Pitchers and Catchers

abner-3.jpg Ignore the often incorrect divinations of an underground-dwelling mammal, the true harbinger of spring, with an 100% accuracy rate, is baseball spring training in its guises of the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues. In case you think that baseball statistics are modern number-crunching, mind-numbing phenomena, look at Spalding’s Baseball Guide and Official League Book for 1895.  If that is not punishment enough, peruse the Baseball Almanac with statistics back to 1876. And, as always, check OSCAR, the Library’s online catalog, for dozens of books on baseball ranging from Carl Prince’s Brooklyn’s Dodgers to Howard Bryant’s Juicing the Game.

Who is that seated figure at the top of this entry? Some hints for you: he was a West Point graduate, a Union general who figured prominently at the Battle of Gettysburg (his biased account can be read here), is the putative father of baseball, and his link to New Jersey is that he died in Mendham. Give up? He is Abner Doubleday. Read his entry in the American National Biography(located in the Reference Room along with hundreds of other biographical works), and consult his electronic bio in Biography Reference Bank (one of the more than 100 databases to which the Library subscribes.) Batter up!


  1. Ron Kaplan said

    There seems to be a problem with the link for the Baseball Almanac.

  2. […] Groundhog Day 21 02 2008 This library Web site suggests that stat-heads have a long and proud history in Spalding’s Baseball Guide and […]

  3. guarini said

    Thanks for letting us know, Ron. We have fixed it.

  4. […] 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm · Filed under Fun, History, Web Sites  In a previous post, we had made reference to a Spalding baseball guide. Now the good people at the Library of […]

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