Almost two years in the making, we have completed the Historical Baseball Writer Database and have posted it in these places for your research needs and viewing pleasure:
- Google Drive link
- Microsoft OneDrive link
The database is the result of painstaking effort poring over copies of Baseball’s Blue Books, an annual publication that launched in 1910 as a handy reference resource of the business side of baseball for people who worked in the game at the major league and minor league levels. The Blue Book still publishes today, although most of the information that used to be listed is available online in varying degrees of free, and it is geared more towards scouting and coaching at the youth and college levels than to the business of professional ball.
From its beginning and through to 2003, the Blue Book would publish all the BBWAA-member baseball writers working at the various publications credentialed by the teams. They served as the source for this database.
Nearly every season between 1910 and 2003 is included in this database. Only 1926 and 1928 (Blue Books have not yet been located), and 1962 (BBWAA writers inexplicable excluded from that season’s book), are not yet included. Also included are the 2010-2012 seasons, and also missing are 2004-2009 and 2013-2017 (we have media directories for those past five seasons). If you can help us find resources for those missing seasons before 2010, or can help us work with the materials we have on hand to fill in seasons after 2012, please write us and let us know.
If you are doing any historical research about teams, or media, or anything related where finding out who the beat writers and columnists of the time is an important thing to know, this would be a good place to start.
Thank you to the intrepid SABR members who helped us with putting this database together: Nick Waddell, Michael Sowell, Abby Rosario, Ruth Sadler, Jeff Findlay, Paul Goodson, Kenn Tomasch and Steve Dunn. Special extra thanks to Joel Dinda, who allowed me to borrow his several dozen blue books so we could make them available to our volunteers.
If you are planning to be at SABR 47 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City, please consider carving out an hour in your calendar before dinner Saturday night to attend the Baseball and the Media Committee meeting, taking place Saturday, July 1, in the Empire State Ballroom at 5:15 pm.
We will be conducting a live “Working The Game” interview with Alain Usereau, play-by-play broadcaster who works major league baseball games for the French-language Canadian sports network RDS. Learn how Alain conducts live game broadcasts from RDS Montreal studios, how that differs from working games at the ballpark, how he deals with the unique challenges of doing live baseball broadcasts in French, his memories of the great Expos teams of the ’70s and ’80s, and much more. The last 15 minutes of the meeting will be set aside for members of the audience to ask their own questions of Alain.
You do not need to be a member of the Baseball and the Media committee to attend and enjoy this unique experience.
We hope to see you there!
Just in time for the start of the season! Courtesy of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Committee, the databases listing major league teams’ flagship TV and radio stations and announcers, as well as their radio station affiliates, have been updated and loaded into Google Drive for your perusing and research convenience.
The MLB Local Flagship_Announcer Database is a continuation of the work started by Maury Brown of Forbes.com over a decade ago, and is for all practical purposes the complete listing of every franchise’s radio and television broadcasters, both play-by-play and analyst, throughout big league ball’s broadcast history, beginning with 1921. Major changes for 2017 include the retirement of Vin Scully of the Dodgers, to be replaced by current Dodger broadcasters Joe Davis and Charley Steiner; the retirement of Dick Enberg of the Padres, to be replaced by Todd Kalas, formerly broadcaster of the Houston Astros; and the replacement of Matt Stairs as Phillies television analyst by semi-doppelgänger John Kruk. The file can be accessed by clicking on this link.
The Radio Station Affiliates Database was started by the Baseball and the Media Committee in 2013 and has been the historical record of teams’ radio affiliates since that season. Every year, dozens of affiliates come aboard, drop off, change call letters, or even change team alliances. This database covers recent seasons, although there are plans to expand the database to include historical seasons as well to the degree possible. Be sure to consult this database before you go on your next summer road trip so you never miss a pitch as you drive from city to city. This file can be accessed by clicking on this link. (Please note: four of the 30 MLB teams [Astros, Cardinals, Giants, Mets] did not have updated affiliates for the 2017 season as of 3/31/17. These teams are called out in red on the sheet, and the database will be updated once affiliates for these teams come available.)
If you notice any errors or omissions in either of these databases, please be sure to contact the Committee or this website with corrections.
Live, from the Viceroy of India on Devon Avenue in Chicago!
Well, no, not live. It’s recorded. But it is recorded at the Viceroy of India on Devon Avenue in Chicago, so … there’s that.
This new monthly podcast features a get-together and conversation about the latest news and hot-button issues in baseball, including media issues, from the perspective of four SABR members who by all rights should be too old to work this podcast thing-y:
Jim Walker, Professor Emeritus of Communication at Saint Xavier University in Chicago and author of the seminal baseball media books Center Field Shot and Crack of the Bat, detailing the history of baseball as broadcast on television and radio, respectively.
Thom Henninger, editor at Baseball Digest and author of Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend
Stuart Shea, author of Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines and Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present (the latter book is free for SABR members)
- And me, Chuck Hildebrandt, award-winning baseball researcher, cataloguer of Little League Home Runs, and Chair of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Research Committee
Each pod runs about 20-25 minutes, a length which fits quite nicely as a quick listen into your own lunch schedule.
As with any new periodic broadcast venture, the first episode is decent listen for a first try; the second episode is a better listen; and we can promise that the third episode will be even better still. So stay tuned for the next pod due out in early March.
We will let you know when the next episode is uploaded, but you can also be automagically informed by following Jim’s SoundCloud account. Just click the orange “Follow” button below:
Here are the first two episodes. Enjoy!
Episode 1 (1/13/2017):
Episode 2 (2/1/2017):
If you’re a SABR member–and if you’re on this web page right now, there’s a pretty good chance you are–you are eligible for a 20% discount toward an MLB.TV premium monthly subscription.
Premium monthly subscribers can watch every 2014 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD Quality, and can choose from home or away broadcasts, on many of the most popular devices such as iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation, regular old laptop and desktop computers, and more. With a premium subscription, you can watch up to four games at once with Mosaic, and take advantage of DVR functionality that lets you pause or rewind live games.
Interested? Click the link or image below for more details:
SABR members, get 20% discount for 2014 MLB.TV subscription
(Please note that this is a discount off the monthly subscription and not the yearly subscription.)