Registration now open for Craig Waff Symposium on Astronomy and Baseball

Registration is now open for the unique, interdisciplinary Craig B. Waff Symposium on the History of Astronomy and on the Origins of Baseball. It will be held Friday, June 27-Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the beautiful Cincinnati Observatory Center (COC) in Ohio, under the auspices of the Antique Telescope Society and the Vintage Base Ball Association, two organizations in which Craig was actively involved.

Keynote speakers at the banquet dinner Saturday night, June 28, will be two eminent historians who were Craig’s colleagues and friends: Steven J. Dick, former NASA Chief Historian, and SABR member John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball.

Historians of astronomy and space who have proposed papers include Barbara Becker (University of California, Irvine), Andrew J. Butrica (NASA Contract Historian), Gene Cross (Telescope Optical Engineer), Lawrence D’Antonio (Ramapo College), Rob Landis (NASA Near-Earth Object Observation Program), Marc Rothenberg (National Science Foundation), and Robert W. Smith (University of Alberta). Historians of baseball include Leo Bradley (Xavier University) and Greg Rhodes (former head of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame).

preliminary program, travel/logistics/hotel information, and registration information and form are now available at the ATS website (click on “Waff Symposium 2014” in the left-hand menu under Conventions/Workshops) and the VBBA website (click on the second item in the left-hand list, or find the dates in the calendar at right and click on them) . An obituary of Craig, as well as all the registration documents are also available at It is hoped that the symposium will result in a proceedings as a lasting legacy.

Seating at the COC is limited, so through May 15, registration will be made preferentially available to members of SABR, the ATS, the VBBA, and other astronomy and baseball lists and organizations. Beginning May 15, the event will be heavily publicized in the wider Cincinnati metropolitan area as well. Thus, early registration (before May 15) is encouraged; final cutoff is June 15. Note that the registration fee INCLUDES all meals for the weekend symposium, including the Saturday night reception and banquet with the two distinguished keynote speakers, plus two tours.

SABR member Craig Beale Waff, 66, of Beavercreek, Ohio, a SABR member since 1992, died on June 12, 2012, in the absolute prime of his life. Just one week earlier, he had observed the rare transit of Venus from Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. An avid Yankees fan, Waff was keenly interested in the history of early American pre-1860 pre-Civil War base ball. At the time of his death, he had just completed writing and editing several contributions to the SABR book Inventing Baseball. Most significantly, however, through his dogged research through digital databases and newspapers on microfilm, Waff single-handedly quintupled the known number of base ball games played between 1845 and 1860 from around 300 to at least 1,500 (an early account of this project and Waff’s Games Tabulation appear at

Originally published: April 21, 2014. Last Updated: April 21, 2014.