Ivor-Campbell: History, advocacy, and SABR

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on December 26, 2016:

Back in 2002, my dear departed friend Fred Ivor-Campbell wrote to the listserv of SABR’s 19th Century Baseball Research Committee. Newer members of this now venerable group occasionally argued that the committee, or SABR itself, should take a public stance on this issue or that, often regarding the merits of a candidate for the Hall of Fame or, say, whether statistics from the National Association of 1871–75 should be counted as major league records (see, e.g: http://goo.gl/PZYbnU).

As a co-creator, editor, and publisher of the encyclopedia Total Baseball, which had one final edition ahead in 2004, and as one who had wrestled with Major League Baseball over some of these issues and a great many others, I instantly concurred with Fred’s instructive and splendidly articulated view, offered below. Individuals may think what they please (“Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame!” or “The Federal League of 1913 was a major league!” or anything else argued with more vigor than reason), and they may even rally a consensus around their opinions. SABR and its committees, on the other hand, have correctly, in my view, listened to Fred and stayed out of the advocacy business. Let him take it from here.

Read the full article here: https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/history-and-advocacy-f027ecd61541#.y8lloc8el

Originally published: December 27, 2016. Last Updated: December 27, 2016.