Sunday, February 25, 2007

30 Baseball Interviews and Counting...

Starting in April of 2002, I began interviewing retired professional baseball players, their relatives, or other people associated with major league baseball, for the Society of American Baseball Research’s (SABR) Oral History Committee. My inspiration for this series of interviews is a wonderful book entitled, “The Glory of Their Times’” in which the late Lawrence Ritter interviewed a handful of major league baseball players who played in the teens and twenties. Before actually reading it, I purchased the book on tape, and listened to it on long drives in the car. Hearing these players’ voices as they recanted their lives and careers through their stories, I became enamored with what they had to say about their own personal perspectives on little pieces of baseball history. And suddenly I realized what really fascinated me about them is that it wasn’t so much about baseball itself, but about the history of this great game and the period in which they played. I enjoyed hearing their versions of the important games they participated in, but I was more interested in what they recalled about the times they lived in. The train rides, the clubhouse banter, their different teammates, the places they hung out at, the stadiums, the fans -- the entire package intrigues me more today than ever, and I just can’t seem to get enough of it.

Last month I did my 30th interview. My goal is 100, which should take a few more years.
Here is a list of the players I’ve taped interviews with:

Duane Pillette
Ernie Broglio
Jesse Gonder
Bob Locker
Bill Wight
Ernie Fazio
Gus Triandos
Joe DeMaestri
Jim Mangan
Eddie Bressoud
Bill Renna
Jim Davenport
Gil Hodges III
Rugger Ardizoa
Dario Lodigiani
Chris Haughey
Cuno Barragan
Hobie Landrith
Ed O’Brien
Nino Bongiovanni
Dick Williams
Gus Zernial
Ernie Fazio
Charlie Silvera
Rob Andrews
Ray Coleman
Bob Roselli
Nate Oliver
Lester Rodney
Joanne Budka-Clines
Erik Johnson
Duane Pillette

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