Bill Kirwin, the founding editor of Nine: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture, passed away on December 11, succumbing to the brain cancer he had battled for a year. A native of Boston and a lifelong Red Sox fan, Kirwin was Professor Emeritus of Social Work at the University of Calgary, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Nine is a cross-disciplinary academic journal, presenting analyses and inquiries on the subject of baseball from perspectives including history, sociology, economics, political science, architecture, literature, and film studies. The breadth and openness of Nine extends beyond the academy, as non-academic participants (such as yours truly) are welcomed and encouraged.
Kirwin’s contribution over the past two decades to the acceptance of baseball as a subject for serious academic study, and more broadly to the development of baseball scholars and writers, was tremendous. The culture that produces and nurtures ventures such as THT owes much to Kirwin’s pioneering.
For those of us privileged to know Bill Kirwin, the loss is two-fold. We’ve lost a pal: a smart, funny, gently perceptive fellow who was a delight to hang with. And we’ve lost someone whose tolerance, patience, support, and loyalty was the essence of a deep and true friend.