Well, it's time for my biennial (did I spell that right?) posting in my blog, or it at least feels that way.
Anyways, I wanted to document what I have been doing and what I am currently researching - all baseball.
A number of months ago, with a tremendous amount of help from Ed Morton of Philadelphia, I wrote up a bio on William Stecher for the upcoming National Pastime Philadelphia Convention publication.
The article chronicles his life and career, but also shows some of the amateur and professional teams that he was active with during his playing time. I ran across him in my AA batter k research (and lineup database creation) and was fascinated by his mediocrity and with the Philly convention coming up, I figured I'd give a stab at writing an article around his life and career. It turned out to be a quite fascinating life and career - a decent amateur player who got a lucky break to get on a horrible team and later, after his career was over, a prominent local politician. Look forward to my 2nd SABR published article (I was published a few years ago on 1899 Batter K's).
With that in the rear view mirror (except some minor footnote related revisions), I am slowly starting on my next research projects.
First, I am looking into baseball players who visited Mt. Clemens, MI for recuperation and rest. I have off and on over the years of my batter k research ran across mentions of this or that player going to Mt. Clemens to recuperate and wondered what that was about. Mt. Clemens is a Detroit suburb, Northeast of the city and, honestly, I did not know much about it, and had only been there a couple of times for liquid refreshments. It's probably about 30 miles from me as I live in the northwest suburbs and don''t tend to go to "that side of town". What I started to find out was that Mt. Clemens was a mineral bath spa for a number of years from the mid/late 1800's into the early/mid 1900's.
So far, I am churning my way through Sporting Life key word searches of "Clemens" to find occurrences of players, umpires, and management making the sojourn. I have quite a few so far.
I did venture out to Mt Clemens a couple of weeks ago to do some "reconnaissance" on local sources on the baths and local paper sources. Interestingly, no one has written a book exclusively on the history of the baths. There are some nice books and online sources that have summaries of the "Bath Era", so I have some nice resources on background when I put together that aspect of the article.
Stay tuned and if anyone out there has run across a Mt. Clemens visit in your own research, I would be most grateful if you could share it with me. I plan on posting a APB as soon as I get done with my Sporting Life research on the 19th Century and Deadball lists (maybe SABR-L as well) to garner any info. Also, I would like to talk with any Hot Springs experts to compare notes and gain any general "mineral springs" history.
A second research project will probably take a bit longer and require more help, if not done by others.
I grew up in Cincinnati in the '70's and I always remember an exhibition game called the "Kid Glove Game" in which we played the Detroit Tigers. I never knew any of the Tigers who played (they weren't very good at the time) and the game benefited local little org called Knothole (I played little league, but was never even close to good enough for Knothole).
The Kid Glove game has a history going back to the '40's and still is active, now as a series of 5 regular season games (no more in season exhibitions). I got a really nice packet from the ED of the Kid Glove org a couple of months ago and may well use it for the intro and interludes as it has a great deal of good info. I also scanned it and shared it with Chris Eckes and Greg Rhodes of the Red HOF in case they decide to do something around it as an exhibition.
My research, I was thinking, would be more statistical and game-by-game oriented, very like Greg Rhodes' great "Opening Day" book. Box scores of each game with contemporary accounts and statistical leaders.
As I stated, this one will take a little more work as I live in Michigan and most of the contemporary accounts would, of course, reside in Cincinnati. There are a couple solutions I am playing with, in lieu of me going down there - ProQuest Cincinnati Enquirer pay for article packets and also using the opponent's newspapers to get accounts.
We'll see where this goes. If anyone wants to assist me on this or offer suggestions, I would be grateful.
That's all for now.
- Jonathan Frankel
- I am a long time baseball fan who became interesting in documenting the "missing" batter strikeouts a few years back as an outgrowth of my interest in the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. Grew up w/ the Big Red Machine. I now follow them and my new hometown, Detroit Tigers. Member of SABR off and on since 1979.
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