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Sports Illustrated 50 Years: The Anniversary Book Hardcover – October 26, 2004


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Sports Illustrated 50 Years: The Anniversary Book + Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sports Illustrated; 50 Anv edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932273492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932273496
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 11 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This colorful book celebrating fifty years of America's most prominent sports magazine is certainly more practical than hoarding 2,500 issues. The six-part book plays to the strength of the magazine: "The Stories" and "The Photographs" sections are the largest. The 35 articles are truncated, often just whetting your appetite for more. The companion book Fifty Years of Great Writing offers many of these in their full glory. On the other hand, the pictures are often bigger than they were in the magazine (or could ever have been with the smaller size). Lose minutes staring at Michael Jordan or Walter Payton frozen in midair. Examine the juxtaposition of a close play at the plate with the bizarre styles of a 60s women's track team. Try not to be swept away at a shot of Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain defining basketball. If you have picked up the special issues released during SI's anniversary year, you already seen a decent portion of this book. The notable new writing is Richard Hoffer's essay about the world (both sports and at large) when the magazine began in 1954 and senior editor Frank Deford's pitch-perfect introduction about why the magazine is special and how it grew up in the age of television. The section most folks will spend their coffee table moments is "The Covers," a listing of the entire magazine's cover images, both in chronological order and grouped in similar topics (Scandals, Presidents, Deja Vu). Punctuated by the best sport quotes, SI's "Signs of the Apocalypse," fascinating lists of athletes and teams that were on the cover the most times, and other sport tidbits through the ages, this area is sure to launch a thousand sport memories. Yes, all the swimsuit covers are in one place, too. One quibble: why is their "Sports Person of the Year" in the book not the same as their well-known "Sportsman of the Year?" --Doug Thomas

From Publishers Weekly

When Sports Illustrated first arrived in August 1954, its focus was fringe pursuits like yachting, bowling and dogs—yet it struck a nerve. America was in a postwar economic boom and at the dawn of the TV age. "Sports was suddenly so much more visible, so much more important," says veteran sportswriter Frank Deford in his introduction. This book shows how SI has continued to foster sports' visibility, offering an engaging celebration of the last 50 years of American sports (and of SI's own history), flush with fabulous photos: a toothless Jack Lambert; Muhammad Ali's wrinkled masseur, Luis Sarria; the Pittsburgh Pirates' Dave Parker enjoying a smoke after winning the 1979 World Series. What puts this book a notch above the average coffee-table book are the thoughtful sportswriting excerpts pulled from the magazine's archives. In one piece, up-and-comer Howard Cosell chastises the wimps and pretty boys who populate his profession. Another profiles former Chicago White Sox president and huckster Bill Veeck, who once sent a midget up to the plate to pinch-hit as a publicity stunt. Further chapters feature SI paintings—many of them caricatures, like the one of disenchanted fans pelting a bug-eyed Bud Selig with baseballs—and thumbnails of all 2,585 SI covers.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Rob Fleder was executive editor of Sports Illustrated and the editor of SI Books during his twenty years at Time Inc. He was also an editor at Esquire, Playboy, and The National Sports Daily. Some of the books he edited are The Sports Illustrated Baseball Book, SI 50: The Anniversary Book, The SI Football Book; Hate Mail From Cheerleaders (by Rick Reilly), SI's Great Baseball Writing, and Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence and Forbidden Desires, A Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage (by Pete Dexter).

Customer Reviews

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I got this as a gift for my boyfriend...he loves it!
J. Herod
It is a beautiful book w/ lots of treasures particularly for the almanac-type sports fans.
B. Smith
I love the way that they show how SI has covered sports over 50 years.
Henry G

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a glorious celebration of Sports Illustrated's 50 years coverage of the minor and the major in sport. At first, the magazine devoted a disproportionate number of articles to "gentlemenly" pursuits such as troutfishing and yachting. However, the once timid magazine eventually hit its stride, with the help of television, with the talents of new editors and writers, and, arguably, by the visuals of television.

The book, with an informative but slightly cloying introduction by Frank Deford (he keeps on mentioning the swimsuit issue--about as relevant to the major sports scene as yachting was 50 years ago), organizes the magazine's stories and pictures by the decade. A current sportswriter gives an overview, there arearticles from the magazines, sidebar-like features such as quotes, historic cultural and historical events, and, most importantly, the photographs.

SI photography is the best of its kind, setting a standard that will defy any attempt to cater to some notion of the "new" SI reader. It is as dependable and as beautiful as a museum. The full page and two-page spreads here are magnificent records of sports history, character studies, stories of emotion, action, the literal and the figurative. A low angle shot of the then-named Lew ALcindor beating Houston in 1968. an underwater shot of Michael Phelps winning gold at the Australia Olympics, a black and white of Duke Snider climbng the outer field wall at Ebbets Field, an extreme overhead of Ali knocking out Cleveland Williams in 1966, mini-reproductions of cover of every issue, and yes, that includes the swimsuit issues--it's here at an overwhelmingly fan-friendly price.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mom of Sons VINE VOICE on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What a treasure! I got this coffee-table for my nephews (15 and 13) and my own son (13) for Christmas, and all gift-unwrapping immediately halted while they looked through the book. "Wow!" "Oh man, look at that!" etc. while they looked at the incredible collection of stunning sports photos from the past 50 years. Every SI cover is included, too, as well as selections from the best articles, and humorous quotes, even sports art. Everyone of every age picked this book up at some point on Christmas Day, sometimes in groups of 3 or more, all looking at the amazing pictures. The older people wanted to check to see if their favorites were included - and how DID Michael Jordan jump that high!? Look at OJ Simpson back when he won the Heisman trophy. And hockey players didn't wear helmets - not even the goalie?? - in the 1960's? Fantastic book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lynn McConnell on November 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Sharing a celebration of 50 years with Sports Illustrated made the purchase of this book a special delight. So much has happened in so many sports, but Sports Illustrated has been along for the ride. And in the special world of sports fans it has taken its own place. Acquiring an appreciation of sport beyond the mere competition has a lot to do with how Sports Illustrated impacts on your life.

Unfortunately, the ability to receive Sports Illustrated on a weekly basis on the other side of the world has been affected by several vagaries - including the notion that although the British Empire was in decline, its magazines were far more preferable for New Zealanders than their American equivalents, and also the fact that it is only in the modern era of communications that it is easy to send a credit card number to facilitate delivery of whatever takes your fancy.

The memory of seeing my first copy of Sports Illustrated sticks with me from my schoolboy years. It related to coverage of the 1968 Olympic Games and Bob Beamon's massive leap into the rarefied air of Mexico City. It was the age of dissent with the Black Power salute on the rostrum by Tommie Smith and John Carlos later encapsulated, if that same memory is correct, in a series on The Black Athlete in the magazine.

As time has gone by access to the magazine has become much easier and its literature a welcome addition to that available in other publications on the events of the sports world.

Fifty years is an outstanding achievement and a credit to those who had the vision in the first place. All of which is preparatory to saying that those days before the magazine was born are well covered in the textual side of this celebratory book, along with the various eras through which it has passed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My collection of sports illustrated books are my pride and joy having a love for sports photography, this book is another fantastic collection of sporting greats.
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By David on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was expecting some great photography and this book does have that. It also contains some writing about the athletes covered. Not really sure if they are DK or SI but they seem fine. There's also SI covers and timelines.
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By Henry G on December 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you love the history of sports, then this SI book is for you. I love the way that they show how SI has covered sports over 50 years.
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By Maggie Roy on January 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book for guys (and gals) who like to reminisce about great sports events over the last 50 years. Makes for a wonderful coffee table book.
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