A grasp of the game

“In America, every man is an excellent driver and knows a great deal about baseball,” says John Thorn, the freshly appointed official Historian of Major League Baseball. “There’s a guy in every bar in American that knows something about baseball that I don’t know, but there’s no one in any bar who knows everything I know. But Major League Baseball didn’t bring me on board to be a trivia player. It’s how do you make sense of it, have a good grasp of the factual record and bring a historian’s cohesiveness to make sense of disparate and seemingly incoherent facts. History is more than mere fact, history is legend, too.”

Thorn’s credentials are formidable. Aside from being a former columnist for this paper, Thorn, now a Catskill resident, is an author, not only of works regarding the game, but of significant historical material such as New York 400, published by the Museum of the City of New York, a work of carefully curated graphics and text, that accompanied the city’s quadric-centennial.

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