Lackey to present historical baseball program

TROY — The Troy Historical Society is pleased to announce that historical baseball book author Mike Lackey of Lima will be the featured speaker at the Troy Historical Society meeting on Sept. 21. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, 301 W. Main Street, Troy.

Lackey will present a program titled “Long Bob Ewing and the Cincinnati Reds at Midway Park: Big League Ball in Miami County, 1896.”

Lackey is the author of the book “Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing.” Long Bob Ewing was a farm boy from Auglaize County, who played professional baseball for the Cincinnati Reds and was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Ewing was a professional baseball player more than a century ago.

According to Lackey, “Ewing pitched professionally starting in 1897 and in the major leagues from 1902 to 1912. In his lifetime, he was named to the Reds’ all-time team for their first 65 years.”

Lackey, a longtime reporter, editor and award-winning columnist for The Lima News, spent 16 years researching Ewing’s life and career. He was granted access to Ewing family papers and photographs, and delved deep into contemporary sources, including nearly 100 newspapers. He scoured much of western Ohio, lost himself for weeks in microfilm in Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and traveled as far as Boston and Hot Springs, Arkansas. The book was edited by Tom Simon, founding chairman of SABR’s (Society for American Baseball Research) Deadball Era Committee.

Lackey’s book won the Larry Ritter Book Award, given annually by the Society for American Baseball Research for the best book about the dead ball era. It was also a finalist for the CASEY Award, given by Spitball magazine for the best baseball book of the year.