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Bob D’Angelo

Bob is a longtime member of the Florida sports media, having served as a reporter and copy editor for more than 30 years. His true sports passion, however, is the history of the various games, exhibited by his in-depth book reviews and hobby of collecting cards and other sports memorabilia. He blogs for on both subjects, transferring his work for the Tampa Tribune to the realm of cyberspace.

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HOF auto reference book among SABR award winners

Posted Apr 25, 2013 by Bob D'Angelo

Updated Apr 25, 2013 at 09:07 PM

Baseball is driven by numbers and statistics — and even by memorabilia. To research a subject in baseball — and to research it well — puts an author in line for recognition by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).

Annually, SABR honors authors and statisticians for outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year that have significantly expanded the knowledge and understanding of baseball.

SABR announced its 2013 Baseball Research Award winners on Thursday:

Ron Keurajian, for the research he did for his groundbreaking book, “Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs: A Reference Guide,” published by McFarland & Company;

Herm Krabbenhoft, for the research on his project, “The Accurate RBI Records for Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg and Babe Ruth, published in the Baseball Research Journal;

And Peter Morris, William J. Ryczek, Jan Finkel, Leonard Levin and Richard Malatzky, for the research for their book, “Base Ball Pioneers, 1850-1870: The Clubs and Players Who Spread the Sport Nationwide,” also published by McFarland & Company.

I wish I had time to read every baseball book that has something to do with research. But I can say that I read Keurajian’s book and found it fascinating and a wonderful reference guide.

He wrote “Baseball Hall of Fame Autographs” in a direct, clear fashion that didn’t confuse the novice collector — but he also included enough detail and analysis to satisfy veteran autograph seekers. The book contains 745 different photographs of Hall of Famer signatures (and forgeries) from Hank Aaron to Robin Yount.

Keurajian, a commercial banker and attorney when not doing baseball research, was bitten by the autograph bug as a youth. He began collecting baseball cards in 1976 as a 9-year-old and gravitated toward autographs because it reminded him “of a simpler time when life was free of care and worry and the only thing that mattered was baseball.”

Keurajian rejoined SABR this past year after a hiatus. Thursday night, he said that winning a SABR Award “is a sincere honor simply because it was awarded by baseball historians that are true authorities of the game and its history.”

“I guess I can’t get away from the minutiae baseball stats,” the Rochester Hills, Mich, resident said.  “I literally spend hours combing through the baseball encyclopedia.”

Krabbenhoft, a SABR member since 1981, is a retired research chemist. His baseball research has focused on ultimate grand slams, leadoff batters, triple plays, the uniform numbers of Detroit Tigers, and most recently, consecutive game streaks for scoring runs and RBIs. He lives in Pleasanton, California.

Peter Morris is a two-time winner of SABR’s Seymour Medal for best baseball book of the year and was an inaugural winner of the Henry Chadwick Award for lifetime achievement in baseball research. He lives in Haslett, Michigan. William J. Ryczek is a banking executive in Wallingford, Connecticut, who writes about early baseball, football, the Yankees, and the Mets. Jan Finkel, a retired English professor, serves as chief editor of the SABR Biography Project. He lives in Swanton, Maryland. Len Levin, a retired newspaper editor, is a SABR member and twice a national officer of the society. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island. Richard Malatzky has worked with Bill Haber through SABR’s Biographical Committee researching missing players. He lives in the Bronx, New York.

The authors will receive their awards at the SABR 43 national convention, which begins July 31 in Philadelphia.

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