Zalman: The Yankees’ missing chapter

From Jonathan Zalman at the Wall Street Journal on August 14, 2014, with mention of SABR members Sean Forman and John Thorn:

When Yankees closer David Robertson struck out Toronto’s Jose Reyes to complete a 6-4 victory at Yankees Stadium on July 25, it appeared to be just another ordinary win in the franchise’s illustrious history. But as it turns out, that win might have been a true milestone: the club’s 10,000th regular-season win.

Four days before the July 25 game, the online baseball encyclopedia posted a blog entry stating that it had made the decision to dissociate the Yankees with a team based in Baltimore in 1901 and 1902. The club, nicknamed the Orioles, has no link to the current team in Baltimore, but does appear to have ties to the franchise that now plays its games in the Bronx.

“It’s certainly not a decision I [made] unilaterally,” said Baseball-Reference founder Sean Forman, who added that he relied on the consensus opinions of a number of experts of that time period in baseball, including Major League Baseball’s official historian John Thorn, author of Total Baseball, the last official MLB encyclopedia, and Gary Gillette, co-editor of ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. The pronouncement is harmonious too with the opinion of the Elias Sports Bureau, the official statistician for MLB, as well as that of the Yankees.

“We consider our franchise’s first season to be 1903,” wrote Michael Margolis, the Yankees’ assistant director of baseball information, via email. “We date our origin from there.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: August 15, 2014. Last Updated: August 15, 2014.