The World Series Encyclopedia: a Review

My oldest baseball book

Way back in 1961 Gillette advertised a little booklet call The World Series Encyclopedia. If you wanted one, you had to buy a new razor and one of the little booklets came with it. As it turned out, my grandfather needed a new razor and bought a Gillette. We got the book, and I still have it.

This is a paperback book about the size of the old paperback novels you used to be able to get where there were two novels in one. You read one, then turned the book over and could read the other which began on the back. So you got two books in one. The baseball book had a series of short comments about each playoff with an occasional accompanying cartoon drawing. If you look at the cover above, you can see three representative examples of the cartoons. It was pretty basic information, not great details, but if you were a kid, it was more than you probably knew and it was short and easy to read.

Every so many years, there was a break and line scores of each World Series game were given. Then at the end there were basic stats on each player who’d ever been in a World Series game. For hitters you got at bats, runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, RBIs, and a batting average. For pitchers you got innings pitched, hits, walks, strikeouts, and decisions. Then there were some records showing who had the most home runs (Babe Ruth) and the most wins (Red Ruffing). And finally, there was a “preseason training camp” roster for each team for 1961 (which is wonderful to have).

I’ve enjoyed having it for over 50 years and hope to pass it along to my son. It’s way out of date, but it is so much fun to look over and see what was considered important in 1961. Copies are available on-line if you’re interested. For those of you old enough to have gotten it when it was new it was great, and you could get a good shave too.



7 Responses to “The World Series Encyclopedia: a Review”

  1. glen715 Says:

    V, I’m assuming that you were fairly young in 1961, and, unlike your grandfather, you were too young to shave. But there are always exceptions. There are people who start shaving early. I seem to recall that I shaved for the first time when I was 16 in the spring of 1977. I was getting prepared for the athletic ceremony in my high school, and I was going to (along with multitudes of other “student-athletes”) be presented with a felt letter “B”, blue and gold in color, our school colors. The “B” stood for “Baldwin”, as in Baldwin Senior High School, which is where I attended school where I lived, the Baldwin (N.Y.) School District. (Baldwin was also known as being a “garbage district”; Baldwin was not a village or a town, but is an unincorporated “Garbage District”. It said that on the sign that you drove past as you entered Baldwin; “Welcome To The Baldwin Garbage District”. I don’t exactly know what that meant, but I’m going to assume that someone’s idea of a joke, a sneaky way to label us Baldwin folks as “White Trash”.

    But I digress. So I got dressed up in my polyester leisure suit and a nice pair of shoes, and I figured that I’d shave for the first time. The venture was NOT a success. I rode to my friend Glenn Femminella’s house, and he remarked that my face was covered almost completely with band-aids and that I resembled a mummy. I KNEW this already, and I didn’t need Femminella rubbing the salt in the wound. (Wounds, in plural, was much more like it!) Femminella and I were both on the track team; he was a shot-putter and discus thrower, and I my specialty was coming in last or second last in the 220. (This was a couple of years before American high school track teams started using metric measurements for running events.

    So I accepted my felt letter “B” with my face heavily bandaged, wishing that I had not taught myself how to shave for the first time for an event where hundreds of people were looking at me as I went up to pick up my felt letter “B”.

    Anyway, back to the Gillette razor part. V, I assume that you were really a young whippersnapper back in 1961 when this book was offered by the Gillette folks. So I’m not sure you were shaving yet.

    Unless you were just “A LITTLE SHAVER”!


  2. Miller Says:

    It’s not out of date, it’s vintage! Fun stuff. Thanks.

  3. Gary Trujillo Says:

    This is great–what a cherished item.

  4. Precious Sanders Says:

    I’m actually pretty jealous. That would be such a great thing to have.

  5. wkkortas Says:

    I loved those little giveaways they used to do in the 60s; somewhere, I have a little booklet from Sears (I don’t what it was given away in conjunction with) that has hitting tips from Ted Williams. They did me limited good, though.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: