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Baseball's benchmark

Perspective from inside the game on what has made Baseball America an important source of information

Walt Jocketty is a member of one of the most important elements of Baseball America's audience: the people who work in the game. While BA is a publication for anyone who follows baseball with a passion, we are required reading for those who make their living from baseball.

Jocketty's career in baseball has nearly paralleled Baseball America's existence. He joined the Athletics' front office in March 1980 and worked in Oakland for 14 years, rising to director of baseball administration. He joined the Rockies as assistant general manager in 1993 and left a year later to become GM of the Cardinals, the post he still occupies.

We appreciate Jocketty's perspective on Baseball America and will make a donation to Breaking Barriers in his name.

By Walt Jocketty

Almost every business or profession has its unofficial benchmark reference source, and when it comes to baseball--both amateur and professional--I have found no better publication than Baseball America.

From the first-rate periodical to its many books and reference manuals, there is not a more highly respected baseball publication in the country.

Baseball America uses a veteran team of baseball writers who stand out as the most trusted and respected writers throughout the game. Baseball America's writers give interesting insights into current issues, while offering compelling feature stories that include true perspectives about the current game, as well as going in depth about both past and future events.

The comprehensive coverage that Baseball America provides for the minor leagues is unparalleled. You can find full reports on each of the minor leagues, from Triple-A to the Rookie leagues, in each issue during the season, as well as a detailed look at what each and every organization is doing.

Baseball America also offers in-depth midseason and final season reviews filled with volumes of statistics and scouting analysis that can be found in no other publication.

Another popular element of Baseball America is the annual talent rankings and evaluations that take a hard look inside the various teams and organizations. Whether it is a league-by-league or position-by-position review, you can count on Baseball America to deliver the most complete and accurate analysis.

Unparalleled Draft Coverage

And when it comes to coverage of the amateur draft, Baseball America is by far the leader, offering the most thorough and respected coverage in all of baseball, including its predraft rankings and region-by-region coverage of the country's top amateur players.

I would be surprised if there is a scouting director in baseball who at some point or another has not referred to Baseball America's Draft Preview issue when putting his team's draft board together.

Baseball America's coverage does not stop just in the United States, either. BA provides complete coverage of the international baseball scene as well, with reports from Japan, Mexico, the Caribbean and beyond.

And the coverage doesn't stop there. Baseball America also offers complete winter league reports and statistics, and a full section devoted to the many independent league teams that play throughout the season, not to mention coverage of the college summer leagues and Team USA's international competitions.

Something For Everyone

Baseball America is also a great resource for those in the marketplace of baseball. They offer a complete advertising section focused on baseball camps, equipment and training tools in each and every issue.

And prior to the holidays, they produce a neat seasonal insert, the Holiday Gift Guide, that features great gift-giving ideas for the baseball fan. In addition, you will often find complete book reviews that offer terrific insight into the game's best sellers and those hidden gems.

And speaking about books, Baseball America has one of the most complete libraries in the game--from its annual Almanac to its popular encyclopedias and colorful ballpark calendars.

Baseball America is a must-read for baseball professionals, whether they're general managers, scouts, farm directors, media members or hardcore fans. If you want to learn as much about the game as possible, Baseball America is the No. 1 source for those who want to be informed.

If you're into baseball, then make sure you're reading Baseball America. It's where I go when I want to know.

  Copyright 2001 Baseball America. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.