Lawrence Ritter

Lawrence Stanley Ritter (May 23, 1922 – February 15, 2004) was an American writer whose specialties were economics and baseball.

Ritter was a professor of economics and finance, and chairman of the Department of Finance at the Graduate School of Business Administration of New York University. He also edited the academic periodical Journal of Finance from 1964 to 1966.[1] He died at age 81 in New York City. His book, Principles of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets, coauthored with William L. Silber and Gregory F. Udell, has gone through twelve editions and has been a standard college text since it was first published in 1974.

Ritter is arguably best known for writing one of the most famous sports books of all time, The Glory of Their Times (1966, updated 1984). He collaborated with another baseball historian, Donald Honig, on The Image of Their Greatness (1979) and The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time (1981, featuring several players who would later be dropped in favor of new players on several later all-time greats lists).

In researching The Glory of Their Times, Ritter travelled 75,000 miles to interview his subjects, sitting for hours listening to them tell their tales into his tape recorder. Ritter's "Existential" style of interviewing was to allow his subjects to reminisce freely, rarely prodding or probing them on anything. No questions about specific games. No questions about what it was like to face certain players. Ritter's technique was to get his interviewee comfortable around him, to turn the tape-recorder on, and shut up while his subjects spoke. Ritter's style elicited responses that other reporters never reach with questions. His most difficult "find" was Sam Crawford, who shared the outfield with Ty Cobb in Detroit. After being given only cryptic hints about where he might find Crawford, i.e., "drive between 175 and 225 miles north of Los Angeles", Crawford's wife told Ritter, "and you'll be warm" – Ritter ended up in Baywood Park, California where his inquiries yielded nothing. After several days, he sat in a laundromat watching his clothes spin beside an old man. Ritter asked him if he knew anything about Sam Crawford, the old ball player. The man replied, "Well I should hope so. Bein' as I'm him."

Lawrence S. Ritter
BornMay 23, 1922
New York City
DiedFebruary 15, 2004 (aged 81)
OccupationProfessor, journalist, author
GenreBusiness, Sports
Notable worksThe Glory of Their Times


  • The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men who Played it, Published by Harpercollins 1992, ISBN 0-688-11273-0, ISBN 978-0-688-11273-8, 384 pages
  • The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, Published by Crown Publishers 1981, ISBN 978-0-517-54300-9, 273 pages
  • Lost Ballparks: A Celebration of Baseball's Legendary Fields, Published by Penguin Group 1992, ISBN 978-0-670-83811-0, 210 pages
  • The image of their greatness: an illustrated history of baseball from 1900 to the present, Published by Crown Trade Paperbacks 1992, ISBN 0-517-58728-9, ISBN 978-0-517-58728-7, 438 pages
  • Principles of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets, Published by Basic Books, 1974–1989; Harper Collins, 1991–1997; Addison Wesley 2000–2009 ISBN 0-321-33919-3, ISBN 978-0-321-33919-5, 617 pages
  • Money and economic activity: readings in money and banking, Published by Houghton Mifflin 1961, 457 pages
  • East Side, West Side: Tales of New York Sporting Life, 1910–1960, Published by Total Sports Publishing, 1998, 210 pages. Foreword by Lawrence Block.
  • Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Baseball Leagues by Lawrence S. Ritter, January 1999 HarperCollins Publishers ISBN 0-688-16693-8


  1. ^ J. Suter. TAPPING THE KEG. Cumberland Evening Times. September 30, 1966. pp. 13 & 15

External links

Chick Hafey

Charles James "Chick" Hafey (February 12, 1903 – July 2, 1973) was an American player in Major League Baseball (MLB). Playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (1924–1931) and Cincinnati Reds (1932–1935, 1937), Hafey was a strong line-drive hitter who batted for a high average on a consistent basis.

Hafey was part of two World Series championship teams (in 1926 and 1931) as a Cardinal and also made history with the first hit in an All-Star game, starting in left field and batting cleanup for the National League in the 1933 game. He was selected by the Veterans Committee for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971. In 2014, the Cardinals inducted him into their team hall of fame.

Davy Jones (baseball)

David Jefferson "Davy" Jones (June 30, 1880 – March 30, 1972), nicknamed "Kangaroo", was an outfielder in Major League Baseball. He played fifteen seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, and Pittsburgh Rebels. Jones played with some of the early legends of the game, including Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford, Frank Chance, Three Finger Brown, Hugh Duffy and Jesse Burkett. Also, he played part of one year with the Chicago White Sox, where several of his teammates would later be implicated in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Jones was immortalized in the classic baseball book The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter.

Davy Jones was mostly a platoon rather than a full-time player who was decent with the bat and swift on his feet. He played in the major leagues from 1901 to 1918, compiling a .270 career batting average with over 1,000 hits.

Donald Honig

Donald Martin Honig (born 1931 in New York City) is a novelist, historian and editor who mostly writes about baseball.While a member of the Bobo Newsom Memorial Society, an informal group of writers, Honig attempted to get Lawrence Ritter to write a sequel to The Glory of their Times. Ritter declined but gave Honig his blessing, leading to the book Baseball When the Grass Was Real. Over the next 19 years, Honig churned out 39 books about baseball. He wrote The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time with Ritter in 1981. He also published several illustrated histories of long-standing franchises. Honig published his most recent baseball book, The Fifth Season, in 2009. He is currently marked as a "historian" on the MLB Network program Prime 9.

Honig was also a frequent contributor of short stories to Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. He resides in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Donald L. Ritter

Donald Lawrence Ritter (born October 21, 1940) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. He represented Pennsylvania's 15th congressional district in the Lehigh Valley from 1979 to 1993.

Edd Roush

Edd J. Roush (May 8, 1893 – March 21, 1988) was a Major League Baseball player who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He played the majority of his career at center field, led the National League in hitting twice, and had his best years with the Cincinnati Reds.

Fred Snodgrass

Frederick Carlisle "Snow" Snodgrass (October 19, 1887 – April 5, 1974) was an American center fielder in Major League baseball from 1908 to 1916 for the New York Giants and the Boston Braves. He played under manager John McGraw and with some of the game's early greats, including Christy Mathewson. He is best known for dropping a key fly ball in the 1912 World Series. Snodgrass was immortalized in the Lawrence Ritter book The Glory of Their Times.

Gilmore Field

Gilmore Field was a minor league baseball park in Los Angeles, California, that served as home to the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League from 1939–57 when they, along with their intra-city rivals, the Los Angeles Angels, were displaced by the transplanted Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League.

Hal Chase

Harold Homer Chase (February 13, 1883 – May 18, 1947), nicknamed "Prince Hal", was a first baseman and manager in Major League Baseball, widely viewed as the best fielder at his position. During his career, he played for the New York Highlanders (1905–1913), Chicago White Sox (1913–1914), Buffalo Blues (1914–1915), Cincinnati Reds (1916–1918), and New York Giants (1919).

No lesser figures than Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson named Chase the best first baseman ever, and contemporary reports described his glovework as outstanding. He is sometimes considered the first true star of the franchise that would eventually become the New York Yankees. In 1981, 62 years after his last major league game, baseball historians Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.

Despite being an excellent hitter and his reputation as a peerless defensive player, Chase's legacy was tainted by a litany of corruption. He allegedly gambled on baseball games, and also engaged in suspicious play in order to throw games in which he played.

Hans Lobert

John Bernard "Hans" Lobert (October 18, 1881 – September 14, 1968) was an American third baseman, shortstop, coach, manager and scout in Major League Baseball. Lobert was immortalized in the Lawrence Ritter book The Glory of Their Times.

Joe Sewell

Joseph Wheeler Sewell (October 9, 1898 – March 6, 1990) was a Major League Baseball infielder for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.Sewell holds the record for the lowest strikeout rate in major league history, striking out on average only once every 62.5 at-bats, and the most consecutive games without a strikeout, at 115.

Kiki Cuyler

Hazen Shirley "Kiki" Cuyler (; August 30, 1898 – February 11, 1950) was a Major League Baseball right fielder from 1921 until 1938 who later was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cuyler established a reputation as an outstanding hitter with great speed. He regularly batted .350 or higher and finished with a .321 lifetime batting average. In 1925 Cuyler hit 18 home runs with 102 RBI. Cuyler's Pirates won the World Series that year, the only time in his career that he contributed to a World Series winner.

Rube Bressler

Raymond Bloom "Rube" Bressler (October 23, 1894 – November 7, 1966) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1914 to 1916 and Cincinnati Reds from 1917 to 1920, before being converted to an outfielder and first baseman for Cincinnati from 1918 to 1927, the Brooklyn Robins from 1928 to 1931 and the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals in his final year of 1931. The first two teams he played for made it to a World Series, the 1914 Philadelphia Athletics lost to the miracle Boston Braves, while the 1919 Cincinnati Reds won against the scandal-tainted Chicago White Sox.

Bressler was born in Coder, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Flemington, Pennsylvania. He played for a company team at Renovo, Pennsylvania where he worked in a railroad shop before being recruited by Earle Mack, son of Connie Mack after beating Earle's All-Stars in a local game in 1912.

Sad Sam Jones

Samuel Pond "Sad Sam" Jones (July 26, 1892 – July 6, 1966) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and the Chicago White Sox between 1914 and 1935. Jones batted and threw right-handed. His sharp breaking curveball also earned him the nickname "Horsewhips Sam".

Sam Crawford

Samuel Earl Crawford (April 18, 1880 – June 15, 1968), nicknamed "Wahoo Sam", was an American outfielder in Major League Baseball (MLB).

Crawford batted and threw left-handed, stood 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg). Born in Wahoo, Nebraska, he had a short minor league baseball career before entering the majors with the Cincinnati Reds in 1899. He played for the Reds until 1902. Crawford then joined the Detroit Tigers and played for Detroit from 1903 to 1917. He was one of the greatest sluggers of his era, leading his league in home runs twice and in runs batted in three times. He still hold the MLB record for most career triples, with 309. While with the Tigers, Crawford played alongside superstar Ty Cobb, and the two had an intense rivalry while also helping Detroit win three American League championships from 1907 to 1909.

After his MLB career ended, Crawford moved to California, where he lived the rest of his life. He was a player and umpire in the Pacific Coast League and was a coach at the University of Southern California. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957.

Ted Lyons

Theodore Amar Lyons (December 28, 1900 – July 25, 1986) was an American professional baseball starting pitcher, manager and coach in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in 21 MLB seasons, all with the Chicago White Sox. He is the franchise leader in wins. Lyons won 20 or more games three times (in 1925, 1927, and 1930) and became a fan favorite in Chicago.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955. He has the third highest career ERA of any Hall of Fame pitcher. He is also the only Hall of Fame pitcher who gave up more walks than he had strikeouts.

The Glory of Their Times

The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It is a book, edited by Lawrence Ritter, telling the stories of early 20th century baseball. It is widely acclaimed as one of the great books written about baseball.

The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Finance Association. It was established in 1946. The editor-in-chief is Stefan Nagel. It is considered to be one of the premier finance journals. According to the Journal Citation Reports, it had a 2015 impact factor of 5.290, ranking it first out of 94 journals in the category "Business/Finance" and 4th out of 345 in the category "Economics". It is listed as one of the 45 journals used by the Financial Times to compile its business-school research ranks and Bloomberg Businessweek's Top 20 Journals.

Total Sports Publishing

Total Sports Publishing refers to a book publishing company based in Kingston, New York, that operated from 1998 to 2002. Prominent author John Thorn served as the division's publisher throughout its existence.

William L. Silber

William L. Silber is the Marcus Nadler Professor of Finance and Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He has served as Senior Economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisors, was a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and has published eight books, including a college textbook, Principles of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, with Lawrence Ritter and Gregory Udell (Addison Wesley, 2009), that has gone through twelve editions. His most notable contributions have been in economic history, where he has shown the importance of analyzing institutional detail before applying statistical techniques to historical data.


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