Welcome to the Deadball Era Research Committee!
Founded in February 2000, the Deadball Era Committee (DEC) grew to more than 130 members in its first year of existence, and rapidly became one of SABR’s most active research committees. Today, it includes more than 400 members and is one of SABR’s largest and most diverse committees.
Announcements: To sign up for email announcements from this committee, click the “Announcements” button above, then click “Join Group” (). All SABR members are eligible to sign up for announcements from any committee.
Discussion group: To sign up and participate in the Deadball Era discussion group at SABRgroups.org, click here.
If you have a question about the Deadball Era committee, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find current and past Deadball Era committee newsletters, click here.
In 2004, the Committee’s collective efforts generated the book Deadball Stars of the National League, and in 2007 the committee completed work on the companion volume Deadball Stars of the American League. Both books were published by Potomac Books and distributed as the signal member benefit for SABR members in the 2003 and 2005 membership years, respectively.
Another committee book, The World Series in the Deadball Era, edited by Steve Steinberg, was published by St. Johann Press in 2018.
Our purpose is to stimulate research on and interest in baseball from 1901 to 1919, one of the most popular, colorful, important, and distinct eras in baseball history. It begins with the turn of the century, the formation of the American League, and the establishment of the original sixteen-franchise structure that lasted the first half of the century. It continues with the establishment of the National Commission and a regular World’s Series, the entrenchment of baseball as America’s national pastime, and the challenge of the Federal League. Throughout, game balls are rarely removed from play and the grimy, softening baseballs are ‘dead.’ Finally, it culminates with the emergence of Babe Ruth as a home run hitter instead of a frontline Red Sox starter, the scandalous 1919 World Series, and the death of Ray Chapman early in the 1920 season, after which umpire resistance to putting fresh, clean, hard baseballs into play evaporates. Baseball would never go back to the tactical style of play required by the ‘dead’ ball.
The DEC publishes its newsletter, The Inside Game, four times a year. Past issues are available here.
The Committee also presents the Larry Ritter Book Award annually to the best baseball book set primarily during the Deadball Era which was published during the previous year. Past Larry Ritter Award winners, criteria for nomination and links to purchase the books can be found on the Ritter Award page. To learn more about the origins and history of the Larry Ritter Award, click here.
- John McMurray (Chair)
- Doug Skipper (Ritter Award subcommittee chair)
- Bill Lamb (Newsletter Editor)
- Bob Harris (Newsletter Designer)
- Dan Levitt (Newsletter Book Review Editor)
- R.J. Lesch (Boiling Out)
- Tom Simon (Chair Emeritus)
Note: The SABR Deadball Era Research Committee is not affiliated with the independent website thedeadballera.com, which lists obituaries for deceased ballplayers.