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Sports Magazines 1953: The Magazines And I. Chapter 11, Part 2.

August 26, 2021

Sports Magazines … is the 11th chapter from the serialized book I am writing on the magazines of 1953, specifically March 1953, the month I was born.  This is chapter 11 part two.  Feel free to back track for chapters one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and ten in previous blogs.  Enjoy.

In the 1950s, sports was still at the top of many people’s priority list. Two of the most popular were baseball and boxing, and of course, football was coming around. And in 1953 there was no Sports Illustrated (1954) or any ESPN (1990s), but there was plenty of other sources to cover America’s favorite pastime game, baseball. The 1950s saw college football a lot more celebrated than pro ball, much like it is today, at least in the world of the SEC. Most southerners will plan weddings, anniversaries, and even funerals around SEC games. It’s just something we do. And yes, Mr. Magazine™ is most definitely a transplanted southerner having lived in the South since he was 30 years old. Pro football really took off in the 1960s when games began to be televised. 

These “spectator” sports, as opposed to the more individually relaxing sports such as fishing and hunting, were games that people wanted to attend. Events that many had to watch in person. And of course, they wanted to read about them in their favorite sports magazines.

This era saw a variety of different sports magazines and even a newspaper as The Sporting News (established in 1886 as a print magazine) held the proud tagline of being “The Baseball Paper of the World” when covering these very important and exciting topics. From baseball to boxing to wrestling to basketball, sports was a very large category of publications during the 1950s, and especially in March 1953. In Chapter Eleven, we take a look at some of Mr. Magazine’s™ personal accumulation, magazines that have a crucial place in the vast vault of his collection.

Welcome to the wonderful world of sports, March 1953… part two.

COMPLETE BASEBALL

Another Martin Goodman publication, Complete Baseball, was just that – all about the game of baseball, from the first page to the last. It was another sports title that Goodman added to his collection of titles. 

The March/April 1953 issue of Complete Baseball had a preview of the 1953 diamond season and features on all 16 big league clubs. From Stan The-Man Musial to Joe Black of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the bimonthly’s cover was definitely “complete baseball.” This issue was filled with previews of every big league team, along with a couple of short articles that fans would not want to miss. Another great baseball publication.

INSIDE BASEBALL

Inside Baseball, another title from Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur, Joe Weider, was a monthly that gave readers the “inside” scoop on the great American sport of baseball. Touted as the Big League magazine, it offered a Gallery of Baseball Stars, along with stories that were sure to have readers buying the next month’s issue or subscribing if they wanted it in their mailbox ASAP. 

The March 1953 issue was filled with stories such as Around the Bases by Bob Cutter and Why Cleveland Can’t Win by Frank Gibbons, along with many, many more great baseball tales. The March 1953 cover was engaging and beckoned the baseball fan to “come inside and read,” with a story by Hall-of-Famer Enos Slaughter called I Never Came Back. The magazine was another win for Joe Weider in his vast world of publications.

INSIDE SPORTS

Another monthly title founded by Canadian bodybuilder and entrepreneur, Joe Weider, Inside Sports was an all-sports magazine. It featured stories on baseball, basketball, boxing, golf, hockey, tennis, racing and some off-the-beaten sports trail activities. The advertisements inside the pages were mainly bodybuilding and muscle-enhancing type ads. (No surprise there, considering the magazine’s founder).

The March 1953 issue had articles about all of the sports of the time, along with several special features and photo spreads. While the cover was in full-color, the pictures inside the magazine were in black-and-white. But even though Joe Weider had a plethora of different titles under his belt, Inside Sports was a really well-done title that did justice to the arena of sports in March 1953. A fan favorite, to be sure. 

OFFICIAL JUDO

Official Judo (Authentic Guide to Sports Judo and Self Defense) was a magazine/book written by author Charles Yerkow who was also one of the best jiu jitsu and close combat experts active before, during, and after WW2, and chairman of the National A.A.U. Judo Committee and Amateur Judo Association of U.S.A. The March 1953 issue of Official Judo was only one among many publications that Yerkow wrote entirely. The military applications of his techniques were highly regarded and with the many manuals and guidebooks he wrote, the man was much more than an icon in the world of judo. This magazine was not a regular publication, it was more like a book with 14 complete chapters and a foreword from the man himself. For judo aficionados, it was a must-have. 

OUR SPORTS

Edited by the great Jackie Robinson, Our Sports magazine was touted as “The Great New Negro Sports Magazine,” and was published in 1953. It ran for a total of five issues. In lieu of being repetitive, I will refer you to Chapter Seven and our March 1953 Black magazines as Our Sports was covered in that chapter.

To be continued…

One comment

  1. Stopped by your office today but they said you retired.



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