Tag Archives: tony salin

It was only partly a labor of love…

…I admit that part of it was motivated by the desire to generate some passive blog traffic. Not all, of course, or even most. In the main, I picked it up because I wanted the information and didn’t want to wait for someone else to provide it for me.

I’m talking about the Baseball Name Pronunciation Project, of course, which I am developing on this site with the kind consent of The Baseball Reliquary, which owns the rights to the relevant research and intellectual property of the deceased Tony Salin, the author of the best baseball book you haven’t yet read (assuming you have read Veeck–as in Wreck, obviously). I began with Salin’s work, did a good bit of my own research, opened the doors to public input, and am continuing to hunt down credible pronunciations of past players’ names.

One of the most helpful tools has been Youtube. It has some old radio broadcasts, and one can look up the lineups and boxscore for that game and see who’s on the list. While I don’t 100% trust announcers to be correct, they are likely to be close–especially for members of the team they covered.

I’m still hoping to get some stiff corrections and input from the general public, and it may be so as the word gets out. Of course, if I knew one single very old major leaguer, I could solve a whole bunch of these–but I don’t. Or if I knew even one rather greying big leaguer. But I’m just not good at bothering people.

If anyone out there knows any old ballplayer who’d be willing to help out, please let me know. It would be a deed well done.

Surfacing from a sea of Tracewskis, Podgajnys and Gedeons

It has been a bit since I posted, and that’s because I have taken on a project which should soon appear elsewhere in the blog. Some years, back, a very capable writer and researcher named Tony Salin authored a book about forgotten baseball personalities. Almost as a throw-in, he included an appendix listing pronunciations (many coming from associates of the persons in question) for oft-mispronounced baseball figures’ names. It was great work, original research, and I’d long wanted to expand on it.

One may not, of course, misappropriate others’ work. One must address intellectual property rights, and this may not be done after the fact. Thus, once I made the decision to proceed, I contacted The Baseball Reliquary to ask if they knew who owned rights to Salin’s work (the man himself being now very sadly deceased). The response was swift and encouraging: TBR owned those rights, and would gladly grant me permission to use Salin’s compilation as my starting point. Thus, in my blog time for the past several days, I have been trying to figure out how players like Chris Cannizzaro and Kiki Cuyler pronounced their names.

It isn’t that easy. Of course, if the player himself is alive, and I can find a Youtube where he says his own name, that’s authoritative. Sometimes I can find a relative or descendant, which is the next best thing. Other information may come from ballplayers who were contemporaries. Last would be media and fans, who often think they know but do not–but I’d rather have that input than nothing.

It should soon be ready to go live (it’ll be linked under ‘About Me, and My Work’), a proud moment for me as the main holdup is twofold. I must conquer some HTML foibles, and I would rather root for the Yankees than mess directly with HTML code. Also, I do not feel right releasing it until I have added enough of my own discoveries and knowledge that the page goes significantly beyond what Tony Salin pioneered.

I harbor the hope that once the baseball nostalgia community learns of it, they’ll help me fill in some gaps. I would have fewer gaps, but until I was about 34, I did not have the ability to watch baseball games on TV, so I actually never heard many names articulated except by those with whom I traded baseball cards. I believe it will be a fun long-term project, and I thank the regular readership for its patience with my non-blogginess of late. No, I’m not losing interest; just got a lot on my plate here and in real life.