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The Fred Taylor baseball myth: a son goes to bat for his father

Shannon G. Taylor (Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Arthur G. Bedeian (Department of Management, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Article publication date: 27 June 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to refute allegations from various sources that, as a pitcher for the Phillips Exeter Academy baseball team, Frederick W. Taylor cheated by using an illegal overhand delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on archival research, including a recently discovered letter by his son, Robert, this paper dispels the “myth” surrounding Taylor's alleged cheating as a member of the Phillips Exeter Academy baseball team.

Findings

This research suggests that the “myth” of Fred's purported cheating may be traced to a January 1934 Esquire Magazine article by American Novelist John R. Dos Passos.

Originality/value

As a consequence, of the information only a son could have provided, this paper sets the record straight concerning Taylor's alleged cheating, and in doing so, demonstrate how a reliance on “myth” rather than “fact” stands in the way of capturing the elusive past.

Keywords

Citation

Taylor, S.G. and Bedeian, A.G. (2008), "The Fred Taylor baseball myth: a son goes to bat for his father", Journal of Management History, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 294-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511340810880652

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited