University of Memphis Magazine
University of Memphis Photo
Spring 2010 Features


Leaping forward
Spin cycle
Flight patterns
Man on a mission
The unvanquished

The Columns: Alumni Review
Brush strokes
That perfect season

One might say Lynn Sutter (BA) is batting a thousand with two acclaimed books on the grand old game. She received the 2009 Sporting News-SABR Research Award for her book Ball, Bat and Bitumen: A History of Coalfield Baseball in the Appalachian South. Her book New Mexico Baseball: Miners, Outlaws, Indians and Isotopes, 1880 to the Present was released this summer.

Sutter is a writer and artist who divides her time between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains. Her main research interest is pre-expansion baseball, especially the unrecognized players in the semipro and minor leagues of the past. “I was always a fan of the game. I became interested in researching it when I moved to the Appalachians and found out about the mining camp teams,” Sutter says. “Every coal camp had one, and they played highly competitive ball. I found it very compelling that these men with arguably the most frightening job in the world played baseball so joyously. When it came time to do a second book, I turned to New Mexico, where I lived for many years, and found equally fascinating baseball history there. Starting in the 1860s, the game was played there by all of the diverse cultures that call the place home – Hispanic, Native American, African-American, Anglo – plus an interesting assortment of major league outlaws, prisoners, bombardiers and, again, miners.” 

For her baseball books, Sutter goes by the pen name L.M. Sutter. “In the male-dominated world of baseball, I didn’t want people to prejudge my work based on the fact that I was a woman,” she explains. Her next project is a biography of Arlie Latham, a colorful third baseman who played from 1880 -1909 and whose antics earned him the nickname “the Freshest Man on Earth.”

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