Wulf: Ned Hanlon, ‘Father of Modern Baseball,’ helped usher managing into 20th century

From SABR member Steve Wulf at ESPN.com on July 3, 2015:

So this is the birthplace of the first great baseball manager.

Located northwest of New London on Connecticut 163, Montville isn’t exactly a metropolis. There’s a deer crossing sign just before the Speed Limit 30 posting, and the village center consists of Radgowski’s Deli-Mart, the small Montville post office and Mel’s Diner.

When the clerk at Radgowski’s is asked, “Where’s the nearest baseball field?” she replied, “Go up Oakdale Road, take a left at the dump, and you’ll see it after the intersection at the high school.”

There’s nobody on the baseball field on this warm June evening, but Josh is throwing batting practice to Jorge on the nearby softball field.

“Did you guys know that one of the pioneers of baseball was born here?”

“Really?” Jorge said. “What was his name?”

“Ned Hanlon.”

“Never heard of him.”

“He would like your swing.”

Indeed, Jorge is crushing the ball. The metal bats and oversized balls might have mystified Hanlon, but he wouldn’t have minded that Jorge is directing Josh where to lob the ball — batters could tell pitchers where to throw the ball back when Hanlon first played the game.

Read the full article here: http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/13190522/father-modern-baseball-ned-hanlon-helped-usher-game-20th-century-greatest-contribution-was-mentor

Originally published: July 4, 2015. Last Updated: July 4, 2015.