July 30-August 3, 2014
Royal Sonesta Houston
2222 W Loop S Fwy.
Houston, TX 77027
Couldn't make it to Houston? Check out complete coverage of SABR 44 online at SABR.org/convention!
The Society for American Baseball Research held its 44th annual convention on July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park.
Check out stories, photos, and multimedia clips from the SABR 44 convention in Houston:
Wednesday, July 30
- David Barron: Baseball history buffs descend on Houston (Houston Chronicle)
- Bill McCurdy: Recapping Day 1 of the SABR 44 convention (Pecan Park Eagle)
- Terri Schlather: Houston hosts seamheads at SABR 44 convention (The Crawfish Boxes)
- Brett Dolan: SABR convention under way in Houston (SportsRadio 610)
- In Memoriam: Paul Hirsch
- Check out photo galleries from Wednesday at SABR 44
Thursday, July 31
- Watch/listen to Houston Astros executive Reid Ryan deliver the opening remarks at SABR 44 (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the Houston Colt .45s Panel with Jimmy Wynn, Bob Aspromonte, Carl Warwick, Hal Smith, Mickey Herskowitz and Greg Lucas (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the College Baseball Panel with Roger Clemens, Mike Gustafson, Jim Gilligan and Mike Vance (video/audio)
- Listen to select research presentations from Thursday, July 31 at SABR 44 (audio)
- Listen to Mike Gustafson's presentation to the Oral History Committee and Rob Neyer's presentation to the Oral History Committee at SABR 44 (audio)
- Save the date! SABR 45 in Chicago will be June 24-28, 2015, at Palmer House Hilton
- Doc Adams selected as SABR's Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend for 2014
- Cecilia Tan: SABR 44 research presentations: Injuries, Surgery and Drugs (Why I Like Baseball)
- Max Mannis: Day 1, Baseball, Houston, and Clemens (SI For Kids)
- Spencer Fordin: Roger Clemens stars at SABR gathering in Houston (MLB.com)
- Spencer Fordin: Astros president Reid Ryan opens SABR event (MLB.com)
- Rick Gosselin: While HOF snub continues, Clemens comfortable talking baseball at SABR (Dallas Morning News)
- Graham Womack: An interview with Jimmy Wynn (Baseball Past and Present)
- Clemson study: MLB teams should grow their own left fielders (Greenville News)
- Bill McCurdy: Recapping Thursday at the SABR 44 convention (Pecan Park Eagle)
- Check out photo galleries from Thursday at SABR 44
Friday, August 1
- Leslie Heaphy selected as 2014 Bob Davids Award recipient
- Watch the 1980 Houston Astros Panel with Enos Cabell, Jose Cruz, Deacon Jones, Tal Smith, and Kenny Hand (video)
- Watch/listen to Houston Astros icon Larry Dierker's keynote speech at SABR 44 (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the Media Panel with Bill Brown, Buck Martinez, Alyson Footer, Evan Drellich, and Brett Dolan (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the Women in Baseball Panel with Leslie Heaphy, Jana Howser, Alyson Footer, Leila Rahimi and Marie "Red" Mahoney (video/audio)
- Listen to select research presentations from Friday, August 1 at SABR 44 (audio)
- Third time is a charm for Dan Massey in SABR 44 Trivia Contest
- Spencer Fordin: 1980 Astros built to run and win (MLB.com)
- Spencer Fordin: Larry Dierker shares his perspective on the game (MLB.com)
- Cecilia Tan: Day 2 research presentations (Why I Like Baseball)
- Max Mannis: Day 2, Astros, Scouts, and the Media (SI For Kids)
- Bill McCurdy: Recapping Friday at the SABR 44 convention (Pecan Park Eagle)
- Graham Womack: An interview with Larry Dierker (Baseball Past and Present)
- Matthew Crownover: Checking in at the SABR convention (ClemsonTigers.com)
- Check out photo galleries from Friday at SABR 44
Saturday, August 2
- Watch/listen to the From Playing Field to Front Office panel with Dr. Bobby Brown, Bob Watson, Eddie Robinson, and C. Paul Rogers III (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the Astros Player Panel from Minute Maid Park with Alan Ashby, Art Howe, Larry Dierker, and Bill Brown (video/audio)
- Watch/listen to the Decision Sciences Panel from Minute Maid Park with Jeff Luhnow, David Stearns, and Sig Mejdal (video/audio)
- Listen to select research presentations from Saturday, August 2 at SABR 44 (audio)
- Michael Haupert, Jimmy Sanderson, Matthew Crownover win 2014 presentation awards
- Spencer Fordin: Dr. Bobby Brown reflects on career at SABR panel (MLB.com)
- Cecilia Tan: SABR 44 ends with a flourish with memorable night at the ballpark (Why I Like Baseball)
- Graham Womack: An interview with Bob Watson (Baseball Past and Present)
- Matthew Crownover: Presentations, panels and a day at the ballpark (ClemsonTigers.com)
- Bill McCurdy: SABR convention highlights from Saturday (Pecan Park Eagle)
- Max Mannis: A day at the ballpark (SI For Kids)
- Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: "Explaining Why Branca and Not Erskine" (Seamheads.com)
- Check out photo galleries from Saturday at SABR 44
Around the Web
- Steve Bunin: Baseball nuts flock to Houston for SABR convention (Comcast SportsNet Houston)
- Graham Womack: My first SABR convention: What took so long? (Baseball Past and Present)
- Bill McCurdy: The face, form, and flow of SABR 44 (Pecan Park Eagle)
- Don Hammack: SABR 44 fever ... catch it! (DonHammack.com)
- Ryan Pollack: Quick reflections on SABR 44 (RyanPollack.com)
About SABR 44
The featured speakers at SABR 44 included Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros; and Larry Dierker, former Astros pitcher, broadcaster, and manager who is also the namesake of the local Houston SABR chapter.
In addition, we had several exciting panel discussions, including:
- College Baseball Panel with Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner and University of Texas legend, coach Jim Gilligan of Lamar University, Mike Gustafson of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and moderator Mike Vance
- Decision Sciences Panel led by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and executives Sig Mejdal and David Stearns
- Astros Player Panel with Art Howe, Alan Ashby, Larry Dierker, and moderator Bill Brown
- From Playing Field to Front Office with former American League president Dr. Bobby Brown , former Astros player and GM Bob Watson, former All-Star first baseman and GM Eddie Robinson, and moderator C. Paul Rogers III
- Houston Colt .45s Panel with Jimmy “Toy Cannon” Wynn, Bob Aspromonte, Hal Smith, Carl Warwick, sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz, and moderator Greg Lucas
- 1980 Houston Astros Panel with Enos Cabell, Jose Cruz, coach Deacon Jones, GM Tal Smith, and moderator Kenny Hand
- Media Panel with Astros broadcaster Bill Brown, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, Alyson Footer of MLB.com, Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez, and moderator Brett Dolan
- Women in Baseball Panel with Jana Howser of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League alumnus Marie “Red” Mahoney, Leila Rahimi of Comcast SportsNet Houston, Alyson Footer of MLB.com, and moderator Leslie Heaphy
On Saturday, August 2, SABR convention attendees had the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park for an exclusive pregame ballpark session with Houston Astros executives and players. Before the Astros' 6:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, two SABR 44 panel discussions took place inside Minute Maid Park.
We also visited Constellation Field, home of the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters, for a game against the Bridgeport Bluefish on Thursday, July 31. Before the game, former Houston Astros president and SABR member Tal Smith, a special advisor to the president of the Skeeters, welcomed SABR 44 attendees, along with Ira Liebman, voice of the Skeeters and also a SABR member.
There were 32 groundbreaking presentations of baseball research — including a study of the Astrodome and its place in popular culture; facial hair and the 1972 World Series; the Retroactive All-Star Game Project; an examination of MLB managers and leadership qualities; an insider's look at Cuban baseball defectors; an in-depth study of team chemistry in baseball; and the Negro League Houston Eagles.
The Awards Luncheon included keynote speaker Larry Dierker, along with the presentation of SABR's highest honor, the Bob Davids Award. As always, there was the highly competitive and entertaining SABR Trivia Contest finals on Friday night.
For more coverage, visit SABR.org/convention.
Get your copy of Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
All SABR 44 convention attendees received a free copy of Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961, edited by Mike Vance and produced by SABR's Larry Dierker Chapter, as part of their registration goody bag.
The story of Houston's transition from the minors to a Major League city is one that includes all manner of politics, personalities and back room deals that feature some of the biggest names in the sport. Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961 also has chapters on the black baseball teams in Houston that ran on a parallel course in the days of segregation. It has amateur, women's and youth baseball, high school and college teams and even covers the media that covered baseball. There is an amazing collection of stories on the days when Houston was a Spring Training site and on the numerous exhibitions that brought the cream of the big league crop through town.
Richly illustrated and expertly told, Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961 is a story for all fans of Houston baseball and Houston history. Learn more about the book at http://www.houstonbaseball.org.
Click here for SABR member Bill McCurdy's preview of Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961, with video by F.X. Flinn.
- Souvenir edition of The National Pastime: SABR 44 attendees also received a souvenir print edition of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, focusing on baseball teams, players and events in the Houston area. All SABR members, whether you attend the convention or not, can download the expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime or read any article online at SABR.org/research/2014-national-pastime.
For more information on SABR conferences throughout the year, visit SABR.org/events.
- 2013 convention coverage: For complete coverage of SABR 43 in Philadelphia, click here
- Convention history: For a multimedia look at every SABR convention since 1971, click here