David Block, October 2013

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October 2013
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Article Lauds David Block, Our Own "Karate-Chopper" of Base Ball Lore

A long, wry, and fairly reverent article on the amazing David Block can be found at


Bryan Curtis’ "In Search of Baseball’s Holy Grail: How One Man is Rewriting the History of the Game – One Diary at a Time," was posted at the Grantland site on September 18, 2013.

Protoball’s favorite nuggets from the Curtis article:

[] "In a just world, Block would be an archeological hero. What Bill James did for 20th -century baseball, Block is doing for 18th-century baseball."

[] "Said Tom Shieber . . . [David’s book] ‘Baseball Before We Knew It and its aftermath is to me probably the single most important baseball research of the last 50 years, if not more.’"

[] "’When David started his work and I started my work, this [topic of origins] was the dark side of the moon,’ said [John] Thorn."

[] "Block had confirmed that the Doubleday theory was bunk. But he had also discovered that the rounders theory was bunk. Everything we knew about baseball’s parentage was wrong."

[] "Block is being painfully modest. Let me be immodest on his behalf. Block is a scholar on a lonely frontier. He is karate-chopping the wisdom of the ages. "

Protoball later asked the author about the response to the article. Bryan Curtis’ reply: "The Block article attracted a very large amount of attention--larger, in fact, than my typical articles about star players. Which was wonderful, because David's more interesting than most of them."

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