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Catskillian named MLB historian

Mar 14, 2011 12:36 pm
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="200" caption="John Thorn of Catskill has been named official historian for Major League Baseball, the second to hold this honored position. Photo by Dion Ogust, courtesy of Woodstock Times. "][/caption]Brian Hollander of Woodstock Times reports that Catskill resident John Thorn has been appointed official Historian of Major League Baseball, the second man to hold the post in the sport’s long history. “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,” Thorn says in a story on his big new job. “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 is an author, not only of works regarding baseball, but of such books as the recent New York 400, published by the Museum of the City of New York to celebrate the city’s quadricentennial. Among his baseball credentials were his running of Total Baseball, a magazine and publishing house, and such books as The Glory Days, New York Baseball 1947-1957, Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame and The Hidden Game of Baseball. His new book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, set for publication tomorrow, March 15, includes information on theories that baseball’s first official game took place in Pittsfield. Thorn has also been a consultant to, and featured in the baseball films of Ken Burns. He will speak with WGXC about his new position, and all that’s entailed in it, later this week. The last MLB Historian, Jerome Holtzman, died in 2008.