Thorn: ‘Phantom ballplayers,’ by Cliff Kachline

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on July 17, 2014:

While at the recent All-Star Game in Minneapolis I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Ron Roth, longtime official scorer of the Cincinnati Reds. Swapping stories in the hotel lobby I recalled a couple that seemed particularly apt for a man of his calling. There was the one that Fred Lieb used to tell about how Ty Cobb achieved his third and final .400 batting average via an overturned call (read, if you have not already, his wonderful book, “Baseball as I Have Known It”: And I recalled the story of “Proctor,” a Western Union telegrapher who inserted his own name into a 1912 box score and for eighty years thereafter was immortalized in the baseball encyclopedias.

The man who told me that tale was Cliff Kachline, historian at the Baseball Hall of Fame and afterward executive director of the Society for American Baseball Research. Upon my return home I dug up the fascinating article on baseball’s phantoms, as they came to be called, that Cliff contributed to the first edition of Total Baseball in 1989 and was included in several subsequent editions.

Here it is, through the 1993 season. It is a model of baseball research.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 17, 2014. Last Updated: July 17, 2014.