Joe Simenic

From BR Bullpen

Joe Simenic

Biographical Information[edit]

Joe Simenic was a baseball researcher, writer and a founding member of the Society for American Baseball Research. He was considered "one of the true giants of baseball research", according to Peter Morris.

Growing up in Cleveland after his family immigrated from Croatia, he was a neighbor of major league player John Mihalic, who befriended him a gave him a copy of a Baseball Guide. The book would spark a lifelong interest in baseball research. He worked for the Cleveland News and the Cleveland Plain Dealer where he was assistant to publisher Thomas Vail. While with the News, he performed research for sports editor Ed Bang, and would later inherit his library of baseball books. At the Dealer, he was a researcher for sports editor Hal Lebovitz. He corrected mistakes in the Baseball Register and helped identify hundreds of unknown baseball players.

He became an associate of Hall of Fame historian Lee Allen who set up the Biographical Research Committee in 1959, 12 years before SABR's founding in 1971. He served on the committee from its inception, helping Allen to track down missing players. He published an article about one of these, Claude Gouzzie, in the very first edition of the Baseball Research Journal.

In 1986, he won the Bob Davids Award, SABR's top honor. In 1996, he assisted sportswriter Russ Schneider in conducting research on his book The Cleveland Indians Encyclopedia. His work was used and cited in dozens of other books as well. He was known as a compulsive researcher, to the point that he had a microfilm reader installed in his basement and owned complete microfilm reels of the Sporting News and Sporting Life, which allowed him to conduct investigative work without leaving his home at a time before the internet or search engines. He later served as a mentor to Bill Carle, who would go on to chair the Biographical Research Committee.

He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Further Reading[edit]

  • "Joe Simenic", in Bill Carle, ed.: Biographical Research Committee Report, SABR, January/February 2015, pp. 1-2.
  • Tim Warsinskey: "SABR co-founder Joe Simenic was "one of the true giants" of baseball research", Cleveland Plain Dealer, February 18, 2015. [1]

Related Sites[edit]