I know it's hard to imagine, but think about what it used to be like... to be a sports fan before the internet. Before everyone had super cable and satellite dishes. Before ESPN radio. Before cell phones with mobile updates. I don't know how we survived, but we did, and I have proof.
Today I found a notebook that my dad used in 1987 to keep track of every roster in Major League Baseball. It includes notes for players that were traded, injured, released, etc.
Here are, according to my notebook, the 1987 Chicago Cubs:
We basically had three sources to collect this info:
2. baseball cards
3. games on television
The television part made it easy, especially when it came to the Cubs, Braves, and the other National League teams they played against. But I imagine this must've been difficult for American League teams. Other than the nationally televised game of the week, we didn't get to see a lot of AL action. This information probably came from boxscores and transactions listed in the Times Picayune.
I am not sure what the check marks are for beside the players, but my guess is that it refers to baseball cards we had collected.
The notebook did not have enough pages, so some teams ended up on these "Things to Do Today" sheets that had to be folded into the notebook. For example, here are your 1987 Cleveland Indians:
Did the Indians really trade Steve Carlton and Phil Niekro in the same season, while keeping a dude name Sammy Stewart? I guess it's true. A "Things to Do Today" sheet wouldn't lie!