No. 7: Oakland's Unstoppable Fivesome
April 27, 1981. SI once featured the five aces from the Oakland A’s. Together, they brought baseball back 20 years, with them completing games like they were pitching in 1965. Sadly, it couldn’t last and they all wore out their arms too early. I loved watching Mike Norris and Rick Langford go the distance almost every time.
No. 6: Red Sox Fans Have Longed to Hear It...
The 2004 World Series Championship Commemorative issue. This one holds a place in my heart. Those two weeks, I hardly slept and couldn’t wait to go into the office near the water cooler to discuss what the Sox did the night before. Made me feel like I was 12 years old again.
No. 5: The Remarkable Ryan
July 23, 1979. SI put the great Nolan Ryan on the cover. By this time, he was already a legend, and being 32 years old at the time, you didn’t know he was going to still be pitching in the 1990s and still throwing no-hitters. The cover is great because it looks like the ball is coming right at you. Just TRY to hit a Nolan Ryan fastball!
No. 4: A New Face Emerges
June 6, 1977. The year before was known as the Year of the Bird. The Bird was Mark Fidrych, and his antics on the mound made Detroit Tiger fans come flocking to the stadium (see what I did there?). The cover and his return from injury represented a hope that the remarkable hurler would return to form. Too bad it didn’t last … but all great things seldom do.