The National Pastime offers baseball history available nowhere else. Each fall this publication from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) explores baseball history with fresh and often surprising views of past players, teams, and events. Drawn from the research efforts of more than 6,700 SABR members, The National Pastime establishes an accurate, lively, and entertaining historical record of baseball.
A Note from the Editor, Jim Charlton:
Growing up as a baseball fan, I was well aware of the story that the Brooklyn Dodgers hid the young Roberto Clemente on the Montreal Royals rosters so that he could be left unprotected but not in danger of being snatched away by a rival team. Hearing it repeated so often—even by Clemente himself—I was sure that it was as true as Ruth hitting 60 homers in 1927 or DiMaggio hitting in 56 straight games. As Stew Thornley reveals in his beautifully researched cover article, not so fast. It is a readable and compelling rebuttal to the authors, coaches and players who have perpetuated the myth.
Goodness gracious! It wasn't the players' fault that the 1962 Mets lost 120 games: it was management. Keith Olbermann points the finger and pen at Casey and the front office in his amusing indictment of drafts and trades made and not made. He convinced me. But I didn't need any convincing even before reading novelist Darryl Brock's short piece. I think that every reader will agree with him: at most baseball games the decibel sound level can be extraordinarily high.
Showing my colors, no issue of The National Pastime would be complete without an article on the Cubs, and this one is no exception. Richard Puerzer offers up a lengthy account of one of the unique and weirder baseball management decisions: the rotating college of coaches. There are just a few of the wide-ranging articles to be found in this issue of TNP.