Edward Achorn
AUTHOR

Edward Achorn

Edward Achorn, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Distinguished Commentary, is the deputy editorial pages editor of The Providence (R.I.) Journal. (Reach him at eachorn@projo.com and please check out www.EdwardAchorn.com). He has won numerous writing awards and his work appears in Best Newspaper Writing, 2007-2008 (CQ Press). Achorn's reviews of books about American history appear frequently in the Weekly Standard.

Achorn's "must read" weekly columns sometimes touch on baseball history, but usually center on the weird and contentious politics of Rhode Island. He inspired revolutionary change in the state's Constitution, championing an amendment that balanced power and put an end to a 340-year legacy of inordinate control by the legislature. Pulitzer judges cited his "clear, tenacious call to action against government corruption in Rhode Island," while Common Cause Rhode Island declared: "Ed Achorn's clear trumpet turned the tide in this historic battle."

A diehard Red Sox fan descended from generations of baseball cranks, Achorn grew up in Westborough, Mass. He attended the 1967 World Series, witnessed Carl Yastrzemski's 3,000th hit and saw all four games of the legdenday 1975 World Series at Fenway Park, including Game Six, when Carlton Fisk "waved" his home run fair. His grandfather and grandmother, both Boston Braves fanatics, attended the 1914 World Series (also at Fenway).

As a child in Westborough, Ed was astonished to discover that the nearby city of Worcester once had a major-league baseball team. Thus began a lifelong quest to learn more about 19th century baseball--to put flesh on the strange names and statistics found in the Baseball Encyclopedia, none more incredible than Radbourn's 59 wins in one season.

He quickly found there was much more to the story than has yet appeared in books. His intensive search took him to the Library of Congress, the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, the Chicago Historical Society, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and numerous other institutions where he pored over primary sources and thousands of daily accounts of baseball in period newspapers. He also spent many nights hunched over a microfilm reading machine in the newspaper's library and at the Rhode Island Historical Society. (An original painting of the Hoss hangs in his fourth-floor office.)

He has worked closely with the members of the Providence Grays Vintage Baseball Club, a modern team that plays under 1884 rules and with 1884 equipment (or lack thereof), to better understand the experience of baseball in those times.

He lectures about the major-league Providence Grays and Rhode Island corruption as a featured speaker for the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. He is a member of SABR, the Society for American Baseball Research.

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    • How Brewers, Barkeeps, Rowdies, Immigrants, and a Wild Pennant Fight Made Baseball America's Game
    • By: Edward Achorn
    • Narrated by: Ax Norman
    • Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
    • Release date: 04-09-13
    • Language: English
    • 4 out of 5 stars 86 ratings

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