Mark Armour

While maintaining a nearly forty year career in both the public and private high tech sectors, he has also been writing and speaking about baseball for the past 25 years.  He is an award winning author whose works have appeared in print and on-line at Baseball Prospectus (where he was a formerly a staff writer), the Hardball Times, Baseball Analysts, Nine, the National Pastime Museum, the Huffington Post, and dozens of SABR publications and blogs.

He is the author or co-author of six books on baseball, including In Pursuit of Pennants (with Dan Levitt, University of Nebraska Press, 2015) and Joe Cronin--A Life in Baseball (University of Nebraska Press, 2010), both of which were finalists for the Seymour Medal.  Paths to Glory (also with Levitt, Brassey's, 2003) won the Sporting News Baseball Research Award.  

 

He founded SABR's Baseball Biography Project in 2002, and it has become SABR's largest project.  While growing the project from the ground up, he found time to write more than 75 biographical articles, of the 5000 (and growing) on the site..  After serving as its director for 14 years, he resigned to create SABR's Baseball Cards Committee, which he led for an additional three years and which remains an active community.  SABR has awarded him its two highest honors: the Bob Davids Award (2008), for long-time service to the organization, and the Henry Chadwick Award (2014), for the totality of his research.  In 2019 he joined SABR's Board of Directors, and currently serves as its president.  

 

He is a regular speaker at the SABR national convention, and has spoken at NINE and many other venues. He is frequently called upon as a radio or podcast guest, on subjects about which he has written or about more topical baseball matters.  

 

In his spare time, he works for NOAA developing life-cycle models for Columbia River salmon.  He lives in Oregon's Williamette Valley with Jane, Maya and Drew.

 

Contact Info

markarmour04@gmail.com

Web Site

mark-armour.net

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Expertise

20th Century Baseball History and Biography

Baseball Operations

Baseball Cards

Labor Relations History

Available for 

Public Speaking

Pod Cast & Radio Interviews

Media Quotes & Inquiries

Books

In Pursuit of Pennants

In Pursuit of Pennants–Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball tells the story of the evolution of what we now call Baseball Operations, from the days when the owner or manager had responsibility for creating the roster, up to modern front offices staffed with several dozen people.  Along the way we meet many interesting, innovative people -- from Barney Dreyfus, to Branch Rickey, to Gabe Paul, to Theo Esptein -- and discuss the major inflection points in the story -- the creation of the farm system, integration, the amateur draft, free agency, analytics, and more.  The story teaches us that the game is always changing, and that successful organizations adapt to the changes, and in some cases create the changes.

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Joe Cronin: A Baseball Life

Joe Cronin--A Life in Baseball is a full life biography of a baseball lifer.  Cronin worked his way from the sandlots to baseball stardom, but his story is special because he went on to be a pennant-winning manager for two teams, a long-time general manager, and then the American League president in what was arguably baseball's most turbulent 15 year period. As you read about the biggest stories and controversies in baseball over five decades -- the creation of the All-Star game, the game during World War II, integration, bonus babies, the rise of player's union, the designated hitter -- you will notice that Cronin was a central part of all it.  Reading his biography could serve as an introduction to so many areas of study, while also offering new looks at some of his close associates, like Ted Williams, Joe McCarthy and Bowie Kuhn.

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The Great Eight

The Great Eight is the story of the 1975 Cincinnati Reds, also known as the “Big Red Machine” one of the best and most memorable teams in baseball history. While the Reds dominated the National League from 1972 to 1976, it was the ’75 team that surpassed them all, winning 108 games and beating the Boston Red Sox in a thrilling 7-game World Series. This volume gives Reds fans complete biographies of all the team’s players, relives the enthralling 1975 season, and celebrates a team that is consistently ranked as one of the best teams in baseball history.  

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Pitching Defense and Three-Run Homers

Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers is the story of the 1970 Baltimore Orioles. Through the 1960s and 1970s, the team arguably had the best players, the best manager, the best Minor League teams, the best scouts and front office—and, unarguably, the best record in the American League. But the best of all, and one of baseball’s greatest teams ever, was the Orioles team of 1970. Featuring biographical articles on manager Earl Weaver, his coaches, the broadcasters, and his great players, this book recreates the magic of one of the greatest seasons in baseball history.

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Rain Check

Rain Check -- Baseball in the Pacific Northwest is a pictorial collection of stories on the game in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.  Featuring the foremost experts on baseball history in the region, and Dave Eskanazi's extraordinary collection of baseball photography and ephemera, it served as the program for SABR's 2006 national convention in Seattle.

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Paths to Glory

Paths to Glory--How Great Team Got That Way is the story of many great (and lesser) historical teams and how they were put together.  Using examples from throughout the games history, from the 1890s Baltimore Orioles to the 1990s Atlanta Braves, the book looks for common themes and lessons.  It also delves into other changes in the game -- including a history of relief pitching, and the then recent attempts to understand player value -- to help tell all the stories.  An award-winning and well-reviewed book, it helped launch the team building book as a genre.

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