SABR Salute: Joe Wayman

Editor’s note: The SABR Salute, first bestowed upon writer Fred Lieb in 1976, was designed as a manner of recognizing the contributions of some of the older members of the Society. Subsequent SABR Salutes appeared in the SABR Membership Directory and honored members who had made great contributions to baseball historical research. Joe Wayman received the SABR Salute in 1995; the following biographical sketch appeared in that year’s membership directory.

Joseph Wayman joined SABR in 1979, but had an interest in baseball long before that. He was born March 22, 1927, in Strasburg, Virginia, located about 70 miles west of Washington DC. The often repeated feats of Walter Johnson which he heard as a child bordered on storybook myths, but he learned later that it was all true. Joe became a fan in the late 1930s when he accompanied his grandfather to minor league games of the Tallahassee Capitols of the Georgia-Florida League.

Joe received a BA degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now called Virginia Tech) in Blacksburg in 1952. He then spent 30 years with Uncle Sam working in the military-industrial complex of aircraft procurement. He was assigned in several different locations, including New York, but the bulk of his time was spent at defense plants in California. He retired in South Gate, near Los Angeles, in 1984, and immediately dusted off baseball research concepts he had developed earlier.

The Michigan-based Baseball Bulletin carried four of his articles in their quarterly issues in 1984. Two dealt with relief pitching, one a new method for ranking firemen and the other a review of Willie Hernandez’s phenomenal MVP- and Cy Young Award-winning season with the Tigers. A number of sportswriters considered the relief game-assessed point system to be realistic. Another article was on total shutouts pitched (alone and combined). The fourth dealt with position players’ unearned responsibility and which of the errors caused the game to be lost. Some baseball observers within the establishment thought these stats were too negative.

It was the publication of these four articles in 1984 which prompted Joe Wayman to self-publish his Grandstand Baseball Annual, a magazine-size publication of 130-160 pages. He came to realize that his book had to move away from basic yearly stats — some of which went against the establishment. He decided to include articles of wider appeal and invited other SABR members to contribute. In fact, in addition to his regular annuals, he put out two special issues, They were the James J. Wiegand Issue (1991) and the Frank J. Williams Issue (1992) because of the prominent contribution those two researchers made.

In his first of ten Grandstand Baseball Annuals in 1985, Joe made lifetime hits projections for Cap Anson and Ty Cobb correlated to the 162-game schedule played by Pete Rose. Anson projected to 4,460 hits and Cobb to 4,429 while Rose’s actual total was 4,256. He also started a study of club shutouts year-by-year 1876-1939, the findings of which were accepted by Total Baseball in its 1991 edition. The 1987 GBA included the “Paul Hines Triple Crown” in 1878 which Hines would have won with the inclusion of two tie games, which were not counted that year. In his 1988 issue, he reviewed the why and wherefore of counting base on balls as hits .in 1887. In the 1989 GBA, he amended Christy Mathewson’s brief six-game pitching record for 1900, which was also accepted by Total Baseball. He also worked out the AL innings pitched to fractions 1970-81 and NL 1869-81, which were omitted in the encyclopedias. Total Baseball again incorporated the changes.

In the Grandstand Baseball Annual of 1990, Joe adjusted the final NL standings for 1899 based on schedule errors and protested games. The Elias Bureau accepted the revised won-lost record for Brooklyn and included it in its Book of Baseball Records. Another article dealt with the League Championship Series of 1876, 1882, 1899, and 1900, which had been largely ignored in the past.

The 1993 Baseball Research Journal carried Joe’s article entitled “Roush Ruled Out of 1918 Batting Title.” The NL excluded protested games from its averages 1910-19. Had those games been honored, one of which had Edd Roush with two hits in three at-bats, and the other had Zack Wheat zero for five, the Cincy outfielder would have beaten out Wheat .336 to .331, rather than losing .335 to .333. This would have given Roush three consecutive batting titles.

Joe Wayman’s SABR Salute is deserved, not only for his many research articles, but because of his generosity in providing a forum in Grandstand Baseball Annual for the research work of many other SABR members. He has been as active participant in the Los Angeles (Allan Roth Memorial) Chapter of SABR, and also has taken in the Baltimore/Washington regional while visiting his sister in Clinton, Maryland. Joe is single and has some health problems at age 68, but he is not about to give up his pursuit of baseball records research.


To get back to the SABR Salute page, click here.