The 100 Greatest Minor League Baseball Teams of the 20th Century

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9781598002683: The 100 Greatest Minor League Baseball Teams of the 20th Century
About the Author :

Bill Weiss is a native of Chicago. He entered professional baseball in Abilene, TX, in 1948 as official statistician for the Class D Longhorn League and box office manager for the Abilene Blue Sox of the Class C West Texas û New Mexico League. He moved to San Francisco in 1949 as the statistician for the California and Far West Leagues. After moving to nearby San Mateo, he became statistician for the Pacific Coast League. Subsequently, he was appointed statistician for many other leagues. Bill prepared "sketch books" (player biographies and career records) for several leagues and major league organizations for many years, some 200 books in all. He was California League secretary for many years, compiled and edited the league's record book from 1950-2004 and wrote, in season, the California League Newsletter from 1971-2003.

Bill was president of the Peninsula Winter League (San Francisco Bay Area) during its existence from 1959-84. This was a league sponsored by several major league clubs to aid in the development of young players, among them Hall-of-Famers Willie Stargell and Joe Morgan. He also was the National Association representative on the Scoring Rules Committee for several years.

In December1988, he sold his business to, and became executive vice president of, Howe Sportsdata. Bill wrote a "Baseball Anecdotes" column for Baseball America for nine years. At present he is a historical consultant for SportsTicker; official historian for the Pacific Coast League, secretary of the independent Golden Baseball League and editor of the Northwest and Pioneer League record books. A member of the Society of American Baseball Research since 1971, he lives in San Mateo, CA, with his wife of 50 years, Faye, who has always assisted him in his work.

Also a native of Chicago, but raised in California, Marshall Wright was an employee of Howe Sportsdata (SportsTicker), the official statisticians of the Minor Leagues, from 1994 -2004. He has written several books on baseball history including: 19th Century Baseball (McFarland, 1996), The American Association (McFarland, 1997), The International League (McFarland, 1998), The National Association (McFarland, 2000), The Southern Association (McFarland, 2002) and The Texas League (McFarland, 2004). He won The Sporting News û SABR Baseball Research Award in 1998 for the International League book. A graduate of the Bill Kinnamon Umpire School (1980) and a member of the Society of American Baseball Research since 1987, he served as an official scorer for the Brockton Rox in 2004. Marshall lives in Quincy, MA, with his wife, Jane, and son, Denny.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

This is a sample from one of the chapters of the 100 Greatest Minor League Teams: the Reno Silver Sox of 1961.

"Featuring a hard-hitting infield and the league's top pitcher, the California League entry from Reno in 1961 easily bested the competition. Two members of the infield would go on to the majors, but the pitcher was left behind, his career cut short by tragedy and misunderstanding....Over the full season, the pitching star [for Reno] was the ill-fated Bruce Gardner (20-4) who led the league in wins, ERA (2.82), percentage (.833) and complete games (18). Gardner, a 22-year-old left-hander, was in his second pro season. He never reached the majors, but made headlines ten years later when he committed suicide on the baseball field of his alma mater, the University of Southern California. His body was found 15 feet from the pitcher's mound. Nearby was his All-America plaque. In his right hand was his USC diploma. Gripped in his left hand was a .38 caliber revolver. One bullet hole was in his left temple."

Want to find out what led this troubled young man to end his life at such a young age? The rest of the story can be found in chapter 55 of the 100 Greatest Minor League Teams.

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