SABR

This Week in SABR: January 20, 2012

Here's what we've been up to as of January 20, 2012:

"Run, Rabbit, Run" is latest addition to SABR Digital Library

We are pleased to offer the second title in the SABR Digital Library (sabr.org/ebooks) as a free member download 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.

SABR members: This book is available as a FREE e-book download until February 29, 2012.

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.

  • Download your Scouts book, too! Don't forget, SABR members also have until February 29 to download their free copy of our first e-book, CAN HE PLAY? A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession. More than 2,000 of you already have done so, but that just means many more of you haven't! Visit SABR.org/ebooks to get your free copy today.

SABR Day is next week: Saturday, January 28

We've added four new SABR Day meetings — in Austin, TX; Norman, OK; Ponce, Puerto Rico; and Tallahassee, FL — and many more details for all the SABR Day meetings scheduled for Saturday, January 28 at SABR.org/sabrday. We hope to see you at one next week. Here are some highlights being planned:

In Albuquerque, the Gatorade High School Player of the Year, Blake Swihart, is expected to show up; in Boston, we're planning a "Tour of Baseball Infamy" pub crawl; our Cooperstown and San Francisco chapters are going to link up again via satellite and show off Giants and A's artifacts; and in Denver, we'll be playing catch outside Coors Field (rain, shine or snow!). Some of our honored guests include former Milwaukee Braves catcher Del Crandall (in Los Angeles); Tigers president of baseball operations Mike Smith (in Detroit); former Washington Senators pitcher Jim Hannan (in Washington, D.C.); and 1960 NL MVP Dick Groat (in Pittsburgh).

Find details of a SABR Day meeting near you at SABR.org/sabrday. Regional SABR meetings are open to all baseball fans, so feel free to bring a baseball-loving friend — or two!

Here are confirmed locations for SABR Day meetings:

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Austin, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Burlington, VT
  • Columbus, OH
  • Cooperstown, NY
  • Denver, CO
  • Detroit, MI (combined meeting of Detroit, Don Lund, Wally Pipp and Toledo chapters)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Kenosha, WI (combined meeting of Emil Rothe and Ken Keltner Badger State chapters)
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Los Angeles, CA (La Habra)
  • Louisville, KY
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Montreal, QC
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Norman, OK
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Ponce, Puerto Rico (Juana Diaz)
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Toronto, ON
  • Washington, DC (Arlington, VA)
  • West Haven, CT

Complete information is available at http://sabr.org/sabrday. Or go straight to our Google Map here: http://g.co/maps/484pv

Attention, chapter leaders: If your SABR Day meeting isn't on this list, please send details to Jacob Pomrenke at jpomrenke@sabr.org. We'll post your event at SABR.org/sabrday as soon as we hear from you.

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 before you stop receiving the many benefits of SABR membership. 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!

Register for the SABR Analytics Conference

We don't think you'll want to miss our lineup of speakers for the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference. 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 are already scheduled to appear. More speakers will be announced soon.

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

SABR Analytics Conference, presented by Bloomberg Sports
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.

Call for SABR 42 research presentations

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.

An interview with baseball biographer Robert Creamer

Our must-read article of the week goes to SABR member Graham Womack, who runs the Baseball Past and Present website. He published this insightful interview Tuesday with famed baseball biographer Robert Creamer, one of the original Sports Illustrated writers and author of Babe: The Legend Comes to Life and Stengel: His Life and Times. Here's a short excerpt:

Q: A retired scout told me baseball changes too much every ten years to allow for comparisons between different eras. What sort of changes have you seen in your lifetime?

A: Your baseball scout is right on the money, though I would love to read about the changes he’s been most aware of. Me, I forget what an antiquity I am, not just dating from when I began following big league baseball as a little [boy] but later when I started writing about it and even later when I retired from Sports Illustrated, which in itself is a long time ago. I first became intensely aware of big league baseball in the summer of 1931, when I was nine. My big brother, who was six years older than I, took me to my first major league game, or games — it was a doubleheader between the old New York Giants and the old Brooklyn Dodgers in the old Polo Grounds on the banks of the Harlem River in New York, below the steep hillside known as Coogan’s Bluff. John McGraw was still managing the Giants and Wilbert Robinson the Dodgers, who were generally known as the Robins. ... Nicknames were just that at the time, nicknames, but they became big business later, as did every part of baseball.

Read the full interview here: http://baseballpastandpresent.com/2012/01/17/interview-robert-creamer/ 

Cieradkowski's cards illustrate baseball history

We also enjoyed this profile by ESPN's Jim Caple on Thursday, on fellow SABR member Gary Cieradkowski's unique baseball card designs:

The most beautiful baseball cards you'll ever see don't come in an aluminum foil or wax paper wrapper. They aren't stained by a stale plank of unchewable gum. And they are so drop-dead gorgeous you would never, ever, under any circumstance consider sticking them to your bicycle spokes.

Not that you could anyway. Because the most beautiful baseball cards you'll ever see are online at Gary Cieradkowski's website, infinitecardset.blogspot.com. … Cieradkowski, 41, is a superb graphic artist and illustrator -- he designed the clock at Camden Yards, along with the ballpark's seat logos while he was in college -- and he's been creating the cards on his blog since his father died in the fall of 2009. His father had passed on his baseball passion to Gary, who fondly recalls the ongoing trivia contest between the two.

Read the full article, and see Gary's card designs of Warren Spahn and Eddie Gaedel, at http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7474931/gary-cieradkowski-brings-life-baseball-cards

Seamheads Negro Leagues Database update: 1914-15 Negro League stats

SABR member Gary Ashwill writes:

New to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database this week are the 1914 and 1915 Negro leagues. The 1914 season in particular marks a turning point in black baseball history, as Charles Isham Taylor, former manager of the Birmingham Giants and West Baden Sprudels, arrived in Indianapolis to take over the A.B.C.s, bringing along with him his three ballplaying brothers: Ben, Steel Arm Johnny, and Candy Jim. Starting from this season, the market for professional black baseball in the Midwest mushroomed, as these two teams, the traveling Cuban Stars, and the St. Louis Giants played more and more games against each other. A league seemed the inevitable outcome, though this wouldn’t actually come about until 1920. Rube Foster seemed to be thinking in these terms, as he spent the latter part of 1914 shuttling between Chicago and Louisville, where he was managing the Louisville White Sox in an apparent attempt to build up a potential franchise there. 

Read the full article here: http://seamheads.com/2012/01/15/negro-leagues-db-update-1914-1915-negro-leagues/

The Seamheads Negro League Database can be viewed here: http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php

Two new biographies posted at the SABR BioProject

Two new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,770 published biographies:

All new biographies can be found here: http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=n&m=61

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.

Writing opportunities for SABR members

  • History of the Winter Meetings book: Have you ever wondered about the details of the baseball winter meetings? The Business of Baseball Committee is seeking more writers for a History of the Winter Meetings book, a project already under way. Volunteers would be expected to write about one or two of the winter meetings, and the work would need to be drafted by mid-2012. Samples and some of the needed research material will be provided to writers. If you are looking for a way to get involved in research, with some guidance, and you are persistent, contact Steve Weingarden at steveweingarden@gmail.com.
  • Full Spectrum Baseball: The new Full Spectrum Baseball website is looking for SABR members to write once a week on topics that are hot within the SABR community. These can vary from statistical analysis to research projects to anything that is of interest within SABR. Be advised that their positions are currently non-compensated. If you would like to be part of a growing site with a solid team, e-mail SABR member Bill Ivie at bill@fullspectrumbaseball.com.

Calls for award, election nominations

  • Ron Gabriel Award, due 1/31/2012: This award honors the author(s) of the best research, published or unpublished, on the subject of the Brooklyn Dodgers, completed during the preceding calendar year. Eligible works include but are not limited to magazine and journal articles, previously unpublished chapters or articles in anthologies or other books with multiple authors, unpublished research papers, written versions of oral presentations, books, databases and websites. Nominations should be sent to William Dahlberg at dahlbergwn@gmail.com no later than January 31, 2012. All nominations must include one (1) copy of the research material, a link to the material or some other reference enabling the award committee to review the work.
  • Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, due 1/31/2012: The Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award honors those whose outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball. Each award shall consist of a cash prize of $200, to be provided by The Sporting News. To submit a nomination for the 2011 awards, please send back this downloadable nominating form plus FIVE (5) copies of the work by January 31, 2012, to: (e-mail) jcassandro@sabr.org; (fax) 602-595-5690; or (mail) Jim Cassandro c/o SABR, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.
  • SABR election candidates, due 2/1/2012: The SABR Nominating Committee seeks nominations for candidates for the 2012 SABR Board of Directors elections. Deadline for nominations is February 1, 2012. Nominees must prepare a Candidate Statement Form following guidelines that will be available from any Nominating Committee member: chair Barry Mednick, Rich Schabowski, and Barry Deutsch. Self-nominations are welcome. The offices to be filled are Vice President (2-year term: currently Bill Nowlin); Secretary (3-year term; currently Todd Lebowitz); and Director (3-year term; currently Gary Gillette.)
  • 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 January 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm MST.

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