A San José State University School of Information alumnus has published a book on the history of the Boston Red Stockings, the early incarnation of the Boston Braves and Red Sox.
It seemed natural for Bob LeMoine, a fan of baseball since childhood, to combine his love for the sport with the education he received at the SJSU School of Information to edit and contribute articles to Boston’s First Nine: The 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings.
“I remember my uncle’s gift of the ‘Ultimate Baseball Book’ with images and text telling the story of baseball history,” LeMoine said. “I read through that book over and over. But it wasn’t until a few years ago when I started doing baseball writing and researching on a more serious level.”
LeMoine is a member the Society for American Baseball Research, a nonprofit organization made up of thousands of members who research and write about the sport. The term “sabermetrics” is the use of statistical analysis to determine player values, he said, and is derived from the SABR acronym.
“I've never been a numbers guy, and fortunately there are many other facets to SABR. One is the BioProject, which has a goal of writing a brief (mostly 4,000 words or less) biography of every player who ever lived, as well as umpires, managers, broadcasters, etc. A monumental task, but a highly rewarding one,” he said.
LeMoine said he was doing research on Boston’s professional baseball history in the 1870s when he realized no books had been written about the era, so he spoke with Bill Nowlin, SABR’s vice president, who suggested they co-edit a book and recruit others to assist them.
“It took just over a year from start to finish,” the 2015 graduate said. “I contributed some articles and the introduction, and fact-checked every piece for the book. Bill had experience organizing a project and seeing it all come together, so it was a great fit. The book includes 22 player biographies, 44 game stories, and numerous other articles.”
A self-proclaimed “research nut,” LeMoine said his experience in Dr. Debbie Hansen’s INFO 285 Historical Research Methods course was one of his best experiences while enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science degree program.
“She tied in libraries and historical research, and we had to write a historiography, which helped me to see what process to follow on writing history. She inspired me to take historical study seriously,” he said.
“Knowing how to retrieve information by knowing where to look—this is what every librarian does from reference to the circulation desk to the children’s area—was vitally important. So library skills came in handy to me when we I sometimes got stumped on how to find things.”
To learn more about Boston’s First Nine, visit the SABR page.
Image courtesy of SABR.