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Geneology project

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  • Geneology project

    My husband's grandmother recently died, and when such things happen you find out family secrets that astound and amaze. One of them was the story of my husband's great-grandfather, Alexander "Red" McGowan, a semi-professional pitcher in either NY or NJ. He was born in 1894 in NYC, so I imagine he played in the teens. I have no idea even how to begin trying to find detailed baseball information for that era. Apparently he was given a medal to commemorate his playing time, but I couldn't find it among Grandma's things so I couldn't even begin to describe it. Any suggestions??

  • #2
    You have two projects to work on. The first is to find out where he lived in his teens and in his 20's and 30's. Some City Directories might tell you where he worked during those years. It is possible he worked at the plant that hired him to pitch on their semi-pro team.

    Once you know where he lived between ages 16 to 39, then you can search a few places. You could contact the Sports Editor of the local paper to see if they have files covering that semi-pro team or league. You could access microfilm at a library to see if there were any writeups about the team. Most papers would have boxscores and information about each player. I often would look 2 to 4 weeks before the season started where they might say who the new players on the team are.

    If the town is too far away to visit, you can access newspapers on microfilm via interlibrary loan. Find a nearby college or library that will help you. They will request the microfilm for you and usually there is no charge. It will take quite awhile to read the sports sections between April and September to read about your ancestor. Your husband will find it fascinating to read about his exploits.

    Good Luck!
    "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
    "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


    • #3
      Cool! Thanks for the suggestions and information. Now I have a place to start.


      • #4
        Also, check out the Sporting News. If you're a SABR member you can check out their microfilm which is 35 mm as I recall. They covered the minors well during the teens.


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