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As many of you know, a major winter storm is pummeling the Midwest today. It started snowing about 6 AM here in Lawrence and we already have 7 inches on the ground. We'll get at least a foot out of this. The kids are home from school today.

I was thinking this morning about what winters were like for baseball fans when I was growing up. In the pre-internet days, between late October and early February, there was virtually no baseball news. Unless there was a huge trade or free agent signing, there was nothing until spring training began. It seemed to last forever.

The first sign of spring for me was the appearance of "baseball annuals" on grocery store magazine racks. I remember the excitement of seeing Street and Smith's and others popping up in late January or early February. I always gobbled up the ones that had the most prospect information, which at the time was usually a paragraph or two for each team.

Does anyone else remember those?