Photo credit: Dion Ogust Photography


John Thorn
brings to Baseball in the Garden of Eden unparalleled authority as a historian of the game, particularly in its formative years. Apart from his creation, with Pete Palmer, of the long lived but lamentably demised Total Baseball, he is often visible on MLBTV, ESPN, PBS, The History Channel, and other television outlets as a sports commentator. He was also a major on-screen presence in and chief consultant to Ken Burns’s 1994 PBS film, Baseball, recently updated in a "Tenth Inning." In edition to co-editing Total Baseball, he developed a companion website that was, for a time at the dawn of the internet, the world’s largest website in terms of pages delivered. Receiving the Bob Davids Award from the Society for American Baseball Research in 2006, Thorn was described as "a baseball historian who, by restoring early baseball to our awareness and by encouraging a new generation of researchers, has done perhaps more than anyone else to help us grasp the unity of our game's history and development; and a keen student of baseball statistics, who through his writing and publication has given crucial impetus to the sabermetric revolution."

Thorn co-wrote The Hidden Game of Baseball, which established alternative statistics later recognized and adopted as official by Major League Baseball, notably On Base Plus Slugging (OPS). His many books over the past three decades also include Treasures of the Baseball Hall of Fame, The Game for All America, Our Game, The Glory Days and, in 2009, New York 400 (a pictorial history of the city in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York). A complete bibliography appears here.

Thorn writes a regular column for VOICES, the publication of the New York Folklore Society. He appears irregularly in the Boston Globe, New York Times and New York Times Book Review. He is editor of BASE BALL: A Journal of the Early Game, a scholarly semiannual in its fifth yer of publication. In 1982 he created and for some time edited The National Pastime, now completing its fourth decade of continuous publication.

Thorn lives in Catskill, New York.

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