Friday, June 17, 2016

Garvey Questionnaire from Legendary Baseball Statistician Bill Weiss

For much of the modern era of Baseball William J. Weiss was there to catalog it.  Starting in the late-40's he compiled statistics and biographical information for ballplayers on the West Coast.  Soon he started working for various leagues; like the PCL, Pioneer League, Northwest League and the American Association.  He even became the official historian of the PCL and edited a weekly newsletter for the California League for over thirty years.  In an over four decade span Weiss produced over 200 sketchbooks filled with data on both minor and major league ballplayers.  Without his diligent work we might not have the wealth of information we have today.

Featured above is an example of how he gathered up that data.  It is a basic biographical questionnaire, and it was filled out by Dodgers rookie Steven Patrick Garvey in 1970.  (Click on the pic above to embiggen)  It is currently available on auction through Hunt as a part of the All-Star Game Weekend celebration in San Diego.  Check out the auction listing here.

Notably, the survey asks, "what would you consider your greatest thrill in Baseball?"

Steve Garvey wrote back, "Starting Opening Game Dodger Stadium April 7th, 1970."

This questionnaire was completed about a month after his starting at third base on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium, so it was no doubt still fresh in his mind.  BTW, the Dodgers were defeated that day by the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0.  Steve Garvey went 0 for 4 with one strike out while batting in the sixth spot of the order.

If you're interested in learning more about Bill Weiss check out this great writeup at SABR (Link Here).

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