The Great Friday Link Out X

  • The series Bill Miller and I have been doing on great players on bad teams lives on at his new space. I wrote today’s installment, and it’s on Jimmie Foxx and the 1935 Philadelphia Athletics.
  • There’s a longish, excellent piece in the new spring issue of The American Scholar on famed newspaper writer Ring Lardner and why he quit covering baseball after the 1919 World Series. It’s a great story for anyone who’d like a comprehensive look at baseball’s labor history, though I’d argue that Lardner abandoning the game for other subject matter wasn’t unprecedented. Heywood Broun did it later, Westbrook Pegler as well, and to some extent Damon Runyon, the only person I know of to cover a World Series and write a Broadway musical (Guys and Dolls.)
  • Can John Thorn Finally Erase Abner Doubleday? The thought here: no, sadly. A fan, and particularly a baseball commissioner, must be willfully ignorant to still proclaim Civil War hero Doubleday as the founder of the baseball. Why does the game still need a creation myth in the 21st century? What is wrong with the very well-documented truth?
  • The untold story by a 90-plus-year-old former ballplayer who caught Jackie Robinson’s ill-fated tryout for the Boston Red Sox in 1945. Part of being a baseball writer or historian is knowing there are so many of these stories out there that never get properly documented and die with the players involved. I’ll give a tip of my non-existent hat (since I rarely wear them) to the writer who contacted this player ahead of his death this last year.

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