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Best Of The Rest: The Father of Baseball: The Life Of Henry Chadwick

chadwick.jpgIt’s not everyday you learn about a pivotal American historical figure who was previously unknown. But on Thursday morning, when an email from author Andrew Schiff turned up in my inbox, I knew I had to learn more.
Schiff alerted me to his soon-to-be-release biography about Henry Chadwick. Who is Chadwick, you ask? Only the man who invented sports journalism, was the originator of baseball stats, and chairman of the rules committee. How could my education, both as a Red Sox fan and a journalist, be complete without having ever heard of Chadwick? Was this the sort of thing I missed by skipping j-school?
Thankfully, Schiff wrote the book (The Father of Baseball: The Life of Henry Chadwick, hitting shelves October 26), and I can just read it. The author tracked Chadwick’s life by contacting the New York Public Library, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Society for American Baseball Research, the University of London, and countless other sources.
We constantly hear journalists complain about struggling to find stories (I know I did), but Schiff turned his fascination with a name he first heard when he was eighteen years old into an excellent book. If there’s a better way to find source material, I’m not sure what it is.

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