What books would you most want to see in your general manager's library?
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
At the request of reader Jim, we revisit Gary's list of books that every GM should read—in addition to all the BP books published subsequently, of course—which originally ran as a "6-4-3" column on September 5th, 2003.
Using Project Gutenberg, a free repository of public-domain books, to find some interesting baseball notes.
The internet is perfect for a lot of things, but there's nothing that the web is more ideal for than as repositories of information. Baseball-Reference, Wikipedia, Memory-Alpha... this is what the internet is all about. Another fantastic resource that most people don't seem to know about is Project Gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg is an organization much like Wikipedia, whose goal is to create free, electronic copies of any and all books they are legally allowed to (technically, the project looks to "digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works", which, in practice, tends to mean public-domain books). For twenty years, volunteers have read through books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer or A Tale of Two Cities or the Encyclopedia of Needlework and turned them into easy-to-download text files for all to read and save. It really is a fantastic idea, and the project now boasts over 33,000 books that can be downloaded in many different formats (and over 100,000 books through its partners).
Contrary to what you might hear from more retrograde members of the baseball establishment, sabermetrics and storytelling don't have to be at odds.
As Opening Day approaches, hope springs eternal all around the majors. Some teams' bids at contention are founded upon the presumed maturation of exciting youngsters. Others rest their hopes on their stars' ability to turn back the clock and play as though their time had never passed. You could be forgiven for thinking that the latter was the strategy of the Anti-Sabermetric Brigade, a constellation of writers who insist upon fighting a war that has been fought and largely settled. Yet, signs of their resurgence keep popping up.
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What's a baseball writer to think when watching games starts to assume secondary importance?
Believe it or not, most of our writers didn't enter the world sporting an @baseballprospectus.com address; with a few exceptions, they started out somewhere else. In an effort to up your reading pleasure while tipping our caps to some of the most illuminating work being done elsewhere on the internet, we'll be yielding the stage once a week to the best and brightest baseball writers, researchers and thinkers from outside of the BP umbrella. If you'd like to nominate a guest contributor (including yourself), please drop us a line.
Craig Calcaterra writes the HardballTalk blog at NBC Sports.com. Before that he was the proprietor of Shysterball, a baseball blog of moderate renown. He was a civil litigator for 11 years, but he's feeling much better now.
On Saturday, January 29th, Baseball Prospectus and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) will join together to present an unforgettable day of baseball at legendary Foley's Pub and Restaurant in New York City.
On Saturday, January 29th, Baseball Prospectus and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) will join together to present an unforgettable day of baseball at legendary Foley’s Pub and Restaurant in New York City.
The historian talks about the vast research she has done on the social aspects of baseball.
Dorothy Seymour Mills is a giant among baseball researchers and historians. Mills and her late husband, Harold Seymour, were among the inaugural class of recipients of the Society for American Baseball Research’s Henry Chadwick Award, which honors the game’s great researchers, historians, statisticians, analysts, and archivists. She collaborated on three groundbreaking books with her late husband: Baseball: The Early Years , Baseball: The Golden Age , and Baseball: The People’s Game . Her most recent book is Chasing Baseball. Mills, now 82 years young, talked about her life as a baseball researcher during SABR’s annual Seymour Medal Conference, held recently in Cleveland. The award, which honors the best book of baseball history or biography published the previous year, is named after her and Harold Seymour.
In today's music man two-fer, we run around the bases with the co-owner of Rounder Records.
When the subjects are baseball and music, Bill Nowlin is about as knowledgeable as they come. The Vice President of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Nowlin is also a co-owner of both Rounder Books and Rounder Records, the latter of which produced the 2009 Grammy Award-winning collaboration between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The author of over 20 books on baseball, Nowlin also serves as the publications editor for the Ted Williams Museum.
The Red Sox prospect talks about life out on the diamond and on the inside.
Lars Anderson is more than just one of the top hitting prospects in the game, because the 20-year-old native of Carmichael, California is also one of the most thoughtful and intellectually curious. Anderson bypassed a scholarship to Cal-Berkeley to sign with the Red Sox in 2006, and began this season in High-A. After shining there, he has continued to wield a potent bat since a mid-July promotion to Double-A Portland. The lefty-swinging Anderson, a 6'4" 215 pound first baseman, is hitting .317/.410/.520 with 16 home runs on the season, and impressing scouts along the way.
Talking arbitration with long-time baseball arbitrator, professor, and author, Roger Abrams.
The Richardson Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law, Roger Abrams has been a baseball salary arbitrator since 1986. A former scholar-in-residence at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Abrams is the author of four books, including Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law, and Money Pitch: Baseball Free Agency and Salary Arbitration. David talked to Abrams about the baseball arbitration process, including who is eligible, what can and cannot be argued at a hearing, and why arbitration works.
While PEDs are often linked to issues of national health, this isn't the first time baseball has dealt with such a link.
On Sunday, George Vecsey of the New York Times wrote a column on the oft-observed disparity in the public and political reaction to the topic of performance-enhancing drugs as they pertain to baseball versus the same problem in football. Vecsey offers many of the usual reasons-because we enjoy the violence of football, we look the other way so players can attain the bulk necessary to supply it; the anonymity of the players under their helmets; the lack of memorable football statistics. He concludes, "Football is a compelling weekly event, but I submit that baseball still has a deeper hold on the national psyche. We save more of our moral concerns for what Bonds and Clemens just might have done. Baseball could consider this a compliment."