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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

America's Two Favorite Pastimes

Members of The Society for American Baseball Research get free access to HeritageQuestOnline and the ProQuest Historical Newspaper Database. Ancestry.com members, on the other hand, have access to Professional Baseball Players, 1876-2004:

This database is an index to over 15,000 professional baseball players who played between 1876 (the year the National League was founded) and 2004. Information listed in the index for each individual includes their first and last names, birth first and last names, nickname, birth date, birthplace, death date, death place, college attended, height, weight, date of first game, date of final game, how bats, how throws, and date and round drafted. Additionally, many of the individuals who played between 1887 and 1938 have images associated with them, showing either a photograph or baseball card.
Unfortunately, the only baseball player mentioned in the database description is a man children in New England are born to despise.
Players are listed in the browse table by their popular names, not their birth names. For example, Bucky Dent is listed as "Bucky Dent", not as his given name "Russell Earl O'Dey." To browse the images first select a first letter of a last name in which you would like to search, followed by the last name, and finally the full name of the individual.

Randy Seaver

Drat,

I'm not a member of either SABR or Ancestry...I really am missing out, I guess.

My dad was a Red Sox fan and, since Ted Williams was a San Diego native, so was I until the Padres became a major league team (well, it took a while) in 1969. I do root for the Sox against almost any team other than my Pads. Maybe it's the perennial underdog (until 2004) feeling I have for my teams.

The exception was Tom Seaver (my 10th cousin, I've determined) - I have a Pads jersey with Seaver on the back and a Mets shirt with Seaver 41 that I bought at Cooperstown in 2004.

Chris

Let's not forget that your cousin Tom finished his career with my beloved Red Sox back in 1986—a year which brings up even more bad Bosox memories.

Randy Seaver

Chris,
When Tom Seaver was pitching in the big leagues, folks would ask if we were related. We would always say "Sure - cousin Tom" and everyone would laugh.

While my wife was pregnant with our second child, we called it T J (it was 1976) while in the womb. If it was a boy, he was going to be "Thomas Jefferson Seaver" - the "next Tom Seaver."

My wife went to DMV to get her license renewed the week before the due date, and the clerk looked at her name and said "are you related to Tom Seaver?" My wife answered "I may be any minute!" She was served very quickly and we laugh about it still.

The good news is that the child did not get "the next Tom Seaver" albatross around his neck - we had a Tami Joy instead (T J), and she was and is a delight, a very bright HS and college teacher and the mother of our darling granddaughter, Lauren.

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