Ferkovich: My favorite player, Schoolboy Rowe

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at The National Pastime Museum on July 28, 2014:

In 1982, I was given a copy of the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia for my 14th birthday. The weighty tome was like nothing else at the time. In those dark days before the Internet, before we could instantly look up Justin Verlander’s career WHIP on our smartphones, the Baseball Encyclopedia was the statistical reference of choice. With career numbers for every Major League player going back to the 1800s, World Series and All-Star Game records, and annual team lineups, it must have tipped the scales at 10 pounds and easily reached 3,000 pages. I would pore over its vast data for hours.

I was a Tiger fan and liked to peruse the rosters of Detroit teams of the past. The 1935 World Championship club had a mythic quality to me, with names straight out of a Depression-Era gangster movie. Greenberg, Gehringer, and Goose Goslin. Pete Fox and Tommy Bridges. General Crowder, Elden Auker, Billy Rogell. Gee Walker and Jo-Jo White. I already knew of Mickey Cochrane because there was a street near Tiger Stadium named after him.

But one of them always stood out: Schoolboy Rowe.

To my young imagination, the name conjured up visions of a kid in knee-length trousers and high black socks, sporting a blue blazer with a crested private-school emblem. He skips out to the mound, carrying a satchel of books over his shoulder, a baseball glove in his left hand. To the roar of the crowd, he drops the books, toes the rubber, peers into the catcher, and fires a knee-buckling curve for strike one.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/my-favorite-player-schoolboy-rowe

Originally published: July 29, 2014. Last Updated: July 29, 2014.