Pages from Baseball's Past

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Craig R. Wright worked 21 years in major league baseball, primarily in the area of player evaluation. He was one of the early pioneers taking an approach that integrated science with baseball. He is most often associated with the Texas Rangers where he got his start in the early 1980s, but his longest association with a big league team was a 10-year run as a year-round consultant to the Los Angeles Dodgers. During that period the Dodgers had the second best record in the league, trailing only the Atlanta Braves during their amazing streak of divisional titles.

From 1989 to 1996, he also provided a supplemental Advance Scout service for post-season play that was used by six pennant winners and four World Champions. He ended that service to have the time to work two years as a year-round consultant to the Arizona Diamondbacks in their preparation for their expansion draft. Arizona’s expansion draft was the first to produce a 40-homer player and two All-Star players who were not their team’s token All-Star representative — i.e. not the team’s lone All-Star. He also was a consultant for a dozen years with STATS Inc, designing their products for major league teams and some cross-over products used by the media.

Craig had a deep love of baseball history instilled in him by his grandfather and was the co-creator of the radio show A Page from Baseball’s Past, which ran for 26 seasons as a pre-game show in major league baseball. His partner in the show was his long-time friend Eric Nadel, who has been broadcasting the games of the Texas Rangers for more than 30 years now and in 2014 received the Hall of Fame’s Ford C Frick award for excellence in broadcasting.

Eric was the producer and voice of the program, and Craig researched and wrote the shows. It consisted of a short entertaining story from baseball’s history which was sandwiched around a radio ad. It was used for decades as a pre-game show before Texas Rangers baseball games and at various times the scripts or tapes were used in other big league markets, including Baltimore, Detroit, and San Francisco.

Nadel and Wright also did a book together called The Man Who Stole First Base (Taylor Publishing) which was a collection of stories that had been featured on the radio show. They also collaborated on a CD of select shows with 100% of the proceeds being donated to charity. The radio show eventually ended and in semi-retirement Craig has kept the story series going with a subscription text version. Beyond credit as co-creator, Nadel is not involved in the text version Pages from Baseball’s Past.

Craig is the primary author of The Diamond Appraised (Simon & Shuster). His third book Pages from Baseball’s Past (ACTA Sports) came out in 2013. Craig and his wife Cathy live in Helena, Montana. Their daughter Laina lives in California and their son Joshua in Missoula, Montana. Rounding out the family are Maggie the dog, and the cats: Charlie and Piper.

Click here to learn more about the book The Diamond Appraised

Craig did an in-depth interview on his career in baseball which can be read at:

“Touring the Bases with Craig Wright” - interview with Seamheads.com in 2010

 

Below is a section that had appeared on the website DiamondAppraised.com with additional details on his career.

        

The first business card in baseball using the title “sabermetrician” caused quite a stir in those days.

I stopped using that title around 1990 because the meaning had shifted too far from a scientific approach to baseball to one focused on statistical analysis of baseball.

 

Like a lot of folks who find themselves saddled with a public persona, there have been things put out in the public domain about my career that are off the mark — sometimes to the point of being exactly the opposite of the truth, or literally involving a completely different person. You get used to having to live with such nonsense, but I’ll take this opportunity to correct some of the false notions. Most are such obvious mistakes that they quickly fall by the wayside and are not worth addressing. For example, a writer for the Associated Press once criticized the impact my book The Diamond Appraised had on pitching practices in baseball, and specifically credited it with helping to kill the 4-man pitching rotation — a rather remarkable charge given the chapter in the book titled “Bring Back the Four-Man Rotation.” When contacted, the writer admitted he had never even seen the book!

There is also a bit of confusion about some of the teams I worked with and some folks have incorrectly written that they include the Mets and Mariners. Not sure why someone would think the Mets, but I’m pretty sure the Seattle mistake stemmed from a newspaper article in which the Mariners talked about trying to hire me, and somewhere along the line someone missed the part in that same article that noted that I declined.

Another off the mark claim that was recently brought to my attention was a baseball executive who did an interview where he mentioned knowing me back in the early 1980s and that I “went on to be the founder of STATS Inc.” Not even remotely close. STATS Inc. was a client of my consulting business. I certainly was not the founder of the company or involved in its startup in any way. The most common mistakes involve the timeline of my career, with common assumptions that it started much later than it did by over a half-dozen years. I first began working in major league baseball after the end of the strike in 1981.

 

To help straighten out a few other things, I have five sub-pages you can visit:

My problem with “Moneyball,” by Michael Lewis

My Corrections and Additions to “The Numbers Game,” by Alan Schwarz

Wikipedia Twisting the Truth - Voros McCracken Entry

Correcting the Perception of My Role in the Rockies “Hampton-Neagle” Signings

That's not me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The E-version of Pages from Baseball’s Past is dedicated to the memory of Stan Reynolds