Baseball Research Journal (1972) by Bob Davids: a review

This is the first, 1972, edition, presumably edited by Bob Davids though it doesn’t actually say so. There’s a letter in my copy from Davids to John Kier which suggests this was the last copy in Bob’s stock. There’s also a short note on Arthur Ashe’s letterhead; interesting but otherwise unimportant….

This edition reads a lot like your typical Baseball Digest issue: Chatty, mostly trivial stuff, with a wee bit of real research. There’s a nice piece about Lee Allen by Ted Patterson. Pete Palmer donated an article about players who played a high percentage of their team’s games over a decade. John Tattershall deconstructed the 1884 White Stockings home run records. Marshall Smelser did a light treatment of pitcher usage patterns in 1927 which was based on good research. And Ray Gonzalez brought an analysis of triple play records to the show.

The best articles give some clues about SABR’s strengths. Joe Simenic tells about finding biographical details for a player listed in the encyclopedias as Claude Gonzzle–turns out he was really Gouzzie, and the details of the discovery are interesting. Arthur Ahrens offers some solid research on the history of major league game attendance. And John Coates wrote short biographies of a dozen or so then-still-living Negro League stars.

Bob Davids filled in the blank spaces with the sorts of things he liked to put into his Baseball Briefs, of course.

Fun read. It’s a start.


This review was originally published on LibraryThing.