SABR Bibliography Committee
Research Guide No. 3: Overview and Index to Features and Records in The Baseball Register
Editor’s note: This guide was first published by the SABR Bibliography Committee in 1986. To download the original in PDF form, click here.
By Bob McConnell
Baseball Register, an annual book published by The Sporting News from 1940 to date, enlarged its title to Official Baseball Register in 1973. It is primarily a reference book containing the playing records of active major league players. Various editions have included the playing recordsof inactive players in certain categories. In addition, the earlier editions contained other statistics and feature articles.
The playing records for regular players contain their batting and fielding statistics for each year in professional baseball, while the records for pitchers contain their pitching statistics. In addition, date and place of birth, height, weight, colleges attended, and outstanding performances are listed. Since 1975, the year-by-year stolen bases have been listed for the good base stealers.
The early editions included a facsimile autograph and listed the player’s ancestry, date of marriage and wife’s maiden name, and hobbies. The autographs were dropped beginning with the 1969 edition, ancestry in 1956, marriage data in 1969, and hobbies in 1983. 1.5 x 1 inch pictures of players were carried from 1951 through 1971.
Regular players and pitchers were separated until 1968 when they were integrated in one section. A Managers Section has been in all editions to date. A Coaches Section was included from 1940 through 1981; an Umpires Section from 1943 through 1958, 1964, and 1969 through 1979; a Former Stars Section from 1940 through 1958 and 1965 through 1968; a Hall of Fame Section in 1941 and 1942; a Players In the Armed Forces Section in 1945; a Recently Retired Players Section from 1969 through 1978; and a Recent Hall of Fame Inductees Section from 1979 through 1981, 1983, and 1985 through 1986.
The Sporting News has published several indexes listing all playing records in the Registers. The latest index covers the editions from 1940 through 1973.
Listed below are the statistics and feature articles included in the Registers:
1941: History of Baseball, Box score of the 1940 All Star game
1942: Biography of Lou Gehrig by Fred Lieb; Origin of Statistics by Ernie Lanigan; History of Baseball (same article as in 1941 edition); Cooperstown, The Shrine of Baseball
1943: World Series History by Fred Lieb & Harold Lanigan (includes all box scores)
1944: Biography of Rube Waddell by J. G. Taylor Spink; History of All-Star Games by Fred Lieb (includes all box scores); Biography of Lou Gehrig by Fred Lieb (same biography as in 1942 edition)
1945: Biography of Billy Southworth by Bob Hooey; Ten Outstanding Games of Major League History by Fred Lieb
1946: Biography of Steve O’Neill by Chic Feldman; Each Major League Club’s Outstanding All-Time Team by Fred Lieb
1947: Biography of Walter Johnson by Vincent X. Flaherty; Ten Great Slugging Feats of Baseball History by Fred Lieb
1948: Biography of Babe Ruth by Fred Lieb (includes table of all HR – Date, Opposing pitcher & Club, Park)
1949: Biography of Gene Beardon by Hal Lebovitz; The Greatest Rallies of Baseball History by Fred Lieb
1950: Biography of Joe DiMaggio by Dan Daniel
1951: Biography of Ty Cobb by H. G. Salsinger (title: Which Was Greatest – Ty Cobb or Babe Ruth?)
1953: Biography of Joe Engel by Fred Lieb
1954: The Strange Story of Rogers Hornsby by J. G. Taylor Spink; Nick Altrock and Al Schacht by Shirley Povich; Dining with Drohan by John Drohan (1 long article on Germany Schaefer; 26 short amusing articles)
1955: Biography of Bob Feller by Hal Lebovitz
1956: Biography of Roy Campanella by Roscoe McGowen
1957: Signs and Signals by Joe Garagiola & Bob Broeg (signs used on the field by catchers and coaches)
1958: Biography of Yogi Berra by Robert L. Burns
1959: Biography of Casey Stengel by Dan Daniel
1960: The Miracle Move of the Dodgers by Vincent X. Flaherty (the move of the Dodgers to Los Angeles)
1961: Biography of Ted Williams by Arthur Daley
1962: Biography of Stan Musial by Robert L. Burns
1963: Biography of Ralph Houk by Til Ferdenzi
Index of players whose records appear in the Former Stars Sections of the Baseball Register. Also includes players in the Hall Of Fame Sections of the 1941 and 1942 Registers, players whose records appear with their biographies in some of the early Registers, and players in the Recent Hall Of Fame Inductees Sections of some of the 1970s and 1980s Registers. Several non-players are included in the index.
To view the index of players in “Former Stars”, download the PDF file below:
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