Cover image for Baseball : the biographical encyclopedia
Baseball : the biographical encyclopedia
Pietrusza, David, 1949-
Publication Information:
Kingston, N.Y. : Total Sports Illustrated, [2000]

Physical Description:
xiii, 1298 pages : illustrations, portraits (some color) ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV865.A1 B374 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia is the perfect companion to the ultimate classic baseball reference work, Total Baseball. Whereas Total Baseball, now in its sixth edition, lists the statics of every player in major league history, Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia reveals the stories of 2,000 of the national pastime's greatest movers and shakers.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although many books about baseball focus on the statistics, these two items give us the stories behind the numbers. Neither replaces the large and useful statistical compilations, but both will add depth to baseball reference collections. The two titles were compiled by knowledgeable editors with the help of numerous contributors. Both include all major league players to be elected to the Hall of Fame, as well as prominent individuals who made an impact on baseball off the field. Both are arranged alphabetically by last name, and most entries are between 300 and 500 words. However, the similarities end there. These works are quite different in approach and often contain different information about the individuals discussed. Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Baseball (the dictionary also includes volumes on football and basketball) was first published in 1987. This new edition contains 1,450 signed entries. Individuals were chosen because of their "impressive statistical records" or because they "made a major impact on professional baseball" and include major league players; prominent minor league, Negro League, and Girls League players; and various executives, coaches, managers, and umpires. Although the bulk of each entry is devoted to a discussion of major on-the-field achievements, most entries begin with a family background and end with some discussion of the person's life after baseball. Team achievements are liberally interspersed with individual achievements. For the reader who wants to dig deeper, the detailed bibliography at the end of each entry is a valuable resource. The entries are followed by a set of useful appendixes that list entries by place of birth and by main position played, as well as managers, executives, umpires, Hall of Famers, and Negro and Girls League players. The Negro and Girls League appendixes can be especially helpful because their players are much less well known. The extensive index lists individuals with entries, or mentioned in entries, and teams by city. With its significant treatment of non^-major league players, this title treats baseball as a large-scale American phenomenon and distinguishes itself from Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia in its coverage of many more minor and Negro League players. Although some prominent minor leaguers are included in Baseball, emphasis is definitely on the majors. There are entries for "the 2000 most significant and influential people in baseball history," among them one-hit wonder Mark Fidrych, entertainer Max Patkin ("The Clown Prince of Baseball"), and journalists Harry Caray and Vin Scully. Almost every entry provides a career statistics summary, and all feature a small picture of the individual. The editors have often chosen to include interesting quotes and other off-the-field information that makes the people treated seem more interesting. There are no index, appendixes, or bibliography. Although the approach of each title is different, both are entertaining and useful and have their place in libraries that serve patrons who are interested in baseball and the people who make it what it is. Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia will be most at home in school and public library collections, although academic libraries with a large baseball collection may also find it useful. Any library that wants to have a serious baseball reference section will need the Biographical Dictionary of American Sports: Baseball. The addition of 475 entries means that it is worth replacing the 1987 edition.

Library Journal Review

This compendium of 2000 baseball-related biographies, from Aaron to Zisk, comes from the editors of Total Baseball. It is no surprise that a multicontributor work this huge has some problems, as when the Smoky Burgess article declares that Burgess erased Red Lucas¡ career pinch hit mark of 114Œ while the Lucas bio states that Lucas¡ total of 114 lifetime pinch hits was™broken™by Jerry Lynch.Œ Likewise, some will wonder why Ken Griffey Sr. gets more space than Ken Griffey Jr. and why Phil Linz, best known for playing his harmonica at an inopportune time, is included when over 13,000 other major leaguers are not. But baseball thrives on such arguments. This pleasingly presented and written reference might not supplant The Ballplayers (LJ 4/1/90), with its 6000 entries, as the gold standard for baseball biographical encyclopedias, but with longer bios and an eye for the entertaining story, it belongs next to it on all comprehensive baseball reference shelves.¢Jim Burns, Ottumwa P.L., IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Explanation of Termsp. xii
A Aaron to Avilap. 1
B Babich to Buttsp. 43
C Cabell to Cuylerp. 157
D Dahlen to Dykstrap. 259
E Earnshaw to Ewingp. 323
F Faber to Furillop. 341
G Gaedel to Gwynnp. 389
H Haas to Hutchisonp. 455
I Incaviglia to Iviep. 543
J Jackson to Justicep. 547
K Kaat to Kuhnp. 583
L Labine to Lvonsp. 631
M MacFayden to Myersp. 691
N Nagy to Nuxhallp. 825
O Oates to Owenp. 839
P Paciorek to Pulliamp. 859
Q Quinn to Quisenberryp. 909
R Radatz to Ryanp. 911
S Saberhagen to Swobodap. 993
T Tabler to Tylerp. 1109
U Ueberroth to Upshawp. 1151
V Vail to Vuckovichp. 1155
W Waddell to Wynnp. 1177
Y Yastrzemski to Yountp. 1263
Z Zachary to Ziskp. 1277
Notes on Contributorsp. 1283
Photo Creditsp. 1287