Exclusive Excerpt: In Pursuit of Pennants by Daniel R. Levitt and Mark Armour

We are very pleased to bring you this exclusive excerpt from In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by Daniel R. Levitt and Mark Armour.


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Start Spreading the News Interviews Author Daniel R. Levitt


“SSTN:  Today we are here with author Daniel R. Levitt.  Daniel is the award-winning author of numerous baseball books including In Pursuit of PennantsThe Battle That Forged Modern Baseball, and Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty among others.  He is also the recipient of the Bob Davids Award, the highest award of the Society for American Baseball Research, and SABR’s Chadwick Award, a recognition honoring baseball’s great researchers. When not writing on baseball, Dan oversees the capital markets for a national commercial real estate firm.

Daniel, it is great to have this discussion with you.  Thanks for coming to Start Spreading the News.

My pleasure. I always enjoy checking out your site for the latest Yankees news and baseball insights. You have a terrific group of writers.”

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Exclusive Excerpt: Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty by Daniel R. Levitt.

We are very pleased to bring you this exclusive excerpt from Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty by Daniel R. Levitt.


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Dan Levitt speaks with Marty Lurie on KNBR 680 pregame before the San Francisco Giants Saturday June 15th 2019

Audio can be found here: http://www.loveofthegameproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Levitt_daniel061519.mp3


Dan Levitt on Meet the Press regarding All-Star Game in Washington D.C.

All-Star Game returns to a changed Washington
As the All-Star Game returns to Washington for the first time since 1969, MLB returns as a different league — demographically, geographically and financially.

Video: https://nbcnewsencoding-vh.akamaihd.net/i/nbcnews/video/2018/07/mtp_data_downLoad_180715_616751202.mp4,,.csmil/master.m3u8?__b__=1000

Dan Levitt to speak at SportsCon MMXVIII on The Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy

SportsCon MMXVIIIFriday, February 2, 2018

The Kansas City Royals Baseball Academy: Baseball’s First Systematic Attempt to Analyze, Discover, and Train Unknown Players


After being awarded an expansion team in 1969, Kansas City pharmaceutical mogul Ewing Kauffman brashly stated that he wanted to win the pennant in five years. Kauffman immediately began to search out new ways to find, evaluate, and train major league quality baseball players. Thirty years before Michael Lewis wrote Moneyball, Kauffman believed that statistical analysis could provide a competitive advantage. Kauffman also had ideas on how the team should find talent. He would create a Baseball Academy, operating separately from the traditional farm system, where great athletes with little baseball background could learn the game.

Kauffman planned to apply a scientific approach: figure out and measure which raw skills best translated into baseball success and then how to best develop and hone those skills to create ballplayers. While most baseball men thought the Baseball Academy a waste of money and coaching resources, Kauffman purchased a 121-acre site in Sarasota, Florida and hired experts in physiology and psychology. This presentation is the story of Kauffman’s fascinating attempt to find a new source of ballplayers, and the lessons for today’s challenge of evaluating, finding, and training talent in any industry.


SABR announces 2017 Henry Chadwick Award recipients

Link: http://sabr.org/latest/sabr-announces-2017-henry-chadwick-award-recipients

The Society for American Baseball Research is pleased to announce the 2017 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award, established to honor the game’s great researchers—historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists—for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.

Dan Levitt (1962 – ) is the author or co-author of several baseball books, covering the Federal League, longtime Yankee general manager Ed Barrow, and the evolution of team building. The breadth of his research contributions includes biography, records (discovering the season record for lowest ERA), statistical analysis, labor relations (an extensive project with the Major League Baseball Players Association), economics (uncovering the truth behind Harry Frazee’s finances), and more, studying more than a century of baseball history. He has received several awards for his research, and his extensive contributions to SABR earned him the Bob Davids Award in 2015.




Dan Levitt Presents at the 2017 SABR Annual Conference

Link: http://sabr.org/convention/sabr47-presentations

Presentation:  RP29: Ejection Diaries: John McGraw Battles the National League’s Umpires and Executives

John McGraw was one baseball’s greatest managers and one of New York’s most celebrated figures. He could be charming and generous. Alternatively, he often found himself in the middle of physical confrontations and bitter controversies, frequently from his abuse of the umpires. The details of many of McGraw’s clashes with the umpires can now be unearthed in the massive Garry Herrmann collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame, only relatively recently organized and processed for researchers to use. Levitt combed these reports to find the umpires’ descriptions in their own words of their confrontations with McGraw and their consequences. These include first-hand accounts of incidents from Bill Klem and Bill Byron. Levitt sheds new light on McGraw’s complex personality and Deadball Era baseball.



Dan Levitt Speaker at SportCon Sports Analytics Conference, January 10, 2017.

Link: https://sportcon2017.sched.com/event/921v

From Deadball to Techball: The Evolution of Baseball Innovation

Moneyball highlighted a new way to think about building a baseball team. But trying to gain an edge has been going on since baseball began, and it didn’t stop with the publication of Michael Lewis’s book. For example, in the 1930s, the smartest front offices created farm systems, and the teams that did so first established a lasting advantage. In the 1980s, Toronto was at the forefront of creating an identifiable presence in the Dominican Republic, leading to a decade of contention and two championships.

Today we’ve moved beyond Moneyball. Big Data is now on the cusp of an even bigger transformation of our understanding of baseball. Just before the 2015 season Major League Baseball rolled out Statcast, a system of multiple cameras in each ballpark that includes Trackman, a synergistic technology using the Doppler radar effect, that is revolutionizing how on-field activity can be quantified. The San Francisco Giants were at the forefront of this revolution, and in the aftermath of their 2012 World Series victory USA Today dubbed their approach “Techball”. Like baseball teams looking for an edge, the most successful businesses continually innovate to gain a strategic advantage.

SABR 45: Dan Levitt selected as Bob Davids Award winner

Link: http://sabr.org/latest/sabr-45-dan-levitt-selected-bob-davids-award-winner

Daniel R. Levitt, an award-winning author and past president of SABR’s Halsey Hall Chapter in Minnesota, was announced as the winner of the Bob Davids Award during the SABR 45 Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Chicago.

SABR 45: Dan Levitt selected as Bob Davids Award winnerThe award — which is the Society’s highest honor — honors SABR members whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert “Bob” Davids.

“Wow, this is just overwhelming,” Levitt said after the announcement was made. “I could never give back to SABR everything I’ve gotten from being part of this organization. I’ve made so many great friends here, so many connections, and learned so much.”

Levitt is the author of four fine books: Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way (with Mark Armour; winner of the 2004 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award); Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty (a 2009 Seymour Medal finalist); The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy (which won the 2013 Larry Ritter Award); and In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball, published this spring with Mark Armour.

His research has been published in the Baseball Research Journal, and he has produced a number of biographies for the SABR BioProject. For many years, Dan served on the SABR Board of Directors election nominating committee. He served as editor of The National Pastime convention journal in 2012, focusing on baseball in Minnesota. He has been President and Officer of the Halsey Hall Chapter. On occasion he can be found in left field for the chapter’s Vintage baseball team.

“The criteria for the Bob Davids Award place great emphasis on two factors: service to the organization and doing the research that is the core of our existence. Dan Levitt best personified those two criteria,” said Dick Beverage, a Bob Davids Award recipient in 2013 who served on the award selection committee along with Jan Finkel and Mark Rucker.

SABR 45: Dan Levitt selected as Bob Davids Award winnerLevitt studied at the University of Wisconsin but migrated north and is a Gopher at heart. In his other life Dan is a Vice-President for Ryan Companies US, Inc. Dan manages the capital markets for Ryan-owned properties where, Beverage said, “He has developed a fine reputation for thoroughness, clarity, creative problem solving, and presentation skills.”

Previous Bob Davids Award winners in attendance Friday at the SABR 45 Awards Luncheon were: Bill Carle (1993), Len Levin (1997), Lyle Spatz (2000), Larry Gerlach (2001), David W. Smith (2005), John Thorn (2006), Andy McCue (2007), Mark Armour (2008), Tom Ruane (2009), Mark Rucker (2010), Bill Nowlin (2011), Jan Finkel (2012), Beverage (2013), and Leslie Heaphy (2014).

The Bob Davids Award was established by the Board of Directors in 1985, and is awarded each year at the annual convention. Click here to view previous winners.