From Mark Remme at RedCurrent.com on May 19, 2015, on SABR member Stew Thornley:
There is one seat inside Target Field and every other baseball park in America that carries incredible responsibility—and it’s nowhere near the field of play. At the Twins’ home, it is the first seat in first row of the press box, tucked just to the right of home plate with a bird’s eye view of every angle at which the ball might travel.
This seat can impact milestones, records and batting titles. Without ever touching a baseball or stepping on the warning track, the person occupying this seat can be the difference between a no-hitter for the history books and a one-hitter forgotten in time.
Stew Thornley takes this responsibility very seriously. He and his colleagues who rotate into that seat as Major League Baseball official scorers understand each moment, each pitch, could leave them in a situation where judgment dictates reality.
“I just love baseball, and if you’re an official scorer you’d better love baseball because it’s like being an umpire,”Stew said. “You must really love this game and not do it for money or anything else. To be part of the game, to have power to influence it, you take that very seriously—and you do your best.”
If you know Stew, you know he’s the right man for that seat. If you don’t, he’s a longtime baseball historian who has written several books on America’s favorite pastime—ranging from Minnesota Twins and Minneapolis Millers history to Cal Ripken, Jr. and The Polo Grounds.
Originally published: May 19, 2015. Last Updated: May 19, 2015.