Fall 2016 Baseball Research Journal

  • The Historical Evolution of the Designated Hitter Rule By John Cronin

    The DH may have been a revolutionary concept when it was introduced by the American League in 1973, but it was by no means a new one. The idea of a player hitting for the pitcher every time his turn comes up had its roots in the late nineteenth century.

  • Discrepancy in an All-Time MLB Record: Billy Hamilton’s 1894 Runs Scored By Herm Krabbenhoft, Keith Carlson, David Newman, Richard “Dixie” Tourangeau

    While baseball historians agree that Billy Hamilton of the 1894 Philadelphia Phillies holds the all-time MLB record for most runs scored by an individual player during a single season, different sources provide different totals. This article attempts to determine once and for all what the accurate number is.

  • The Stallings Platoon: The 1913 Prequel By Bryan Soderholm-Difatte

    1914 was previously viewed as "the baseline year for platooning." However, newly available data suggests that Braves manager George Stallings also platooned his players in 1913, his first year of managing -- and that Stallings wasn't the only one employing this strategy.

  • The .700 Club: Blessedly Good Baseball By Douglas Jordan

    Since 1903, just nine teams have finished the season with a record of .700 or better. Who were they, and what did their seasons look like?

  • Catcher Duke Farrell’s Record Performance: Game Notes from May 11, 1897 By Brian Marshall

    On May 11, 1897, Washington Senators catcher Duke Farrell set a record for most runners caught stealing in a game. However, reports of the game from the era are conflicting. What really happened in that game?

  • The Young and the Restless: George Wright, 1865–68 By Robert Tholkes

    From 1865 through 1868, Hall of Famer George Wright played for six different baseball teams, as well as several cricket clubs. Here, author Robert Tholkes examines the early years of Wright's playing career.

  • Chief Bender: A Marksman at the Traps and on the Mound By Robert D. Warrington

    Charles Albert "Chief" Bender is a baseball Hall of Famer, but he also excelled in another popular sport of his era: trapshooting. Author Robert D. Warrington examines Bender's involvement in trapshooting, and its relationship with his baseball profession.

  • The International Girls Baseball League By William E. McMahon, Helen E. Nordquist, Merrie A. Fidler

    During the winter of 1952-1953, the International Girls Baseball League, based in Florida, gave select members of both the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the National Girls Baseball League additional chances to play baseball. The history of the short-lived league is explored here. 

  • Organized Baseball’s Night Birth By Mark Metcalf

    The first night game in the history of Organized Baseball took place in Independence, Kansas, on April 28, 1930, some five years before the first MLB night game. This fundamentally changed the future of the game, and possibly even saved minor league baseball.

  • A Question of Character: George Davis and the Flora Campbell Affair By Bill Lamb

    Hall of Famer George Davis was, undoutedly, one of the finest ballplayers of the late 19th/early 20th century. His life outside of baseball is considerably more enigmatic, as exemplified by the case of a purported affair with the another ballplayer's wife.

  • The Show Girl and the Shortstop: The Strange Saga of Violet Popovich and Her Shooting of Cub Billy Jurges By Jack Bales

    In 1932, a young woman named Violet Popovich shot and wounded Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges. What really happened, and who was Violet Popovich?

  • The Great American Pastime (1956): Hollywood, Little League, and the Post-World War II Consensus By Ron Briley

    An often-overlooked baseball film, The Great American Pastime provided a depiction of Little League fairly early in the organization's existence. Author Ron Briley examines the film, and contrasts how it portrays Little League with a later, better-remembered movie, The Bad News Bears, within the context of their respective eras.

  • Baseball Player Won-Lost Records: The Ultimate Baseball Statistic By Tom Thress

    What's the most accurate measure of a player's value? Here, author Tom Thress makes his case for Player Won-Lost records, a statistic of his own creation.