Pave: Harvey Soolman, SABR member since 1972, dies at 68

From Marvin Pave at the Boston Globe on June 4, 2018, on longtime SABR member Harvey Soolman:

While playing and managing in the Boston Park League, working as an accountant, and running a stereo store, Harvey Soolman still found the time to write “Ballplayer,” a 1997 play that mirrored his life.

“Hitting a baseball on the button is the greatest feeling in the world — by far. I’m a much better person because of baseball,” says the lead character, a 44-year-old amateur player named Carl Kotowski. “I’ve always had a tough time with the end of each baseball season. It’s as if winter begins the very next day.”

For the writer and his character, jumping on the right pitch was akin to seizing life’s opportunities, and like Kotowski, Mr. Soolman played on.

Over the course of 46 seasons, Mr. Soolman played in Boston’s Park and Yawkey leagues — beginning in 1970 with the Lechmere Orioles while he was a Northeastern University student, and ending in 2015 as player-manager of the Towne Club. That year, he was inducted into each league’s hall of fame.

An amateur baseball umpire who had conducted youth clinics for the Red Sox Foundation, Mr. Soolman had a heart attack while walking on Brattle Street in Harvard Square May 13 and died in Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge. He was 68 and lived in Medford.

His e-mail address began with the word “ballplayer.” In 2015, he told the Globe that he spent “a pretty emotional summer” before deciding to retire. “It was time to be a full-time writer and not a part-time ballplayer,” he said.

Mr. Soolman, who also was the junior varsity baseball coach at Newton South High School, wrote and produced several plays, authored two detective novels, contributed articles to the Society for American Baseball Research, and wrote a Baseball Rules Index that is widely used.

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Originally published: June 4, 2018. Last Updated: June 4, 2018.