Bill Weiss lived for baseball. You might be tempted to say he forgot more about baseball than anyone else knows, except he never forgot a thing. He didn’t like or use computers but had an incredible ability to recall details. And he was willing to talk to anyone.

For six decades, from 1945 to 2005, Weiss made a habit of mailing biographical surveys to minor-league teams around the U.S., seeking details about most any player who signed a pro contract in that period. The forms asked the players to note their position and home address; their high school and the name of the scout who discovered them; their interests and offseason occupation, if applicable, and assorted memories of their early years in the game.

Weiss kept every paper that was returned to him building a one-of-a-kind collection of personal sketches that as of last year resides in full on Ancestry.com. The questionnaires present firsthand insight into the lives of more than 120,000 young ballplayers, some of whom wrote back to Weiss shortly before they ascended to big-league stardom.

Source: Nick Faris, The Score

One comment on “The life and astounding historical trove of baseball’s GOAT statistician

  • Brian Joura

    I never met Bill but I talked to him on the phone many times. He was my go-to source whenever I had a scoring question. And one year I dealt extensively with those questionnaires. Need to go to Ancestry and look them up.

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