Home British baseballProject COBB Two of the four missing issues of Baseball Mercury uncovered in National Baseball Hall of Fame library

Two of the four missing issues of Baseball Mercury uncovered in National Baseball Hall of Fame library

by Joe Gray

bmThe British baseball publication Baseball Mercury was edited by baseball historian William Morgan from 1972 until 1989. Fifty-one issues were produced in all, and the publication’s scope covered both domestic and international baseball, as well as softball.

The Baseball Mercury web archive was launched by Project Cobb, with the kind permission of William, in November 2008 – as announced on BaseballGB. At that time, nine of the 51 issues were missing. Of those nine missing issues, William managed to uncover copies of five in December 2008, which was again announced on BaseballGB. No further issues were found in 2009, which left the web archive still four issues short of the complete set.

The new year of 2010 brought good news, though, as Freddy Berowski of the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s library found copies of issues 44 and 45, which were both missing from the collection. These have just been added to the web archive.

So now all that is needed is for issues 46 and 49 to turn up. If those can be uncovered then the set would be complete. As it stands, though, the collection of 49 issues still represents the most substantial body of information available on the web for baseball in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s.

For links to issues 44 and 45, along with all the other issues available, please click here.

You may also like


Matt Smith January 13, 2010 - 6:21 pm

That’s great news. Fingers crossed that the full set can be completed by someone out there. They’re an excellent source of info from a writer’s perspective, as well as being a fascinating collection to dip into and read.

Matthew Crawshaw January 13, 2010 - 8:33 pm

Here’s a question for Joe.

Back in the 1980’s (specifically around 88/89 I think) there was a Baseball magazine that was available on British news-stands. It must have been a British publication as it carried adverts for stores in the UK that sold MLB merch.

The issue that stands out the most in my memory had Bo Jackson on the cover and it did a feature on his dual MLB/NFL career. He was still an emerging star back then as it preceded the “Bo Knows….” campaign.

Being a Royals fan at the time, I can remember the excitement of my Dad bringing the magazine home for me to pour over.

It really annoys me that I cannot remember the name of the magazine nor find any information on the net about it. It might have been called “Baseball Times” but I can’t be certain.

Along with all kinds of other stuff from that era, my collection of Baseball mags probably hit the trash when I moved out. I would love to try and source these magazines, and rebuild my collection. Alas I fear very few magazines were sold at the time and the publication must’ve had a fairly limited print run.

Any help in at least reminding me of the magazine’s name would be greatly appreciated!

Joe Gray January 13, 2010 - 8:45 pm

Here are some magazines from the late 80s and early 90s…
– First Base (full-colour cover)
– Strike Out (black-and-white cover)
– Baseball UK (two-tone colour)
– Baseball Times (full-colour cover)
– Transatlantic Baseball News & Review (black-and-white cover)

I have a copy or two of each of them, so nothing approaching a full set unfortunately.

I have the Autumn 1987 issue of First Base, which has a story billed on the cover as “Bo Jackson goes to Football”, but he is not pictured on the cover.

Matthew Crawshaw January 13, 2010 - 9:54 pm

It must have been Baseball Times!

One of the regular adverts was for the Slick Willies shop on Kensington High Street. They had a fantastic range of MLB/American Sports gear for a number of years from late 80s to early 90s.

The store was still there the last time I went to London but they have since diversified into Skateboards and Skater wear!

I guess the internet replaces a lot of the old news-stand resource these days. In recent times Borders were quite reliable in getting imported sports magazines in stock, but alas they have now gone bust!

Have enjoyed browsing through the latest Baseball Mercury’s tonight.


Mark January 14, 2010 - 1:31 pm

The magazine you are refering to was indeed Baseball Times, vol 1 issue 1 dated june ’90.

Matthew Crawshaw January 14, 2010 - 1:44 pm

Cheers Mark!

Jeff Elijah February 1, 2010 - 2:46 am

I used to work for the International Baseball Association when its offices were in Indianapolis, Indiana (USA) from 1986 to 1991, and I was the editor of International Baseball Rundown from 1992 to 2001. IB Rundown was first a newsletter and then a magazine that covered baseball as a worldwide sport. Through my association with international baseball, I amassed a collection of baseball publications from many countries, including England, and I’m willing to donate these to British baseball if I can find someone there willing to pay the freight it would cost me to send these overseas.

I have two editions of Baseball Mercury (Nos. 42 and 43). Unfortunately I don’t have issues 46 or 49. I also have 58 issues of Brit Ball, the newsletter of the BBF in the 1990s. I have two issues of First Base (Summer 1989 Darryl Strawberry and World Series Special Ozzie Smith), and two issues of Double Play (Summer 1999 and Spring 2000). I have the BBF Handbooks from 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1997. In addition, I have a spiral bound copy of the BBF’s An Introduction to British Baseball, a few Scottish Amicable baseball publications, two photocopied issues of the Baseball Times (June 1991 and July 1991), and a photocopies issue of Baseball UK (June 1990).

Please send me an e-mail if anyone involved in British Baseball would like these publications. I’m in the process of going through everything, and if no one is interested I’ll be forced to put these out for recycling.

Best wishes,

Jeff Elijah

Joe Gray February 1, 2010 - 9:20 am

Thanks for this Jeff. This is very kind of you.

I’ll definitely be keen on some of these. I just need to check what I already have.

I’ll drop you an email separately.


Matthew Crawshaw February 1, 2010 - 5:28 pm

Joe if there is anything on that list you don’t need, I would be delighted to take them. Would hate them to go into recycling!

Joe Gray February 1, 2010 - 8:13 pm

Hi Matthew,

I’m very happy that there’s someone else out there who likes this type of thing! Too many times in British baseball’s past have collections like these been dumped.

There will definitely be some spares, as I’ve seen a duplicate or two already.



Matthew Crawshaw February 1, 2010 - 10:23 pm

Perhaps Jeff can ship the whole lot to you and then we can sort out whats surplus to you locally?

BaseballGB » Brit-Ball digital archive 33% complete June 3, 2011 - 9:50 pm

[…] that contact was made with the last of these after he left a comment on BaseballGB in response to a post about another British publication, Baseball Mercury. From 1992 to 2001, Jeff edited International […]


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.