SABR Salute: Art Schott
Editor's note: The SABR Salute, first bestowed upon writer Fred Lieb in 1976, was designed as a manner of recognizing the contributions of some of the older members of the Society. Subsequent SABR Salutes appeared in the SABR Membership Directory and honored members who had made great contributions to baseball historical research. Arthur O. Schott received the SABR Salute in 1986; the following biographical sketch appeared in that year's membership directory.
Most baseball researchers have to go to the library to pursue their avocation. Not Art Schott! He has a substantial library at his home in New Orleans. He became interested in baseball records as an adolescent in 1931 and began to compile and collect materials. His library includes all baseball guides since 1871 and more than 2,000 books in all; baseball magazines since 1908; thousands of box scores since 1869; and microfilm of The Sporting News and Sporting Life.
Born in New Orleans on July 9, 1918, Art graduated from Jesuit High School in 1936, and attended Loyola Night School in 1940-41. He spent three years in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps in WWII, with service in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines. In 1948 he married Mary Grinnen and they are the parents of seven sons. One of their four grandchildren is a girl! Art's family was in the wholesale meatpacking business until the company was sold in 1985.
Art's first contact with the media came in 1940 when he felt compelled to correct published statements that Joe Dwyer had hit only 55 doubles for Nashville in 1936. It was 65 doubles. This clarification brought Art in touch with Fred Digby, sports editor of the New Orleans Item, and an outlet was created for some of his compilations about baseball in New Orleans, the Southern Asscciation, and the major leagues. About 300 of his columns were carried in various publications, usually under the title "A Schott from the Bleachers." As his reputation as a baseball authority spread, he was called upon to verify certain records, to speak to different organizations, and to appear on radio and television talk shows.
In 1950 Art served as an assistant to Charlie Hurth, Southern Association President, when the league prepared and issued in 1951 its golden anniversary commemorative record book. In 1957 he collaborated with Vincent Rizzo, Phil Johnson, and Fred Digby in publishing a book titled "70 Years With The Pelicans" (1887-1957). The ultimate accolade came on August 1, 1973, when the Governor appointed Art as Louisiana's Official Baseball Historian. Part of his role is to promote the game in Louisiana and he has participated in a strong effort to bring major league baIl to New Orleans. Even with a domed stadium available, this objective has not been achieved.
Art joined SABR on August 31, 1971, and has been one of the most active and visible members from the beginning. He has provided numerous items under research exchange, authored articles, provided research support, served on several committees and was vice-president in 1978-79.
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