Press Releases

"Baseball's Greatest Hit" Book Wins SABR-Sporting News Award for Bob Thompson of Purchase College

Date Released: 5/11/2009

Bob Thompson, Valhalla, NY, Interim Dean of Music at Purchase College, is a winner of the Sporting News Award for 2008 presented by the Society for American Baseball Research for the book Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of Take Me Out To The Ball Game, which he co-authored with Andy Strasberg and Tim Wiles.

The SABR award recognizes outstanding baseball research in areas other than history and biography and will be presented at the Society for American Baseball Research's annual convention on August 1 in Washington, DC.   This international organization fosters the study of baseball, to assist in maintaining the history of the game, by facilitating the dissemination of baseball research and stimulating interest in baseball.

Other winners include Ballparks of the Deadball Era by Ronald Selter, a study of the extent to which ballparks determined the style of play.

Center Field Shot: A History of Baseball on Television by Jim Walker and Rob Bellamy, tracing the sometimes contentious and mutually beneficial relationship between baseball and television as a reflection of American culture. 

Bob Thompson’s  book, Baseball's Greatest Hit: The Story of Take Me Out To The Ball Game celebrates the centennial of the popular song and showcases baseball music, pop culture and the creative ways American have taken popular music and made it their own. The book traces the song’s evolution over the past 100 years and the evolution of American culture from the days of Tin Pan Alley and sheet music pluggers; through the early role of women as baseball players and fans; through movie musicals, baseball’s expansion west, rock and roll, and modern ballparks. With images of historical newspaper clippings, baseball cards, sheet music, movie stills and ballplayers at the mike, the book tells the complete story of the song.  A CD packaged with the book includes rare and classic recordings and features an introduction by baseball commissioner Bud Selig and a forward by Carly Simon. 

Bob Thompson is a conductor, professor, writer, producer, and Interim Dean of Music at Purchase College.  Prior to arriving at Purchase College, Thompson was for ten years the Chief Executive Officer and President of Universal Edition, a classical music publishing company and also produced and performed on two Grammy nominated recordings. He has a doctorate in music from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music and has conducted the Houston, Seattle, Detroit, Phoenix and Chicago Symphony Orchestras among others.

He is the founder and director, along with Hall-of-Famer Dave Winfield, of The Baseball Music Project, a multimedia series of concerts with orchestras that celebrate America’s national pastime.

Co-author Andy Strasberg was an executive with the San Diego Padres for more than 20 years.  In 1996, Strasberg created ACHE (All-Star Corporate Marketing Enterprises), whose clients include the National Baseball Hall of Fame and many retired major leaguers.  Tim Wiles is the director of research at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and has authored and edited numerous books and articles about baseball.