Author, SABR official Pappas dies

Updated: May 25, 2004, 2:10 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Noted baseball author Doug Pappas died last week while hiking at Big Bend National Park in Texas. He was 42.

Pappas, of Hartsdale, N.Y., served as chairman of the Society for American Baseball Research's Business of Baseball committee. He was also a regular contributor to Baseball Prospectus, a highly respected Web site devoted to covering the National Pastime. Pappas also maintained a business of baseball weblog.

"Doug's incredible archive of data was to the business of baseball as much as the Oxford English Dictionary is to the business of word creation," said ESPN.com sports business writer Darren Rovell.

The Denver Post reported the cause of death is believed to be heat prostration.

"There has to be something hypnotic about baseball that it can inspire people like Doug Pappas to devote so much of their lives to researching its least-chronicled aspects and sharing their findings with the rest of us who love it," ESPN.com senior writer Jayson Stark said.

"If any of us at ESPN ever had a question about, say, a six-ejection game or a game in which both managers got tossed, we knew we could always count on Doug to tell us the last time that happened -- probably faster than you could holler, 'You're out of here.' And I don't know how much time I've spent perusing his Business of Baseball website for payroll and salary data. But it's got to be in my top 10 most-visited sites of all time."

ESPN.com's Rob Neyer wrote in Monday's column: "Doug established a standard that few among us can hope to even approach."

According to SABR's Web site, Pappas was an attorney at Mintz & Gold, where his practice concentrated on general civil and commercial litigation. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Doug graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 1985, where he was Executive Note Editor of the Law Review.