A number of years ago when I began http://www.sulphurdell.com to commemorate Nashville‘s old ballpark, one of the most rewarding things I added was an “I Remember…” page where interested folks could write in their special memory. Not long after, two persons wrote to me about their recollection of the long-gone park, told to them through each one’s grandfather who had been a player for the Nashville Vols.
It turned out that they had been teammates in the 1930’s: pitcher Byon Speece and infielder Bill Rodda.
During subsequent emails and phone conversations, we were able to determine that the grandsons lived within a few miles of each other in northern California and they were able to meet and swap family and baseball information in their attempts to piece together each grandfather’s baseball history.
It is heartwarming for historical facts, and lore, to be re-told and is valuable to not only families but historians alike. When important information begins with memories, it can often take the form of history that helps to complete family stories. The results truly cannot be measured.
My cap’s off to anyone who has assisted persons who have a quest to complete their family history. Children and grandchildren have numerous sources in libraries, archives, and websites to assist in research, but conversations, photo albums, and even blogs are valuable sources as well.
If one has a baseball player in their past, the best source for research is through the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and its website http://www.sabr.org. Information within the online source is not limited to sabermetrics or other analytical data, but player stats, teams, birthplace, and much more are readily available, all within the a few keystrokes by one’s fingertips.
We should also be digging through attics and basements for those “out-of-pocket” memories, but once the remembering and searching happens it is all for naught should we not write them down.
We cannot take for granted that future generations will not be interested. Our own personal “book of knowledge” on family members will provide invaluable information to future family generations.
After all, aren’t we only a generation away from being forgotten? Then, if someone asks a family question, who will be there to answer?