Fall 2015 Baseball Research Journal

  • Connie Mack's Income By Norman Macht

    For most of the first 100 years of major league baseball, owning a team could be profitable or perilous. Some club owners made fortunes and wore handmade silk shirts. Others lost their shirts, whatever they were made of. Some did both in their lifetimes. Connie Mack was in the latter category. The patterns of his Athletics’ fortunes both on and off the field as well as his personal income resemble the blueprint of a theme park roller coaster.

  • Remembering the 1951 Hazard Bombers By Sam Zygner

    In 1951, a group of young minor league ballplayers from southeastern Kentucky — including an upcoming Brooklyn Dodgers pitching star, a Costa Rican flamethrower who dealt with blatant racial prejudice, and a determined, hard-hitting player-manager — captured not only the hearts of their community, but a Mountain States League pennant.

  • The Sultan of Swag: Babe Ruth as a Financial Investment By Michael Haupert

    On January 6, 1920, New Yorkers awoke to the news that Babe Ruth had been acquired by the Yankees. The New York Times gushed that “Ruth was such a sensation last season that he supplanted the great Ty Cobb as baseball’s greatest attraction.” Not only did Ruth lead the Yankees to success in the standings, but he would prove to be a box office draw in his own right.

  • Babe Ruth, Brooklyn Dodgers Coach By John McMurray

    Of all the facets of Babe Ruth’s long and distinguished career, his time as a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938 has received the least consideration. Yet Ruth was the team’s biggest attraction and his time with the Dodgers effectively put an end to any remaining prospects the former New York Yankees star still had to become a major league manager.

  • The Colonel and Hug: The Odd Couple ... Not Really By Steve Steinberg and Lyle Spatz

    Jacob Ruppert believed that hiring Miller Huggins as his manager after the 1917 season was the first and most important step in turning the Yankees from also-rans into champions. Under Ruppert’s ownership and Huggins’s leadership, the Yankees would dominate the decade of the 1920s, winning six pennants and three World Series.

  • Larry Twitchell’s Big Day By Brian Marshall

    Larry Twitchell's greatest day in baseball came on August 15, 1889 — but for many years, it was unclear whether he should share the record for most total bases in a single nine-inning game. This article clears up the mystery.

  • The Enigma of Hilda Chester By Rob Edelman

    Hilda Chester may be long gone, but she is not forgotten. The iconic Brooklyn Dodgers super-fan has been honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Baseball Reliquary. Despite these accolades, little is known about Hilda Chester outside of baseball—and this was her preference.

  • Casey at the Stat By Ernest Thayer (annotated by Russell Frank)

    A whimsical statistical analysis of Ernest Thayer's famous baseball poem.

  • Harry & Larry By Matthew Clifford

    Sometimes research leads us to answers we never intended to find. The author found a black-and-white photograph taken in 1923 that included six members of the Detroit Tigers — including Harry Heilmann and Larry Woodall — standing in front of a dugout with their temperamental skipper, Ty Cobb. This pesky photo led him on a journey that he didn't expect.

  • Pick Wisely By Kevin Warneke, Ph.D., John Shorey, and David Ogden, Ph.D.

    Television broadcasts of the Little League World Series typically include brief interviews with participants, where they state their names, the positions they play, and their favorite players. What these players never reveal is why they made their choices. This study delves into who select youth baseball players choose as their favorite player, favorite athlete, and hero in an attempt to discover patterns in the choices youngsters make.

  • Jury Nullification and the Not Guilty Verdicts in the Black Sox Case By William Lamb

    Although much has been written about the Black Sox Scandal, until quite recently comparatively little attention has been paid to its legal proceedings. The not-guilty verdicts rendered by the jury in their 1921 criminal trial were unexpected and, in some quarters, unfathomable. This article will assay a possible basis for the not-guilty verdicts, one heretofore little discussed in the Black Sox canon: jury nullification.

  • The New York Mets in Popular Culture By David Krell

    When the nascent New York Mets set out to fill the National League void created by the migration of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants to California after the 1957 season, they faced a Herculean task: to excite, inspire, and motivate baseball fans mourning the loss of two baseball mainstays while creating a unique identity.

  • The First Televised Baseball Interview By Robert D. Warrington

    While the innumerable, pervasive connections that bind baseball and the media today bear little resemblance to their modest beginnings, each linkage had to start somewhere. For baseball and television, that somewhere was in an experimental television station in Philadelphia in 1937, when an interview featuring Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack was broadcast to demonstrate a qualitative leap forward in television technology.

  • Measuring Franchise Success in the Postseason By Stuart Shapiro

    Baseball's postseason has existed for over 110 years, enough time for teams to have many ups and many downs. The history is deep enough that every team that has won a World Series can lay a claim to some period, however brief, when it was king of the hill in Major League Baseball. This article examines the ebbs and flows of baseball and franchise success.

  • Examining Stolen Base Trends by Decade from the Deadball Era through the 1970s By John McMurray

    In 1976, for the first time in thirty-three seasons, total stolen bases exceeded total home runs in Major League Baseball. A consistent turn towards more frequent basestealing had already become  evident on the field, as teams collectively stole over 1,000 more bases  in 1976 than they did only three years earlier. This sea change invites  consideration of the factors that led to the spate of stolen bases which  characterized baseball in the mid-1970s.

  • "That Record Will Never Be Broken!": How Many Unbreakable Records Are There? By Douglas Jordan

    Baseball aficionados often argue that certain records will never be broken. However, the arguments given to support an assertion that a particular record will never be broken are subjective and not analytically rigorous. The primary purpose of this paper is to examine some baseball records closely in order to increase awareness of the greatness of these feats.

  • Switch-Hit Home Runs 1920-60 By Cort Vitty

    Switch-hitting dates back to the earliest days of the game, when singles produced runs and homers were a rare occurrence. Mickey Mantle’s remarkable Triple Crown season in 1956 called attention to switch-hitting, affirmed his status as the premier switch-hitter in the game, and established a standard for future hitters with power from both sides of the plate.

  • How Did That Guy Do That? By J.G. Preston

    It’s the kind of game that makes you say, “How did that guy do that?” The unlikeliest performances are one-of-a-kind, in that the pitcher never had another game remotely as good. Here's a list.