This Week in SABR: July 20, 2012
Here's what we've been up to as of July 20, 2012:
With the announcement of SABR's major licensing deal with MLB Advanced Media, SABR members became eligible for a 25% discount for new MLB.TV Premium Monthly subscriptions through the remainder of the 2012 season. (That means your first month is free, no matter when you sign up.)
The 25% discount applies to MLB.TV Premium and MLB.TV subscriptions, and to new MLB.TV monthly subscribers only.
SABR members also are eligible for a 10% discount off their next order at the MLB.com Shop (certain restrictions apply; click below for details).
Click here to take advantage of our special discount offers for MLB.TV and the MLB.com Shop:
With MLB.TV Premium Monthly, you can watch home or away feeds of every out-of-market regular season game LIVE in HD quality. At Bat 12 is now included free with your MLB.TV Premium subscription: watch on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and select Android phones (now available), PLUS, new connected devices for the 2012 season like Xbox 360.
We hope you enjoy these special offers from SABR and MLB Advanced Media!
The place to be this weekend is Cooperstown, New York, and SABR members have a lot planned for the annual Induction Weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
First, congratulations are once again in order to longtime SABR member Bob Elliott, a sports writer for the Toronto Sun, who will receive his J.G. Taylor Spink Award on Saturday after being honored by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Bob is the first Canadian writer to be honored and the ninth SABR member, joining Bill Madden (2010), Tracy Ringolsby (2005), Leonard Koppett (1992), Jerome Holtzman (1989), Jack Lang (1986), Allen Lewis (1981), Bob Broeg (1979) and Fred Lieb (1972). Spink, the longtime editor and publisher of The Sporting News, was a 2011 recipient of SABR's Henry Chadwick Award, honoring baseball's greatest researchers, historians, statisticians, annalists and archivists. MLB Network will air highlights from the awards ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday.
On Sunday, the main festivities take place as Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin and Chicago Cubs third baseman Ron Santo are inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (the ceremony will air live on MLB Network at 1:30 p.m. EDT.) As Bruce Markusen writes at The Hardball Times, Santo's presence will surely be missed just one year after he passed away. SABR member Chris Jaffe looks back at "This Old Cub's" career highlights, his personal bests and great performances at THT, while Wendy Thurm at FanGraphs explains the greatness of Barry Larkin as a shortstop and as a player.
Finally, if you happen to be in Cooperstown for the ceremonies, stick around for the Cliff Kachline Chapter's annual Induction Day meeting at 6 p.m. Sunday night at Tillapaugh's, 28 Pioneer Street. Jeff Katz — a SABR member who was recently elected as Mayor of Cooperstown — will preside over the chapter meeting, and Ted Spencer, Bruce Markusen, Gabriel Schechter, Mike Piazzi and Ron Visco are scheduled to deliver research presentations. All baseball fans are welcome to attend, so we encourage anyone to stop by and talk baseball with the Cliff Kachline Chapter on Sunday night.
- Related link: We've published dozens of Hall of Famers' bios at the SABR BioProject; read them all from Aaron to Young by clicking here
Speaking of the Hall of Fame, we all have our opinions as to which players are more deserving selections than others, don't we? The debate over the very best baseball players of all time — the Inner Circle, so to speak — has raged on ever since the Baseball Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1939. And probably for a hundred years before that, too.
Over at Baseball: Past and Present, SABR member Graham Womack decided to put it to a vote. Choose your top 50 Inner Circle Hall of Famers, the cream of the crop, the best of the best. Then he compiled an inner circle of top baseball writers to write about the players who made the cut.
SABR members who contributed to the Inner Circle project included: Mark Armour, Michael Clair, Ev Cope, Nick Diunte, Dan Evans, Diane Firstman, Stacey Gotsulias, Larry Granillo, Albert Lang, Julian Levine, Peter J. Nash, Rob Neyer, Jacob Pomrenke, Dave Studenmund, Brandon Warne, Graham Womack and Geoff Young.
You can read all 50 essays here:
OK, just one more Hall of Fame post and then we'll move on ...
Baseball fans of a certain age probably have fonder memories of Mark Fidrych than, say, Frank Tanana, though Frank had a far better career. There are just some players you never forget. And while they might never make the Hall of Fame, we'll never tire of hearing their stories.
The Hall of Nearly Great, just published this week, is a collection of those unforgettable stories from some of the best baseball writers around the Web. The book is meant to celebrate the careers of those who are not celebrated. It’s not a book meant to reopen arguments about who does and does not deserve Hall of Fame enshrinement. Rather, it remembers those who, failing entrance into Cooperstown, may unfairly be lost to history. It’s for the players we grew up rooting for, the ones whose best years led to flags and memories that will fly together forever. Players like David Cone, Will Clark, Dwight Evans, Norm Cash, Kenny Lofton, Brad Radke, and many others.
This is an e-book, available in PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats, suitable for reading on a computer, iPad, Kindle, Nook, other e-reader, or smart phone. You can buy it now for $12 at:
Contributing authors to The Hall of Nearly Great include SABR members Cee Angi, Tommy Bennett, Carson Cistulli, Steven Goldman, Jay Jaffe, Rob Neyer, Bill Parker, Cecilia Tan, The Common Man and Wendy Thurm.
The 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference opened Thursday at the Renaissance Cleveland hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. Get complete details on the Malloy Conference schedule at SABR.org/malloy. (On-site registration is also available, for those of you in the Cleveland area.) We'll post photos and stories from Malloy online at SABR.org following the conference.
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. A complete information packet can be downloaded here (PDF) or on the website at SABR.org/malloy.
The 2012 Malloy Conference theme is "Black Baseball in Ohio":
Black baseball has a strong history in Ohio and especially the city of Cleveland. In the 19th century, one of the first African American players in the majors, Moses Fleetwood Walker, played in Toledo. The city of Cleveland had more Negro League entries (11) than any other city in the Negro Leagues from the 1920s through the 1940s. The crowning success came with the 1945 Cleveland Buckeyes winning the Negro League World Series. Their roster included such key players as Quincy Trouppe, Sam Jethroe, Eugene Bremer and Archie Ware.
In 1948, the Cleveland Indians boasted the first African American player in the American League with the signing of Larry Doby and, later, the legendary Satchel Paige. The 15th annual Malloy Conference will celebrate Ohio’s baseball history. In addition to two days of research presentations and player/author panels, attendees will also enjoy a special presentation about League Park and a game with the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.
We are sad to pass along the news that the award-winning baseball biographer Robert Creamer died at the age of 90 on Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at his home in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Earlier this year, Creamer was a recipient of SABR's Henry Chadwick Award, which honors 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. Creamer was recognized last month at the SABR 42 Awards Luncheon in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Creamer was 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.
Creamer, who as a boy saw Ruth hit home runs at Yankee Stadium but never met the man, interviewed hundreds of his former teammates and friends to chronicle Ruth's legendary on-the-field feats and his equally prodigious off-the-field controversies. His book was also timely — published the same year Hank Aaron broke Ruth's career home run record of 714.
In the American vernacular, to be at the top of one's profession has for many decades been referred to as Ruthian. Robert Creamer can very well be considered as the Babe Ruth of sports biographers.
As we remember a giant in baseball research, we invite you to read SABR member Graham Womack's engaging interview with Creamer from January 2012 at "Baseball: Past and Present":
- Read the New York Times' obituary of Robert Creamer on July 19, 2012
- Jack McCallum of Sports Illustrated remembers his colleague, Robert Creamer
We also wanted to pass along this message from Trudy Bell on a celebration of life planned for longtime SABR member Craig Waff. You can read Craig's obituary here: http://sabrnation.sabr.org/groups/profile/announcement/groupid/1960/id/6809.
A celebration of life is planned for Craig Beale Waff, Ph.D. (1946-2012), at 12 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at the Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place, Cincinnati, Ohio 45208. It will be followed by a buffet luncheon. Anyone who knew Craig personally or professionally, through history of astronomy or 19th-century base ball, the Air Force, or church, is warmly invited to bring reminiscences, artifacts, photographs for sharing with all.
The 2012 winners of the Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award are:
- College Division: "Investigating MLB Draft Outcomes, 2002-2005", Douglas Wachter, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- High School Division: "Determining the Value of a Baseball Player", Samuel Kaufman and Matthew Tennenhouse, lllinois Mathematics and Science Academy, Springfield, Illinois
No award was given in the middle school division. The winners will receive a plaque honoring their achievement, a $200 prize and a one-year membership to SABR.
You can read the winning entries by clicking on the links above.
The Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award was established in 1999 by the Society for American Baseball Research in recognition of Kavanagh’s writing and research achievements and his contributions to SABR. The Kavanagh Award may be presented each year for either a research presentation given at the SABR National Convention (papers must accompany any oral presentation), or for a research paper that is submitted to the awards committee between the end of one SABR Convention and no later than June 1 of the following year by a researcher in grades 6-8 (middle school category), grades 9-12 (high school category), or undergraduates 22 and under (College Category).
For more information, contact Education Committee Chairman Richard D. Hunt.
Winning entries from previous years can be viewed by clicking here.
Nine new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project — and we're still putting the finshing touches on our new BioProject book, Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, edited by Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, with Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin — which brings us to a total of 2,027 published biographies.
Here are the new bios:
- Bob Chakales, by Bill Nowlin
- Guy Cooper, by Bill Nowlin
- Jim Fanning, by Norm King
- Pud Galvin, by Charles Hausberg (first-time author)
- Freddie Moncewicz, by Bill Nowlin
- Frank Mulroney, by Bill Nowlin
- Larry Pratt, by Bill Nowlin
- Bill Swanson, by Bill Nowlin
- Robert "Hawk" Taylor, by Steven Schmitt (first-time author)
All new biographies can be found here: http://sabr.org/bioproj/recent
Earlier this year, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Get involved! If you'd like to help contribute to the SABR BioProject, visit our BioProject Resources page or read the FAQs section to get started. We're also looking to expand the BioProject to include all "encyclopedic" articles on baseball-related subjects from past SABR publications or committee newsletters. If you come across an article you think should be included in the SABR "baseball repository" at the BioProject, send a copy or link to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope you enjoyed our 42nd annual national convention last month in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with all of our online coverage of the event at http://sabr.org/convention.
If you attended SABR 42, we would appreciate if you took a moment to fill out this survey and shared your feedback with us on the registration, communication, programming and your overall experience of the convention:
Click the link above to start the survey. Thank you for your feedback.
- Complete SABR 42 coverage: Listen to the featured panels, watch video highlights, read stories and recaps, and view photos from SABR 42 online at SABR.org/convention
Writing opportunities for SABR members
- Arriba Baseball!: A Collection of Latino/a Baseball Fiction: AO Publishing invites SABR members to submit their essays for a collection of the best Latino/a fiction that both celebrates and complicates the American pastime tentatively entitled Arriba Baseball!: A Collection of Latino/a Baseball Fiction. We invite such fiction (up to 5,000 words) concerning the game of baseball which challenges any and all exclusionary ideologies that have historically delimited the sport, and that meditates on the Latino/a contributions and experiences both on and off the field of play. While climactic home runs and strikeouts are okay, we prefer scoreboards but upside down. We also invite works that confront any of the issues surrounding baseball today, such as (but not limited to) the use of performance-enhancing drugs, queer and female performativity in baseball, the globalization of the sport, and baseball's legacies of white privilege, racism, and male exclusivity in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other countries throughout Latin America where the game continues to flourish. All fiction must be previously unpublished and of literary quality. Translations and works in Spanish will also be considered. We particularly encourage fiction from Latina and LGBT authors. Contributors will be paid $25 upon acceptance and a percentage of the net sales over the first two years. Please send fiction submissions to http://vao.submittable.com/submit. Deadline for submissions is August 31, 2012. Acceptances announced no later than October 1, 2012. Questions/comments may be directed to email@example.com.
- Deadball Era book reviews: Members of SABR's Deadball Era Research Committee who wish to review books for "The Inside Game" newsletter should send their name, email address, and up to five areas of particular interest regarding Deadball era baseball to Gail Rowe, at firstname.lastname@example.org, for a list of potential reviewers and areas of expertise he is compiling. If you wish to include relevant information on your background and experience, feel free to do so.
Here are the research committee newsletters published this week:
- Nineteenth Century: Summer 2012
Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.
- Rogers Hornsby Chapter meeting recap (July 12; Austin, TX)
- Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap (July 16; St. Louis, MO)
- Northwest Chapter Summer 2012 newsletter (Pacific Northwest)
Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.
Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:
- July 20-21: Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference (Cleveland, OH)
- July 20-22: Peekskill Old Timers Baseball Celebration (Peekskill, NY)
- July 20-22: Dennis Corcoran book signings (Oneonta/Cooperstown, NY)
- July 21: Celebration of life for SABR member Craig B. Waff (Cincinnati, OH)
- July 22: Cliff Kachline Chapter meeting (Cooperstown, NY)
- July 27: Rare Baseball Films: The Newsreels (Evanston, IL)
- July 28: Schott-Pelican Chapter meeting (New Orleans, LA)
- August 1: Forbes Field Chapter Summer Hot Stove Night (Pittsburgh, PA)
- August 4: Quebec Chapter meeting (Quebec City, QC)
- August 4: Halsey Hall Chapter book club meeting (Roseville, MN)
- August 4: Jack Graney Chapter group ballgame (Eastlake, OH)
- August 5: Allan Roth Chapter meeting (Los Angeles, CA)
All SABR meetings and events are open to the public. Feel free to bring a baseball-loving friend ... and make many new ones! Check out the SABR Events Calendar at SABR.org/events.
Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:
- Don Malcolm reports back from Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals Induction Ceremony last week in Pasadena (Hardball Times)
- Scott Simkus tells the fascinating story of a forgotten pre-Negro Leagues superstar, John Donaldson (Hall of Very Good)
- Wayne McDonnell: The analytics revolution in baseball (Forbes.com)
- Mark Simon: Why Justin Upton's performance this season is down, not up (ESPN.com)
- Paul Lukas: An update on the story behind the 1976 Braves' "nickname" uniforms (Uni Watch)
- James Gentile: R.A. Dickey and peaking at age 37 (Beyond the Box Score)
- Geoff Young: Did five starts in May 1960 ruin Sandy Koufax? (Baseball Prospectus)
- John Dewan's Stat of the Week: Brett Lawrie, baseball's best defensive third baseman? (ACTA Sports)
- Larry Granillo: The 1930 St. Louis Cardinals telegram mystery (Baseball Prospectus)
- Dave Baldwin and Eric Sallee have started a new blog on the story of bringing MLB to Yachats, Oregon (Rubbery Shubbery)
Read these articles and more at SABR.org/latest.
All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: http://sabr.org/content/this-week-in-sabr-archives. 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 email@example.com.
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This page was last updated July 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm MST.