What's New Fall/Winter 2011
My focus for the rest of 2011 will be on research and writing. Lyle Spatz, my 1921 coauthor, and I have decided on another joint book project, which we will commence working on this Fall. With a working title of The Colonel and Hug, we will look at two men who had enormous roles is establishing the foundation and winning tradition of the New York Yankees, owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert and manager Miller Huggins.
Ruppert bought the Yankees in early 1915 (with Captain Til Huston, who Ruppert bought out in 1923) and owned them until his death in 1939. Huggins became the Yankees’ manager late in 1917 and led the team until his sudden death in September 1929. Neither man has had a biography of his own, and while our book will not be a dual biography per se, it will examine their backgrounds and personalities. The book will center on their 12-year partnership and the challenges and successes they experienced.
Lyle and I are excited about another joint venture. We look forward to locating new material and for providing refreshing looks at existing material. While we will approach this as a scholarly work as we did with 1921, we hope this book on Ruppert and Huggins will be as entertaining as 1921, with personalities who come alive.
The second book I’m currently working on is the joint venture with my co-editor, Burlington attorney Tom Simon, on the Deadball Era World Series. I am the photo editor and have already come across few hundred images from more than a dozen sources. I will continue to search for rare and unique images, from many sources including the families of ballplayers who participated in the World Series between 1903 and 1919. Tom has already come up with editors for each of these World Series, who will be the “point” for gathering the text for that World Series from the sportswriters of the time. Tom and I hope to have the first draft of images and text by the summer of 2012 and have the final manuscript by early 2013.
I continue to explore publishing options for my Urban Shocker book, Shocker! Discovering a Silent Hero of Baseball Golden Age. The world of publishing is undergoing enormous upheaval and transition, with the dramatic rise of digital books (e-books) and the rise of POD (print-on-demand).
I am currently working on a biography of controversial pitcher Dave Danforth (whose bio I did for the on-line BioProject web site; see http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&bid=2656&pid=3233), tailored for an upcoming book on the 1919 Chicago White (and Black) Sox. The book is a joint venture of SABR and the University of Nebraska Press. A dominant, pioneering relief pitcher for the world champion 1917 White Sox, Danforth’s effectiveness virtually disappeared in 1919, and he was sent to the minor leagues a month before the end of the season.
Later this year I will do an article on Horace Fogel, the president and owner of the Philadelphia Phillies (1909-1912), who was banished from baseball late in 1912, after he raised issues of corruption in the National Pastime. The article will take the Fogel material I presented in two different papers at two conferences earlier this year (NINE Conference and SABR Convention), along with other material I’ve uncovered. Fogel’s attempts to raise issues and have Organized Baseball face its problems with gamblers (seven years before the Black Sox consorted with gamblers in 1919) deserve a closer look.
I have just completed an article on Miller Huggins’s “silent” partnership investment in the St. Paul Saints minor league team in 1925 and the subsequent relationship between the Saints and the New York Yankees in player development and acquisition. It was not public knowledge that Huggins was part-owner of the Saints when the Yankees were buying many players from that team. This article will appear in the convention publication of SABR’s 2012 national convention, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
My work continues to shine a light on overlooked and forgotten people in the National Pastime of the early 20th century. They deserve to be re-discovered, “in the glory of their times,” when they were contributors to the rich history of the National Pastime.