John A. Thorn’68 DSC
1993 Distinguished Service Citation
While diamonds may be forever in the eyes of some, it is baseball diamonds that catch your fancy. Jerry Holtzman, the veteran Chicago Tribune columnist, recently called you “the reigning diamond historian … the possessor of baseball’s highest IQ,” contending that you learned to read from the backs of baseball cards. In addition to authoring 30 books, the latest being the third edition of Total Baseball, a heralded 2,632-page “Ultimate Encyclopedia of Baseball,” you have contributed to major national periodicals, become heavily involved in electronic publishing in the sports field, and ventured into new products and software development, plus licensing consulting, with Topps Card Company and Young Minds, Inc., respectively. This current activity is dominated by your work with Ken Burns, producer of the highly acclaimed television series on the Civil War, on a 20-hour documentary titled “Baseball” and scheduled for airing on the Public Broadcasting System next fall. Your diversified professional career also includes service as president of the Total Sports Company, which encompasses football and basketball as well as baseball, and of Professional Ink, Inc., a book production firm, and as historical consultant to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library and the Hall’s Committee on Baseball Veterans, to Major League Baseball, and to such publications as Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, and American Heritage. It is with great pride and pleasure that your Alma Mater, which just two months ago also became the college of your son Jed, acknowledges your significant creative accomplishments by presenting you this Distinguished Service Citation as your class returns to campus to celebrate its 25th Reunion.