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When members of the Society of American Baseball Research sit down to write a book, don't expect kiss-and-tell tales or dugout innuendo. Dug-up facts, and plenty of them, are the main fare. Take, for instance, Peter Filichia's "Professional Baseball Franchises: From the Abbeville Athletics to the Zanesville Indians." An exhaustive list, it is published, appropriately, by Facts on File ($25.95, 290 pp.).

This is hardly the sort of work that gets prominent display in chain bookstores. But as compendiums go, it is impressive, listing every professional baseball team since 1869 - from major to lowest minor, from Canada to Mexico, including the old Negro league and women's teams.

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Research society authors do not limit themselves to the arcane. Some of their works would appeal even to casual fans. One example is the "Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball: American League," and the companion National League volume (Carroll & Graf, each nearly 600 pp.). These full-size paperbacks, edited by Peter C. (Dr. Baseball) Bjarkman, offer thorough histories of all 28 teams - yes, even short chapters on the expansion Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies. Because these are group projects, the w riting can be a bit uneven, but on the whole the authors deliver engaging narratives. And, of course, they are well researched. In fact, just the end-of-chapter notes, bibliographies, and tables are worth the $14.95 price of admission.

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