As today is Opening Day, it is fitting that this podcast interview is about baseball. I had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Huhn, Baseball Biographer, regarding his book The Sizzler: George Sisler, Baseball's Forgotten Great, about native Ohioan and Baseball Hall of Famer George Sisler.
In a legendary career as an amateur player, professional player, and professional baseball management, George Sisler set many records and was regarded by his peers as one of the all-time greats. After his playing career ended, Sisler faded from the limelight and many fans' memories. Rick Huhn took a look at why this happened at the behest of Sisler's son George Sisler Jr. Rick has compiled an outstanding biography with great detail that any baseball fan will love.
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Here were some highlights from our conversation:
- growing up in Marion, Ohio, his involvement with writing in high school, and then going to Ohio University and Law School at Ohio State
- how Rick got involved in writing while wrapping up his law career
- his connection with Ohio University History Professor and fellow baseball author Charles Alexander, who has written great books on Rogers Hornsby, the Miracle Braves, Ty Cobb, Depression-Era Baseball, and John McGraw
- A meeting with George Sisler Jr. which led to discussions about writing the book
- George's family background growing up and climb through the amateur and not-so amateur baseball leagues around Akron, which led to some controversy about which Major League team owned his rights
- Sisler leading the University of Michigan to the mythical national championship
- Sisler's long-lasting friendship and connection with fellow Ohioan Branch Rickey and the effect on his career, including the opportunity to work with Jackie Robinson
- Sisler's career, predominantly with the St. Louis Browns before going to the Washington Senators, Boston Braves, and wrapping his career in the minors
- Sisler's career statistics, including multiple seasons batting over .400
- his career highlights and the after effect of a serious eye injury
- what Sisler's peers said about him as a ballplayer
- Huhn's speculation why Sisler is largely forgotten today in discussions of all-time greats
- The other books Huhn has written on the 1910 Batting Race and Eddie Collins
- The 1954 Cleveland Indians book Rick mentioned at the end of the interview.
- Listeners can connect with Rick at http://www.rickhuhn.com/
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