Lawrence “Larry” Yaffa, like many Brooklyn boys of the twenties and thirties, wanted to become a ball player. Here is his story.
Continue reading “Memories of Brooklyn Baseball”
Over the years Seymour, with my help, published many articles, most of them on baseball history. In 1956 The New-York Historical Society Quarterly printed his “How Baseball Began,” explaining that the game came originally from England and had been played there long before Abner Doubleday supposedly “invented” it in Cooperstown in 1839.
Continue reading “Baseball Articles and Speeches”
The Casey Award
In 1991 The People’s Game won The Casey Award, given annually by Spitball: The Literary Baseball Magazine. Editor Mike Shannon said it won conclusively over all finalists, including George Will’s Men at Work. Since Seymour didn’t feel up to traveling to accept the award at the Spitball banquet, I arranged to have a local photographer make a videotape of his necessarily-short acceptance speech; by then his health was in steep decline. I prepared his remarks in about five short sentences, writing them in very large type on a card, so that he could read them before the camera. He did so, weakly and ineffectively, but he accomplished the task. The Cooperstown Hall of Fame asked for a copy of this video for its archives, and I sent it.
Continue reading “Baseball Honors”
Partly because we were living in the New York area when the second volume came out, Oxford University Press obtained considerable media attention for it, including radio and TV interviews. Mike Wallace interviewed Seymour on his radio show in August of 1971, complimenting Seymour afterwards on a good performance.
Continue reading “Baseball On Radio And Television”
Teaching College History
Fenn College in Cleveland became Seymour’s second college-level teaching position; he had taught at Presbyterian College in South Carolina, and during world War II he left teaching to run his father’s marine contracting business in New York City.
Continue reading “College Teaching Without Baseball”
At the time Seymour was about to be awarded his Ph.D. for the first dissertation on the history of American baseball, he was interviewed by the Cleveland News. After all, “The Rise of Major League Baseball to 1891” was a highly unusual title for a doctoral dissertation! News reporter Joe Madigan quoted Seymour as explaining, “No historian has ever deemed the subject worthy of scholarly investigation, despite the fact that baseball is a reflection of the development of American life. Learned men are sometimes very stuffy, you know.”
Continue reading “That Baseball Ph.D.”