Lee Allen (1915-1969) once said, “I care very little for statistics as such. My concern is the players. Who are these men? What are they? What problems have they faced? Where are they now?” To Allen, all major league players had a story and none should be forgotten. He parlayed his passion into several books, including his 1955 classic The Hot Stove League, and “Cooperstown Corner,” a column he wrote for The Sporting News for many years. When he became the historian at the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1959, he began trying to discover the date and place of death for 19th century major league players, a task which took him to cemeteries and courthouses up and down the East Coast for the next ten years. His death in 1969, at age 54, predated by two years the formation of SABR, an organization that continued much of his work. He also did not live to see publication of The Baseball Encyclopedia, for which his lifelong research was an integral part.
- Click here to read Steve Gietschier's profile of Allen in the Summer 2010 edition of the Baseball Research Journal.
- Click here to read the SABR Baseball Biography Project essay on Allen.