Hello Mr. Macht and fellow Deadballers....
I have been reading with interest the comments made about my book, my
grandfather and even myself on this listserv. I wanted to wait until I
could give a thoughtful response to the concerns of some members about
Red Legs and Black Sox.
Having already responded (offline) to each of you who are actually
reading the book, I will continue to do so. I have no intention of
engaging in a "he said/she said" battle to titillate members of this
chat group But, I will herein publicly address your comments - out of
respect for Mr. Macht, the SABR organization and the scholarly
discourse that it purports.
First, I take complete and personal responsibility for Red Legs and
Black Sox. I believe it to be an honest telling of my grandfather's
thoughts on the events of his life and career. I will address two
topic areas: style and research.
1. Style: Literary license creating scenes with dialogue.
I wanted my book to be a "good read" for SABR and for
I think Jim Thielman said it well:
My position on accuracy is non-fiction needs to strive for that, but we
understand books need to be marketable. ...authors should make an
to capture the basic truth, yet entertain.
2. Research Methodology and Choices
I am a granddaughter first. But, I do have a Ph.D. and am no stranger
to research. (This is my fourth book.) Please be assured that I made
every attempt to reflect historical accuracy. Many of you already know
this and were generous in providing resources.
I first attempted to publish this book 30 years ago. I had all my
granddad’s stories - on audiotape and on record by other writers. That
was the easy part. But, did the stories match the generally-accepted
historical accounts of the time? If not, what was true? So much is eye
witness opinon filtered thru the conduit of memory. I wondered...if
Asinof’s book was based on accounts given by Felsch and Weaver, were
their memories any more “accurate” than Roush’s?
(“History is what a few men decide to agree to.” (?)....Napoleon)
In the beginning, I had no intention of doing an in-depth study of the
1919 WS. This was the “trade-off” required by my publisher. What
began as a simple memoir - my "labor of love" - exploded into a massive
research project. Okay, now, at age 63, I finally had the time...
I joined SABR and attended conventions, picking brains wherever I
could. I met the experts and they guided my path. I gave 18 months of
my life to intensive research. I was learning about 1919 for the first
time and became swept up in the mystery. I lost ten pounds, ignored my
family and my business, and began to feel that I knew the characters.
(Of course I did know many of the Reds having grown up with them
around our house.) I found myself on a journey that included....
- purchase & interlibrary loan of 80+ books on the '19 Series, players
& the period
- 50+ personal interviews with family members and Cincy old-timers
- full days at the Cincy Enquirer, Historial Society & C'town HOF
- untold hours (daily) on Proquest, NewspaperArchive and Ancestry.com
- listening to 20+ audiotaped interviews with granddad including a
of my own plus Ritter, Murdock and sundry other sports writers
(I have them all memorized now - smile)
- sifting thru and organizing 5 large boxes of crumbling newspaper
(beginning in 1909) and scrapbooks saved by my grandmother, Essie
- making sense of 2 reams of Ban Johnson's correspondence and
memorabilia at the C'Town HOF Library (Black Sox File)
- and, of course, a dozen+ daily emails from and to SABR and non-SABR
baseball historians, Roush old-time friends, HOF staffers, etc.
Then, as other authors will understand, there were decisions to make
as many reports were conflicting. I had to make choices. With Seymour,
Luhrs, and Lee Allen as a foundation, I went with Okkonen on the Feds,
Nathan on culture, Pietruza's version of Des Moines gamblers, Lieb and
Kohout on Chase, Schaefer and Lane on deadball mechanics, Fullerton
(via Carney) on the politics/cover-up, Cook on WS stats, & Crim report
on Cincy gamblers. I had 5 devoted "draft readers" who made the
journey with me - 2 family friends and 3 baseball historians. (See book
"Intro" for list of 50+ colleagues who assisted in this project.)
All the while I measured my choices against my grandfather's
opinions, beliefs and stories - my primary and guiding source. I
communicated frequently with Eric Sallee beginning in 2004 and actually
cut part of the book - out of respect for him. (I sent the advance
drafts related to Eric's great cousin to him before the book was
Knowing my book would be scrutinized my esteemed colleagues, I
footnoted everything I could think of. (I apologize for the absence of
an index - not my decision.) I have been invited to speak at four SABR
chapters in the upcoming months allowing us an open forum format for
discussion. I will bring granddad’s “voice” (tapes) and a full
bibliography to those meetings.
I'm sure there was more I could have done...more sources...more
analysis leading to more informed choices, perhaps. A lot was left
out. There is precious little on the second decade of granddad’s
career (Reds & Giants). There wasn’t room for my research on the “team
conflicts” of the 1920’s (Catholics vs. Masons and the KKK). 120 pages
of my manuscript didn’t make the final cut and, in a race to meet the
deadline, editing suffered. (Several of you caught mistakes - thank
Those of you who have published books know that we must make choices.
But the one choice I could NOT finesse were the stories of Edd Roush
that are on record and told to me, personally. It is, after all, HIS
book and HIS telling of the events.
Enough...cette tout. If nothing else, thank you for the opportunity to
look back at my journey.