Wagner: Righting a 90-year-old wrong on a baseball card

From SABR member Bill Wagner, aka Babe Waxpack, at the Nashua Telegraph on October 20, 2013, with mention of SABR member Matthew Clifford:

Matthew Clifford is a baseball historian and self-described fanatic. He is also a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research)

Two years ago, he started a writing project about an old-time pitcher named Sylvester “Syl” Johnson.

As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

Clifford’s writing project turned into a mission to correct a 90-year-old error involving an Associated Press image that was supposedly of Hall of Famer Harry Heilmann.

Like Apollo astronauts, who need a boost into orbit, or a NASCAR racer getting a “bump draft” to get to the finish line, Clifford needed a little help to complete the journey.

Da Babe was happy to oblige.

Let the record show that Clifford did all the legwork and heavy lifting. While researching his Johnson article, Clifford, who lives in Mendota, Ill., came across a 1923 spring training photo that showed several Detroit Tigers.

Being the ever-curious researcher, Clifford decided to check out each of the players pictured.

Read the full article here: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/sports/localsports/1019168-457/da-babe-offers-assistance-in-righting-a.html

Related link: Read the SABR biography of Syl Johnson, written by Matthew Clifford

Originally published: October 21, 2013. Last Updated: October 21, 2013.