Thorn: Zane Grey’s ‘The Short-Stop,’ a neglected baseball novel

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on August 28, 2017:

On a whim the other morning I looked back to one of the first articles I published at Our Game, about Zane Grey and his wonderful character Old Well-Well, and I thoroughly re-illustrated it (see: That got me to thinking about a couple of essays I had published 25 years ago but had never appeared anywhere since. This is the first of them.

Zane Grey is famous for his novels of the West and his passion for outdoor 
sport, especially fishing. He was a fabulously successful writer, his 85 books selling more than 100 million copies and inspiring a staggering 111 films.

But when Grey wrote The Short-Stop in 1909 (the original title bore the old-fashioned spelling, which I am pleased to retain) he was neither famous nor successful; in fact, only four years earlier he had been a struggling dentist with one novel to his credit, which he had paid to publish himself. Three other books followed, achieving little recognition. Thirty-seven years old, despairing of ever making his mark in the writing trade, he tried his hand at a baseball book for “all the girls and boys who love the grand old American game.”

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Originally published: August 31, 2017. Last Updated: August 31, 2017.