David Shiner, local author and professor at Shimer College has one primary love, baseball. See below for a short biography and essay about his development as a writer.
“I have written a large number of articles, interviews, book reviews, and stories about baseball for sports magazines, research journals, and literary publications. These have included Elysian Fields Quarterly, Exhausted Ramblings, The National Pastime, Nine, The SABR Research Journal, and many others. I frequently speak publicly on baseball topics. I was selected to present original work at the Babe Ruth Conference at Hofstra University (1995) and the Jackie Robinson Conference at Long Island University (1997), and was the keynote speaker at the United Kingdom’s annual meeting of the Society of American Baseball Research in 2000. My book Baseball’s Greatest Players: The Saga Continues was published by Superior in early 2001. In my professional life, I hold a Ph.D. degree in Philosophy and have been a member of the faculty and administration at Shimer College in Illinois since the mid-1970s.
I’ve always loved baseball. I’ve also enjoyed writing, but I never thought about composing sports articles for publication until 1993 when a friend suggested I try it. I mentioned that to my wife, who also encouraged me, so I started writing and submitting short articles for publication. To my surprise most of them were accepted, opening doors to other publications and other writing opportunities.
In deciding what to write about, I basically choose whatever baseball subject strikes my fancy. Sometimes I delve into the history of the game. Sometimes I go to the park and interview ballplayers or other professionals. Sometimes I write reviews of baseball books and articles. I’ve even written some baseball fiction. Having published works of all these types over the past ten years, I’ve built up a small following, which encourages me not only to keep writing but also to keep honing my writing.
In 1997 I decided to try my hand at a full-length book, which took three years to research and write. The inspiration for Baseball’s Greatest Players: The Saga Continues was a tome from my boyhood entitled Baseball’s Greatest Players. My book is essentially a sequel to that one. In preparing my manuscript I utilized a number of local libraries, including the Waukegan Public Library. I am now conducting research for my next book, a history of the great Chicago Cubs teams of a century ago. Meanwhile I continue to write and speak publicly on baseball matters.”