Austin attorney Paul Spyhalski named to SABR Special Negro Leagues and Teams Committee

Published 9:50 am Monday, August 21, 2023

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Austin attorney Paul R. Spyhalski has been named to the Special Negro Leagues and Teams Committee of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).

This is a new committee that will follow up on the work of SABR’s Negro League Task Force that formed in the fall of 2020 to make recommendations on which Black leagues from baseball’s segregated era should be recognized as major league.

On Dec. 16, 2020, Major League Baseball recognized seven Negro Leagues during distinct time periods as major league based on recommendations of the task force.

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“It is, first of all, an absolute honor to be included among the list of researchers and  historians on this committee,” Spyhalski said. “It is also humbling to think that the work of this committee may result in the long overdue recognition of segregated Black ballplayers, teams and leagues as major league caliber by Major League Baseball.”

This new committee will evaluate other leagues and teams from Black baseball history and make recommendations as to which leagues and teams should also be considered major league caliber.

In total, the committee includes 30 researchers and historians who have actively contributed to the literature and statistical record of the Negro Leagues.

Spyhalski’s publications include articles on the barnstorming Council Bluffs Merchant Maroons, Shreveport Acme Giants and Texas Black Spiders.

He also has a baseball blog that focuses on regional baseball including the Southern Minny League and town ball in Iowa.

He currently has an article titled, “The Paradox of Minnesota’s Town Ball Tradition: The Lack of Desegregation in ‘America’s Game’ in Southern Minnesota” pending editorial review for publication in “Black Ball: New Research in African American Baseball History.”