Archive for the tag 'baseball research journal'

Baseball Research Journal 1981 edited by Bob Davids: a review

The tenth Baseball Research Journal, published late in 1981, is perhaps a step down from the previous edition, largely because it doesn’t contain any classic research essays. What it does contain is mostly solid research, well presented, on a wide variety of topics.

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Baseball Research Journal 1980 edited by Bob Davids: a review

This is the strongest Baseball Research Journal edition yet. It features one of the classic works of sabermetric analysis, some excellent biographical portraits, a look at minor league umpiring practice in 1900, a glimpse at the 1880 opening of the original Polo Grounds, some analysis of why Fulton County Stadium was a launching pad, and an interview with Joe Oeschger about the longest major league game and other memories. Authors included Stew Thornley, Seymour Siwoff(!), David Smith, Ted DiTullio, and Richard Cramer. This issue has, of course, some variations in quality, but there’s really nothing you could fairly characterize as filler in this edition.

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Baseball Research Journal 1979 edited by Bob Davids: a review

Paul Doherty’s look at Cy Young’s last few games with the Boston NL team after Cleveland released him was very good, as was John Holway’s look at Louis Santop and Pete Palmer’s piece on Rube Waddell’s rookie season. Arthur Ahrens’ portrait of Fred Pfeffer (Cap Anderson’s second baseman) was perhaps the finest piece in this edition of the journal. Al Kermish’s always-interesting Researcher’s Notebook included a piece about how he and Tom Hufford identified 1912 Senator player Lefty Schegg (actually Gilbert Eugene Price), and Harold Dellinger gave his account of tracking down the identity of 1884 Kansas City UA player Matthew Porter (rather than Henry Porter, as he’d previously been mis-identified).

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Baseball Research Journal 1978 edited by Bob Davids: a review

The issue features two excellent sabermetric pieces. Pete Palmer’s essay concerned park effects in the American League, and is as good an introduction to the topic as I’ve ever seen. Pete’s later projects gained some sophistication, but this effort touches nearly all the basic issues. And Irv Matus, who apparently counted pitches for all the Mets’ games in 1976, authored an excellent examination of the impact of pitch counts on pitcher performance. I doubt this was the first time such an effort had been made, but if anyone published such a well-thought-through analysis before Matus I’ve not seen it.

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Baseball Research Journal 1974 edited by Bob Davids: a review

The third BRJ issue has the usual array of basic research and lightweight work; it’s interesting enough and very readable. The best work in this edition was biographical.

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Baseball Research Journal 1977: a review

Kleinknecht’s piece is a nicely-done pioneering historical study, by the way. Editor Bob Davids contributed a fine summary of the known statistical record of pinch hitting, and describes the need for further research. Bill Haber’s description of his successful effort to find biographical details on 1911 Cleveland pitcher George Paige is great fun; he keeps finding dead ends and false leads, but sorts it all out mostly by persisting. Bill Borst’s portrait of Helene Britton’s stint as owner of the Cardinals is excellent.

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Baseball Research Journal 1976: a review

The best piece is Eugene Murdock’s profile/interview of 96-year-old Paddy Livingston, at that time the oldest living major leaguer. What makes the piece more than a reminiscence is Paddy’s attitude about the game; all things considered, he preferred to be home in Philadelphia. Not many journeyman players sit out entire seasons because they didn’t like the contract.

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1975 Baseball Research Journal: a review

Perhaps one groundbreaking article is enough to ask. All in all, this is a decent effort, again edited by Bob Davids with help from Kermisch, Tom Hufford, and Bob McConnell.

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1973 Baseball Research Journal: a review

This second BRJ edition has more substance than the first, right from the first article where David Voigt put the 1972 baseball strike into historical context. John Tattersall’s offering discussed leadoff homeruns, and Fred Lieb presented a fine portrait of Hal of Fame historian Ernie Lanigan.

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

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.

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