Sports Reference Blog

The Lengths Researchers Go To

Posted by admin on May 18, 2012

The following is a report from Richard Malatzky a stalwhart researcher with the SABR biographical committee. There are about 5-10 people on the SABR biographical committee who tirelessly do research to locate late 1800's early 1900's ballplayers. They pore over all kinds of records for no pay to get these records right. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

With the eventual release of Pennsylvania Deaths Register last month I thought I might find Morelock (ed. for the last 12 years, we've just called him Morelock) but it didn't happen.

I had been searching for him for about 35 years. It turns out that Philadelphia which is where he was from had several Morlocks but no Morelocks, not a one.

The Sporting Life mostly called him Morelock but Morlock did appear a couple of times.

(In the census) There was a Henry or Harry Morlock born November 1869 in Philadelphia and he was a weaver. I figured that this must be him. But what about A Harry? I saw him called A H Morelock a couple of times in Sporting Life. His father was Adam and son was Harry A.

He played several years around Philadelphia and appeared with the Phillies in 1891 and 1892.

Harry was in the census in Philadelphia up to 1930 and appeared in the Suburban phone book in Upper Darby Pa after 1940.

I searched his daughter's name Lillian and surprisingly found her obituary age 106. Lillian G Rathburn. I searched her name and surprisingly found a legal document from Atlantic City NJ that gave her father's date of death April 21 1949 and place Atlantic City. All of his relatives were listed and combined with Lillian's obit I was able to find the addresses of some relatives.

I found that the only newspaper available for an obit in Atlantic City was the AC Press. On a visit to AC, I searched the microfilm and no obit.

Today, I received an e-mail from a great great grandson of Harry who confirmed that this was the ballplayer. He has a picture of him in uniform.

Richard Malatzky

Biographical Committee

3 Responses to “The Lengths Researchers Go To”

  1. TapDancingTeddy Says:

    Wow. I wish I had some of these guys to go through my family history!

    It is terrific that SABR traces down every player, and in doing so, provide a record for the player's amily to look back on proudly. Outside of any baseball significance it has value for any family members who care about their ancestors.

    All for no money and little glory: great job Mr. Malatzky!

  2. Dan G Says:

    Great Story. I have never done the research but I have always been interested in what happened to the "Deceased" players, like Charlie Jones. Thanks for the hard work it is much appreciated.
    This has nothing to do with baseball but did you ever read the story about John Paul Jones burial site in France? And how they were able to find him, identify him and re-inter him at Annapolis Maryland?

  3. Laverne Graczyk Says:

    Can i upload short excerpts of copyrighted content on youtube?Is it supported by fair use provision?