baseball…how could one not?! In an era where my family’s computer was not connected to the World Wide Web—try as I might to get those tantalizing AOL “free trial” discs to make it so—and our TV was pulled from the air (late adopters my parents were to the Internet/cable bandwagon), Baseball Weekly was my primary source of MLB goings-on.
Put out by USA Today, the publication actually began in 1991 and lasted until 2002 when it was re-branded Sports Weekly (adding coverage of NFL football and, later, NASCAR). I kept the subscription going for a few years of the multi-faceted coverage, but always felt that the whole endeavor lost its charm when it diversified. For me, those 5-6 years I had it when it was “all baseball” will always be a highlight of my baseball-themed adolescence.
By 2004 when I headed off to college, I was no longer receiving any iteration of the periodical, but I did get a low-cost Star Tribune subscription which I kept about 98% for their robust Sports section. Keeping up with baseball in this fashion led me to write for the campus newspaper, which led me to find Batgirl online (that’s where we were all introduced to this snarky Twins blogging thing, right?), which led me to Twinkie Town and the rest is history.
Now, of course, I haven’t subscribed to a newspaper in a decade. I’ll peruse one from time to time while looking for a distraction/escape at large family functions, but other than that I get most of my baseball news either here, social media at large, or the MLB network/app. Besides my grandfather, who quite literally reads the Star Tribune in its entirety each and every day, I believe, I don’t really know too many people who consistently read daily newspapers at all anymore.
I completely understand why. Much like, say, a new car just driving off the lot or a penned nonfiction novel rolling off the press, a newspaper is outdated and in a certain sense obsolete (in terms of “breaking news”) the second it is created. Not the greatest business model in a world where we all have supercomputers connected to the Internet in our pockets at all times.
For a time, though, when life was perhaps just a tad slower and less immediate, I’ll always look back fondly on opening a Baseball Weekly to dive into that week’s baseball news and headlines.
Did you subscribe to (or perhaps regular purchase) Baseball Weekly?
This poll is closed
Yes, it was awesome and I couldn’t get enough of it!
No, I’m pretty sure your adolescent hormones just dreamed up this notion of a "baseball-only newspaper".