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  • #16
    I hadn't planned on returning here, but I received an email about this specifically from another member, and I wanted to pay homage.

    Dick and I were friends for several years after meeting here, and this is quite saddening to me personally. Even though I hadn't requested it, Dick asked for my address and sent me a copy of his biography on the Ferrell Brothers personally. I learned about as much from him about baseball history as I have from anyone I've ever met here.

    With all due respect to the handful of other scribes I've been lucky enough to come into contact with here, it's very likely that no regular (or even semi-regular) member here ever dedicated as much time and effort into research and authorship of the game's history during his or her lifetime. This is/was apparent to anyone who discoursed with him for any significant amount of time. Dick was one of the founding members of SABR and knew everyone from Bill James to Bob Davids.

    Dick was in the midst of a massive project- writing a biography of the virtually unknown legend Cannonball Will Jackman. There was a 6,000 word article in SABR's last National Pastime, which came out last summer. It would truly have been monumental in the baseball community- as Jackman was every bit as great as Satchel Paige- but without the hype and panache. Of course, Jackman was also devoid of the chance at Major League exposure.

    A nice summary post of his on Will Jackman

    So sad to see years of work go to waste!!! He was a few years into the book, but still estimated it would take several more years before it would be even close to being finished.

    This is our last correspondence, from December 1st.

    The last line is particularly melancholy:

    Originally posted by WJackman

    Did you finish the Ferrell book? Also did you get a chance to see my Jackman piece in the SABR journal. That is where most of my time goes. I hope eventually to write a book on Negro (League) baseball in New England with Jackman the center piece.

    I have finished an article on Jake Jones, the 1940s first baseman for next summers SABR journal and I am working on a story about a Lefty Grove almost perfect game with 19 K's which was pitched in Worcester, MA in 1927.

    How about yourself. Working on anything interesting? Anything interesting along the work angle? I can retire in about 2 1/2 years and I am very much looking forward to getting into my second life.

    Here's a tribute to him from SABR-L; I'm sure there will be many more forthcoming:

    Date:    Thu, 3 Jan 2008 15:43:46 -0800
    From:    Mr david nemec 
    Subject: Dick Thompson
    Dick Thompson was the first person I met when I came
    to my very first SABR convention in NYC.  I hauled out
    one of my most impossible trivia questions after we'd
    talked awhile, and of course Dick nailed it.  Every
    moment I spent with him will forever be treasured.  I
    know that's true of everyone who met him.  He leaves a
    hole that will be impossible to fill, but we can do
    our best by establishing something of permanent
    significance in his honor and memory.  I have some
    suggestions and know others will too.  Let's exchange
    ideas so that we can get something in place before the
    Cleveland convention. 
    David Nemec
    I am sending his wife my personal condolences. I'll send along all of your well-wishes also.

    Take care, all.


    • #17
      Just received this from Jon Daly:
      Wed, 09 Jan 2008 11:23:54 AM PST
      From: "Jon Daly" <[email protected]> Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender

      To: "Bill Burgess" <[email protected]>
      Subject: Fwd: [SABR Southern New England Chapter]: Dick Thompson Allow Subject
      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: <[email protected]>
      Date: Jan 8, 2008 3:40 PM
      Subject: [SABR Southern New England Chapter]: Dick Thompson
      To: [email protected]

      From: SABR Member Leonard Levin mailto:[email protected] {-- Click
      here to reply.

      Here is the death notice for Dick Thompson as it ran today in the
      Brockton Enterprise. It contains information on calling hours, which
      are Thursday.

      Len Levin
      Richard J. Thompson
      Richard Thompson Dartmouth 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.

      Published in The Enterprise on 1/8/2008.
      SABR Notes are being sent to you because you are a member of the
      Society for American Baseball Research. All members with an email
      address of record receive membership-wide announcements from the
      executive director. Members who are affiliated with local chapters or
      research committees will receive email from those groups as well. To
      modify your email address, committee memberships, or chapter
      affiliations, log into the MySABR section of the members-only site:

      To contact the sender of this SABR Note email: mailto:[email protected]
      Jon Daly


      • #18
        I learned a great deal about baseball history from Mr. Thompson while he was here. Talking with him was always a pleasure. I would like to send my condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed.

        Rest in Peace
        "I never saw anyone like Ty Cobb. No one even close to him. He was the greatest all time ballplayer. That guy was superhuman, amazing."
        -Casey Stengel


        • #19
          Piece at Agate Type about Dick Thompson and some info of his to be posted:


          • #20
            Just got this in.
            Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 05:25:19 PM PST
            From: "Jeanne Cianciola" <[email protected]> Add to Address Book Block Sender Allow Sender

            To: <[email protected]>
            Subject: Dick Thompson Allow Subject
            Mr. Burgess,

            I just happened to be googling my brother Dick Thompson and came across your Baseball Fever site.

            Over the course of the last few days, during his wake and memory service the following day, I learned so much about my brother. I knew of his interest in Baseball, have a copy of the book he wrote. But Dick was a relatively humble person. I had no idea how highly respected he was in this field. Thank you to all who wrote on this blog.

            Jeanne (Thompson) Cianciola


            • #21
              A nice tribute:



              • #22

                Just wanted to inform whoever is interested that former member, BaseballHistoryNut has died. His name was Jim.

                He died January 5, 2008, at Stanford Hospital. He had had an operation, which was 'successful', but in the aftermath, a blood clot formed and killed him. He was 55 years old.

                Just thought some of the others might want to be informed.



                • #23
                  You can leave the family a message here

                  Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                  Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by [email protected] View Post

                    Just wanted to inform whoever is interested that former member, BaseballHistoryNut has died. His name was Jim.

                    He died January 5, 2008, at Stanford Hospital. He had had an operation, which was 'successful', but in the aftermath, a blood clot formed and killed him. He was 55 years old.

                    Just thought some of the others might want to be informed.

                    How unfortunate that two members who liked to spar back and forth so much have both passed, and so close together. This site will be forever poorer without their contributions. God Bless Jim and Dick.
                    Last edited by baseballPAP; 01-28-2008, 11:18 PM.


                    • #25
                      Another sad loss for the baseball-fever family.
                      Click here to see my autographed 8x10 collection


                      • #26
                        R.I.P. Mr. Dick Thompson
                        "There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit.
                        ~~Al Gallagher

                        God Bless America!

                        Click here to see my baseball tribute site!

                        Click here to see the best pitcher NOT in the HOF!



                        • #27
                          RIP BBHN I always loved reading his posts here and over at


                          • #28
                            Does anyone know of any sites where you could check out his work? I heard he was a researcher...
                            MySpace Codes


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by stejay View Post
                              Does anyone know of any sites where you could check out his work? I heard he was a researcher...
                              Are you a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research)? Much of Dick's work was connected with the society and presented at their national conventions. As a member, you'll be able to find a significant number of articles and papers he authored. I'd strongly recommend a SABR membership anyone with a proclivity for baseball research (both historical and statistical). Dick's Ferrell Brothers Book is commercially available through any vendor carrying baseball history books.

                              The Ferrell Brothers of Baseball

                              Also, if you're interested, I would strongly suggest you read through his posts here. His username, fittingly, was "WJackman". It's only a tiny cross-section of the entirely of his research-and some info is redundant-but such is the nature of an internet debate forum- however it is free and created quite a bit of interesting exchange here. His work was seminal and the product of thousands of hours of empirical research. His posts here also link to many of his other previous and current projects and opuses.



                              • #30
                                This is taken from today's SABR-L:

                                Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 16:22:00 -0500
                                From: Clifford Blau <[email protected]>
                                Subject: Memories of Dick Thompson

                                This post is from Jon Daniels ([email protected]) It is not mine.
                                Cliff Blau

                                The recent post that cited a Boston Globe article on Dick Thompson
                                spurred memories of my times with him. In the 80's, Dick and I would
                                make a point of having morning jogs together at the SABR
                                Conference. In spite of being older than Dick, I could keep up with
                                him because of his troublesome knees. However, I soon learned that I
                                was going to be eating his dust when it came to keeping up with him
                                on baseball. As one would expect, our running conversations usually
                                centered on Wes Ferrell. However, we talked about a lot of baseball
                                subjects. The subject that comes most to mind is baseball
                                twins. Dick mentioned to me that he read somewhere that Willie
                                Stargell had a twin sister but had not confirmed it.

                                As the years went by, I would ask various people about a Stargell
                                twin. The response was either "I don't know" or "I don't think
                                Willie has a twin sister." Several times I asked Dick where he saw
                                this factoid. He was not quite sure, but was adamant he saw it in print.

                                Unfortunately, answers to these types of questions can often be found
                                with the passing of someone. In April 2001, Willie passed away. I
                                combed through his obituary and related articles on his death and
                                found a possible answer. Willie did have a sister, Sandrus Collier,
                                but no mention was made of her being his twin sister. Another fact
                                leaped out at me. Willie Stargell's wife Margaret Weller-Stargell
                                had a twin sister named Frances Weller. Frances Weller is the
                                co-anchor of news for WECT TV in Wilmington NC.

                                It appeared that I had my answer, but I wanted to be absolutely
                                sure. I did some searching and found an email address for Sandrus
                                Collier, Willie's sister. I emailed her with my information and
                                asked her to confirm. After several weeks, I got a reply from
                                Sandrus stating she was Willie's only sister but not twin
                                sister. She also confirmed that Willie's wife, Margaret was a
                                twin. I forwarded the response to Dick and he responded with two
                                words: "Good Research." I felt as good about that response as
                                passing the CPA exam. That is how much I respected Dick as a
                                researcher and above all a person.

                                Jon Daniels, CPA


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