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  • Gene Carney: Notes from the Shadows of Cooperstown

    Gene Carney has been writing about baseball since 1989. He is the author of two well-received books: Romancing the Horsehide: Baseball Poems on Players and the Game(McFarland, 1993) and Burying the Black Sox: How Baseball's Cover-Up of the 1919 World Series Fix Almost Succeeded (Potomac, 2006), winner of the SABR Ritter Award for top book of the year on the deadball era, and a finalist for the Dave Moore Award (Elysian Field Quarterly) as the Most Important Baseball Book of 2006.

    Gene has written Notes from the Shadows of Cooperstown since 1993 and has appeared online since 1999. He also has written for USA Today's Baseball Weekly plus the baseball literary magazines Spitball, Fan, and Elysian Field Quarterly. He currently is applying the finishing touches to a book on Cooperstown, a collection of fiction, a novella and a full-length musical. Burying the Black Sox is available in paperback. Gene is busy planning it's sequel, which he hopes to turn into a screenplay. He has been a SABR member since 1991.

    March 17, 2009: SPRING HOPES ETERNAL

    I know that title looks twisted, but we are not talking about what comes out of the human breast here. We are talking spring as in spring training. The time of year when my Pirates trail nobody in the standings, and we can all dream ...Read More

    March 9, 2009: As Opening Day Approaches, Gene Carney Reflects

    DAYS OF OUR LIVES

    On February 23, my desk calendar asked me who was "Most Prolific in October" -- which two players had 13 hits in a World Series? I thought one of the 13s was more recent, but I was wrong. O...Read More

    February 13, 2009: A CONVENIENT AMNESIA



    I think we\'ve all read or heard some variation of George Santayana\'s, "Those who remember the past, are condemned to repeat it." Santayana, despite that name which will mean delays at the airport check-in, was a born-in-Spain American (1863-1952), who thought and wro...Read More

    February 3, 2009: SPEAKING OF POLLS: Ty Cobb Doesn't Pass the Buck

    On January 5, 1943, the Christian Science Monitor compared a poll of the sports writer friends of Al Schacht (speaking of baseball clowns), with the opinion of Read More

    January 12, 2009: Gene Carney Rolls

    After running that exciting tourney between the major league stars of the "deadball" era and the "modern" sluggers, Gene Carney saw Rube Foster heading to the Deadballers\' clubhouse, and he subsequently learned that Rube had challe...Read More

    December 30, 2008: Another Grand Confrontation: The Deadball Stars vs. The Sluggers

    Imagine a crisp October afternoon, at your favorite ballpark -- say, Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. It\'s a park where Honus Wagner and Read More

    December 16, 2008: A Pack of Cubs Meets a Gang of Tigers in Gene Carney's Sweet 16 Finals

    This is the last of Gene "Two-Finger" Carney\'s reports on a APBA simulation playoff between the sixteen "original franchise" teams. To access the other tiers, or to find out how Gene picked players for the rosters, click "Columnists" on the upper right-hand side of the homepage, and then c...Read More

    December 15, 2008: The Sweet 16 Finals: The National League Champion ChicagoCubs vs. the American League Champion Detroit Tigers

    This is the last of Gene "Two-Finger" Carney\'s reports on a APBA simulation playoff between the sixteen "original franchise" teams. To access the other tiers, or to find out how Gene picked players for the rosters, click "Columnists" on the upper right-hand side of the homepage, and then c...Read More

    December 11, 2008: Gene Carney's Sweet 16 National League Semifinals Concludes

    This is the second part of the twelfth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. To access prior results and ground rules (I\'ve added some prominent Negro League players to the rosters of the participating clubs), click "Columnists" in our hom...Read More

    December 10, 2008: The Sweet Sixteen Hosts the National League Semi-Finals: Cubs vs. Phillies



    This is the twelfth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. To access prior results and ground rules (I\'ve added some prominent Negro League players to the rosters of the participating clubs), click "Columnists" in our homepage, and...Read More

    December 8, 2008: Picking Up With Game 4 of Gene Carney's Sweet Sixteen Tournmanent - The Detroit Tigers vs. The Cleveland Indians in the American League Finals

    This is the eleventh in a series of reports on a simulated APBA playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. You can find the rules and results from previous rounds by clicking "Columnists" on our home page, and then clicking "Gene Carney."

    To recap briefly...Read More

    December 7, 2008: The Sweet Sixteen Reaches the Semi-Finals in the American League

    This is the eleventh in a series of reports on a simulated APBA playoff between the sixteen "original franchise" teams. You can access the results of prior games by clicking "Columnists" in the left-hand corner of our homepage, and then clicking "Gene Carney."

    To recap briefly, the ...Read More

    December 4, 2008: Sweet 16 Continues With the Conclusion of The Cubs vs. Dem Bums

    GAME FOUR, WRIGLEY FIELD

    The joint is filled with broom-carrying fans. Don Newcombe will face off with Fergie Jenkins. The weather looks iffy, but the wind will not be a factor today.

    Jenkin...Read More

    December 3, 2008: The Cubs Take on Dem Bums as the Sweet Sixteen Tourney Moves On



    This is the tenth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams, as played by columnist Gene Carney with the APBA game. . You can find out the results of the other series and individual games by clicking "Columnists" in the uppe...Read More

    December 1, 2008: SWEET SIXTEEN NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS, ROUND TWO: PITTSBURGH PIRATES vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES



    This is the ninth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. The results of the first-round American and National League "brackets" are in columns you can find by ...Read More

    December 1, 2008: SWEET SIXTEEN NATIONAL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS, ROUND TWO: PITTSBURGH PIRATES vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES


    This is the ninth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. The results of the first-round American and National League "brackets" are in columns you can find by clicking...Read More

    November 13, 2008: Sweet 16 AL Enters Round Two; Senators vs. TIgers

    Round Two of the American League Sweet 16: The Senators vs. the Tigers

    This is the seventh in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "o...Read More

    November 4, 2008: The Sweet 16 Continues With The Chicago Cubs vs. the St. Louis Cardinals

    This is the sixth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. The results of the first-round American League and National League...Read More

    October 28, 2008: SWEET SIXTEEN PLAYOFFS: PIRATES VS GIANTS

    This is the fifth in a series of reports on Gene Carney\'s simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. You\'ll find the results of the other brackets by clicking "Columnists" in the upper left-hand corner, and then clicking "Gene Carney." So far in the NL, the Phils and <...Read More

    October 27, 2008: Sweet 16 Continues: The Bums Take on the Big Red Machine

    SWEET SIXTEEN PLAYOFFS: DODGERS VS. REDS

    In the next NL series, the Reds were managed by an old friend, who in fact managed the Reds when ...Read More

    October 24, 2008: The Sweet 16 Rolls On; Phillies vs. Braves

    SWEET SIXTEEN PLAYOFFS: PHILLIES VS BRAVES

    This is the fifth in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen "original franchise" teams. The results of the first-round American League "bra...Read More

    October 10, 2008: The Sweet 16 Continues With the Os and As

    This series ends the first round of my Sweet Sixteen Tournament between the original baseball franchises in the AL. The next report will be from the first round in the National League brackets.

    The ...Read More

    October 9, 2008: The Sweest Sixteen Continues, Cleveland vs. Boston

    In the first installment of Gene Carney\'s Sweet 16 match between the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, the Indians won 2 of the first 3 games. We pick up the action in Cleveland w...Read More

    October 8, 2008: SWEET SIXTEEN PLAYOFFS: INDIANS VERSUS RED SOX

    This is the third in a series of reports on a simulated playoff of the sixteen “original franchise” teams. In the first “bracket,” the Senators upset the Yankees in six games; then the Read More

    October 6, 2008: Gene Carney's Sweet 16 Tournament Continues: Detroit Tigers vs .Chicago White Sox

    SWEET SIXTEEN PLAYOFFS

    Last issue, I introduced the "Sweet Sixteen" playoffs, and reported that in the first series, the Senators upset the Yankees in six games. The next bracket has the Read More

    September 26, 2008: Who Needs the Postseason? Gene Carney Starts His Own Playoffs

    SWEET SIXTEEN REVISITED

    At the end of last March, in the wake of the annual hoopla over the NCAA brackets, I wrote this:

    I’ve been thinking of merging my love of baseball history with my fondness for brackets and sweet ...Read More

    September 5, 2008: It's September and We Got the Fever

    FEVER

    Pennant Fever has been with us as long as pennants, I suppose, and there is no reason to doubt that the virus has mutated much over the last century or so.

    The Fever infects fans who have been following their team for decad...Read More

    August 27, 2008: Eliot and Me



    My tribute to Eliot Asinof appeared in NOTES #350, not too long ago, and I do not need to reprint it here. Indeed, there is much about Asinof and Eight Men Out in my book, so much that I can recommend Burying the Black Sox as a companion to 8MO, or a the Making Of. "S...Read More

    August 11, 2008: Remembering Babe's House and Saving Lee Smith For Cooperstown

    A LAST LOOK BACK AT YANKEE STADIUM

    I wrote "House Call" in June 1994, after my first-ever visit to Yankee Stadium, the previous Memorial Day (Monday, May 30). I still recall the shock of the price of a hot d...Read More

    July 31, 2008: Gene Carney on a Baseball Ambassador and Coverups

    Buck O\'Neil in the Hall of Fame...sort of...

    As I process these words on Saturday, July 26, a statue of Buck O\'Neil is being...Read More

    July 3, 2008: Spotlight on Eliot Asinof, Eight Men Out and the Joe Jackson Museum

    EIGHT MEN OUT REMEMBERED

    Eliot Asinof died on Tuesday, June 10, three days before I flew to Indianapolis for the 20th Anniversary of the film Eight Men Out, the John Sayles movie based on Asinof's 1963 book. For a moment, I felt like attending the services, if ther...Read More

    June 20, 2008: Baseball History as Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown, Part 11: 1995 to 2000

    Introduction

    This final installment in my series on baseball's history will cover "the rest of the Nineties" -- last time, I presented the first two parts. First, there were the three terrific seasons for us Pirate fans, the three NL East titles that propelled the Bucs into the post...Read More

    June 18, 2008: Baseball History as Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown, Part 10: 1990 to 1994

    BASEBALL HISTORY -- AS SEEN FROM THE SHADOWS OF COOPERSTOWN

    PART TEN: 1990-1994

    Introduction

    If it is true that we remember better, things that we see and hear and do, things we talk about, and things we write about, then I ought to remember baseball in the Ni...Read More

    June 11, 2008: Baseball History as Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown: Part Nine - 1981 to 1990

    Introduction

    Although this decade is closer in time than the Sixties and the Seventies, it is actually blurrier to me. My son was born in 1981, so the first years of that decade were "wonder years" -- and you wonder now how you got thru them sane. Besides having two kids going from ...Read More

    June 4, 2008: Part Eight of A View of Baseball History From the Shadows of Cooperstown: Gene Carney Looks at the 70s

    Introduction

    Well, we made it thru the Sixties, and if you were in the Sixties, that was not something that seemed like a certain outcome. The Seventies seemed tame, by comparison, for me. I started the decade teaching in a Cleveland High School. By the end, I was settle...Read More

    May 28, 2008: BASEBALL HISTORY AS SEEN FROM THE SHADOWS OF COOPERSTOWN

    Introduction

    William Mead called this decade The Explosive Sixties in the book he edited for Redefinition in 1989. And I suppose it was. I entered the decade a teenager, and by its end I was long gone from Pittsburgh, with my college days behind me.

    Baseball start...Read More

    May 19, 2008: Gene Carney on the 1950s: Baseball Enters the Decade of Willie, Mickey and The Duke


    BASEBALL HISTORY: AS SEEN FROM THE SHADOWS OF COOPERSTOWN

    PART SIX, 1950-1960

    Introduction

    Well, it has taken five weeks (or five decades) to finally get to the 1950s. This decade is the cradle where my rooting took shape, and for Pirate f...Read More

    May 15, 2008: Part Four of Baseball History as Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown: The Game Marches Off to War and Crosses a Line


    BASEBALL HISTORY -- AS SEEN FROM THE SHADOWS OF COOPERSTOWN

    PART FIVE: 1941-1950

    <

    Introduction

    The nineteen-forties is a slice of history that I was there for, but do not remember much. I was born in 1946, and while I do have some pre-K memor...Read More

    May 7, 2008: Baseball History From the Shadows Of Cooperstown - Part 4, The 1930s

    Introduction

    The thirties has always been a mysterious decade for me. I was born in 1946, and the history books, from grade school through college, never quite made it that far; at best, they skimmed thru "the Great Depression" and World War II.

    For bas...Read More

    May 2, 2008: Baseball History as Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown, Part 3: 1920 - 1930


    Introduction

    The Roaring 1920s: the lively ball, jazz, speakeasies, Babe Ruth and the Golden Age of sports. The twenties are more memorable than the first two decades of last century for another reason, too --...Read More

    April 22, 2008: BASEBALL HISTORY -- AS SEEN FROM THE SHADOWS OF COOPERSTOWN, PART TWO: 1911-1920


    This morning, our historian-in-residence Gene Carney continues with the second installment of his thumbnail history of baseball. Today, he covers the decade that ended with a man named Ruth changing the game forever

    Introduction

    The 1911 season kicked off wha...Read More

    April 13, 2008: A Selective History of Baseball As Seen From the Shadows of Cooperstown


    Introduction

    You are about to read a selective history of baseball — they all are, in a sense, but there are books that try to be comprehensive, and what I’m doing here won't resemble the wide ranging histories that have been written so far, and that will fol...Read More

    April 9, 2008: Gene Carney Reviews a Great New Biography of Eddie Collins

    EDDIE COLLINS: A Baseball Biography -- by Rick Huhn (McFarland; release date - May 2008; www.mcfarland.com )

    BASEBALL'S INVISIBLE MAN

    When I finished reading Rick Huhn's excellent and comprehensive biography of Read More

    January 28, 2008: Thoughts on Selig, Fehr and the Mitchell Report


    I watched some of the January 15 Congressional hearings on the steroid issue "live" and the rest on tape. I missed a little of George Mitchell, but caught all of Don Fehr, and most of Bud Selig (I confess to having fas...Read More

    December 17, 2007: Snubbed Again: The Doors of the Hall Remain Closed to Marvin Miller

    I wrote the following back in July 1996, but it seems appropriate to take another look at Marvin Miller, in the wake of his recent snub by the Veterans Committee. That group instead voted to induct Read More

    December 6, 2007: MORE PUZZLE PIECES FOUND! - Gene Carney on the Black Sox Treasure Trove

    In mid-November, a reporter on the Chicago Tribune, James Janega, contacted the Cooperstown library. It seems that someone in Chicago is putting up for auction, a collection of documents. Many of them appear to be related to the "Black Sox," and Janega was looking for some help identifying th...Read More

    November 5, 2007: The Case For Shoeless Joe Jackson

    Background

    A brief review of the events of the Fall of 1919 are in order, along with what we know about Joe Jackson's activities.

    Just where or with whom the idea to fix or "frame" the 1919 Read More

    October 4, 2007: Rube Benton: The Forgotten Man of The Black Sox Scandal

    THIS RUBE WAS NO COUNTRY BUMPKIN

    I recently visited the Cooperstown file of Rube Benton. Rube has a key role in ending the cover-up of the 1919 Fix, and his story is more fascinating to me as some of the "eight men out." ...Read More

    September 13, 2007: On Barry Bonds, Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, Bud Selig and Other Musings


    PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION


    While I tip my cap to the Russian composer Mussorgsky (an earlier "Maz," perhaps, he clouted Pictures in 1874) for the title of this issue, readers will thank me for not trying to translate my latest road trip into ten piano pieces. No, I'...Read More

    July 8, 2007: THE BEER AND WHISKEY LEAGUE

    David Nemec's 1994 book TB&WL has the subtitle, The Illustrated History of the American Association -- Baseball's Renegade Major League. And as far as I know, that's just what the book is -- the history, not just a his...Read More

    June 8, 2007: CLOSING IN ON 400


    June 8, 2007


    Sometimes, the numbers become hurdles. I still remember Early Wynn struggling for that elusive 300th win. When the White sox won the pennant in 1959, Wynn went 22-10 (3.17) and needed...Read More

    May 30, 2007: CRAZY '08: A Book Review

    I've spent a lot of time in the Deadball Era (1900-1920), and some of my favorite baseball games come from 1908 -- Addie Joss' perfect game, tossed in the heat of a pennant-race showdown with Read More

    May 7, 2007:

    Bernard Malamud's famous novel was first published in 1952, when I turned six. I was reading a lot of baseball in the fifties. I was hooked on John R. Tunis and the "juvenile fiction" of the day, and easily...Read More

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