No announcement yet.

Meet The Sports Writers

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Samuel Muchnick

    Born: August 22, 1905, Ukraine
    Died: December 30, 1998, St. Louis, MO, age 93,--d. internal bleeding
    Buried: Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Louis, MO

    St. Louis sports writer / wrestling promoter; Jewish
    St. Louis, MO, 14-year old, (January 2, 1920 census)
    St. Louis, MO, advertising, newspaper, (April 8, 1930 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, Lawyer, private practice, (April 10, 1940 census)
    Family immigrated to US, 1912
    St. Louis Star, sports writer, 1926 - 1932, covered Cardinals, etc. (under Sid Keener)
    St. Louis Times, sports writer, (under Dick Farrington)
    Worked for Tom Pax (Thomas Packs Sports Enterprises), wrestling promoter
    First wrestling card: March, 1942, enlisted Army Air Force, 1942,
    Founded National Wrestling Alliance, 1948,
    Served as President 25 years, 1950 - 1960, 1963 - 1977,
    Promoted last wrestling card, January 1, 1982,
    Considered Dean of Wrestling promoters,
    Formed St. Louis Wrestling Club, 1958
    Primarily a wrestling promoter.

    Father: Saul, born Russia, 1873? (immigrated to US, 1898); Mother: Rebecca, born Russia, 1885? (immigrated to US, 1912); Wife: Rose, born Russia, 1908?; Son: David, born New York, 1937?; Daughter: Marlene, born New York, 1939?;

    The legendary St. Louis promoter, Sam Muchnick, ran a successful promotion from 1945 until his retirement in 1982. He was actively involved in the National Wrestling Alliance, which was the main governing body for professional wrestling during his period of promotion. Muchnick passed away in 1998 at the age of ninty-three.

    Tribute: The Life and Times of Sam Muchnick, by Scott Teal
    Webmaster, Whatever Happened To...?
    Originally ran in the Whaterver Happened To...? Issue 16

    It's only fitting that one of the most unique individuals in the history of professional wrestling would have a unique beginning to his life.

    Sam Muchnick was born Aug. 22, 1905 in the Ukraine to Jewish parents, Saul and Rebecca Muchnick. His mother once danced for Czar Nicholas II, the last Romanov ruler of Russia. Sam was supposed to be born where his family lived, St. Louis, but while travelling, Sam arrived two months ahead of time. He was born Jeshua (Jesus) Muchnick, but his father decided that Jesus was an inappropriate name for an American boy and renamed him Samuel, shortened to Sam.

    Sam attended Franklin Grammar School and Central High School, but worked during tough financial years. It was during this time that he saw his first live wrestling match. "I had planned to attend a graduation ceremony at Central High School, which was right next to the Odeon Theatre, where the matches were being held that evening. While I was standing outside, a man walked up and gave me to free tickets. I never made it to the graduation, but saw the great Wladek Zybszko wrestle that night."

    Sam did attend his own graduation on June 9, 1924, and began to work as a postal clerk for the United States Postal Service, a position that paid a salary of $1,900 a year. In 1926, he joined the sports staff at the old St. Louis Times newspaper, for $20 a week. He stayed with the Times until 1932, when it merged with the St. Louis Star and became known as the Star-Times. Offered a position by the new management, Sam rejected it, because one of his friends would have been bumped from the staff.

    Sam had no trouble finding work. His years as a sports writer had allowed him to develop many influential acquaintances with people from Babe Ruth to Mae West, from Al Capone to Frank Lane. The one that sent his life on a new course was Tom Packs, the St. Louis wrestling promoter. One of the sports that Sam covered for the "Times" was wrestling, and a friendship had developed between himself and Packs.

    Getting his start in wrestling

    On August 1, 1932, Sam took a job as Packs' publicist, and became Packs' right-hand man. He handled all of the publicity, some of the booking, and payoffs of wrestlers. However, because of his reputation and important contacts in the Midwest, Sam's greatest value to Packs was in the field of public relations.

    The Packs-Muchnick team worked well, until an incident transpired that put them at odds with one another. "I worked for Tom Packs for nine years, until he promoted a fight between Joe Louis and Tony Musto. The fight was a sellout -- a $67,000 house with a profit of $14,000. For all the work I did, he gave me a $200 bonus. I wasn't happy about it, and might have let things go, until I learned some things a few weeks later. I was talking with Mike Jacobs' right-hand man about something, and he said that Mike had wanted to give me 10 percent of the profits. $1,400. Packs had told Mike that '$200 was enough. Don't spoil him' When I heard that, I decided I'd be leaving him. (Jim) Londos helped talk me into leaving him, because Londos
    was also on the outs with Packs at the time. I decided to go out on my own, and Packs tried to stop me, but I got an injunction against the athletic commission."

    Sam made a decision to begin promoting on his own. When he asked the State Athletic Commission for a license, they refused, saying that they felt one promotion was enough. It was evident that Tom Packs was pulling some political strings to keep Sam from opening up, but Sam obtained a court injunction and promoted two shows in May of 1942.

    Sam's promotional career took a military detour when he enlisted in the Air Force for two years.

    He left as a sergeant in 1945, determined to pick up where he had left off. Sam's next two shows were also promoted under court injunction. One of those, his first show at the Kiel Auditorium, was held on December 5, 1945.

    With the help of Jack Pfefer, who sent him a few wrestlers to help him get started, he drew 3,771 fans for his first card. This was the lineup:
    Ed Virag beat Roy Dunn
    Strangler Lewis beat Jack Conley
    Cliff Guffston beat Jack Beattey
    Lee Wykoff beat Jack Lammay
    Joe Plummer beat Al Martin

    The new promotion was off and rolling, but crowds were sparse and small. He was faced with opposition from Tom Packs, his former boss, and Sam struggled to survive during the first few years. Packs had most of the major talent tied up, so Sam used many of the old-timers who were getting along in years. The pressure from Packs almost forced Sam to fold up, but by 1946, Packs himself was having financial problems. He made the decision to begin promoting circuses, and sold out to Martin Thesz, who in actuality, was simply a front man for his son, Lou Thesz.
    Lou had become a top drawing card in the Midwest, and in St. Louis in particular. Along with several backers, which included Frank Tunney, Bobby Managoff, Eddie Quinn, and Bill Longson, Lou took over Packs' promotion.

    The birth of the National Wrestling Alliance

    Lou regained the National Wrestling Association version of the World Heavyweight title and, for the next two years, drew about double the crowds. In late 1948 two events took place that turned things around for Sam. "Up to this time, the only regulations for wrestling and boxing came from the National Wrestling Association, which was mainly made up of members of the state commissions. The idea of forming a new alliance of wrestling promoters actually started with Pinky George and Tony Stecher, who came up with the idea. They decided to back me and send me talent, so they called and wanted to know if I'd like to join their group. We met in Waterloo, Iowa at the President Hotel to talk about the new alliance and declare a world champion."

    Gathering at the President Hotel that day were Pinky George of Des Moines, Wally Karbo (who represented Tony Stecher), of Minneapolis, Orville Brown of Kansas City, Max Clayton of Omaha, Nebraska, and Sam Muchnick of St. Louis. George was elected as the first president of the new organization, which became known as the National Wrestling Alliance.

    As the president, his main responsibility was to book the world champion, for which he received 3 percent of the gate whenever the champion wrestled. At the same time, Orville Brown was declared the first recognized World Heavyweight champion of the NWA.

    Promoters from all over the world began calling, wanting to join the alliance and secure the services of the world champion, and reap the benefits of belonging to a strong organization. Shortly after this, Sam became the beneficiary of talent exchanges from Stecher and Karbo, as well as Al Haft and Frankie Talaber of Columbus, Ohio.

    But the incident that followed is what really helped even out the balance of power between the two St. Louis promotions. Jack Pfefer, who was promoting in Toledo, sent Sam one of the hottest box office draws of the time, Buddy Rogers. Rogers on his February 4, 1949 show, Sam had his first sell-out at the Kiel Auditorium as 10,651 fans packed the arena to see Rogers wrestle the Indian sensation, Don Eagle.

    Unifying St. Louis and the World title

    Sam Muchnick and Lou Thesz made peace in late 1948, merging their two promotions into one. Sam kept controlling interest by holding two percentage points more than Thesz.

    A World title unification match was scheduled for November of that year in St. Louis, between Thesz, champion of the National Wrestling Association, and National Wrestling Alliance champion Orville Brown. In mid-1949, however, Brown was injured in a tragic automobile accident. Boston promoter Paul Bowser made a motion at the NWA. meeting to recognize Thesz as the champion. "In answer to the question that so many people ask, I believe that if Lou Thesz had wrestled Orville Brown in a legitimate contest, Lou would have beaten him," said Sam.

    Taking over the NWA
    In 1950, at the second annual convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sam Muchnick became the new head of the NWA. and was elected unanimously for the next nine years. At the 13th convention, it was decided that the organization might benefit from new ideas, so a motion was passed to elect a different president each year. In 1960, Frank Tunney of Toronto was elected, followed by Fred Kohler in 1961, and Doc Sarpolis of Amarillo in 1962. Sam took over as executive secretary for those three years.

    When it became evident that most of the presidents were more concerned about their own territory, and didn't take enough interest in building the alliance, Sam was again unanimously elected president. He held that office from 1963 until he retired in 1977, a total of twenty-five years. When one promoter was asked why Sam was elected so many times, his answer was brief,
    yet valid. "Who else can we trust?"

    "After I retired, the alliance elected other presidents, but most of them were too interested in their own business to do what they were supposed to do as president of the NWA. That's why the alliance wound up being a flop, because they didn't have anybody that took a sincere interest in the organization."

    With Sam at the helm, the NWA. became the ruling body in professional wrestling, and funds from the treasury were contributed amateur wrestling groups. Thousands of dollars were donated to help fund the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team.

    St. Louis Wrestling grows and Wrestling At The Chase

    In 1959, a new television program debuted on KPLR-TV, Channel 11 in St. Louis, Wrestling At The Chase. In addition to over 500 shows presented at the Kiel and Arena (now the Checkerdome) over the span of 37 years, Sam produced over 700 television cards, before retiring as promoter on January 1, 1982. On the date of his retirement, he celebrated five decades in the business. Former Mayor Vincent Schoemehl proclaimed that date as Sam Muchnick Day in St. Louis.

    One could safely say that Sam Muchnick made more of a positive impact on professional wrestling than anyone, promoter or wrestler. Many consider Sam and Paul Boesch to be the fairest payoff men in the business.

    That's Sam Muchnick. He never participated as a wrestler, and only refereed a few matches, but he brought a lot of respect to wrestling in St. Louis. And through his efforts with the National Wrestling Alliance, he helped establish a firm foundation for professional wrestling around the world for many years.

    Scott Teal is one of the finest wrestling historians in the sport. His publications, Whatever Happened To...? is a standard for the industry. His website, Whatever Happened To...? is a must visit for serious wrestling fans.

    ------Sam Muchnick/Lou Thesz------------------Jim Crockett/Sam Muchnick

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-09-2013, 07:17 PM.


    • Nathaniel Stanley Fleischer---AKA Nat Fleischer

      Born: November 3, 1887, New York, NY
      Died: June 25, 1972, Atlantic Beach, L.I., NY, age 84

      Sports writer / referee; Jewish
      Manhattan, NY, 12-year old, (June 4, 1900 census)
      Manhattan, NY, teacher, school, (April 21, 1910 census)
      Mt. Vernon, NY, editor, newspaper, (January 13, 1920 census)
      Mt. Vernon, NY, Publishing, Ring Magazine, (April 3, 1930 census)
      Mt. Vernon, NY, writer, Publishing, (April 19, 1940 census)
      Primarily a boxing writer;
      Founder, editor, & publisher of The Ring, 1922
      Graduated City College (CCNY, NYC), 1908,
      Taught in NYC public schools
      New York Press Reporter, 1912 - 1916
      New York Sun, 1916 - 1922
      New York Telegram, 1923 - 1929
      Wrote over 50 books. In 1942, editor / publisher Ring Record Book. & Boxing Encyclopedia.

      Father: Haskel, born Romania, January, 1846; Mother: Hannah, born Romania, December, 1857; Wife: Gertrude, born Pennsylvania, 1897?;

      Nat started Ring Magazine in 1922 with 3 partners. By 1929, he had bought them out and ran it until his death. His Ring became boxing's most respected and leading publication and he became it's leading historian. Wrote biography of Dempsey and 12 other titlists. His 1929 Training for Boxers sold over 1m copies.
      Nat Fleischer (Sportswriter. Born, New York, Nov. 3, 1887; died, New York, June 25, 1972.) Considered the world’s foremost boxing authority during his lifetime, Nathaniel Stanley Fleischer started out to be a schoolteacher. Fleischer taught in New York City schools for four years (1908-12) after graduating from City College. Then the sportswriting urge took over and he began with the Press, a morning paper whose sports editor was the well-known Jim Price. When Price quit to become an executive with baseball’s Federal League in 1915, Fleischer became sports editor. The Press was sold a year later and he moved briefly to the Evening Mail, but by the end of 1916 was at The Sun, where he became the principal boxing writer. Fleischer quit in 1922 to start, with three partners, Ring magazine. In 1923, he joined the Evening Telegram, where he served four years as sports editor (1923-27). Scripps-Howard bought the Telegram in 1927 and brought Joe Williams (q.v.) in from Cleveland as sports editor. Fleischer went back to Ring and by 1929 had bought out the last of his partners. He ran the magazine until his death, building it into the leading boxing publication in the country. In 1942, Fleischer started the annual Ring Record Book, the boxing encyclopedia that was discontinued in 1987. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

      50 Years at Ringside
      Black Dynamite. The Story of the Negro in the Prize Ring from 1782 to 1938. 5 volume set
      Jack Dempsey, the Idol of Fistiana: An Intimate Narrative
      A Pictorial History of Boxing
      John L. Sullivan Champion of Champions
      The Heavyweight Championship - An Informal History of Heavyweight Box From 1719 to the Present Day
      The Ring Record Book and Boxing Encyclopedia
      Gene Tunney the Enigma of the Ring
      Leonard the Magnificent: Life Story of the Man Who Made Himself King of the Lightweights
      Training for Boxers
      From Milo to Londos. The Story of Wrestling Through the Ages
      Gentleman Jim : The Story of James J. Corbett
      "The Michigan Assassin" The Saga of Stanley Ketchel, World's Most Sensational Middleweight Champion
      Jack McAuliffe, the napolean of the Prize Ring.
      Jolting Joe And Homicide Hank
      Modern Wrestling. Its Holds and Methods.
      The Louis Legend
      All-Time Ring Record Book. 1947 Edition
      How to Box.

      New York Times' obituary, June 26, 1972, pp. 36.----------------------------------------------------------------With Ingemar Johanson, June, 1960

      April 17, 1937, Pompton Lakes, NJ; Nat Fleischer / Joe Louis, world heavyweight champion,-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary, July 8, 1972, pp. 38.
      presents a belt emblematic of the title, at his training camp in Pompton Lakes, NJ

      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-09-2013, 06:48 PM.


      • Ward Augustus Morehouse

        Born: March, 1894, Savannah, GA (date of birth confirmed by 1900 census)
        Died: December 7, 1966, New York, NY, age 62,---d. Lennox Hill Hospital

        New York drama critic / sports writer;
        Savannah, GA, 6-year old, (June 7, 1900 census)
        Savannah, GA, 14-year old, (April 24, 1910 census)
        New York, NY, newspaper, reporter, (January 6, 1920 census)
        Briefly attended Georgia College (Cochran, GA),
        Savannah Press, reporter/sports writer
        Atlanta Journal, reporter
        New York Tribune, rewrite man, assistant night city editor, 1919
        New York Herald-Tribune,
        Brooklyn Times
        New York Sun, columnist, 1926 - 1950, (his column was titled, 'Broadway After Dark')
        New York World-Telegram and The Sun, 1950 - 1956, Continued his Broadway column.
        Staten Island Newhouse, Broadway critic and columnist.
        General Features Syndicate,

        Father: Augustus Ward Morehouse, born Georgia, April, 1865; Mother: Sarah, born Georgia, March, 1865; Wife: Ruth Maitland, born Georgia, 1897?;

        Ward saw his first big-league baseball game in 1920.

        Broadway After Dark
        American Reveille: The United States at War
        George M. Cohan, Prince of the American Theater
        Forty-Five Minutes Past Eight
        Just the Other Day From Yellow Pines to Broadway the Warm Personal Reminiscenes of a Roving Drama Critic
        Matinee Tomorrow: Fifty Years of Our Theatre
        Miss Quis: A play in three acts

        Ward's son, Ward Morehouse III was also an author of note and authored some wonderful books on the best hotels of the world. He also wrote, 'If It Were Easy: A New Comedy."

        Inside the Plaza: An Intimate Portrait of the Ultimate Hotel
        Life at the Top
        London's Grand Hotels - Extraordinary People, Extraordinary Service in the World's Cultural Capital
        The Waldorf-Astoria: America's Gilded Dream

        New York Times' obituary, December 9, 1966, pp. 47.-----------------------Sporting News' obituary, December 24, 1966, pp. 42.

        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Biographical Dictionary of American Newspaper Columnists, 1995.

        Sporting News' article, September 24, 1942, pp. 2.

        Ward interviews 'world's greatest baseball fan, Amy Busby, in her NYC apartment.

        August 15, 1956: Ward visits actress / dancer Gwen Verdon when she was starring on Broadway as Lola in 'Damn Yankees'.
        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-08-2013, 03:20 PM.


        • George Frederick Will

          Born: May 4, 1941, Champaign, IL
          Died: Still Alive

          Political commentator / columnist / baseball author;
          Has written 2 books on baseball. Men at Work (1990) and Bunts (2002).

          wikipedia below
          George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) a U.S. newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner.

          Education and early career
          Will was born in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Frederick L. Will and Louise Hendrickson Will. His father was a respected professor of philosophy, specializing in epistemology, at the University of Illinois.

          Will graduated from University Laboratory High School of Urbana, Illinois, and attended Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut (B.A.). He subsequently studied PPE at Magdalen College, University of Oxford (B.A., M.A.), and received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in politics from Princeton University. His 1968 Ph.D. dissertation was entitled Beyond the Reach of Majorities: Closed Questions in the Open Society.

          Will then taught political philosophy at the James Madison College of Michigan State University, and at the University of Toronto. He taught at Harvard University in 1995 and again in 1998. From 1970 to 1972, he served on the staff of Senator Gordon Allott (R-CO).

          Career in journalism
          Will served as an editor for the conservative magazine National Review from 1972 to 1978. He joined the Washington Post Writers Group in 1979, writing a syndicated twice-weekly column, which became widely circulated among newspapers across the country. In 1976, he became a contributing editor for Newsweek, writing a biweekly backpage column. As of 2009, Will still writes both columns.

          Will was widely praised by liberals for condemning the corruption of the Nixon presidency. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for "distinguished commentary on a variety of topics" in 1977. Often combining factual reporting with conservative commentary, Will's columns are known for their erudite vocabulary, allusions to political philosophers, and frequent references to baseball.

          Will has also written two best-selling books on the game of baseball, three books on political philosophy, and has published eleven compilations of his columns for the Washington Post and Newsweek and of various book reviews and lectures.

          His column is syndicated to 450 newspapers.

          Will is also a news analyst for ABC since the early 1980s and was a founding member on the panel of ABC's This Week with David Brinkley in 1981, now titled This Week. Will was also a regular panelist on television's Agronsky & Company from 1977 through 1984 and on NBC's Meet the Press in the middle and late 1970s.

          Political views
          Foreign policy and national security
          Will has proposed that the United States withdraw all troops from Afghanistan and defended Barack Obama's response to the uprisings after the 2009 elections in Iran. He also criticized the Bush administration for engaging in warrantless surveillance and supported trials for detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. On immigration, Will supports tighter border security and a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants.

          Social issues
          On abortion, Will believes that the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision was unconstitutional. Will is also of the opinion that individual gun ownership is a constitutional right. On crime, Will is opposed to the death penalty, but thinks that higher incarceration rates make the populace safer. Additionally, Will is generally skeptical of affirmative action programs.

          Economic issues
          Will supports low taxes, as he thinks that they stimulate economic growth and are more morally fair. He was also opposed to both George W. Bush and Barack Obama's stimulus plans. Other positions include supporting the abolishment of the minimum wage, and the creation of voluntary personal retirement accounts to help the government save money on Social Security.

          Criticism of the George W. Bush administration
          George Will opposed the nomination of Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court and was among the first to do so.

          Will expressed reservations about Bush administration Iraq policies, eventually openly criticizing what he perceived to be an unrealistically optimistic set of political scenarios.

          In March 2006, in a column written in the aftermath of the apparently sectarian bombing of the Askariya Shrine in Samarra, Baghdad, Will challenged the Bush administration—and U.S. government representatives in Iraq—to be more honest about the difficulties the United States faced in rebuilding and maintaining order within Iraq, comparing the White House's rhetoric unfavorably to that of Winston Churchill during the early years of World War II. The optimistic assessments delivered by the Bush administration were described by Will as the "rhetoric of unreality."

          Even though Will had been hawkish in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he criticized the Bush Iraq policy, and broader White House and congressional foreign and domestic policy making, in his keynote address for the Cato Institute's 2006 Milton Friedman Prize dinner.

          Criticism of the 2008 McCain-Palin campaign
          Will was also a harsh and early critic of both Sarah Palin and John McCain's 2008 election campaign. He criticized Palin's understanding of the role of the Vice President, her qualifications for that role and even titled his pre-election Op-Ed piece in the Washington Post "Call Him John the Careless."

          1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign
          Will's detractors complain about instances when Will has blurred the line between independent journalist and political advocate. Will helped Ronald Reagan prepare for his 1980 debate against Jimmy Carter. Immediately after the debate, Will — not yet a member of the ABC News staff — appeared on ABC's Nightline. He was introduced by host Ted Koppel, who said "It's my understanding that you met for some time yesterday with Governor Reagan," and that Will "never made any secret of his affection" for the Republican candidate. Will did not explicitly disclose that he had assisted Reagan's debate preparation, or been present during it. He went on to praise Reagan, saying his "game plan worked well. I don't think he was very surprised."

          In 2004 and again in 2005, Carter accused Will of giving the Reagan campaign a top-secret briefing book stolen from Carter's office before the 1980 debate. In a 2005 syndicated column, Will called his role in Reagan's debate preparation "inappropriate" but denied any role in stealing the briefing book. As he had done to Carter privately, Will wrote in his column that he gave the book a "cursory glance", and found it a "crashing bore and next to useless — for [Carter], or for anyone else." In response to Will's column, Carter wrote a letter to the Washington Post retracting his accusations. Carter apologized to Will for "any incorrect statement that I have ever made about his role in the use of my briefing book ... I have never thought Mr. Will took my book."

          1996 Bob Dole presidential campaign
          The progressive national media watchgroup Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) criticized Will in connection with the 1996 election for "commenting on the presidential race while his second wife, Mari Maseng Will, was a senior staffer for the Dole presidential campaign", including commenting on a Dole speech, asserting that he failed to disclose that his wife had helped write it. However, Will mentioned his wife's connection to the Dole campaign almost weekly on This Week.

          2003 Association with Conrad Black
          Will was criticized for his dealings with Canadian-born British financier Conrad Black. Will served on an informal board of advisors to Hollinger International, a newspaper company controlled by Black. The board met once a year and Will received an annual payment of $25,000. The board was disbanded in 2001. In March 2003, Will wrote a syndicated column which praised a speech by Black and did not disclose their previous business relationship.

          2008 Offshore drilling by China
          In a Washington Post column on June 5, 2008, Will stated that "Drilling is underway 60 miles (97 km) off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are". This statement is false. It was later quoted and subsequently withdrawn by Dick Cheney after Congressional Democrats, backed by energy experts, pointed out the error. House Leader John Boehner also cited the incorrect statement: "Right at this moment some 60 miles (97 km) or less off the coast of Key West, Fla., China has the green light to drill for oil."

          In a June 17, 2008 column, George Will issued a correction: "In a previous column, I stated that China, in partnership with Cuba, is drilling for oil 60 miles (97 km) from the Florida coast. While Cuba has partnered with Chinese companies to drill in the Florida Straits, no Chinese company has been involved in Cuba's oil exploration that close to the United States."

          2009 Global Sea Ice Level
          In a Washington Post column which doubted the effects of global warming, Will stated that: "According to the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center, global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979." This and several other claims attracted the attention of environmentalists, such as British author and activist George Monbiot. Asked to respond, the website of Arctic Climate Research at the University of Illinois states that: "We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that on February 15, 1979, global sea ice area was 16.79 million sq. km and on February 15, 2009, global sea ice area was 15.45 million sq. km. Therefore, global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979." Will responded in a column that he accurately reported the Center's information and the challenge was mistaken. This drew a second response from George Monbiot, who insisted Will had not accurately reported the Center's information. The debate continued in several forums, including a subsequent op-ed by Chris Mooney published in The Washington Post challenging Will's assertions.

          Will has three children - Victoria, Geoffrey, and Jon, with his first wife, Madeleine; Jon was born in 1972 with Down syndrome, which Will has written about in his column on occasion. In 1991, Will married Mari Maseng, a former Reagan presidential speechwriter and deputy director of transportation, as well as former communications director for Robert Dole. They have one child, a son named David, born in 1992, and live in the Washington D.C. area.

          Will is a Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears fan.

          Religious views
          On June 3, 2008, Will stated in an interview on The Colbert Report that he was an agnostic because he was "not decisive enough [to be an atheist]."

          The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts. Harper & Row, 1978.
          The Pursuit of Virtue and Other Tory Notions. Simon & Schuster, 1982.
          Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does. Simon & Schuster, 1983.
          The Morning After: American Success and Excesses, 1981–1986. Free Press, 1986.
          The New Season: A Spectator's Guide to the 1988 Election. Simon & Schuster, 1987.
          Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball. Macmillan, 1990.Suddenly: The American Idea Abroad and at Home. Free Press, 1990.
          Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy. 1992.
          The Leveling Wind: Politics, the Culture and Other News, 1990-1994. Viking, 1994.
          The Woven Figure: Conservatism and America's Fabric: 1994–1997. Scribner, 1997.
          Bunts: Pete Rose, Curt Flood, Camden Yards and Other Reflections on Baseball. Simon and Schuster, 1997.
          With a Happy Eye But...: America and the World, 1997–2002. Free Press, 2002.
          One Man's America: The Pleasures and Provocations of Our Singular Nation. Crown Publishing Group, 2008.
          Suddenly the American Idea Abroad and at Home 1986 to 1990
          Archaeology of the Missouri Valley. Contained in Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Volume 22, Issue 6 pages 285-344.
          Mandans, a Study of Their Culture, Archaeology and Language
          Questions and Answers on the Army Discipline and Regulation Questions and Answers on the Army Discipline and Regulation ACT (1880) ACT (1880)
          The Army ACT Alphabet...
          The Artillerist's Hand-Book of Reference. by G. Will and J.C. Dalton
          The Artillerists Handbook of Reference: In the Form of Questions and Answers on Artillery, Military Law, Interior Economy and Miscellaneous Subjects

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-23-2012, 01:23 PM.


          • Craig Rockwell Wright

            Born: May 7, 1957
            Died: Still Alive

            Baseball writer / researcher / historian / sabremetrician advocate

            Craig lives in his beloved Helena, Montana with his wife, Cathy, and their son, Joshua. Their daughter Laina is a student at Macalester College. Rounding out the family are Emma the dog and their four cats: Scout, Charlie, Tom, and Piper. In the past, Craig got around. He lived in Aptos, CA, Arlington, TX, Lansing, MI and St. Louis, MO.

            Craig R. Wright is a major proponent of sabermetrics, a baseball writer and historian.

            He was a very early pioneer in integrating science into major league baseball and first began working under that premise for the Texas Rangers, after the strike of 1981. He later became the first front office employee to work under the title sabermetrician, but he abandoned the title around 1990 because he felt "... the meaning had shifted too far from a scientific approach to baseball to one focused on statistical analysis of baseball."

            He worked over 20 years in major league baseball, mainly in the area of player evaluation and acquistion. His longest association with a big league team was the Los Angeles Dodgers with whom he worked ten years as a year-round consultant during a period when they had the second best record in the league behind the Atlanta Braves. With LA he significantly helped advance the career of Mike Piazza from non-prospect to blue chip prospect. Wright was an early proponent's Piazza's hitting, argued for his staying at the catcher position, and pushed hard for his rapid advancement to the big leagues while persuasively arguing for the moves that cleared the way for Piazza to be the club's #1 catcher in his rookie year.

            Along with Wright's consulting arrangements, from 1989 to 1996 he also provided a supplemental Advance Scout service for post-season play that was used by six pennant winners and four world champions. He ended that service to have the time to serve two years as a year-round consultant to the Arizona Diamondbacks in preparing for their expansion draft. The Diamondbacks' draft is the only expansion draft to produce a 40-homer player (Tony Batista) and two All-Stars (Batista and Damian Miller.)

            Wright was the primary author of The Diamond Appraised (1989) with 10% of the material being provided by pitching coach Tom House. With most of Wright's work taking place outside the public domain, it was a rare look at the type of work he was doing and how it was being used - or not used. In this book Wright was the first to give a sabermetric perspective on many issues within baseball, including the optimal way to utilize a bullpen and pitching rotation, how to better develop pitchers so that they are primed for future success, the significance of home field advantage, and catcher's ERA (CERA). Wright's chapters on pitching included a ground-breaking study on pitcher workloads and how they might be better managed. They inspired a wealth of studies, and looking back at the book nearly a dozen years later, Rany Jazayerli, one of the founders of Baseball Prospectus, called Wright's study one of the five most important ever done in baseball. After The Diamond Appraised was translated into Japanese, the Hanshin Tigers of Japan's Central League became a client of his consulting service. The other client of Wright's business that was not a major league team was STATS Inc.. For a dozen years they used Wright as a consultant to design their products for the major league teams.

            Few details were publicly known about Wright's pioneering career until he wrote a few vignettes about that period on his web site for The Diamond Appraised Baseball Column.Of particular interest is the different take he has on those early days of sabermetrics in major league baseball that is quite at odds with the theme in Michael Lewis's Moneyball. Lewis portrayed the early practitioners within the game as simply being ignored. Wright acknowledges the scarcity of teams back then that were adding such a perspective, and that the usage was at times on a frustratingly small scale, but he makes a strong case that there were pockets where it was not only valued but had real impact. He gives interesting examples from his career and he scores a key point with his question: "All my contracts were 1-year contracts. Do you really think teams are going to keep shelling out the money year after year just to have you give advice that they will ignore?"

            Dodgers GM Fred Claire backed up that point in a 2004 interview: "I was very impressed by [Craig's] approach, his evaluation process. This really kind of pre-dated a lot of what's happening in the game today. Using Craig's services went with the philosophy that I had as a GM: Gain as much information as you possibly can and make your decisions based on that information. ... Craig added some valuable input to the process. ... I felt he was very good as it related to players in not only their major league careers, but also in their minor league careers. You had your scouting looking at certain other organizations--there is always a large emphasis on pro scouting. But Craig was able to add a different dimension with his own analysis ... . There was a lot of looking at prospects, but also him helping on the major league level. I can recall when we signed Tom Candiotti (1991) we were looking at free agent pitchers, and Craig felt he could be a guy who could give a lot of innings and pitch successfully." (Candiotti proved to be the bargain of that free agent class. During his four-year contract he led the Dodgers in innings and ERA. His 3.38 ERA was actually the fourth best in the whole league.)

            Wright was known for his support of the sabermetric movement. He was one of the very early members of SABR, served on the Board of Directors of Project Scoresheet, the forerunner of Retrosheet, and he was very open about his appreciation of the early work by Bill James when such a view was still anathema in MLB. He gave recommendations, help, and encouragement to those who aspired to similar careers in baseball, including Eddie Epstein, Mat Olkin, John Sickels, Keith Woolner, and Bill James. In his retirement from major league baseball, he has responded to offers of employment from the teams by making recommendations of others in the sabermetric community.

            Wright is semi-retired and lives in Montana where he continues to write about baseball. When asked if he would ever return to major league baseball, he has said it is "very unlikely," and that he would never accept a job that would move him from Montana. But he adds, "I have a distinct vision of where things should go from here in the application of the science of baseball within major league baseball. If a team wanted to explore that vision and decided they wanted my help in bringing it to life – that would certainly catch my attention."

            Wright currently maintains two subscription services: A PageFrom Baseballs Past and The Diamond Appraised Baseball Column. Rob Neyer, senior baseball writer for, subscribes to both and advised his readers: "I'm not one of those people who refuses to pay for anything on the Web, ... but if I could pay for just one thing, it would probably be Craig Wright's baseball writing."

            Baseball Historian

            Wright is the researcher and writer of the radio show A Page from Baseball's Past which celebrated its 25th anniversary as a pre-game show in 2009. He created the show with producer Eric Nadel who is also the voice of the show. In 2008 Wright began doing a subscription text version emailed to subscribers. This text version is enhanced with pictures, charts, research notes, and added details that often had to be cut in the time constraints of the radio show. Bill James, author of the popular Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract has praised the new text version as "... just excellent. I learn a lot from reading it."

            The Diamond Appraised, 1989 (with Tom House)
            The Man Who Stole First Base: Tales From Baseball's Past, 1989
            The Great American Baseball Stat Book, 1987 (Bill James is the listed author, but Craig contributed significant portions.)
            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-23-2012, 01:35 PM.


            • William Morton Burgess, III---AKA Bill Burgess

              Born: February 22, 1951, Brooklyn, NY (Putnam Avenue)
              Died: Still alive

              Online baseball writer / researcher;
              Catholic grade school, 1957 - 1965, (Sacred Heart School, High Street, Mt. Holly, NJ)
              Public HS, 1965 - 1969, (Rancocas Valley Regional HS, Mt. Holly, NJ);
              College, 1969 - 1970, (Manhattan College, Riverdale, Bronx, NY)(freshman year only)
              Studied to be professional dancer in NYC from October, 1970 - 1977
              US Postal Service, May, 1969 - August 18, 1979 (GPO, NYC, 33rd Street & 8th Avenue)
              Eckankar, shipping clerk, August 19, 1979 - August 19, 1980 (Menlo Park, CA)
              Temporary Employment agencies (Kelly / Manpower), (mail rooms, clerical), August, 1980 - 1982
              Palo Alto taxi cab driver, 1982 - 1989
              Medford Leas Retirement Community (Medford, NJ), janitor / window-washer, 1990 - 1993
              self-employed window washer, 1985 - 1998
              self-employed adult care-giver, 1998 - 2011

              Father: William Morton Burgess, Jr., born December 24, 1907, Magnum, OK, died Manhattan, NY, May 22, 1998; Mother: Virginia Marie (Parenti) (Burgess) D'Amico, born February 24, 1925, New Orleans, LA, died Riverton, NJ, July 21, 2011; Sister: Angela Cecile Burgess; Sister: Marian Lorraine (Marigliano), born Fort Dix, NJ, March 4, 1955; Brother: Robert Steven, born Mt. Holly, NJ, April 2, 1959; Brother: Douglas Anthony, born Mt. Holly, NJ, August 30, 1960.

              Bill is an online baseball writer who calls baseball-fever his online baseball home. He hangs out mainly in the History of the Game Forum and Baseball Photographs Forum.
              His areas of expertise are Ty Cobb, baseball photos and Sports Writers. Bill hopes that his work in these 3 areas are what he will be remembered for. His legacies.
              Bill sees himself as a researcher / documenter, who tries to add in his own cool, period flavor to his writings.
              Bill is a leading Ty Cobb historian / advocate / researcher.
              He has created many photo threads, including, but not limited to:

              Historic, Archival Photographs
              Negro Leagues Historic Photographic Archive,
              19th Century Players
              Meet The Sports Writers; This creation, of which this entry is a part, is unique. It is the only index to sports writers I have ever seen, or heard of.
              Meet The Announcers
              Bill's Rare Baseball Photos
              Bill's Rare Babe Ruth Photos
              Bill's Ty Cobb Photos

              The Cobb Consensus---In homage to Bill's first great baseball passion, Ty Cobb, he has created this unique listing of all those who believed him to be the best baseball player. In it, he not only lists the roster of over 300 prominent baseball figures who believed that, but he also gives the quotes attributed to them and their sources, so others can go back and verify the quotes. It took over 20 years to collect the list, and Bill still adds to it occasionally. He also lists those who believed that either Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner were the best. Truly a unique long-term project.

              Ty Cobb / Assorted Historical Topics---Two other significant discussions that Bill has created at baseball-fever are his Ty Cobb/Assorted Historical Topics, where the first 2 pages chronicle some of the major controversies of Cobb's career and the rest comprises interesting historical subjects. Also includes a beautiful Cobb photo tribute and polls on some of Cobb's historical issues by his peers.

              Historical Articles--Still another of the entertaining discussions is Historical Articles, where Bill and the other Fever members all post some amazing articles from Baseball Magazine and other publications.

              Here are supplemental resources that will familiarize you with Bill Burgess' work.
              Bill's mini-bio.
              Bill's Official Baseball Opinions
              Bill's Most Committed Baseball Opinions
              Bill's Facebook profile

              Bill resides in the South San Francisco bay area and currently calls Mt. View, CA home.

              March 15, 1975: Bill Burgess / former 1974 girlfriend. Inset, from my 1980 Cal. Driver's license.

              ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1993: Bill dancing at a San Jose, CA dance club.

              September, 1999: Bill visited Wilson Morelli, his ballet teacher from the 1970's, in his beautiful San Diego, CA condo.
              Wilson had been living with Aids since the late 1980's. He passed away on March 18, 2005.

              July 2, 1993: Just returned to Mt. View, CA, after a 4 year absence in Burlington County, NJ.

              July 4, 1984: My Wedding Day. Dawn, San Gregorio State Park, Pacific Ocean.

              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Christmas Day, December 25, 1975: Brother Bob, Bill, Dad. Mt. Holly, NJ.

              3 shots from September 24, 1999, visiting San Diego, CA.

              August, 1972: w/ partner, Carol (Fasano) Lugo of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, NY. Photo taken in Manhattan photo studio.---------------------------------1956.

              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-04-2013, 02:46 PM.


              • Tom M. Tango (He prefers his true name to remain confidential.)

                Born: August 7, 1962, Montreal, Canada
                Died: Still Alive

                Tom Tango---From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                Tom Tango and "TangoTiger" are aliases used online by an an expert in baseball sabermetrics and ice hockey statistical analysis, and runs the Tango on Baseball sabermetrics website. He is also a contributor to ESPN's baseball blog TMI (The Max Info).

                In particular, he has worked in the area of defense independent pitching statistics. In 2006, Tango's book The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, which was co-written with Mitchel Lichtman and Andrew Dolphin, was published featuring a forward by Pete Palmer. Tango also maintains the "Marcel the Monkey Forecasting System," a simple player projection system which uses three years of weighted player statistics with statistical regression and player age adjustment.

                In an acknowledgement of the impact of Tango's type of research on the game of baseball, 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke credited some of his performance to his use of "modern pitching metrics," to calibrate his own approach to pitching. Greinke specifically mentioned "FIP" (fielding independent pitching), an indicator developed by Tom Tango, as his favorite statistic. "That's pretty much how I pitch, to try to keep my FIP as low as possible".

                Tango works as a consultant for several National Hockey League teams, and has worked for Major League Baseball. Tango now works for the Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays as a statistical analysis consultant.

                Born and raised in Canada, he resides in New Jersey with his family and prefers keeping his real name private.

                The Book: Playing the Percentages in Baseball, 2007

                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules
                Interesting. I thought "Tom Tango" was his real name. It seems odd that he would want to keep his name confidential since he's authored several books and currently works for a major league team. Hey, what if Tom Tango is actually a woman?! That would be funny. This kind of reminds me of a guy I met while working at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. His name was "Sandafor" or something like that. That was his his entire legal name! He changed it more mysteriuous reasons.
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-23-2012, 01:45 PM.


                • Matthew Frederick Souders

                  Born: October 16, 1981, San Diego, CA
                  Died: Still alive

                  Online baseball statistical researcher;
                  Attended Penn State (State College, PA), (dropped out after 3 years)
                  Matt attended the State University of New York at Oswego, (BS, Meteorology).
                  Matt started to formulate the early forms of his PCA in 2001, while at Penn State.

                  Matt is an online baseball statistical researcher whose ever-evolving stat system is known as PCA. Matthew Souders has a seven year history of work as a numerical baseball analyst, inspired by the works of Bill James and Voros McCracken among many others. He is a database guru, a rabid Seattle Mariners fan and when forced to leave the hobbies behind for the real world, he's a PhD student in Meteorology and Applied Mathematics at Stony Brook University (Long Island, NY).
                  Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-01-2010, 07:14 PM.


                  • Richard Joseph Thompson---AKA Dick Thompson

                    Born: July 2, 1955, Brockton, MA
                    Died: January 2, 2008, Bridgewater, MA, age 52,---d. unexpectedly, after a brief illness, at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, MA.

                    Father: Leon F.; Mother: Marjorie Paulding; Wife: Barbara L. Joseph;

                    Dick Thompson was a baseball researcher and author. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he worked as a registered nurse at the VA Medical Center in Brockton, MA for 32 years. He was the author of The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball and was a member of SABR. He won the Bob Davids Award in 2004, SABR's highest honor, which recognized his outstanding research achievements and service to the society.. Before dying unexpectedly in 2008, Thompson had been researching black baseball in New England.

                    His areas of expertise were the Ferrell Brothers, Rick and Wes, and the Negro League pitcher, Cannonball Will Jackman. On the baseball discussion website, Baseball-Fever, his user-name was WJackman. His posts are still preserved there.

                    Brockton Enterprise obituary: January 8, 2008.
                    Richard J. Thompson, 52, of Dartmouth died unexpectedly Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2008, at St. Luke's Hospital. He was the husband of Barbara L. (Joseph) Thompson; and son of the late Leon F. and Marjorie (Paulding) Thompson. He was born in Brockton, was raised in Middleboro, residing in Whitman and Bridgewater for 22 years and in Dartmouth for 1 1/2 years. Mr. Thompson was a registered nurse at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Brockton for 32 years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Vietnam War attaining the rank of E-4. He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal.

                    A baseball historian, researcher and published author, he wrote several articles on baseball history and authored "The Ferrell Brothers Of Baseball", which was published in 2005 by McFarland & Co. He was a member of the Society for American Baseball Research. He was an avid runner and golfer and was a member of Lebaron Hills Country Club and the Country Club of New Bedford. Vacationing with his wife, fishing with his grandson and celebrating July 2nd birthdays, which he shared with his nephew, were some of the many things he enjoyed.

                    Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Barbara L. (Joseph) Thompson of Dartmouth; his stepdaughter, Eve Gates and her husband Jason and their children, Aidan, Asher and Aislyn, all of Dartmouth; one sister, Jeanne Cianciola and her husband Michael of Hanover and their children, Brian, Katharine and Michael; his mother-in-law, Lillian Breen of Acushnet; and his sister-in-law, Tracy Ruprecht of Middleboro. Visitation in Aubertine-Lopes Funeral Home, 129 Allen St., New Bedford, Thursday 2-4 and 6-8. Interment is private.

                    Boston Globe obituary, January 24, 2008, by Kerry Keene, Globe Correspondent
                    In the world of historical baseball research, longtime Bridgewater resident Richard J. Thompson was among the elite, finding as much greatness in obscure players as in the celebrated.

                    Mr. Thompson died unexpectedly Jan. 2 after a brief illness. He was 52.

                    A member of the Society for American Baseball Research for more than a quarter-century, he developed a reputation within that organization as one of the most diligent researchers in the country.

                    Noted baseball historian John Thorn of New York said in an e-mail of Mr. Thompson's death, "This reduces the ranks of SABR's best by one, but it diminishes all of us in SABR, not only those who knew and worked with Dick."

                    Red Sox number cruncher and senior baseball operations adviser Bill James, in an e-mail, praised Mr. Thompson as "important within SABR, and I know he was a very serious researcher."

                    Mr. Thompson contributed nearly two dozen articles over the years to the organization's research publications. In 2005, he published his first book, "The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball," a biography of the Ferrell family of North Carolina, which sent nine members into professional baseball over a 60-year span in the 20th century. Two of the players, Wes and Rick Ferrell, excelled for the Red Sox in the 1930s.

                    In an interview with Globe South following the book's release, Mr. Thompson said he originally intended to write about Wes Ferrell, "but when I contacted some of his family members for information, I found out that the Ferrell family had quite a history. They were farm boys who grew up on a dairy farm, and they weren't self-promoters. Someone needed to tell it."

                    Mr. Thompson had an affinity for giving attention to lesser-known players he felt were unappreciated. Many of his articles dealt with players who had relatively brief major-league careers, though sometimes lengthy minor league careers. An example was "An Afternoon with Ralph McLeod" in the SABR journal National Pastime of 1996. McLeod, a lifelong Quincy resident, played a handful of games with Boston's National League team in 1938. Mr. Thompson believed even players with brief careers had compelling stories.

                    One of the articles of which Mr. Thompson was most proud was "Baseball's Greatest Hero," published in the SABR's Baseball Research Journal of 2001, about minor league pitcher Joe Pinder, who died in heroic circumstances in Normandy on D-Day in June 1944. Pinder was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945. A copy of the Pinder story landed in the hands of President Bush, who sent a hand-written letter to Mr. Thompson commending him on his work.

                    Born in Brockton and raised in Middleborough, Mr. Thompson lived in Whitman and Bridgewater for 22 years and in Dartmouth for 1 1/2 years. He was a registered nurse at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Brockton and West Roxbury for 32 years.

                    Mr. Thompson's most recent research project was the story of legendary African-American pitcher Will "Cannonball" Jackman, a contemporary of Satchel Paige who Mr. Thompson suggested may have approached Paige's greatness, had he not been too old to play by the time Major League Baseball was racially integrated.

                    It was another example of Mr. Thompson's wanting to gain attention for a noteworthy player he felt too few people remembered. To him, his subjects were always more important than any attention he received from writing about them.

                    On baseball-fever, Dick's user-name was WJackman, and we had a thread to commenorate him when we heard he had passed away.---One of our members has passed away. His user-name was based on the fact that he had been working on a biography for Negro League pitching standout Cannonball Will Jackman for some years.

                    The Ferrel Brothers of Baseball, 2005 (316 pages, by McFarland)

                    With pretty sister, Jeanne.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------With Jeanne's son.

                    With his parents.

                    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-28-2013, 07:39 AM.


                    • Brian Kevin McKenna

                      Born: January 22, 1966, Baltimore, MD
                      Died: Still alive

                      Online baseball writer / researcher;
                      Graduated Towson University (Towson, MD), (B.S., Economics)
                      Occupation: retail manager (20 years)
                      Currently resides in Baltimore County, Maryland.

                      Son: Brian, born around 1996; Daughter: Rachel, born around 1998.

                      Brian is an online baseball writer and researcher. He has written over 50 brief biographies for The Baseball Biography Project. He has always made it a point to research and write on a wide variety of aspects of baseball history: major leagues; minor leagues; female participation; international - Japan and Latin America; 19th century; Negro leagues; multi-sport players.

                      His study of the game focuses on the organizational/business aspects of sport and the executives as much as the on-the-field personalities and accomplishments.

                      Brian McKenna was born and raised in Baltimore, coming of age to joyfully witness the last few years of Brooks Robinson’s career.

                      One of his articles: 'Professional Baseball and Football: A Close Relationship', was published by both SABR and the Professional Football Researcher's Association.

                      He is currently working on a documentary of Eddie Plank, titled Gettysburg Eddie and an accompanying written biography, and trying to hone a historical fiction novel based on a mixture of the careers of pre-Negro leaguers Bud Fowler, Frank Grant and Charlie Grant. In addition to this project, and getting his book on Clark Griffith published, Brian will soon be offering a How-to manual for researching baseball history, titled, Baseball History Research 101.

                      Brian will be offering his new book, Clark Griffith: Baseball's Statesman soon via the site,

                      On the website,, Brian uses his actual name, Brian McKenna, as his user-name.

                      Early Exits: The Premature Endings of Baseball Careers, 2006
                      Clark Griffith: Baseball's Statesman, 2010
                      Baseball History Research 101, 2010
                      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-23-2012, 01:59 PM.


                      • Arthur Oeklers Schott

                        Born: July 9, 1918, New Orleans, LA
                        Died: Still Alive

                        New Orleans sports writer / baseball historian;
                        New Orleans, LA, 1 year-old, (January 7, 1920 census)(listed Auther Shot)
                        New Orleans, LA, 12-year old, (April 10, 1930 census)
                        New Orleans, LA, bill clerk, wholesale parking ?, (April 22, 1940 census)(listed Arthur Schatt)
                        Graduated Jesuit High School (New Orleans) in 1936.
                        Loyola University (New Orleans, LA), (Majored in Advanced Math), probably early 1940's.
                        Drafted WWII. Served in South Pacific sector.
                        Saw his first MLB game in 1937.
                        New Orleans Times-Picayne, sports writer, (His column was 'A Schott From the Bleachers'.)
                        New Orleans States-Item
                        In May of 2011, Arthur Schott was inducted into the Greater New Orleans Baseball Hall of Fame for his service into the journalism field of baseball writing and promoting

                        Father: Bernard I., born Louisiana, November, 1896; Mother: Nina O., born Louisiana around 1896. Married Mary Guinnen in September 11, 1948. They are still happily married, going on 62 years.

                        Born into a meat packing family, "Schott and Company", Arthur graduated from Jesuit High School in 1936 and attended Loyola University majoring in Advanced Math, prior to the start of World War 2. At eleven years old, Arthur, along with his brother and their father went to Heinemann Park in New Orleans to see the local team, the New Orleans Pelicans play host to their rivals, the Little Rock Travelers and lose, 4-5. This was the first of many organized professional games Arthur would attend in 80 years as a fan. Two years later, while as a student at Our Lady of Lourdes Grammar School, Arthur purchased for a then princely sum of $.20, a scrapbook of the 1930 Southern Association baseball season. Going through the pages , Arthur became fascinated with the workings of the box-scores and records.

                        As a student at Jesuit High School, Arthur's first column was a letter to the Sports Editor, Fred Digby, correcting the number of doubles hit for the previous season in the Southern Association. When America entered the Second World War, Arthur was drafted and stationed with the Quarter Master Corps as a Sergeant in Guam, New Guinea, Philippines and Australia. While he didn't partake in any of the fighting, he once recalled hearing gunfire and explosions in the distance. Upon his discharge, he resumed his writing, and research, forwarding his findings to newspapers across the country, i.e., 'The Sporting News'. In September of 1948, Arthur married the former Mary Guinnen and raised seven sons, each born the year the New York Yankees won a pennant. In September of this year [2010], Arthur and Mary will be married 62 years.

                        It was during this time, Arthur came in contact with Charlie Hurth, President of the Southern Association. Charlie, who was impressed with Arthur's columns, asked him to help the League celebrate 50 years, with press releases and assorted information for the newspapers and publications which Arthur was more than happy to assist. The late Tom Fox, editor of the West Bank Guide, asked Arthur if he could contribute articles for the summer. Arthur wrote one for twelve weeks under the byline, "A Schott From The Bleachers." He figures he wrote over 2,000 "A Schott From the Bleachers" columns for the Times-Picayne, the States-Item and other publications. His articles have graced the pages of the Clarion Herald, the New Orleans States-Item and the Times-Picayune Newspapers until the mid-1980's. His articles later found a home in the Bleacher Creature newsletter until the BC folded in 2006.

                        In 1971, because of his renown knowledge of the sport, Arthur was appointed by then-Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, as "The Official Baseball Historian of Louisiana." A title that no other state has given out.
                        He has appeared on television and radio promoting the sport of baseball.

                        In January, 1993, Richard Dempsey and Jay Gauthreaux, along with Arthur, organized the Art Schott/Pelican chapter of SABR in New Orleans. For his meritorious service in the field of journalism and selflessness in the promoting of baseball, Arthur is a member of the Greater New Orleans Diamond Club Hall of Fame, (1980), Nokia Sports Hall of Fame, (1991), and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, (2007). (This material was graciously shared by Jay Gauthreaux, Arthur's friend and apprentice, and Fever member Melottfan.)
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-04-2013, 02:40 PM.


                        • Dr. Harvey Frommer

                          Born: October 10, 1935, Brooklyn, NY
                          Died: Still Alive

                          free-lance baseball author; Jewish
                          Brooklyn, NY, 4-year old, (April 5, 1940 census)
                          New York University (NYU, NYC), B.S., 1957, M.A., 1961, Ph.D., 1974.
                          City University of New York (CUNY)(NYC), Professor of English
                          US Army, 1958-59
                          Has lived on Long Island, NY (Valley Stream, Far Rockaway and North Woodmere).
                          Dartmouth College (Hanover, NH), professor of liberal studies.
                          Married Myrna Katz on January 23, 1960. Children: Jennifer, Frederic, Jan.

                          Father: Max, born New York, 1900?; Mother: Fannie, born Romania, 1907?;

                          Harvey is a prolific baseball author. He is in his 34th consecutive year of writing sports books. A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 40 sports books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE STADIUM, an oral/narrative history (Abrams, Stewart, Tabori and Chang) was published in 2008 as well as a reprint version of his classic "Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball." Frommer's newest work CELEBRATING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION will be published in 2010.

                          Dr. Harvey Frommer, along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer, both born and raised in Brookyn, NY, are the authors of five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.

                          The Frommers are a wife and husband team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in America, It Happened on Broadway, and It Happened in Manhattan, they preach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College where they team-teach courses in oral history.

                          They are cultural-travel writers who have published nearly one hundred articles in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet. A special interest is the intermingling of past and present of Jewish life and culture in Spain, Portugal, and Turkey.

                          Accomplished and charismatic public speakers, the Frommers have appeared before live audiences and on the media throughout the United States lecturing on their books and travel experiences.

                          Harvey Frommer is also a noted sports journalist and oral historian, the author of forty books on sports including the autobiographies of legends Nolan Ryan, Tony Dorsett, and Red Holzman. The prolific Frommer was also selected by Major League Baseball to be an Expert Witness in 2006 in a case involving trademark infringement.

                          Harvey Frommer received his Ph.D. from NYU. Professor Emeritus, Distinguished Professor nominee, and recipient of the "Salute to Scholars Award" at CUNY where he taught writing for many years, he was cited in the Congressional Record and by the NYS Legislature as a sports historian and journalist.

                          Authored:--A sampling of 24 of his 40 sports titles.

                          A Baseball Century: The First 100 Years of the National League, 1975
                          New York City Baseball: 1947-1957, (1980)
                          Rickey and Robinson: The Men Who Broke Baseball's Color Barrier, 1982
                          Baseballs Greatest Records: Streaks and Feats, 1983
                          Sports Lingo: A Dictionary of the Language of Sports, 1983
                          Baseball's Hall of Fame, 1984
                          Baseballs Greatest Rivalry Yankees-Boston, 1984
                          Jackie Robinson Impact Biography, 1984
                          Baseball's Greatest Managers, 1985
                          150th Anniversary Baseball Picture Albums, 1988
                          Primitive Baseball: The First Quarter Century of the National Pastime, 1988
                          Growing Up at Bat: 50 Years of Little League Baseball, 1989
                          Running Tough: Memoirs of A Football Maverick, by Tony Dorsett, 1989 (With Harvey Frommer)
                          Throwing Heat: Autobiography Nolan Ryan, 1990
                          Holzman on Hoops: The Man Who Led the Knicks Through Two World Championships Tells it Like it Was, by Red Holzman, 1991, (with Harvey Frommer)
                          Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball, 1992
                          Big Apple Baseball: An Illustrated History from the Boroughs to the Ballparks, 1995
                          The New York Yankee Encyclopedia, 1997 (edited)
                          Growing Up Baseball: An Oral History, 2001
                          A Yankee Century: A Celebration Of The First Hundred Years Of Baseball's Greatest Team, 2003
                          Where Have All Our Red Sox Gone, 2006
                          Five O'Clock Lightning: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the Greatest Baseball Team in History: The 1927 New York Yankees, 2007
                          Remembering Yankee Stadium: An Oral and Narrative History of "The House That Ruth Built", 2008

                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dr. Harvey Frommer and his wife, Dr. Myrna Frommer.

                          Dr. Myrna Katz Frommer

                          Born: March 29, 1939, Brooklyn, NY
                          Died: Still Alive

                          Free-lance writer;
                          Graduated New York University (NYU, NYC), (Ph.D. in Communications)
                          City University at New York (CUNY, NYC) and New York University (NYU, NYC), (Taught media, public speaker, rhetoric)

                          Dr. Frommer's wife is his writing partner. Myrna Katz Frommer was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She received a Ph.D. in Communications from New York University and taught media, public speaking and rhetoric at CUNY and NYU before turning to the genre of oral history which she has been teaching (together with Harvey Frommer) in MALS since 1994. The course has led to a community of oral historians who gather annually, contribute work to the Oral History Reader, and stay in touch via the Oral History Newsletter which reveals, among other things, the role of oral history in life after MALS.

                          Co-author of the interactive oral histories: "It Happened in the Catskills," "It Happened in Brooklyn," "It Happened on Broadway," "It Happened in Manhattan," and "Growing up Jewish in America," Professor Frommer also wrote the oral biography: "Always Up Front." Her poetry appears in "The Still Puddle Poets" and "The City Review." Her many articles, which feature oral history and focus on Jewish communities world-wide, have been published in such outlets as "The Forward," "Midstream," "Ha'aretz," and "The B'nai Brith Jewish Monthly." She has also been published in "The New York Times," "Etc.: The Journal of General Semantics," "The Encyclopedia of Jewish Women," and "The Jewish Week." Currently, she is at work on a book documenting the history of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee which grew out of her visit to Ukraine in 2007.
                          Myrna's Facebook profile

                          It Happened in the Catskills: An Oral History in the Words of Busboys, Bellhops, Guests, Proprietors, Comedians, Agents, and Others Who Lived It, 1991 (with Harvey Frommer)
                          It Happened in Brooklyn - An Oral History of growing up in the borough in the 1940s,'50s, and '60s, 1993 (with Harvey Frommer)
                          Growing Up Jewish in America: An Oral History, 1995 (with Harvey Frommer)
                          IT HAPPENED ON BROADWAY: AN ORAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WHITE WAY, 1998 (with Harvey Frommer)
                          It Happened in Manhattan: An Oral History of Life in the City During the Mid-Twentieth Century, 2001 (with Harvey Frommer)

                          ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------With her husband / writing partner, Harvey.

                          With her husband / writing partner, Harvey.----------------------------------------------------------------------With Kate Goldsborough.
                          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-04-2013, 01:31 PM.


                          • David Quentin Voigt

                            Born: August 9, 1926, Pennsylvania
                            Died: Still alive

                            Free-lance baseball author;
                            Reading, PA, 3-year old, (April 11, 1930 census)
                            Dauphin, PA, 13-year old student, (April 12, 1940 census)
                            Graduated Albright College (Reading, PA), 1948
                            Syracuse University, (Ph.D.)
                            Has taught high school in Manhasset, Long Island, NY.

                            Father: H. William, born Illinois, 1883?; Mother: Ethel, born Pennsylvania, 1897?;

                            Less prolific, more an academic than a full time writer, is Dave Voigt, whose baseball histories under the more formal David Quentin Voigt, began appearing in 1966. Now 75 and residing in Reading, PA, Voigt graduated from Albright College (in Reading), in 1948, received a Ph.D. from Syracuse, and taught high school in Manhasset, Long Island, NY, where one of his students was Jim Brown.

                            “Brown would take time out from track to play baseball then,” recalls Voigt, whose middle name came from his mother’s attraction to Teddy Roosevelt’s son Quentin. “First base and pitcher. A good kid. I had nothing to do with his going to Syracuse, but I always liked him.”

                            Voigt’s father, a minister and English professor, died when Dave was 10. He and two brothers went to live at the Hershey Industrial School, run by the “chocolate family,” where his love for baseball grew. He kept scrapbooks – one on the American, one on the National League – and began the methodical record keeping which would one day make him qualified to be called a historian. His doctoral thesis at Syracuse was on baseball in the last decade of the 19th century. He returned to his alma mater, Albright, to teach history, sociology and anthropology

                            His books have always been published by university presses, and he has surely never been in it for the money or the sales. He never received an advance. But his three-volume American Baseball began in 1966 with From the Gentleman’s Sport to the Commissioner System and includes a foreword by one of his Syracuse inspirations, the American cultural historian and Pulitzer Prize winner, Allan Nevins. The book was immediately recognized by students of the game as an important entry into the game’s origins, many feeling it was on a scholarly par with Harold Seymour’s first book, published six years earlier.

                            “Professor Seymour tried to kill this off,” says Voigt. “He claimed intellectual ownership of the subject. “But I went ahead anyway. There was room for others.”

                            Volume two, in 1970, went through expansion, and volume three, in 1983, went through the baseball strike of 1981. The third volume was published, along with reissues of the first two, by Penn State Press, which in 1987, published a single volume, Baseball: An Illustrated History.. His most recent book, The League That Failed, was published in 1998 and dealt with the 12-team National League of the 1890's.

                            And what is Voigt up to now?

                            It was the answer we hoped we would hear.

                            “Volume four!” he says. “I’m using a working title of Crossing the Century Bar, a phrase from Tennyson, and it takes the game to the present. I’m hoping to get it out in another year, but we don’t have a contract yet. I’m talking to Penn State about it.”

                            Here’s hoping it sees the light and takes its place with the first three volumes as a historian’s look at the era we’ve just lived through.

                            American Baseball: From Gentlemen's Sport to the Commisioner System, 1966
                            American Baseball: From the Commissioners to Continental Expansion, 1970
                            American Baseball: From Postwar Expansion to the Electronic Age, 1983
                            Baseball: An Illustrated History, 1987
                            The League That Failed, 1998 (1890's National League)
                            A Little League Journal, 1975
                            America's leisure revolution: Essays in the sociology of leisure and sports, 1974
                            Cincinnati Reds, 1869 (1969)
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-04-2013, 01:26 PM.


                            • Harold Seymour

                              Born: June 21, 1910, NYC
                              Died: September 26, 1992, Keene, NH, age 82

                              New York baseball author;
                              Brooklyn, NY, 9-year old, (January 3, 1920 census)
                              Brooklyn, NY, Oil Company, clerk, (April 14, 1930 census)
                              Norwich, NY, social studies teacher, public school, (April, 1940 census)
                              Drew University (Madison, NJ), 1934
                              Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), (Ph.D., History of Baseball and Its Impact on American Society)

                              Father: Howard, born England, 1887?; Mother: Loretta, born New York, 1889?; Wife: Jean, born South Carolina, 1918?;

                              Harold Seymour, Ph.D, graduated from high school ranked 299 in a class of 303 but nonetheless talked his way into Drew University and then Cornell University, where he earned his PhD. His doctoral dissertation was on the history of baseball and its impact on American Society, centering on the year 1891.

                              At Drew, Seymour was "the centerpiece of the college’s first baseball team, actually the first baseball coach and the first polished player and firstbaseman at the same time. At Drew, Seymour also wrote sports for the college paper, was a member of the first student athletics committee and became a council representative in the student government.

                              The team's first captain (1931), he also hit the first run ever scored by a ball player for Drew. Seymour was also Drew's star hitter. His four-year average was .425; in two years he hit .500, and one year .514. After Seymour graduated in 1934, the local newspaper columnist recalled his career, stating that Seymour "loved the game and knew more about baseball than anyone who has ever been at Drew," adding that he "could sing in four languages and swear in a dozen."

                              He became a "bird dog," unofficial scout, for the Boston Red Sox. His principal discoveries were Bill Lohrman and Harry Eisenstat.

                              Seymour's experience at Drew inspired one of his best education articles, "Books Before Baseball," published in SABR's magazine, The National Pastime, in 1982. It derives largely from his experience as a college student who learned that academics should be placed ahead of athletics. Another is "Call Me Doctor!" written for the Educational Record in 1958. In this article Seymour recommended that holders of the highest degree that can be awarded, the Ph.D., should stop hiding it and permitting physicians, whose degree is actually a lower-level degree, to benefit almost exclusively from the public recognition of its value. Seymour also wrote "A Communist in the Classroom" for the Journal of Higher Education, revealing that he had invited a communist (and a capitalist) to his college class for students to question and learn from.

                              Before he was able to find a teaching position at the college level, Seymour taught junior high school history in Norwich, NY. He accepted the position with the assurance that he would also be coaching baseball, but when he arrived to start work he learned that the chemistry teacher had been given the baseball position and that he, Seymour, was to coach wrestling — about which he knew nothing! So he enlisted the star wrestler to help him, learned the moves and how to help his boys, coached them and traveled to meets with them, and produced a winning team, popularly called "The Purple Matmen."

                              Fenn College in Cleveland became Seymour’s second college-level teaching position; he had taught at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, and during World War II he left teaching to run his father's marine contracting business in New York City.

                              In the fall of 1956 Seymour accepted a post as Vice President and Director of the State University of New York at Buffalo's Office of Information Services, succeeding Sloan Wilson, author of the bestseller The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Seymour also gave many radio and TV interviews and becames vice president of the Business Bureau in Cleveland, OH.

                              Seymour is best known for his Groundbreaking Three-Volume History Of Baseball. Volume I is Baseball: The Early Years (1960); this first volume covers the earliest play in the United States and baseball's development from an amateur pastime into a professional sport, with establishment of the National Commission in 1903. It wa expanded and revised from Seymour's Ph.D. dissertation for Cornell University. Volume II, entitled Baseball: The Golden Age (1971), covers the development of the major leagues, clubs, and players to 1930, including all the important baseball events of the period, like the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. Volume III, Baseball: The People's Game (1990), gives the full story of the growth of amateur baseball in America as played in schools, colleges, prisons, women's groups, black clubs and leagues, industrial leagues, even Indian schools. This book won three prizes.

                              The Seymour Medal is named in honor of Dr. Harold Seymour and wife Dorothy Jane Mills. In 2001, Seymour was one of the first winners of the Henry Chadwick Award.

                              Baseball: The Early Years, 1960 (with Dorothy Seymour)
                              Baseball: The Golden Age, 1971 (with Dorothy Seymour)
                              Baseball: The People's Game, 1990 (with Dorothy Seymour)

                              Dorothy Jane Zander Seymour Mills

                              Born: March 9, 1928, Cleveland, OH
                              Died: Still Alive

                              Free-lance author;
                              She was the full co-author of the 3 series book history of baseball, along with her husband, Harold Seymour.

                              Dorothy Z. Seymour has written books under this name and under her current name, Dorothy Jane Mills. Her latest baseball book, Chasing Baseball (McFarland 2010) appears under the name Dorothy Seymour Mills.

                              Born in 1928 in Cleveland, Mills worked with her late husband, Dr. Harold Seymour, on the 3 books of baseball history that Oxford University Press published under his name 1960-1990. In her autobiography,A Woman's Work (McFarland 2004), MIlls revealed that she was actually Seymour's co-author.

                              During her teaching career and afterwards as a a Boston editor and later a freelance, Mills also published a dozen children's books, co-authored a book on organic farming with Paul Keene,wrote a vegetarian cookbook and three historical novels. In baseball she became involved with promoting women's interests, and the Women's Baseball League honored her in 2001. She belongs to AWSM, is an active member of the Society for American Baseball Research (which awarded her its first Seymour Medal), attends and speaks at conventions, is listed in three Who's Who volumes, gives presentations to interested groups about her work, acts as a consulting editor, appeared in a historical film on umpiring,

                              Interesting postscript:
                              Straightening the Record, By ALAN SCHWARZ
                              Published: March 6, 2010

                              Dorothy Jane Mills was supposed to feel honored last Monday when the Society for American Baseball Research included her husband, Dr. Harold Seymour, in the inaugural class of the organization’s new de facto Hall of Fame. She was supposed to feel thankful that her assistance with Seymour’s seminal three-volume history of baseball, published sequentially from 1960 through 1990, would be acknowledged during his induction.

                              But Mills felt neither honored nor thankful. Instead, resentment that had percolated within her for 50 years — over how she had, in fact, co-written those books but received no credit — boiled over into heated discussions of historical record, academic honesty and what can best be described as intellectual spousal abuse.

                              The controversy ended Wednesday with the organization, known as SABR (pronounced say-ber), telling Mills that she would be honored equally with Seymour. But only after she had relived a time in her life she can forgive even less than forget.

                              “Everyone assumed that he had done all that work by himself — that’s what he wanted them to assume, but we were equal partners,” said Mills, 81, working on her 26th book at her home in Naples, Fla. “All these things were done jointly. He just couldn’t share credit. And I didn’t say anything at the time, because at the time, wives just didn’t do that.”

                              Mills revealed the dynamic soon after her husband’s death in 1992, and described in her 2004 autobiography (“A Woman’s Work”) how she had served as the primary researcher and essentially a co-author of the three books: “Baseball: The Early Years,” “Baseball: The Golden Age” and “Baseball: The People’s Game,” all published by Oxford University Press as the first scholarly treatment of baseball history.

                              Given the trilogy’s renown among baseball historians, her claims created a minor stir that waned with a whiff of latent marital griping.

                              When SABR announced recipients of its Henry Chadwick Award on Monday, essentially choosing the Ruths and Mantles for its own Cooperstown, Seymour was an obvious choice among “The Glory of Their Times” author Lawrence S. Ritter, the statistical analyst Bill James and others. Mills received only glancing mention in Seymour’s citation. This so infuriated Mills and caused such an uprising among some of the 329 female members of SABR that the three-man selection committee reconsidered its stance, and the organization’s core purpose, over the next 48 hours.

                              “We had believed we would exceed our role in rendering a verdict on the controversy,” said John Thorn, a prominent baseball historian who is a member of the committee. “But it was in error because we weren’t aware at how making no decision was making a decision.”

                              He added that he was convinced Mills was the books’ full co-author.

                              “I do believe I have a heightened sense because of this unusual experience this week,” he said. “A heightened sense of responsibility — to correct historical error.”

                              Dorothy Zander grew up in Cleveland during the 1930s and ’40s wanting to become a writer, and while an English major at Fenn College — now Cleveland State University — worked for The Cleveland News as a copy boy. (“Not a copy girl, a copy boy,” she repeated curtly.) She volunteered to help her American history professor, Harold Seymour, type his lectures; she found they needed more than typing, and told him so.

                              They fell in love and married, and she became his primary research assistant for his Cornell doctoral dissertation on baseball history — reading through old newspapers at The Sporting News offices in St. Louis and scrolling through microfilm at the New York Public Library.

                              She cared nothing for baseball, only the scholarship — and the growing stature of her husband, 17 years her senior.

                              “He loved baseball,” Mills recalled in a telephone interview. “He was a bat boy for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1920s and he was the star of the neighborhood.

                              “I’m still not a fan of baseball. People can’t understand that. I think it’s a good idea to remain above that. You write a lot more objectively about a subject you’re not in love with.”

                              But she did love Seymour — whom she continued to address by last name until the day he died — and accepted his overbearing egotism as merely a wife’s burden. She gladly conducted research, devised outlines and rewrote sections when Oxford wanted to publish his dissertation as a book. She kept quiet when she received no credit on the cover and barely even in the acknowledgments in the first volume and its sequel, published in 1972.

                              “He should have put my name on the title page under his,” she said.

                              Asked why she did not object at the time, she paused and broke into tears.

                              “It was too easy not to,” she said. “I was just playing my role. I was just doing everything I had done before and continuing with it. I was comfortable with that role.”

                              As instant classics, the first two books begat a third — completed as Seymour developed Alzheimer’s disease. Mills said she wrote most of the final book herself and asked her husband in writing for co-author credit but was denied.

                              “He was just stony-faced — he refused to do anything about it,” she said.

                              Even though she had full control by this point, she declined to pursue the matter.

                              “I couldn’t do that to him,” she said. “I couldn’t change things. No. He felt they were his books. Even though I knew better, I couldn’t alter that.”

                              Only after Seymour died did Mills — who soon remarried — publicly acknowledge her role in the prominent Seymour trilogy. Her claims were verified by Steve Gietschier, then the chief researcher for The Sporting News.

                              “They were credible — more than credible,” Gietschier said in a telephone interview Thursday. “The Seymour note cards — a good number of them are in what I perceived to be in a woman’s handwriting. At least half. They clearly worked together. I think it was a very complex situation.”

                              As far as the writing of text, proof of Mills’s role is less clear. This is what gave Thorn pause this year when considering Mills for full honor with Seymour.

                              “It was easy for me to say, ‘Well, Harold’s not here to defend himself in this spousal fight; I’m not getting into it,’ ” Thorn said. “I don’t think it had anything to do with his and my being a man. It had everything to do with his being dead.”

                              Mills said that she was comfortable with her ultimate inclusion in the SABR honor, however clumsily it might have been handled.

                              “I’m glad to have the whole thing over with,” she said, adding that she can refocus on her latest book, a historical novel about, it turns out, baseball.

                              It is about a female ballplayer in Cleveland in the 1920s. She signs a contract with a minor league team but, like the real-life female stars of the day, finds her contract invalidated by Organized Baseball.

                              This time, though, the woman speaks up.

                              Baseball: The Early Years, 1960 (with Harold Seymour)
                              Baseball: The Golden Age, 1971 (with Harold Seymour)
                              Baseball: The People's Game, 1990 (with Harold Seymour)

                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-04-2013, 01:08 PM.


                              • Gabriel Harris Schechter

                                Born: April 14, 1951, Glen Cove, NY
                                Died: Still alive

                                Free-lance baseball writer;
                                Graduated Colgate University (Village of Hamilton, NY), 1973, (English)
                                University of Oregon (Eugene, OR), 1975, (M.A. English)
                                Hall of Fame research assistant, writing for Hall of Fame publications and, since 2004, a column for Hall of Fame website.
                                1980's, short stories, articles, columns on poker, related gamblings subjects

                                VICTORY FAUST: The Rube Who Saved McGraw's Giants, 2000,
                                UNHITTABLE! Baseball's Greatest Pitching Seasons, 2002.
                                Neil Leifer: Ballet in the Dirt: The Golden Age of Baseball, 2008
                                Leifer - Football. Art Edition, Johnny Unitas Guts and Glory: The Golden Age of American Football, 1958-1978, (2008)
                                THIS BAD DAY IN YANKEES HISTORY, 2009
                                Gabe's blog:
                                Gabriel's Facebook profile

                                Posing at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame: L-R: Gabriel Schechter, Perry Barber, Tim Wiles.

                                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-28-2012, 11:54 AM.


                                Ad Widget