By Suzanne Weiss/Director of Public Relations
MANITOWOC -- Students are used to seeing Steve Kuehl scrawling mathematical formulas on a campus whiteboard. What they may not know is that he likes to crank out anecdotes and statistics for books about baseball in his spare time.
Kuehl, mathematics professor and department chair at Silver Lake College, contributed chapters to two recently published books on his favorite sport.
The first book about the Detroit Tigers, “Tigers by the Tale,” was published in spring 2016 by the Society for American Baseball Research, which describes itself as “a worldwide community of people who love to read about, talk about and write about baseball.” The second book about Milwaukee County Stadium, “From the Braves to the Brewers,” was published by SABR in summer 2016.
“Part of what I really concentrated on in my articles was statistics. I did some analysis,” he said. “Mathematics is a way to relate everyday activities. It’s a way to dive into something like baseball in a more analytical sense than just watching the game. It’s a way to enjoy it in a sense that a lot of people may not.”
The books were a long time coming. Doing the research, gathered from newspaper articles and various websites, was the most challenging for him, Kuehl said.
“It took me two months to research, write, edit and revise my chapters. It took a year to finally be published,” he said as he leafed through one of the books. “It’s pretty neat just to look at my name in print in this format. It’s exciting getting my name and the college’s name out there in a different way.”
Kuehl grew up in the Escanaba area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula rooting for the Tigers and now lives in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, still a devoted Tigers fan.
One of Kuehl’s contributions to the first book is about the Tigers game against the Boston Red Sox on June 15, 1965, in which relief pitcher Dennis McLain struck out 14 batters, a Tigers’ record for a relief pitcher, Kuehl said.
His second section of the book focuses on Sept. 14, 1998, when the Tigers played the Chicago White Sox in “an unusually high-scoring game with lots of action,” he said.
The teams scored 33 runs and 41 hits, with six of them being home runs. They played 18 pitchers and set three records during the game, which ended up a 17-16 victory for the White Sox.
One of Kuehl’s contributions to the second book is about the Brewers’ season opener against the Boston Red Sox on April 10, 1980.
“A Brewers player named Sixto Lezcano hit two home runs, with the second one being a walk-off grand slam. He was the first player ever to hit a grand slam on multiple opening days,” Kuehl said.
Another of his articles features the movie, “Major League,” which is about the Cleveland Indians, but was partially filmed at County Stadium and other sites in Milwaukee.
The books include articles from various authors and are easy to read because of the format, Kuehl said.
They are available from Amazon.com in soft cover and e-book.