Greenville still loves Shoeless Joe Jackson

I'm working on a larger story about Shoeless Joe Jackson, but before we get into his life, let's talk about the city of Greenville, S.C. It's a charming town with a fine minor-league ballpark and plenty of good shops and restaurants. But if you're a baseball history fan, there is another big reason to visit. … Continue reading Greenville still loves Shoeless Joe Jackson

John Reilly survives a shipwreck but breaks his heart

(Note: For the full story on John Reilly's life, click here.) On June 11, 1880, John Reilly boarded the steamer SS Narragansett, which was traveling from New York City to Providence. He’d later achieve fame first as a slugging first baseman and then as a lithographer, but at the time he was a 21-year-old Cincinnati … Continue reading John Reilly survives a shipwreck but breaks his heart

Baseball in the genteel 19th Century (dodging mattresses & bullets)

Baseball got its start as a pastime played by gentlemen, who believed in the importance of vigorous exercise. Once it took off in popularity and became a national obsession, everyone joined in -- drunks, flakes, oddballs, eccentrics, gamblers, miscreants -- you know, the people who made the game interesting. Before I ever dug into baseball's … Continue reading Baseball in the genteel 19th Century (dodging mattresses & bullets)

A year’s worth of baseball history: the best of RIP Baseball’s Grave Stories

Given the death count of 2020, writing stories about the gravesites that I've visited has had to take a back seat to keeping up with current obituaries. That's unfortunate, because it's a lot of fun to dig through newspaper archives to glean information about a forgotten outfielder or someone who pitched in a single game. … Continue reading A year’s worth of baseball history: the best of RIP Baseball’s Grave Stories