Posted by Mark Armour on February 18, 2011
In my last post I introduced SABR's Baseball Biography Project. Since then, we have have published 14 more articles, 13 of them true biographies and one the story of the Cuban League by the venerable Peter Bjarkman. You can always see the latest biographies here.
This is a fairly typical haul for us, but even that undersells the production of the project.
We began in the wake of SABR's two wonderful books on the Deadball Era, mainly biographical collections devoted to the stars of the two major leagues. As we were beginning in 2002, we hoped that individuals would come along and create their own projects revolving around an era, or a team, or a region, using our guidelines and process. Such a project, we realized, would require one or two people to lead and organize it, get all of the words collected and edited, find a publisher, and work with them to get the book completed.
This has happened. The first book was focused on the 1975 Red Sox, and came out in late 2005. On the heals of that effort many similar projects have been formed, the results of which, so far, are nine books:
You might notice a heavy concentration of Red Sox related books. Much like with the biographies themselves, the projects get formed based on the interests of the person or people willing to do the work. Bill Nowlin, who has written dozens of books about the Red Sox, has helped shepherd five of these nine books, and there are more coming. We have more than 10 book projects ongoing at the moment (most having nothing to do with the Red Sox). At least three will be published in the next year: the 1984 Tigers, the 1947 Dodgers, and the 1970 Orioles.
All of these biographies eventually wind up on our site, depending on the deal SABR strikes with the publisher. Generally it is one year after publication.
There is a lot going on. If you are interested in joining SABR and our project, please let me know. We could use the help. Similarly, if you have suggestions about how to make the project better or more interesting to you, please let me know that as well.