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The 2003 Boyd's World Media Guide Awards

Publication Date: July 1, 2003

Thanks, Folks

OK, it's the offseason, what do we do now? Well, I keep writing, for the most part -- I'll take the occasional week off every now and then to work on multi-week projects or outside baseball interests like the Baseball Prospectus pieces I did recently, but Breadcrumbs will keep going year-round, and the extra time I have in the offseason means that I usually do my best statistical work then. I recently passed the three-year anniversary of the column, and I appreciate all of you for the feedback I get in this forum.

This week I want to show some appreciation to one of my favorite groups of people, the baseball Sports Information Directors at all of the schools. While there are exceptions to every stereotype, these folks are usually young people -- largely male still, but there are an increasing number of women involved -- who are trying to break into working in sports. Now, working as an SID most places, like almost all other non-starring roles in sports, doesn't pay all that well, so these folks tend to be in it because they absolutely love baseball, and that shows up in their work. I've had times when I asked for a piece of information and couldn't get it because the data just wasn't available, but I almost never have someone just say that won't help me; they always try. When you consider that I'm just an amateur and don't really have any standing to ask for help, that's a great testament to their dedication. Without them, I couldn't do what I do, and, more importantly, most of the press coverage of college baseball at any level would be much poorer.

One of the major tasks in an SID's life is the production of the annual media guide. Media guides are really cool things, when you think about it -- they take your favorite team and write a book about it each year. One of the oddities of my life is that I may be the person in the country who reads the most baseball media guides; there are a few other contenders, I suspect, but I'm guessing I've got a pretty good claim. In gratitude to all the SID's who have sent me copies (I got around 120 this year, I think, which makes a stack about three feet high), I want to recognize some of the best work I saw this year. These should not be taken too seriously -- the judging committee consists solely of my multiple personalities, and I don't claim any more expertise in this than I do in anything else. There is an official awards contest run by CoSIDA, the SID professional organization, and I have no interest in "competing" with them. Just consider this the viewpoint of an end user rather than of the peers; I'll try to point out things that I found particularly useful or really liked so this can be used as a teaching guide if anyone's interested.

Design and Graphics

Best Cover Photo or Montage: Texas Christian, SID Mike Flynn. This one featured a really neat image of their new stadium with action shots of a couple of players superimposed on it.

Best Book Design: Wichita State, SID Tami Cutler; Oklahoma State, SID Thomas Samuel; Florida State, SID Jeff Purinton. All three of these had exactly the layout that I would want if I were trying to find something during a live broadcast. They were spiral-bound and designed to lie flat, and they had section tabs with big, clear labels. This represents a good understanding of the customer base, so to speak.

Best Historical Photo: St. Joseph's, SID Kevin Bonner. Page 41 shows a really neat shot showing that some things never change, as three Hawk players from the late '40's including basketball Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay contemplate a snow-covered field on the putative first day of practice.

Best Cover Design: Manhattan, SID Adrienne Mullikin. This takeoff from a '20's-era game program cover is a nice change from the endless shots of glowering pitchers.

Best Visual Flow: Miami, Florida, SID Josh Maxson. There's some really creative use of sidebars and graphics of CWS posters from past Miami appearances that complement the work without breaking the flow. This one really reads more like a book than a series of stat tables.


Best Player Bios: Wake Forest, SID Mike Vest. There are certain sections that are essentially required in a media guide, and I'll try to identify the best of each of those. In this case, there's no one single thing -- it's just a combination of good writing, useful stats, and enough personal information to get a good feel for the individual players without being silly.

Best Team History: Southern California, SID Jason Pommier. There's either an excellent filing system or a lot of research behind this one; the copies of old newspaper articles provide an excellent grounding for the historical narrative.

Best Past Year Results: Southern Mississippi, SID Mike Montoro. By spending a couple of extra pages, this guide includes not just game scores but also things like attendance and pitchers of record for every game USM has played, which gives a much fuller record.

Best About the School Feature: Pittsburgh, SID Burt Lauten. 25 Ways Pitt Changed the World is impressive and holds your attention, which these sections rarely do.

Best Pro Alumni Section: Arizona State, SID Jeff Evans. It helps to have the sort of subject matter ASU has to work with, but this section is a full-fledged book of its own, with great biographies on many of the players.


Best Writing: Louisville, SID Sean Moth. OK, this is about as subjective as awards get, but I just really like his style. Most SID's write like sportswriters, which means the style is functional but formulaic; his prose just has a little more oomph to it.

Best Web Adaptation: Auburn, SID Kirk Sampson. Taking the time to translate to HTML for the Web presentation really makes the information much more accessible than the standard PDF copies.

Best Short Publication: North Carolina-Charlotte, SID Brent Stastny. Not everyone's playing with the same budget, but not everyone's playing with the same amount of talent, either. This is an amazingly information-packed guide for 32 pages. At that length, there's not much room for anything but data, and nothing necessary gets cut here to get it down to length.

Best Publication: Oregon State, SID Kip Carlson. This one's got it all, anchored by really good writing. Excellent photography, a full set of useful data on all the usual subjects, and an well-balanced layout that's full without being cluttered.

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Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The 2003 Boyd's World Media Guide Awards About the author, Boyd Nation