Barto Attempting to Index Ken Burns’ ‘Baseball’

From Joe Habina at The Charlotte Observer on March 20:

Until he reached junior college, Jeff Barto was cut from every baseball team he ever tried out for.

Yet the 53-year old Huntersville resident is on the verge of accomplishing something in America’s pastime that no one has before.

The Ken Burns documentary “Baseball” is revered as a powerful video history of the nation’s oldest professional sport. Barto, a UNC Charlotte professor, is completing a voluminous searchable database, or index, of every name, team, quote and photograph from the 181/2-hour series, which was released in 1994.

What’s Barto’s motivation? He leans on the film to support his instruction for his Department of Kinesiology class titled “Baseball Through History and Playing,” which he has taught since 2005. The class is so popular that spring enrollment fills up and students have to be turned away.

A member of the Society of American Baseball Research, Barto said SABR has agreed to give the “Baseball” index a permanent home on its website. He is trying to find a publisher to release it in print.

Originally published: March 19, 2011. Last Updated: March 19, 2011.