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  • Jesse Peter Abramson

    Born: March 10, 1904, Mountaindale, NY
    Died: June 11, 1979, Mt. Vernon, NY, age 75,---d. cancer

    New York sports writer; Jewish
    Manhattan, NY, 6-year old, (1910 census)
    Brooklyn, NY, 17-year old, (January 6, 1920 census)(listed Jesse Abrams)
    Bronx, NY, reporter, newspaper, (April 8, 1930 census)(listed Jesse Abrahamson)
    Mt. Vernon, NY, reporter, newspaper, (April 16, 1940 census)
    New York Herald Tribune, 1924 - 1966

    Father: Meyer, born Russia, 1876?; Mother: Ida, born Russia, 1874?; Wife: Dorothy L., born New York, 1906?; Mark L., born New York 1931?; Daughter: Linda, born New York, 1938?;

    Profound knowledge, amazing memory for facts. Widely recognized as the country's leading authority on track & field, at least until 1948 when Cordner & Bert Nelson came along and founded Track & Field News. Jesse attended every Olympics from 1924 to 1976. Won James J. Walker Award for service to boxing, career achievement award from New York Track Writers Association. Founder & long-time President of New York Track Writers, and served as President of New York Football Writers' Association.
    Track and Field Hall of Fame, (1st media inductee.)
    Primarily a Track and Field and football writer.

    His New York Times obituary, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Red Smith, reads: “Jesse Abramson, a distinguished figure in sports journalism for 56 years and widely recognized as the nation’s leading track and field writer. Colleagues called him ‘The Brain’, in recognition of his profound knowledge of track and his phenomenal memory for detail.

    “As a rookie on the Herald-Tribune in 1924, Abramson rewrote Grantland Rice’s condensed cable dispatches from the Olympic Games. Then, starting in 1928, he attended every summer Olympics through 1976. He covered the Games for the Herald-Tribune until 1964 (the paper folded in 1966), was foreign press liaison at the 1968 Games in Mexico, covered the 1972 Games for the International Herald-Tribune, and was press liaison in 1976.

    “Mr. Abramson received many honors, including the Grantland Rice Award of the Sportsmen Brotherhood, the James J. Walker Award for service to boxing, and the career achievement award from the New York Track Writers Association. He was a founder and long-time president of the New York Track Writers Association, and the NYTA’s annual award to the outstanding athlete of the year is named for him. He was also president of the New York Football Writers Association.”

    In 1981, Abramson was honored as the first media person to be elected to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
    Born on 10 March 1904 in Mountaindale, a small village in the Catskill Mountains, near Spring Valley, New York, Jesse was the son of Louis, a tailor, and Minnie Virship Abramson. His birth, however, was recorded officially as May 11, because the courier whom his family had sent to register his birth procrastinated for an entire day. Moreover, he was registered only as Peter Abramson. Soon after his birth the family moved to the Brooklyn borough of New York City. In 1922 Abramson served as editor of the Stuyvesant High School yearbook and graduated valedictorian from the Manhattan-based public high school.

    Although accepted by Columbia University for enrollment in the fall of 1922, Abramson instead took a position as a stringer in the sports department of The New York Herald about a week before the beginning of the semester. "I was only being paid per story," Abramson told Chuck Stogel in a June 24, 1978 Sportscope interview, "but I was lucky to have a friendly editor who would put one column of mine in the first edition and then a fresh copy in the second edition.
    Source: Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2003. Entry Updated : 12/02/2003
    Jesse P. Abramson: 1904-1979:

    Sportswriter Jesse P. Abramson was known as "The Book" among his contemporaries because of his extraordinary memory and profound knowledge of sports. Although his expertise was greatest when it came to track and field, Abramson also wrote authoritatively about boxing, college football, baseball, swimming, fencing, rowing, and automobile racing. He earned a reputation as an accurate, tireless, inquisitive reporter capable of vivid reportage.

    Abramson began writing about sports for the New York Herald in the early 1920s, an era known as the Golden Age of American sports. During the 1920s, the popular appeal of sports rose dramatically. Part of the reason for this was a new generation of journalists, sometimes called the "gee whiz" school of writers, who created exaggerated, heroic images of talented athletes, such as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey. Although influenced in the beginning by their exaggerated hyperbolic style, Abramson nevertheless developed his own deliberate and authoritative approach. In his articles, he reported the unfolding of a football game, a track-and-field meet, or a prizefight in such a way that readers had the sense of actually witnessing it themselves.

    Abramson was accepted by Columbia University in the fall of 1922, but he opted instead to take a position as a stringer in the sports department of the New York Herald. "I was only being paid per story," Abramson told Chuck Stogel in a Sportscope interview, "but I was lucky to have a friendly editor who would put one column of mine in the first edition and then a fresh copy in the second edition. I was able to make about $125 a week as a stringer, which was as much as anybody working full-time back then." At the Herald, one of the oldest newspapers in the United States, the young reporter had the chance to work with some of the country's best sportswriters. He covered high school football, track-and-field meets, and provided profiles of top performers from the prep schools. He also authored a weekly column summarizing high-school and college freshman sports in the metropolitan New York area.

    In 1924 the New York Herald became the New York Herald Tribune and hired Grantland Rice to cover the Summer Olympic Games from Paris. Transmitted by cable, his reports arrived to the sports desk in a condensed text that needed rewriting. Abramson was given the assignment of filling out the terse reports. "You see, at that time," Abramson explained to Stogel, "all overseas copy was sent in cable-ese. It was an abbreviated transmission of mostly verbs and nouns to save money. We'd rewrite the stories by filling in the rest of the needed words." Rewriting Rice's reports provided a big break in Abramson's career; afterward, he was given his own byline and was assigned to the Olympic Games, track and field, and amateur sports in general as his permanent principal beat for the Herald Tribune. He provided firsthand coverage of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angeles in 1932, Berlin in 1936, London in 1948, Melbourne in 1956, Rome in 1960, and Tokyo in 1964. In 1968, he worked for the Mexican Olympic Committee as the foreign press chief at the games in Mexico City, and covered the event for the Washington Post. He reported on the 1972 games in Munich for both the International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post. At the Montreal summer games in 1976, he served as the press liaison for the U.S. Olympic Committee. Because of his knowledge of the Olympics, especially track and field, Abramson's presence at the games was considered essential by many reporters.

    Abramson witnessed and wrote about more than fifty years of Olympic Games. During those years, the games were dominated by American athletes, who won more gold, silver, and bronze medals than any other nation until 1952, when the Soviet Union entered a team that came within five medals of the seventy-six garnered by the United States. In 1956, the Soviet Union surpassed the United States in total medals, ninety-eight to seventy-four. Although Abramson wrote glowingly about America's Olympic performers, he had recognized by the early 1960s that the rest of the world, especially the Soviet Union and the Eastern Europeans, had caught up with and, in some events, surpassed the United States.

    Many commentators consider the track and field events to be the heart of the Olympics. Similarly, many track-and-field correspondents regarded Abramson as "the dean of American track and field writers and scholars," as Bob Hersh of Track and Field News put it. Abramson distinguished himself from other track-and-field correspondents by his unmatched memory for statistical details and his appreciation for the philosophy behind the sport. Abramson also reported on more than a half-century of track-and-field competitions outside the Olympics. In track and field, as in the larger Olympic movement, he saw the United States dominate the sport internationally, only later to be challenged by the Soviet Union and other emerging nations.

    At the conclusion of the American indoor track-and-field season, the New York Track and Field Writers Association annually awards the outstanding male athlete a trophy in Abramson's honor. After his death the USOC Invitational also created the Jesse Abramson Memorial Award to recognize meritorious service to track and field.

    Family: Born March 10, 1904, in Mountaindale, NY; died of cancer, June 11, 1979, in Mount Vernon, NY. Memberships: New York Track Writers (founder and president).

    Grantland Rice Award of the Sportsmanship Brotherhood; James J. Walker Award for service to boxing; award for meritorious service from the New York Track and Field Writers Association; prizes from E. P. Dutton publishers for stories, 1948, 1952, 1957, 1958, and 1965; inducted into Track and Field Hall of Fame (Indianapolis, IN) in honor of career achievements, 1981.

    New York Herald Tribune, New York, NY, reporter until 1966; director of U.S. Olympic Invitational indoor meet, 1966-1979; writer on track and field sports.

    Covering the November, 1948 Army/Navy Football game.---Sporting News' obituary, July 7, 1979, pp. 50.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-15-2013, 12:47 PM.


    • John Kennedy Hutchens

      Born: August 9, 1905, Chicago, IL
      Died: July 22, 1995, New York City, age 89

      New York author, book critic;
      Downers Grove, IL, (April 21, 1910 census)(listed as J. Hotchens)
      Missoula, IL, 14-year old, (January 12, 1920 census)
      Manhattan, NY, newsdesk, newspaper, (April 18, 1930 census)
      Cambridge, MA, Dramatic Editor, newspaper, (April 10, 1940 census)
      Graduated Hamilton College (Clinton, NY), 1926
      Daily Missoulian, reporter
      Missoula Sentinel (Montana), 1926 - 1927
      New York Herald Tribune, book reviewer, 1948 - 1963
      New York Evening Post, reporter, film critic, assistant drama editor, 1927-28;
      Theatre Arts (magazine), assistant editor, 1928-29, drama critic, 1929-32;
      New York Times, drama staff, 1929-38;
      Boston Evening Transcript, drama critic, 1938-41;
      New York Times, radio editor, 1941-44;
      New York Times Book Review, assistant editor, 1944-46, editor, 1946-48;
      New York Herald Tribune, author of book news column, 1948-56, daily book reviewer, 1956-63;
      Book-of-the-Month Club, member of editorial board, 1963--

      Father: M. J., born New York, 1867?; Mother: Leila, born New York, 1867?; Wife: Katherine, born Massachusetts, 1907?; Daughter: Anne, born New York, 1936?; Son: Timothy, born New York, 1938?;

      John Hutchens had long experience as a drama critic before becoming radio editor of the New York Times in 1941. He was with the New York Post in 1927 and 1928, served as assistant editor and drama critic for Theater Arts magazine during the early thirties and was assistant dramatic editor for the New York Times until assuming the radio post.

      One Man's Montana: An Informal Portrait of a State
      The American Twenties, edited by John K. Hutchens
      The Best in the World: 2
      The Gambler's Bedside Book
      Gene Fowler, 1890-1960. Recollections By His Friend On The Occasion Of The Publication Of His Last Book

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------New York Times' obituary, July 25, 1995, pp. A13.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-15-2013, 11:59 AM.


      • Frederick James Corcoran---AKA Fred Corcoran

        Born: April 4, 1905, Cambridge, MA
        Died: June 23, 1977, Scarsdale, NY, age 72

        Massachusetts Golf Promoter;
        Cambridge, MA, 5-year old, (April 27, 1910 census)
        Cambridge, MA, 14-year old, (January 16, 1920 census)
        Cambridge, MA, salesman, manufacturing, (April 14, 1930 census)
        Started caddying, 1914, Belmont Springs (Mass.) Country Club, near Boston,
        Caddy master, 1918, associate golf secretary, 1923-25.
        Massachusetts state golf handicapper, 1925

        Father: Michael F., born Massachusetts, 1882?;

        The Official Golf Guide
        Unplayable Lies, By Fred Corcoran, With Bud Harvey

        New York Times' obituary, June 24, 1977, pp. 87.--------------------------------------------------------National Cyclopaedia of American Biography.--Sporting News' obituary, July 9, 1977, pp. 54.

        -------------------August 1, 1940.----------------------------------------August, 1967.

        August 14, 1947; Babe Didrikson Signing Movie Contract

        Mildred Babe Didrikson Zaharias, present U.S. and British Women's Golf Champion and, according to sports writers, the greatest all-around woman athlete of all-time, announced that she was turning pro to accept a $300,000 motion picture offer, which I could not very well reject.
        L-R: Babe Didrikson Zaharias, husband George, business manager, Fred Corcoran, of Boston, who will manage her business affairs.

        March 20, 1940: Pinehurst, NC- Mrs. Dick Metz of Chicago, recent bride of the stellar pro golfer, ----------------Craig Wood, left, whose American Ryder Cup golfers defeated a team headed by Walter Hagen received
        watches her husband play in the North and South Open Golf Championship here. Fred Corcoran.-----------------the valued trophy from Fred Corcoran (center) manager of the tourney, while good loser Hagen looks on.

        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-14-2013, 01:46 PM.


        • Ralph Emerson McGill

          Born: February 5, 1898, near Chattanooga, TN
          Died: February 3, 1969, Atlanta, GA, age 70,---Burial: Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, GA

          Atlanta sports writer;
          Civil district 12, TN, 2-year old, (June 28, 1900 census)
          Chattanooga, TN, 21-year old, (January 10, 1920 census)
          Atlanta, GA, sport writer, newspaper, (April 10, 1930 census)
          Atlanta, GA, editor, newspaper, (April 6, 1940 census)
          Nashville Banner, 1922 -
          Atlanta Constitution, 1929 - 1969; International/political, 1933; editor-in-chief, 1942, Publisher, 1960.

          Father: Ben F., born Tennessee, June, 1868; Mother: Mary L., born Texas, December, 1877; Wife: Mary Elizabeth, born Tennessee, 1907?;

          New Georgia Encyclopedia excerpt:
          Ralph McGill, as editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution, was a leading voice for racial and ethnic tolerance in the South from the 1940s through the 1960s. As an influential daily columnist, he broke the code of silence on the subject of segregation, chastising a generation of demagogues, timid journalists, and ministers who feared change. When the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregated schools in 1954 and southern demagogues led defiance of the court, segregationists vilified McGill as a traitor to his region for urging white southerners to accept the end of segregation. In 1959, at the age of sixty-one, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing.

          Starting in 1922 became the Nashville Banner 's sports editor and sports columnist.

          Joined the Atlanta Constitution in 1929. In 1933 he started concentrating on international and political journalism. Became editor-in-chief in 1942 and publisher in 1960. Worked until his death. Friend of Col. Huston and Wilbert Robinson.

          He was a longtime editor and publisher of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and later performed ambassadorial functions for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. (Bio by Teencat)

          Ralph's Wikipedia page:
          Ralph Emerson McGill was an American journalist, was best known as the anti-segregationist editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. He won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1959.

          McGill was born near Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee and attended school at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, but did not graduate because he was suspended his senior year for writing an article in the student newspaper critical of the school's administration. He got a job working for the sports department of the Nashville Banner and soon worked his way up to sports editor. In 1929, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia to become the assistant sports editor of the The Atlanta Constitution. Wanting to move from sports to more serious news, he got an assignment to cover the first Cuban Revolt in 1933 and covered the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938. These articles earned him a spot as editor of the editorial page in the Constitution, which he used to highlight the effects of segregation. In response, many angry readers sent threats and letters to McGill. In the late 1950s, McGill became a syndicated columnist, reaching a national audience. He became friends with Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, acting as an ambassador to several African nations. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, he received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Colby College in 1960, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964, and had "Ralph McGill Boulevard" named for him in Atlanta. In 1963 he published his book The South and the Southerner. McGill died of a heart attack, two days before his 71st birthday.
          Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ralph McGill combined an omnivorous literary intellect, a keen storyteller's sense, and a crack reporter's speed to become Georgia's most influential journalist of the twentieth century. During forty years at the Atlanta Constitution as an editor, publisher, and daily columnist, he built a national following as a white Southern editor who questioned segregation and challenged the demagogues who exploited it. His journalistic courage and his gift of clear, moving moral expression earned McGill a reputation as "the conscience of the South."

          Born in the small farming community of Igou's Ferry, near Soddy, Tennessee, young Ralph Emerson McGill wrote for student publications at both the McCallie School (Chattanooga) and at Vanderbilt University (Nashville). Before leaving college, McGill began covering sports, politics, and crime for the Nashville Banner, which he eventually joined full-time in 1922. In 1923 he became the Banner's sports editor, which is where he got his first experience as a daily columnist, writing "The Sport Aerial." He also traveled regularly to distant cities on game assignments, an experience that prefigured a lifetime habit of peripatetic journalism.

          After moving to the Atlanta Constitution in 1929 as assistant sports editor, McGill convinced the Constitution's editors to send him to cover the Cuban revolution, an assignment that whetted his appetite and bolstered his credentials for general news coverage. In 1937 he won a Rosenwald fellowship to travel and study first-hand Scandinavian farm marketing and rural schools. Before he left Europe McGill traveled through Germany and Austria, where he filed reports for the Constitution on Adolf Hitler's Nazi politics. The trip produced McGill's first book, Two Georgians Explore Scandinavia (cowritten with Thomas C. David, for Georgia State Department of Education) in 1938.

          That same year McGill was appointed Constitution executive editor in charge of news, sports, society pages, and his 'Break O Day' sports column gave way to the more general 'One Word More' column on the daily editorial page. In 1942, the Constitution named him editor-in-chief. That year McGill gained a national reputation through his editorial support of progressive candidate Ellis Arnall, who defeated the three-term segregationist governor Eugene Talmadge. Much in the way of Henry Grady, who had campaigned for a "New South" in the post-Reconstruction Georgia, McGill became known beyond as a voice for amore modern Georgia. His causes included Southern farming reform, abolition of Georgia's county-unit electoral system, and a moderate but committed effort to eliminate segregation.

          By the late 1940s, McGill's essays appeared regularly in national magazines such as Saturday Review, Saturday Evening Post, New Republic, and Atlantic Monthly. During this time McGill published his sole piece of fiction, a short story about police racism for Harpers entitled "She'll Talk Later." In the 1950s, McGill's already sizable audience became a daily, nation-wide one. The Constitution was purchased by the Cox newspaper chain in 1950, and McGill's columns began to be distributed to other Cox papers. In 1953 the Constitution moved his popular column to page one. Then, in 1957, the North American Newspaper Alliance agreed to syndicate McGill in sixty newspapers nationally.

          In 1959 the Pulitzer Prize Committee awarded McGill their 1958 prize for editorial writing. Praising his 'courageous and effective editorial leadership' of the Constitution, the committee cited McGill's 1958 editorials for their "clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning and power to influence public opinion." In particular, they singled out McGill's editorial "A Church, A School," which was a denunciation not only of the "rabid, mad-dog minds" of racist terror bombers, but also of the Southern opinion leaders "politicians and journalists especially" who McGill felt had had abused their positions of influence and inflamed public opinion against court-ordered desegregation. "It is not possible," McGill wrote, "to preach lawlessness and restrict it."

          In 1960, McGill was named publisher of the Constitution, a title that had less to do with McGill's invovlement in the business of the paper and more to do with protecting him from the paper's mandatory retirement age so he could continue to write his daily columns. Over the next decade, the honors and official recognitions of his career poured in. Morehouse College, Harvard, Columbia, Notre Dame and 14 other colleges awarded McGill honorary degrees. In 1963 his "part autobiography, part history" book, The South and the Southerner, won both the Atlantic Monthly annual non-fiction prize and the Florina Lasker ACLU award. For having "courageously sounded the voice of reason, moderation, and progress during a period of contemporary revolution," President Lyndon Johnson honored McGill with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964.

          Ralph McGill died of heart failure in Atlanta on February 3, 1969.

          No Place to Hide: The South and Human Rights (Volume One)
          No Place to Hide: Volume Two
          Southern Encounters: Southerners of Note in Ralph McGill's South
          The Best of Ralph McGill: Selected Columns
          The Fleas Come with the Dog
          The South and the Southerner
          A Church, a School: Views on Problems in the South Today
          Israel Revisited
          Ralph Emerson McGill; February 5, 1898 - February 3, 1969
          Search the Scriptures
          The South and the new Southerner

          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-11-2013, 08:22 AM.


          • Frederick McFerrin Russell---AKA Fred Russell

            Born: August 27, 1906, Nashville, TN
            Died: January 26, 2003, Nashville, TN, age 96,

            Nashville sports writer;
            Civil District 3, TN, 13-year old, (January 2, 1920 census)
            Nashville, TN, sports writer, Newspaper, (April 14, 1930 census)
            Nashville Banner, 1929 - 1987), reporter, 1929, sports editor, 1930 - 1969, sports director, 1969-87, Vice-President, 1955 - 1999.
            Mostly football & golf sports writer.
            Football Writers Association President, 1960 - 1961.
            National sportscasters & sports writers Hall of Fame, 1988.

            Father: John E., born Tennessee, 1874?; Mother: Mabel M., born Tennessee, 1882?;

            Fred Russell Article

            Fred Russell, by Bill Traughber

            Legendary Nashville sports writer Fred Russell would have turned 100 years in 2006. Russell was one of the most devoted and fair sports writers to cover Nashville and Vanderbilt athletics. His death at age 96, in 2003, closed a chapter of Nashville sports assigned to someone who was not a player or coach. Russell worked at the Nashville Banner from 1929 until it ceased publication in 1998.

            Russell was a native Nashvillian who was born on August 27, 1906. His mother, Mabel Lee McFerrin Russell, was a composer and in her youth wrote The Vanderbilt University Waltz. During the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition in Nashville, the song was featured on Vanderbilt Day when the statue of Cornelius Vanderbilt was dedicated.

            Russell gives credit to his mother as being the influence that sent him to Vanderbilt after graduating from Nashville’s Duncan School. He entered Vanderbilt in 1923, and as a freshman, pledged Kappa Sigma fraternity. One of his fraternity brothers was the older Lynn Bomar, a 1923 Vanderbilt football All-American.

            Pranks would also be a trait that friends of Russell would always be on alert. In his semi-autobiography, Bury Me In An Old Press Box, Russell wrote about one of his shenanigans targeting Bomar:

            “I also had the responsibility, as a freshman, of awakening Bomar in time for him to get to classes, and at the end of the school year I did this one morning by rolling the biggest lighted firecracker I ever saw under his bed. When it exploded I feared the whole corner of the fraternity house had been blown off, and I was so scared that even Bomar in his BVD’s chasing me across the street and deep into the campus couldn’t catch me.”

            Russell attended the Vanderbilt Law School and played on the 1925-26 Commodore baseball teams. He would credit his accessibility to athletes as a motivation to eventually become a sportswriter. One of his baseball teammates was Red Sanders a Commodore football player and future Vandy head coach.

            Russell wrote, “Indeed, one balmy May afternoon with the breeze in the trees outside the third floor classroom window, I had dozed off during a lecture. For how long, I don’t know—perhaps two or three minutes—but I was awakened by a gentle nudge of the classmate seated next to me.

            “He called on you,” whispered this helpful, protecting friend. “Taken off-guard, flustered, I quickly if desperately responded in loud, clear tones: “I’m not prepared on that case, sir.

            “The tragedy was that the stern and feared Professor Fitzgerald Hall had not called on anybody. It was an interruption of his lecture that he did not appreciate, and not until years later did I get to fully explain the reason. The perpetrator of the trick was Sanders, of course.”

            Russell did graduate from Vanderbilt ‘27, earned his Law degree and passed the State Bar. His first job as an attorney was in the legal department of the newly formed Real Estate Title Company in Nashville, which he was manager. His duties were confined to the area of deeds, mortgages, liens, examining abstracts, etc.

            A year later, Russell was out of a job as his company was merged. All the time he was practicing law, being away from sports bothered him. In June 1929, he was offered a choice of jobs at the Nashville Banner. Russell could sell ads at $25 a week or be a cub reporter at $6 a week. He took the reporting job.

            “Ever since I began reading sports pages when I was seven or eight,” Russell wrote, “I had envied sports writers almost as much as athletes who were boyhood heroes to me. I’d always imagined sports writing must me the greatest life in the world. Of course, now I am confirmed in the belief. Back there, as a boy around Wartrace, I would memorize sports poems of Grantland Rice and Morgan Blake. I thought those two sports writers were great.”

            In September 1929, Russell was happily transferred to the sports department as the editor. One of his first duties was covering Vanderbilt football. Three years later, he married the former Katherine Early. The couple would have four daughters together, Kay, Ellen, Lee and Carolyn.

            Russell worked at a time where there were no computers and the weapon of the sports writer was a manual typewriter. It was a tough life, but only to those who didn’t love their job in sports. Long train rides gave way to the developing airline service of the country in this era.

            “I can remember one afternoon in 1932 when we were advised that a class from George Peabody Teachers College was touring the building,” Russell wrote in his autobiography. “When they reached the sports department, two of us were on the floor playing marbles—for keeps—while our tallest staffer was shooting a basketball at the Western Union clock on the wall. It wasn’t quite as bad as it may sound; the clock had been giving trouble and the paper was sponsoring a marble tournament with which somebody, as a refresher, had to become familiar.

            “In those days nothing seemed to matter much just as long as the newspaper got out, and everybody had fun getting it out. There was a lot of pride in the work—and a lot of play. It was a robust, unpredictable place. Publishing week-day afternoons and Sunday mornings, we got to work no later than 7 A.M., and it was no shock occasionally to find some weary associate stretched across the copy desk asleep. Most likely he had stayed in the card game in the photographic department so late that it wasn’t worth going home.

            “On Saturdays we worked straight through from seven in the morning to two o’clock Sunday morning. A late Saturday night pastime was to shoot a .22 rifle at the rats that scrambled about on the overhead heating pipes near the dimly lit entrance to the city room. This often proved an unnerving greeting to unexpected visitors just stepping off the elevator.”

            In 1936, Russell departed briefly from sports to write a series of exclusive articles on the kidnapper of Mrs. Alice Speed Stoll of Louisville. The series gave him the “National Headliners Club Award” for that year.

            Awards were not unfamiliar to Russell, in his life he was given this partial list of awards: Grantland Rice Memorial Award, 1958; Jake Wade Award, 1966; U.S. Olympic Award for distinguhised journalism, 1976; Distinguished American Award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame, 1980; Bert McGrane Award from the Football Writers Association of America; Chairman of the Honors Court of the National Football Hall of Fame and President of the Football Writers Association of America, 1965-66.

            Russell traveled the country coast-to-coast attending the biggest sporting events such as a Dempsey fight in New York. He knew the greats as Babe Ruth, Bobby Jones, Bear Bryant, Adolph Rupp, Red Grange, Otto Graham and Casey Stengel. He knew them all. Russell said one of his greatest moments was in 1953 when a dinner was held in his honor commemorating his 25 years of service at the Banner. In attendance to celebrate were Grange, Jones and Dempsey.

            Russell’s “Sidelines” column was informative and gave the reader an insight or story that only he could reveal. From 1949-1962, he wrote the annual “Pigskin Preview” for the Saturday Evening Post. Russell is the author of seven books, one of which he dedicated to his daughters: “To my little girls, who made this book practically impossible.”

            When Vanderbilt Stadium was rebuilt in 1982, the Fred Russell Press Box was dedicated. The new Vanderbilt baseball press box also bears his name.

            One of Russell’s first books was about the early beginnings of Vanderbilt football, which was published in 1938 and covers the sport from 1886-1937. The dedication by Russell in Fifty Years of Vanderbilt Football states:

            “The great wide world of “Vanderbilt Men” back from all the states and all the seas, to Dudley Field, as the pages of this book are turned.

            Here meet the men of McGugin and the men of Morrison, and with them, arm in arm across the chalked field of time, go the heroes of Vanderbilt’s glorious, golden fifty years.

            Some view the scene from Valhalla; some through the mist of years—but under the banner of Gold and Black all are here reunited, Vanderbilt men, forever.

            To this cause, the pleasant labor of this book is dedicated.”

            Bury Me in an Old Press Box: Good Times and Life of a Sportswriter
            I'll Go Quietly
            50 (Fifty) Years of Vanderbilt Football
            Big Bowl Football the Great Postseason Classics
            Funny Thing about Sports
            I'll try anything twice
            Tongue Pie: Prose and Poetry 1969-2005

            L-R: 1953: Red Grange, Bobby Jones, Fred Russell, Jack Dempsey. They all attended a dinner for Fred.

            ------Fred Russell/Granny Rice.-----------------------------------------------------------------------New York Times' obituary, February 26, 2003, pp. A23.

            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-10-2013, 05:42 PM.


            • Quentin James Reynolds

              Born: April 11, 1902, Bronx, NY
              Died: March 17, 1965, New York City, NY, age 62---d. of cancer (primarily abdominal) in California, who was en route to his home in New York City.
              Burial: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, Kings County, NY

              New York sports writer, war correspondent;
              Brooklyn, NY, 8-year old,(May 5, 1910 census)
              Brooklyn, NY, newspaper, (April 19, 1930 census)
              New York, NY, Associate editor, magazine,(April 5, 1940 census)
              Attended Brown University (Providence, RI),
              New York Evening World, (reporter, rewrite man, sports columnist)
              New York World-Telegram,
              Intermational News Service,
              Collier's associate editor, 1934 - 1939

              Father: James J., born New York, 1877?; Mother: Katharine, born New York, 1879?;

              Journalist and Correspondent, wrote for Collier's and published 25 books that include "The Wounded Don't Cry", "London Diary", "Dress Rehearsal", and "Courtroom", a biography of lawyer Samuel S. Leibowitz. After World War II Reynolds became known for his libel suit against columnist Westbrook Pegler, who called him "yellow" and an "absentee war correspondent." He won the largest judgment at the time. (bio by: Helaine M. Cigal)

              Wikipedia page.
              Quentin James Reynolds (born April 11, 1902, New York City – died March 17, 1965, San Francisco, California) was a journalist and World War II war correspondent.

              As associate editor at Collier's Weekly from 1933 to 1945, Reynolds averaged twenty articles a year. He also published twenty-five books, including The Wounded Don’t Cry, London Diary, Dress Rehearsal, and Courtroom, a biography of lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. He also published an autobiography, By Quentin Reynolds.

              After World War II, Reynolds was best known for his libel suit against right-wing Hearst columnist Westbrook Pegler, who called him "yellow" and an "absentee war correspondent". Reynolds, represented by noted attorney Louis Nizer, won $175,001, at the time the largest libel judgment ever. The trial was later made into a Broadway play, A Case of Libel, which was twice adapted as TV movies.

              In 1953, Reynolds was the victim of a major literary hoax when he published The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk, the supposedly true story of a Canadian war hero who claimed to have been captured and tortured by German soldiers. When the hoax was exposed, Random House, Reynolds' publisher, reclassified the book as a novel.
              Quentin Reynolds (Sportswriter. Born, New York, Apr. 11, 1902; died, Travis A.F.B., Calif., Mar. 17, 1965.) A campus boxing champion and varsity football player at Brown, Quentin James Reynolds began his career as a sportswriter at the Brooklyn Daily Times. Reynolds moved to the Evening World, then to the International News Service (1932-33) after the World was sold. He went to the World-Telegram in 1934 and remained until the start of World War II. Reynolds then left sports to become a war correspondent. He became a noted reporter during the war and, in 1946, began nearly two decades as a magazine writer and author. Some of Reynolds’ writing in this period was on sports, but much of it was on geopolitics. He also wrote more than two dozen books, including a best-seller about the 1940 Battle of Britain, a life of Ireland’s patron saint, Patrick, and biographies of, among others, Winston Churchill and Gen. Jimmy Doolittle. Reynolds was subject to criticism that his work, while well-crafted, tended to fawning when it involved Allied war heroes. A burly and gregarious man, he looked and acted like a foreign correspondent. He was sticken while returning from the Far East and died, as he might have wished, at an Air Force base hospital. Reynolds’ brother, James, was an Assistant Secretary of Defense. (The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel.)

              New York Times' obituary, March 18, 1965, pp. 33.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sporting News' obituary,
              --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------April 3, 1965, pp. 34.

              1940's USO: Quentin Reynolds, Peggy Alexander, Bob Hope.---1957: Anna Lee, John Henry Faulk, John Charles Daly, Quentin Reynolds.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 09-10-2013, 04:38 PM.


              • 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, 08:17 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, 07:48 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, 04:20 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, 02:23 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, 02:35 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, 03:46 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, 02:45 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, 08:14 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, 08:39 AM.


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