SABR

This Week in SABR: February 17, 2012

Here's what we've been up to as of February 17, 2012:

SABR announces 2012 Henry Chadwick Award winners

We're pleased to announce the 2012 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award, established to honor the game’s great researchers—historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists—for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.

The 2012 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are:

  • Robert Creamer (1922- ), a prolific baseball writer whose 1974 biography of Babe Ruth, Babe: The Legend Comes to Life, stands as a monument of the craft. A writer and senior editor for Sports Illustrated from its 1954 inception until 1984, Creamer also wrote Stengel: His Life and Times and Baseball in ’41, and contributed to several other baseball histories. But it was his research and prose about The Bambino which laid the path for the many great sports biographies that have followed. It was the first comprehensive biography about Ruth since his death in 1948, and remains arguably the definitive account of the Hall of Fame slugger's life.
  • Tom Heitz (1940- ) was the National Baseball Hall of Fame Librarian for 12 years beginning in 1983. He oversaw a construction project that greatly enlarged the building and made it a modern facility, grew the collections and services, provided for the conservation of materials and expanded access to researchers. As Hall of Fame Librarian, he first proposed and then helped establish SABR's Seymour Medal, first awarded in 1996, to honor the best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year.
  • F.C. Lane (1896-1984) was the editor and a prolific writer for Baseball Magazine from 1912 through 1937. The author of hundreds of editorials, interviews and articles about how the game was or should be played, Lane wrote forward-thinking pieces about, for example, how batting average could be misleading, opining that different batting outcomes should have different weights. It would be a few more generations before his wisdom began to win the day.
  • Ray Nemec (1929- ) had already spent 30 years traveling throughout the Midwest tracking down minor league box scores before SABR was founded in 1971. One of SABR's sixteen original members and the first chairman of SABR's Minor Leagues Research Committee, he was a pioneer in compiling and correcting the lifetime records of professional players at all levels. Hall of Fame historian Lee Allen called him "the foremost authority on minor league players." Ray was instrumental in the 1978 publication of SABR's Minor League Stars, the first comprehensive listing of career records for minor league players, and his work has appeared many times in The Sporting News and other publications.
  • David W. Smith (1948- ) founded Retrosheet in 1989 and has been its leader ever since. A prolific researcher in his own right, Smith’s dream of collecting the play-by-play for thousands of games has been surpassed: as of 2012, more than 120,000 play-by-play accounts are available on Retrosheet’s website, comprising about 60 percent of the major league games in history. Retrosheet is the backbone of so much historical and statistical research, and Smith’s vision and generosity have greatly influenced the research community over the past 20 years.

By honoring individuals for the length and breadth of their contribution to the study and enjoyment of baseball, the Chadwick Award will educate the baseball community about sometimes little known but vastly important contributions from the game’s past and thus encourage the next generation of researchers.

For a complete list of Chadwick Award winners, click here: http://sabr.org/about/henry-chadwick-award

Three new panels for SABR Analytics Conference

We're less than a month away from the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference! Join us March 15-17 at the Hilton Phoenix/East in Mesa, Arizona.

Here are a few of the panel discussions we have on the schedule:

General Managers Panel: Moderated by Ken Rosenthal, this panel will discuss how major league front offices are using analytics to develop a competitive edge and stay ahead of their competition. Scheduled for Friday, March 16.

  • Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians: Chris is entering his second season as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Cleveland Indians since being elevated to the position following the 2010 season. It is his 13th season overall with the franchise after spending nine seasons as Assistant General Manager and, later, Vice President of Baseball Operations from 2002-10.
  • Jerry Dipoto, Los Angeles Angels: Jerry is entering his first season as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Angels. He previously spent six seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, most recently as the Senior Vice President, Scouting & Player Development.
  • Doug Melvin, Milwaukee Brewers: Doug was named Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001. During Melvin’s tenure, the organization’s farm system has produced a number of players who have contributed greatly to the Major League team. Prior to joining the Brewers, Melvin was the general manager of the Texas Rangers from 1996-2001.
  • Ken Rosenthal, MLB Network/FoxSports.com (moderator): Ken is a Baseball Insider for MLB Network and regularly appears on MLB Tonight and Hot Stove. A sportswriter for more than 20 years, he also is FoxSports.com's senior baseball writer and a weekly contributor to the Fox Saturday Baseball Game of the Week. On-air since 2005, he serves as the field reporter during Fox Sports' featured baseball matchup.

Clubhouse Confidential Panel: Our panelists appear regularly on MLB Network's signature sabermetrics program, "Clubhouse Confidential" (airing at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. daily). You will have the opportunity to ask them questions related to baseball analytics, value projection and other topics. Scheduled for Friday, March 16.

  • Dave Cameron, FanGraphs: Dave is Managing Editor and a Senior Writer at FanGraphs. He was the co-founder of the U.S.S. Mariner blog and previously worked at Baseball Prospectus.
  • Jay Jaffe, Baseball Prospectus: Jay is the author of Baseball Prospectus’ weekly Prospectus Hit List, the Prospectus Hit and Run column and BP’s in-house expert on the Hall of Fame.
  • Vince Gennaro, SABR: Vince is the President of SABR and author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball. He is a consultant to MLB teams, and he teaches in the graduate programs at Columbia University and Manhattanville College.
  • Rob Neyer, Baseball Nation: Rob is the National Baseball Editor for SB Nation. He previously worked with Bill James, STATS, Inc. and ESPN.com. He has also written or co-written six baseball books, including The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers (with Bill James), winner of the Sporting News/SABR Baseball Research Award.

Fantasy Baseball Panel: What we can all learn from Fantasy Baseball and the way it has impacted MLB teams. Scheduled for Friday, March 16.

  • Derek Carty, Baseball Prospectus: Derek is the Fantasy Manager at Baseball Prospectus. He previously served as fantasy baseball manager of The Hardball Times.
  • Eno Sarris, FanGraphs: Eno, a graduate of Stanford University, is a writer for FanGraphs, Amazin’ Avenue of SB Nation and RotoGraphs, a FanGraphs-based blog affiliate.
  • Cory Schwartz, MLB.com (moderator): Cory is Vice President of Statistics for MLB.com and co-host of Fantasy 411 on MLB.com and MLB Network. He is also a pioneer of the Pitch f/x system.
  • Rob Shaw, Bloomberg Sports: Rob is the Head of Broadcast/Executive Producer of Bloomberg Sports. He appears on Bloomberg TV in Fantasy Sports Reports, as well as USAToday.com and MLB.com.

Also on our list of speakers: Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts; Arizona Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall; Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro; San Diego Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch; Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond; and MLB Vice President of Western Operations Laurel Prieb. More panels and speakers to be announced soon.

Also, SABR member Sean Forman, president of Sports Reference, LLC, will be holding a Baseball-Reference Open Forum on Friday and Saturday. Sean will be available for two hours each morning to provide tips, suggestions and answer user questions. In addition to a rundown of popular features and tools, Sean will show you how to embed B-R content within your blogs or websites, quickly link from your articles to Baseball-Reference.com player pages, and promote your content directly to Baseball-Reference.com users. Stop by our forum or stop Sean in the hallway and receive a free 15-day trial to the Baseball Reference Play Index!

Check out our website at SABR.org/analytics for the most up-to-date SABR Analytics Conference information.

Sign up now to get the early registration rate for the:

SABR Analytics Conference, presented by Bloomberg Sports and Major League Baseball
When: March 15-17, 2012
Where: Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa, 1011 West Holmes Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85210

Never before have as many of the top minds of the baseball analytic community come under one roof to discuss, debate and share learnings of insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball. Some of the topics we are planning to cover include: how technology is changing baseball; Managers Panel on how analytics has changed the game; GM Panel on how analytics shape decisions; measuring player performance; technology and in-game strategy, and much more.

The SABR Analytics Conference will begin on Thursday, March 15 and conclude on Saturday, March 17 at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa in Arizona. The schedule will consist of a combination of Guest Speakers, Panels and Research Presentations — plus the inaugural SABR Case Competition, in which undergraduate and graduate students will analyze and present a real baseball operations decision, and be judged by MLB front office executives. Participating schools now include New York University; University of Chicago; Northwestern University; University of California-Berkeley; Elon University; University of Portland; University of South Carolina; Siena College; and Manhattanville College.

The early registration rate ($250 for SABR members and students; $350 for non-members) will expire soon. SABR has secured a special hotel rate of $139/night at the Hilton, which includes complimentary wireless high-speed Internet, parking and breakfast buffet for two.

To register for the SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics.

To sign up for the Case Competition, visit SABR.org/analytics/case or contact SABR President Vince Gennaro.

Renew your SABR membership by Feb. 29 to get the Spring BRJ!

Thanks to all of you who have already renewed your SABR membership for 2012. We wouldn't be here without you, and we appreciate your support.

For those of you who haven't renewed: We must receive your dues by February 29, 2012, in order for you to receive the Spring 2011 edition of the Baseball Research Journal.

You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 343-6455; or by mailing this downloadable PDF form and your payment to the SABR office at 4455 E. Camelback Road, Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Note: If you have already renewed for 2012 or just recently sent in your dues, please disregard this notice ... and thank you again! If you don't know when your membership expires, go to the Members' Info page and click the link that says "See when your membership expires".

We've got a lot of exciting benefits in store for 2012 — including a groundbreaking Analytics Conference and Case Competition during spring training; new titles in our Digital Library book collection; SABR 42 in Minneapolis; many additions to the BioProject; and, of course, three high-quality research publications in the Baseball Research Journal (2 issues) and The National Pastime (1 issue)  — and we're glad you're along for the ride. 

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: all members in good standing receive two issues of the Baseball Research Journal and one issue of The National Pastime; access to research resources such as Paper of Record (with complete archives of The Sporting News); discounts to SABR conferences such as the national convention (June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis), the spring Analytics Conference and Case Competition (March 15-17 in Phoenix), the summer Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference (July 19-21 in Cleveland) and the Arizona Fall League Conference; access to our SABR-L research listserv and lending library; all 27 research committees, 60+ regional chapters; and more.

We believe SABR has something for everyone, from the active researcher to the passionate baseball fan. When you renew, we hope you'll invite your friends, colleagues and family members to join, too, at http://store.sabr.org.

  • Donate to SABR: If you support SABR and all the groundbreaking research our members have and will produce, please also consider donating online at SABR.org/donate or via mail. No amount is too big or too small, and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation to SABR is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have given in the past, we remain grateful and hope you will consider giving again. If you are a first-time donor, welcome aboard!

Two days left to submit your SABR 42 research presentation

We invite all members to present their research findings to their colleagues attending SABR 42, June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Oral presentations are expected to last 20 minutes, followed by a five minute question-and-answer period. Posters will be presented, with the author on-hand to discuss the work, during a poster session of 90 or so minutes, and will probably remain on display throughout the convention. Abstracts covering all aspects of baseball research are welcomed.

Through on-site judging, the most highly regarded presentations will receive the Doug Pappas Award for best oral presentation and the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for best poster presentation.

The submission deadline for SABR 42 abstracts is midnight PST, Sunday, FEBRUARY 19, 2012.

Submit abstracts to sabr2012-presentations@comcast.net, the research presentations address for SABR42. (You may also use the alternate address sabr42-presentations@comcast.net.) Questions regarding the submission, review, and evaluation procedures should also be sent to sabr2012-presentations@comcast.net.

Tributes to "The Kid": Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter

Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter passed away Thursday at age 57 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. SABR members and baseball writers throughout North America — after all, Carter was the first Montreal Expos player to be elected to the Hall of Fame in 2003 — offered their condolences and tributes to the always-smiling "Kid". Here are a sampling of our favorites:

Nine biographies posted at the new SABR BioProject

Nine new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,795 published biographies. Who will write No. 1,800? Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here: http://sabr.org/bioproj/recent

We recently relaunched the BioProject at its new home page: SABR.org/BioProject. The new BioProject fully integrates its design with SABR.org and upgrades the back-end platform, making it easier for us to post and edit new bios and eliminating some formatting problems with the original software. All of your old URLs should still work (and if you find one that doesn't, please contact jpomrenke@sabr.org.)

The upgraded BioProject also gives you the ability to search the full text of any biography we've published. Use the search bar that appears atop every biography to find any name or phrase that appears in the BioProject. And just click the words “SABR Baseball Biography Project” in the search bar to get back to the home page.

Writing a biography for the BioProject is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by visiting our BioProject Resources page or reading the FAQs section.

Download your free SABR e-books: "Can He Play?" and "Run, Rabbit, Run"

You still have a couple weeks left to download your free copy of our first two SABR Digital Library (sabr.org/ebooks) selections. Both of our books are being offered as free member downloads through February 29, 2012.

RUN, RABBIT, RUN: The Hilarious and Mostly True Tales of Rabbit Maranville is the unfinished autobiography of Hall of Fame infielder Walter "Rabbit" Maranville — one of baseball's all-time funny characters. He was a star shortstop on the "Miracle" Boston Braves' world championship team of 1914 and, despite his 5-foot-5 stature and weak bat, sometimes served as the team's cleanup hitter in those Deadball Era days. He did compile 2,605 career hits, but it was his stellar defensive play that kept him in the major leagues for 23 colorful seasons with the Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. At the urging of his daughter and sports writer Max Kase, Maranville put down on paper his collection of amusing anecdotes a year before his death in 1954, just weeks before his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. For decades, the stories were virtually unread until Dallas and Ralph Graber discovered the manuscript and brought it to SABR for resurrection. SABR originally published RUN, RABBIT, RUN in 1991 as a benefit for members, with an introduction by baseball historian Dr. Harold Seymour and a biographical essay on Maranville by Bob Carroll. The text and photographs in this newly published edition of RUN, RABBIT, RUN remain unchanged.

CAN HE PLAY? A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession: They dig through tons of coal to find a single diamond. They spend countless hours traveling miles and miles on lonely back roads and way too much time in hotels. Their front offices expect them to constantly provide player reports and updates. So much of their time is spent away from family and friends, missing birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Their best friend is Rand McNally. Always asking the question, “CAN HE PLAY?” Such is the life of a professional scout. CAN HE PLAY? collects the contributions of 26 members of the Society for American Baseball Research on the subject of scouts, including biographies and historical essays. The book touches on more than a century of scouts and scouting with a focus on the men (and the occasional woman) who have taken on the task of scouring the world for the best ballplayers available. In CAN HE PLAY? we meet the “King of Weeds,” a Ph.D. we call “Baseball’s Renaissance Man,” a husband-and-wife team, pioneering Latin scouts, and a Japanese-American interned during World War II who became a successful scout—and many, many more.

Kindle users: Having trouble downloading a SABR e-book to your device? Visit http://sabr.org/ebooks/kindle-help for assistance.

To learn more about the SABR Digital Library, visit SABR.org/ebooks. To learn more about all SABR Publications, contact Cecilia Tan at ctan@sabr.org.

February 3-4 Board minutes posted

Minutes from the February 3-4 Board of Directors conference call have now been posted on the SABR website.

You can view all past minutes of SABR Board meetings by going to the page below:

http://sabr.org/content/sabr-board-minutes

Or you can go to the Members' Info page and click on "Organizational Files", then "Board Minutes" to view the minutes.

Register for Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference

  • Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, April 20-21, Cooperstown, New York: Registration is now open for the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference at SABR.org/ivor-campbell19c. Conference registration is open to all SABR members and up to two non-SABR family members or friends (18 years or older). There are also “Welcoming Dinner”, “Luncheon Only” and “Post Conference Gathering” registration options. Registration will continue until April 10, 2012, or space is filled, whichever comes first. Click here to download a Registration Form in the Nineteenth Century Committee's Winter 2012 newsletter. Registrations can be accepted by mail only. Submit your research presentation abstracts by February 15, 2012. Conference attendees who are baseball authors will have an opportunity to submit their books when registering so that the Hall of Fame bookstore can stock their book for purchase and for signing.
  • Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, July 19-21, Cleveland, Ohio: Registration is now open for the 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference at SABR.org/malloy. The Malloy Conference, hosted by SABR's Negro Leagues Committee, promotes activities to enhance scholarly, educational, and literary objectives. For the past 14 years, the event has been the only symposium dedicated exclusively to the examination and promotion of black baseball history. The conference is open to baseball and history fans of all ages. Each year, monies are targeted to donate books to schools or libraries; raise funds for the Grave Marker Project; and award scholarships to high school seniors in a nationwide essay contest and a nationwide art contest. Submit your research presentation abstracts by March 19, 2012. A complete information packet with schedule, mail-in registration form and program advertising opportunities can be downloaded here (PDF) or on the website.

Chapter meeting recaps

Upcoming SABR events:

Visit SABR.org/events for details on all upcoming SABR events.

In other recent SABR news:

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: http://sabr.org/content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.

Find more information about SABR at the Members' Info page here: http://sabr.org/about/members-info.

If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in "This Week in SABR", e-mail Jacob Pomrenke at jpomrenke@sabr.org.

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This page was last updated February 17, 2012 at 4:24 pm MST.

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