Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The 2004 Boyd's World Media Guide Awards About the author, Boyd Nation

The 2004 Boyd's World Media Guide Awards

Publication Date: July 27, 2004

Thanks, Guys

I'm back, albeit a little short on sleep as my newest son adjusts to the world, and this week I want to do my annual thank you to one of my favorite groups of people -- the hardworking, underpaid corps of baseball sports information directors who make what I do possible with their efforts. Just as last year, those thanks will come in the form of recognizing the best of this year's media guides, but I've taken something of value from literally everyone in the field this year, and you all have my thanks. Once again, I have no qualifications to judge this contest, other than the fact that I probably read more media guides than anyone else, but I'm sort of used to having no qualifications, so let's get on to the categories.

Design and Graphics

Best Cover: Central Michigan, SID Fred Stabley, Jr. OK, so baseball players coming out of a cornfield is becoming something of a visual cliche in this society. The shot still works well and is wonderfully framed by the bat and glove.

Best Design Element: Kentucky, SID Patrick Mitchell. The background use of the baseballs in this guide works really well in maintaining visual interest while not overwhelming the content.

Best Visual Layout: St. Louis, SID Diana Koval. This guide manages the tough combination of being eye-catching without appearing cluttered with sufficient use of whitespace and nice use of font changes to draw the eye to the content rather than the font.


Many of these would be repeats of last year's awards, but since the content of those is essentially just repeated (which I'm all in favor of; it just doesn't mean I'm going to repeat myself), I'll just throw in a couple of new ones:

Best Description of a Post-Season: Oregon State, SID Kip Carlson. The description of OSU's 1952 CWS team makes a great standalone article, well-researched and engrossingly written.

Best Opponents Section: Fresno State, SID Darren Moradian. Everyone gets the exact same information to work with from the CoSIDA fact sheets, so the key to a great opponents section is the visual layout; this one does some excellent separation and design work to make the facts quickly available to the eye.

Best Season Review: Baylor, SID Larry Little. Overall, this is a visually striking guide, but it's at its best here, where the headlines and short, punchy descriptions are perfectly laid out for in-broadcast presentation.

Best Documentation Idea: Wichita State, SID Tami Cutler. What's going to be the best historical record of your team's last season ten years from now? Unless something very unusual is going on, it's going to be this year's media guide. Given that, it's odd that this is the only guide to contain a full set of box scores for the previous season. It takes space but not much effort, so everyone should do this if the budget allows.


Serious Heft Award: Texas, SID Mike Forciucci. Also known as The Guide You'd Most Want to Have on Hand in a Dark Alley, this comprehensive tome weighs in at 308 pages and at least 40 pounds (OK, maybe not, but still, it is 308 pages, which is downright huge). More to the point, none of that space is wasted (well, OK, there's a page of pictures of the Board of Regents, but you could probably make a case for it if you really tried); there's enough information and statistics in here to make a grown map weep. This is also the runnerup in the best overall guide category.

Best Writing: Southern Mississippi, SID Mike Montoro. Again, this is about as subjective as awards get, but I just really like his style. As with Sean Moth of Louisville, who continued to be excellent this year, Montoro's writing is functional but elegant, a hard combination to master.

Best Short Publication: North Carolina-Wilmington, SID Tom Riordan. Writing a lower-budget guide is as tough a job as there is; the key seems to be to focus hard on the essentials, as this guide does, and put just as much effort into it as you would on a much longer guide.

Best Publication: Texas Tech, SID Blayne Beal. As with all great guides, it's hard to pick a particular place to start on this one. Great layout, wonderful photos including the cover shot, good writing, excellent data well-presented. If you're just going to get one other guide to study for tips, this is the one to get. One caveat that applies to most SID's and not just to Blayne: Sign your work better, or I'll have to quote Edward Tufte at you.

Fun Facts

There were fewer of these this year, so rather than burn a whole column I'll just list them here:

RIP, Lee Bowen

The world lost a good guy and our community got a bit smaller when Florida State baseball radio announcer Lee Bowen passed away on July 16. Lee was both a talented play-by-play guy and a wonderful person to communicate with in person, and he will be sorely missed. A memorial scholarship fund has been set up; if you're willing to contribute, contact the Florida State baseball program through the link above.

If you're interested in reprinting this or any other Boyd's World material for your publication or Web site, please read the reprint policy and contact me


Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The 2004 Boyd's World Media Guide Awards About the author, Boyd Nation