Young: Numbers take precedence in Knorr’s case to classify Negro Leagues as major leagues

From Jeff Young at on January 13, 2019, with mention of SABR member Ted Knorr:

For some baseball fans, it’s about the romance. You know, the whole Rockwellian, pastoral, fathers-and-sons-playing-catch thing. Heck, even George Carlin (“In baseball, the object is to go home.”) seemed to get that.

Ted Knorr gets it too, no doubt. But that’s not what his case is about.

For Knorr, a Lancaster native and longtime Society for American Baseball Research member, it’s about the numbers. And of course, no sport does numbers or reveres them more than baseball. So his case — that MLB and the Baseball Hall of Fame need to classify the Negro Leagues as major — is convincing.

“We don’t know who half the best players in baseball were, because of the segregation of the leagues,” Knorr said Tuesday night during a presentation to the Barnstormers Booster Club at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

“We know Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson,” he continued, “but … we don’t know other players and even lesser players, like we do in Major League Baseball.”

Actually, Knorr, of Harrisburg, knows them quite well because he has made a mission of learning about them, almost from the day he joined SABR in 1979. He has worked with local minor league teams to hold Negro League nights in Lancaster, Harrisburg and York, and he has spoken to schools and clubs, among many other efforts to promote his interest.

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Originally published: January 14, 2019. Last Updated: January 14, 2019.