Markusen: Three for the memories

From SABR member Bruce Markusen at The Hardball Times on November 15, 2019:

At one time, I considered myself a young baseball fan, a somewhat rebellious sort who read Bill James’ historical abstracts every winter and always photocopied USA Today’s season-ending statistical wrap-up for each of the 26 teams. When I was a sports talk show host back in the day, those statistical rundowns were vital in assessing wintertime trades and free agent signings. I mean, how else were you supposed to assess whether the Yankees had done a smart thing in trading an aging Mike Easler for an enigmatic Charles Hudson?

Now, at the age of 54, I’m no longer considered young, I don’t read much of Bill James anymore, and don’t subscribe to USA Today. Much of my reading comes from the daily New York City newspapers, where I can follow the exploits of the Mets and Yankees all year long. I also like to read about the game’s history in any one of the hundreds of books that have become part of my baseball library. When I want to look at statistics, it’s quite easy: fire up the computer or the tablet and head over to, which did not exist in the 1970s or ’80s.

Even at an advancing age, I still find the game, especially its history, fascinating and enthralling. As I grow a bit longer in the tooth, I have also realized a disconcerting trend: the deaths of players whom I remember watching are coming at an increased pace. That’s not a good thing, but it does remind me that I’ve been following this game for a long, long time.

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Originally published: November 22, 2019. Last Updated: November 22, 2019.