Bus Leagues Baseball: Q&A with Minor Leagues chair Joe Wancho

From Mike Lortz at Bus Leagues Baseball on September 12, 2012, with SABR member Joe Wancho:

As my interest in Minor League history grows, I have found myself surfing more and more for sites with historical insight. Among the most prestigious of these sites is the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) Minor Leagues Research Committee. For years, the committee put out newsletters, but lately their focus has been on the epic role of filling in the Baseball Reference Minor League Baseball historical stats.

After contacting the committee, Committee Chair Joe Wancho was kind enough to answer some of our questions.


BLB: What is the goal of the committee?

JW: Like many of the other research committees, the minor league committee members have diverse interests. If a member has a particular interest in The Three I League (Illinois-Indiana-Iowa), it is important that I facilitate that interest to other members of the committee. So many good ideas never see the light of day, and I need to help reverse that trend. Get the research out there to the public that the members are working on.

BLB: How long have you been in existence?

JW: The Minor League Research Committee was founded by the late Bob McConnell, who was one of the founding members of SABR back in 1971.

BLB: Why research the Minor Leagues?

JW: Because the minor leagues are the heartland of America. There are many great stories yet to be told, research to be done, particularly in the 19th century.

BLB: What are some of the great projects the SABR Minor League Baseball Committee has done on Minor League Baseball?

JW: The main project is to update the minor league database with statistics of every minor league player. It is currently housed on Baseball Reference.com. Lately, we have been encouraging the members to write about the different leagues, stadiums, etc from the minor leagues and submit them to the BioProject Committee. The BioProject Committee has grown from posting bios on major league players, managers, coaches, owners to encompass other aspects of baseball. It is evolving into a baseball encyclopedia, and it is a perfect vehicle for members of our committee to get their research out there.

Read the full article here: http://busleaguesbaseball.com/2012/09/qa-sabr-minor-league-research-committee-chair-joe-wancho/

Originally published: September 12, 2012. Last Updated: September 12, 2012.