The end of a decade is a natural time to look back. You've seen enough All-Decade Teams and Top 10 lists to keep you occupied until 2029. We've got one more to cram in. As it relates to this space, it feels right to look back at covers. Below we present the 10 most memorable baseball covers listed in chronological order.
June 21, 2010: Stephen Strasburg's Debut
Stephen Strasburg's arrival was a moment. He was as hyped as any pitching prospect ever, and delivered a debut worthy of those impossibly high expectations. Nine years later he delivered in a miraculous October run and signed a lucrative deal to stay with the Nationals. Click here to read the cover story.
April 4, 2011: The Phillies Can Pitch
Heading into 2011, we knew the Phillies rotation would be great after Cliff Lee re-joined the team in free agency. The entire starting staff finished the season with a 2.86 ERA, a mark no other team has touched since. Little did we know, Philadelphia's heartbreaking Game 5 NLDS loss to the Cardinals effectively marked the end of its would-be dynasty. The club hasn't made the playoffs since. (Bonus points here for the NO HITTERS cover text.) Click here to read the cover story.
March 26, 2012: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angel
Albert Pujols's signing with the Angels rocked the baseball world. The #MysteryTeam reeled in its first big catch, signing the former Cardinals slugger to a historic 10-year, $240 million deal. Pujols hasn't recaptured his MVP form in Los Angeles, but he's well on his way to the Hall of Fame and has a striking close-up of his face on an SI cover to boot. Click here to read the cover story.
August 27, 2012: Mike Trout's Arrival
Mike Trout has gotten his fair share of covers since debuting in 2011, but this was his first. It came in the midst of his breakout campaign as a 20-year-old in which he led the league with a 168 OPS+ and, for the uninitiated, knocked 30 homers while batting .326. Click here to read the cover story.
June 30, 2014: The Astros Cover
Carry on. Click here to read the cover story.
August 25, 2014: Mo'ne Davis Takes Over
Mo'ne Davis achieved superstardom during the 2014 Little League World Series. She checked a number of historic boxes, becoming the first girl to earn a win in the LLWS and then the first female pitcher to throw a shutout in the postseason tournament. Remember her name, because we might not ever again see a takeover quite like hers in August 2014. Click here to read the cover story.
September 29, 2014: Derek Jeter Says Goodbye
Before we knew how epic Derek Jeter's New York exit would be, he sat down with Tom Verducci and reflected on his career, one that flung him into the public eye more than any player before him. Click here to read the cover story.
March 2, 2015: Giancarlo Stanton Gets Painted
Months after Giancarlo Stanton endured a player's worst nightmare, a fastball beaning him in the face, he graced the cover of SI with his Miami Marlins jersey perfectly painted on. It took eight hours of sketching and brushing and blending, but the final result was an exceptionally distinct cover. Click here to read the cover story.
November 14, 2016: It Happened
Did anyone else know about this? (Shoutout to SI's other Cubs cover weeks earlier that deserves an honorable mention.) Click here to read the cover story.
July 1, 2019: The Charmed Life of A-Rod
Everything about this cover is quintessential A-Rod: the setting, the clothes, the pose, the smile. It screams Alex Rodriguez. Love him or hate him, nearly everything about A-Rod is memorable. That includes his less glamorous cover earlier this decade. Click here to read the cover story.
Here's to the next decade of memorable covers.