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As a baseball reporter for The Baltimore Sun from 1994 to 1996, Brad Snyder was privileged to cover the Baltimore Orioles during Cal Ripkin’s stretch run to breaking Lou Gehrig’s long-standing record for consecutive games played. He also had ample opportunity to match wits in interviews with the owner of the ball club, plaintiffs lawyer Peter Angelos. Snyder says his sparring sessions with Angelos helped him decide to abandon daily journalism for a life in the law. In 1999, his J.D. from Yale Law School in hand, Snyder started a one-year clerkship for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Once he was done clerking, it was time for him to find a law firm job. “I came to Williams & Connolly because of the reputation of the firm,” says the 30-year-old Snyder, whose practice consists of civil litigation on the defense side. He has worked on commercial, legal malpractice, and media-related cases. If the life of a second-year associate at Williams & Connolly can be grueling at times, Snyder, the author of Beyond the Shadow of the Senators, learned recently that the firm stands for more than just hard work. “On [Feb. 10], they had a surprise book signing for me,” says a grateful Snyder. “I was really touched.” Practically the whole firm turned out, says Snyder, including such firm legends as Brendan Sullivan and David Kendall. The book that his Williams & Connolly colleagues came to celebrate, Snyder says, “is a 10-year project in the making.” Snyder, who grew up in Potomac, Md., has been a baseball fan for as long as he can remember. “All I heard about growing up was the Senators, the Senators, the Senators.” So how did Snyder come to write a history of the Negro Leagues’ Homestead Grays? “In college, I wanted to write about baseball,” he recalls. Snyder, who as a Duke University sophomore had taken an Afro-American history course with professor Raymond Gavins, was encouraged by Gavins to write his senior honors thesis on the Grays. Gavins served as Snyder’s adviser on the paper. In 1993, funded by a small grant from Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies, Snyder undertook a series of interviews with players, fans, journalists, and photographers. “So much of the Negro Leagues’ story is based on oral history,” Snyder says. The genesis of Beyond the Shadow of the Senators can be traced to the research he collected for his senior thesis. So when he started writing his book in earnest near the end of his clerkship with Judge Nelson, Snyder says that “85 percent of the research was done.” He spent the remainder of his research time mostly at the Washingtoniana Division of the Martin Luther King Jr. Public Library, at Howard University’s Moorland-Springarn Research Center, and at the Library of Congress reading contemporary accounts of the events in such African-American newspapers as The Pittsburgh Courier and The Washington Tribune. “The Tribune gave me a window on Sam Lacy’s life,” says Snyder, who points out that as early as 1924, the renowned black sports scribe was writing about integrating baseball in the Tribune. “The story of the integration of baseball is more than just Branch Rickey plucking Jackie Robinson out of the Negro Leagues,” says Snyder. With one work of baseball history under his belt, Snyder is not satisfied to stop there. His next project: an examination of Flood v. Kuhn, the 1972 Supreme Court case stemming from ballplayer Curt Flood’s antitrust suit against Major League Baseball. � J.C.

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