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University Scholars Lecture examines baseball's use of pitchers

March 14, 2007

Contact: Keith Miller, 217/206-7327, kmill2@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- Robert McGregor, professor of History at the University of Illinois at Springfield, will speak on "Crunching Casey Stengel," at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, in room 1002 of University Hall, on campus at the University of Illinois at Springfield.  The program is free and open to the public.

Photograph of Dr. Robert McGregor
Robert McGregor

McGregor's presentation will look at how baseball coaches and teams use pitchers and, based on a statistical analysis, will attempt to separate myth and legend from cold, hard facts. UIS faculty member Keith Miller notes, however, "Bob being Bob, he will almost certainly comment on baseball management, labor/management issues, and the glory of the game." The result, says Miller, will combine "a delightful scholarly presentation, starting pitching, sophisticated data analysis, and droll wit."

The program is part of the University Scholars Lecture Series, underwritten by the U of I and featuring presentations by recipients of the University of Illinois Scholars Award from all three U of I campuses.

McGregor was chosen as a University Scholar in 2003. Since joining the UIS History program in 1986, he has received national and international attention for his work as an environmental historian. His 1997 book, A Wider View of the Universe, was the first attempt to trace the origins of Henry David Thoreau's love of nature and took an in-depth look at Thoreau's self-imposed task of systematically observing and recording the environment in and around 19th century Concord, Massachusetts.

McGregor is also the author, with colleague Ethan Lewis, of Conundrums for the Long Weekend: England, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Lord Peter Wimsey, which received an Edgar for Best Critical Biography from the Mystery Writers of America in 2001. His first novel, All Fall Down, was a murder mystery set in Duluth, Minnesota, during the 1918 Spanish influenza epidemic; he is currently at work on a second novel.

McGregor received his Ph.D. in American History, with a focus on environmental issues, in 1984 from the State University of New York.

The University Scholars program was inaugurated in 1985 when the University of Illinois Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary. The program is designed to reward outstanding teachers and scholars on the three U of I campuses and to strengthen the University in meeting today's challenges and tomorrow's promise. Faculty are nominated for this award by their peers.

For more information, contact Miller at 206-7327.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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