On June 6, 1977 “The Bird” Mark Fidrych, of the Detroit Tigers, and Big Bird, of Sesame Street, were both featured on the cover. In 1976, Fidrych led the major leagues with a 2.34 ERA, won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and finished with a 19–9 record. Fidrych tore the cartilage in his knee during spring training in 1977. He picked up where he left off after his return from the injury, but about 6 weeks after his return, during a July 4th game against Baltimore, he felt his arm just, in his words, “go dead.” It was a torn rotator cuff, but it would not be diagnosed until 1985. Fidrych managed to finish the season 6–4 with a 2.89 ERA and was again invited to the All-Star Game, but he declined the invitation due to injury.
Big Bird was performed and voiced by Caroll Spinney from from 1969 to 2018 (portrayed until 2015). Big Bird was originally designed by a drawing from Jim Henson and built by Kermit Love in 1969. Matt Vogel began taking over duties for Spinney as the portrayal of Big Bird beginning in 1998 and voicing in 2002