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Page Turners

The Times ran a couple of literary baseball pieces of note over the weekend: one, on Mark Twain, the other, on Stephen Crane. And here, belatedly, is a fine story by Alan Schwarz that is worth reading:

Dorothy Jane Mills was supposed to feel honored last Monday when the Society for American Baseball Research included her husband, Dr. Harold Seymour, in the inaugural class of the organization’s new de facto Hall of Fame. She was supposed to feel thankful that her assistance with Seymour’s seminal three-volume history of baseball, published sequentially from 1960 through 1990, would be acknowledged during his induction.

But Mills felt neither honored nor thankful. Instead, resentment that had percolated within her for 50 years — over how she had, in fact, co-written those books but received no credit — boiled over into heated discussions of historical record, academic honesty and what can best be described as intellectual spousal abuse.

The controversy ended Wednesday with the organization, known as SABR (pronounced say-ber), telling Mills that she would be honored equally with Seymour. But only after she had relived a time in her life she can forgive even less than forget.

“Everyone assumed that he had done all that work by himself — that’s what he wanted them to assume, but we were equal partners,” said Mills, 81, working on her 26th book at her home in Naples, Fla. “All these things were done jointly. He just couldn’t share credit. And I didn’t say anything at the time, because at the time, wives just didn’t do that.”

Great job by Schwarz.

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1 OldYanksFan   ~  Mar 16, 2010 9:12 am

ahhhhhh... the good ole days... when "wives just didn’t do that".
Life was so simple. So pure. Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio....

2 Alex Belth   ~  Mar 16, 2010 9:43 am

Screw Joe D. Go Dorothy Mills!

3 Chyll Will   ~  Mar 16, 2010 12:10 pm

[2] Worrrd!

4 RIYank   ~  Mar 16, 2010 2:40 pm

Wish I had caught this earlier, but anyway:
It's pretty likely that a similar story is true of John Stuart Mill and his wife, Harriet. It's quite likely that she did most of the writing for some of his blockbuster work (he wrote an enormous amount, though, so there's plenty left to his own credit). John never denied this and knew it was wrong, but knew also that his stuff wouldn't be taken seriously if people knew it was written by a woman.

5 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 16, 2010 8:53 pm

Random aside but..is Mark Twain the greatest ever American? (After Louis Armstong, I mean!)

6 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Mar 16, 2010 9:22 pm

Maximum props to WilliamNYY23 for calling out Rob Neyer..good job!


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