SABR

This Week in SABR: February 3, 2012

Here's what we've been up to as of February 3, 2012:

Glenn Stout's "Fenway 1912" wins SABR Seymour Medal

Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year, written by Glenn Stout and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is the winner of the 2012 SABR Seymour Medal, which honors the best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year. 

 Stout, the author of Red Sox Century, Yankees Century, Nine Months at Ground Zero and The Cubs: The Complete Story of Chicago Cubs Baseball among his more than 80 books, will receive his award at the banquet of the 19th annual NINE Spring Training conference, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center in Tempe, Arizona. Banquet tickets are $40.

The banquet includes the Seymour Medal ceremony, dinner and the NINE Keynote address by SABR member Rob Fitts, author of Banzai Babe Ruth, Wally Yonamine, and Remembering Japanese Baseball. To register for the NINE conference, visit http://nineregistration.com.

The Seymour Medal Selection Committee released the following statement about Stout's Fenway 1912

“This wonderful book celebrates the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park, and it contains a detailed account of the 1912 World Series. Stout has done unique research as he describes the construction of the ball park. It is by far the best description of ballpark construction that each of us has ever read. Stout provides an overview of the regular season and the impact the new ballpark had on playing conditions during that season. The reader gets a real sense of how baseball was played in Boston 100 years ago.”

Stout was a finalist for the Seymour Medal in 2001 for Red Sox Century: One Hundred Years of Red Sox Baseball, which he co-authored with Dick Johnson. He also wrote the biography of Denny Galehouse for SABR's Baseball Biography Project book Spahn, Sain, and Teddy Ballgame: Boston's (almost) Perfect Baseball Summer of 1948, published in 2008.

“I'm totally thrilled,” Stout said of winning the Seymour Medal. “I'm surprised, happy, gratified, honored, every word you can think of. I'm not fibbing when I said (in the book) that Fenway is the reason I came to Boston. ... It was my entree to all things Boston.

“Most histories of a ballpark end up being histories of a team, and I wanted to avoid that. I was also very aware of not over-romanticizing the place. … It's almost an accident that Fenway still exists. If anyone had considered it a special place in 1912, it wouldn't have been preserved at all. It would have fallen down. But one of the reasons it still exists is because they kept on changing it when they needed to.”

The other finalists for the 2012 Seymour Medal were:

  • Campy: The Two Lives of Roy Campanella, by Neil Lanctot (Simon & Schuster) 
  • Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, by John Thorn (Simon & Schuster)

Related link: Read our Q&A with Glenn Stout on how his construction experience helped him write Fenway 1912

34 meetings held last Saturday to celebrate SABR Day

It was great fun to fire up the Hot Stove with the third annual SABR Day on Saturday, January 28. SABR Day is an annual event that brings together members and friends on the same day regardless of where they live. Thirty-four SABR Day meetings were held at locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico — from the National Baseball Hall of Fame to the La Habra Library near Los Angeles, from the taverns around Boston's Fenway Park to Mike Shannon's restaurant in St. Louis, from Florida's Fort Lauderdale Stadium to AT&T Park in San Francisco.

1960 National League MVP Dick Groat joined us in Pittsburgh, while former Washington Senators pitcher Jim Hannan spoke in the nation's capital, Mariners manager Eric Wedge and GM Jack Zduriencik were on hand in Seattle, and the Gatorade High School Player of the Year, Blake Swihart, stopped by in Albuquerque.

We're compiling highlights and photos of all the SABR Day 2012 events at SABR.org/sabrday.

Check out a SABR Day photo gallery at our Facebook page here: http://on.fb.me/xUocPr

If you took any photos or would like to write a brief recap of the SABR Day meeting you attended, please send it along to Jacob Pomrenke at jpomrenke@sabr.org so we can include it on the website.

Thanks again to all of our regional chapters that took part in SABR Day. We hope these meetings help satisfy your baseball fix until pitchers and catchers report — in just under three weeks!

Seven biographies posted at the new SABR BioProject

Seven new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,777 published biographies:

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

In case you missed it, last week we 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.

Have you renewed your SABR membership?

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, please send in your dues by February 29, 2012, in order to continue receiving the many benefits of SABR membership all year long. 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  — and we're glad you're along for the ride. 

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".

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!

3 new speakers added for SABR Analytics Conference

We don't think you'll want to miss our lineup of speakers for the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference. This week, we added three new speakers to our list: San Diego Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch, Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond and MLB Vice President of Western Operations Laurel Prieb.

They'll be joined by Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Arizona Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall, Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro, Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin, Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti and Los Angeles Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. More panelists, speakers and moderators will 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.

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.

Still time 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.

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

You still have a few 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.

In Memoriam

  • William F. "Bill" Ross III, 47, of Calhoun, Georgia, died Friday, January 27, 2012, of cancer. A longtime member of the Magnolia Chapter, Bill wrote two fine articles for the 2010 convention publication, The National Pastime: Baseball in the Peach State. His father, Bill Ross, passed along this message: "I am greatly saddened to have to let you know of the loss of our son. Bill the younger Ross passed away Friday night, January 27, after an enduring battle with cancer. Bill had a full and active life as a city planner, musician, film maker, Board member of the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, SABR baseball historian, avid Red Sox fan, and a lifetime member of Trout Unlimited, the Appalachian Trail Conference and Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, Zeta Kappa, during his short 47 year life span. He is survived by his parents, Bill and Sharon Ross of Madison Georgia, his aunts Patricia Ross of San Diego, California, Bonnie Wooten of Todd, North Carolina, and Lyn Cutler of Smyrna, Tennessee, and by his dear and closest friends David, Kirsten, Teri and Ida Bell of Calhoun, Georgia. Bill graduated from Middle Tennessee State University and Georgia Tech, and worked with his dad at Ross Associates for over a decade. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation, which can be found at www.georgiaplanning.org, or to your favorite charity."
  • Jose J. Jimenez, 74, of Santiago, Dominican Republic, died Wednesday, January 25, 2012, of cancer. Dr. Jose de Jesus Jimenez (Olavarrieta) was our first member from the Dominican Republic, joining SABR in 1980. In addition to his professional career as a distinguished cardiologist, Jose was one of the top authorities on baseball in the Caribbean. He was a great contributor to the Biographical Research Committee in tracking down players in the Dominican. In 1970, his book "Baseball Archive" was the first work published in the D.R. on Major League Baseball; it included a special section on Latin American players. An obituary from Cartel Deportivo (roughly translated to English via Google Translate) is available to read here: http://bit.ly/wXPl84. (The Spanish original is here: http://bit.ly/yaLh0H.)

We send our condolences to their families and friends. 

All "In Memoriam" notices are posted in the SABR Bulletin group here: http://sabrnation.sabr.org/groups2/discussion/list/groupid/1960. Please send notices to Jacob Pomrenke at jpomrenke@sabr.org.

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.

Call for award nominations

  • McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award, due 2/15/2012: The McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award honors the authors of the best articles on baseball history or biography completed or published during the preceding calendar year. A $200 cash award accompanies the honor. To submit a nomination for the 2011 awards, please send back this downloadable nominating form plus FIVE (5) copies of the work by February 15, 2012, to: (e-mail) lenlevin5@hotmail.com; or (mail) Len Levin, 282 Doyle Ave., Providence, RI 02906-3355.

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.

Replying to this e-mail goes to an undeliverable address. If you would like to contact the SABR office, please visit: http://sabr.org/about/contact-sabr

This page was last updated February 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm MST.

Individual Memberships start at just $45/year

Become A Member Today

When you join SABR you are making a statement of support for baseball history. You are joining a worldwide community of people who love to read about, talk about and write about baseball.