SABR

This Week in SABR: May 3, 2013

Welcome to "This Week in SABR!" Here's what we've been up to as of May 3, 2013:

SABR 43: Featured panelists

We're pleased to announce the expected speakers for our featured panels at SABR's 43rd national convention, July 31-August 4, 2013, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

More details on SABR 43, including research presentations, committee meetings and more speakers, will be announced soon. Register today at SABR.org/convention.

Philadelphia Baseball History Panel

  • Jerry Casway, writer, editor and contributor to Project Protoball
  • Frank Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Richard Hershberger, SABR Nineteenth Century Committee member and baseball historian
  • David Jordan, author of Occasional Glory: The History of the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Norman Macht, award-winning author of Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball and Connie Mack: The Turbulent and Triumphant Years, 1915-1931
  • Moderator: John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball

Media Panel

  • Donald Hunt, Philadelphia Tribune
  • Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
  • Paul Hagen, MLB.com; 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award recipient
  • Moderator: Alan Schwarz, New York Times

Statistical Analysis Panel

  • Sean Forman, Baseball-Reference.com
  • Steve Mann, arbitration consultant and fantasy baseball expert
  • Bill Petti, FanGraphs
  • Alan Schwarz, New York Times
  • Moderator: Vince Gennaro, SABR President

Women in Baseball: A Diverse Perspective

  • Kristin Mills Caldwell, pitcher, U.S. Women's National Baseball Team
  • Sarah Ferguson, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL)
  • Kathy Killian, Vice President, Human Resources and Customer Services, Philadelphia Phillies
  • Robin Wallace, National Women's Baseball Hall of Famer

"Imagining Baseball" Panel

  • Dr. Mark Cooper, baseball memorabilia and board game collector
  • Eric Rolfe Greenberg, author of The Celebrant
  • Steve Wulf, ESPN
  • Moderator: John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball

Phillies Player Panel

  • Speakers TBA
  • Moderator: Dan Baker, Philadelphia Phillies public address announcer

Please note that all scheduled events and speakers may be subject to change. We'll have more details about the SABR 43 schedule soon!

For more information on SABR 43, visit SABR.org/convention.

New scouts exhibit at Baseball Hall of Fame, Diamond Mines, opens this weekend

The story of professional baseball scouts is almost as old as the National Pastime itself. So in preparation for the first exhibition to provide an in-depth look at the scouting profession, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum teamed its research efforts with the Society for American Baseball Research to unearth as much information as possible to share the work of scouts with global audiences.

The result is a new online interactive exhibit featuring more than 14,000 scouting reports, covering 441 scouts and 4,444 players from 1943 through 2006, available through a database that will live at www.baseballhall.org, beginning Saturday, May 4, 2013, when the Museum formally opens Diamond Mines, a two-year exhibit in Cooperstown that details the contributions of scouts on our National Pastime.

The May 4 opening will feature a 10 a.m. Voices of the Game program in the Museum’s Grandstand Theater. Guests for the roundtable discussion on the role of scouts in baseball will include Hemond; Gillick; Scout of the Year Program Executive Director Roberta Mazur; and Texas Rangers scout and senior special assistant Don Welke. Tickets for the Voices of the Game event are free but limited and must be reserved in advance.

SABR's Scouts Research Committee provided data from its groundbreaking "Who-Signed-Whom" database linking more than 11,000 current and former major leaguers, with the names of their signing or recommending scout, the first time this information has been available for the general public. The Scouts Committee's relational database includes a registry of more than 7,000 professional baseball scouts, with information compiled over the past decade by a dedicated team of volunteer researchers led by Rod Nelson and the late Jim Sandoval, assisted by database specialists Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman and committee co-chair Joe Hamrahi.

“Within the industry, a database like this is something that has been long overdue,” SABR Executive Director Marc Appleman said. “We are honored to be working with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on this project, and we think this is just the start of a long-term relationship between SABR and the Museum that can share research with fans.”

The Hall of Fame will unveil the new interactive exhibit Diamond Mines with a cast of baseball luminaries on hand for Saturday's celebration, including longtime SABR members Roland Hemond, recipient of the 2011 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, and Pat Gillick, who was elected to the Hall of Fame as an executive in 2012.

“We are grateful to SABR and its team of dedicated researchers who have provided an unprecedented level of valuable information on scouts, allowing us to collectively reach audiences in Cooperstown, through Diamond Mines, and fans around the globe through our interactive database, which connects scouts with the amateur players they follow,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The results of this collaboration augment the efforts of the Scout of the Year Foundation, providing a telling story of the role that the unsung heroes play in recognizing future major league potential in young, untapped talent.”

The exhibit will feature three-dimensional artifacts such as radar guns and stopwatches that have served as scouts’ tools of the trade for decades. The exhibit will provide an insider’s view of the essential link between the amateur game and professional baseball and will also recognize Scout of the Year Award winners, an honor given by the Scout of the Year Program since 1984.

To learn more about the SABR Scouts Research Committee, click here.

SABR Diamond Report: May 2013

The Diamond Report is a series of monthly messages, written by SABR President Vince Gennaro and Executive Director Marc Appleman, to keep SABR members better informed about the Society's direction and progress. The Diamond Report archives are collected at SABR.org/diamondreport. Here is Marc Appleman's Diamond Report for May 2013:

I recently returned from a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While in Cooperstown, I attended SABR’s Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, took part in the commemoration of Bud Fowler Day (a SABR plaque was unveiled at Doubleday Field) and got a sneak preview of Diamond Mines — a collaborative effort between SABR and the Hall of Fame to share the work of scouts with baseball fans.

SABR’s Scouts Research Committee provided data from its groundbreaking “Who-Signed-Whom” database, linking more than 11,000 current and former major leaguers, with the names of their signing or recommending scout. This is the first time this information has been available to the general public. The Scouts Committee’s relational database includes a registry of more than 7,000 professional baseball scouts. This information has been compiled over the past decade by a dedicated team of SABR researchers, led by Rod Nelson and the late Jim Sandoval, and assisted by database specialists Ted Turocy and Sean Lahman, and committee co-chair Joe Hamrahi.

SABR’s contribution to Diamond Mines is another testament to the value of the research done by our extremely dedicated members.

Diamond Mines is a new two-year exhibit that will be opening at the Hall of Fame on May 4. The exhibit will also include an interactive component — more than 14,000 scouting reports, covering 441 scouts and 4,444 players from 1943 through 2006 — that will be available through a database that will live at www.baseballhall.org and linked to from SABR.org.

As part of our growing relationship with the Hall of Fame, SABR and the SABR Scouts Committee will be recognized on the Diamond Mines exhibit credit panel at the Hall of Fame and at any other location, and in the credit panel of the online exhibit, including a link to SABR.org. Last week, the Hall of Fame sent out a press release detailing its collaboration with SABR.

The accuracy and depth of this exhibit was enhanced considerably by the data and research provided by SABR.

"The information provided by SABR will provide a higher quality experience," said John Odell, Curator of History and Research at the Hall of Fame. Odell worked very closely with the SABR team to help put together the scouts exhibit. The exhibit — which also received strong support from the Scout of the Year Foundation — includes "a Hall of Famer scouting a Hall of Famer," Odell said. He was referring to the time when Tommy Lasorda, scouting the Dodgers, went to USC to scout a pitcher named Tom Seaver. According to Lasorda’s report, "The boy has plenty of desire and wants to beat you." The Dodgers drafted Seaver in the 10th round, but Seaver opted to stay at USC.

After following Derek Jeter throughout high school, a scout for the Colorado Rockies said: “All-Star quality at the major league level.” A Cincinnati Reds scout who watched Barry Larkin throughout high school and at the University of Michigan commented: “Spend what it takes.”

Diamond Mines promises to be a memorable exhibit dedicated to a group of overlooked and underrated professionals — the scouts — who have helped make baseball the great game that it is.

Special thanks to Peter Mancuso for putting on a tremendous 19th Century Conference, to Jeff Idelson, Ken Meifert, Jim Gates, Tim Wiles, Tom Shieber, John Odell, Lenny DiFranza and Craig Muder at the Hall of Fame, and to SABR member and Mayor of Cooperstown Jeff Katz.

— Marc Appleman

Levitt's The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball wins 2013 Larry Ritter Book Award

Daniel R. Levitt's The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy, published by Ivan R. Dee, has been named as the 2013 winner of the Larry Ritter Book Award, given by SABR's Deadball Era Research Committee for the best book related to the Deadball Era published in the previous year.

Levitt's work was chosen from four finalists which included, Charlie Bevis' Jimmy Collins: A Baseball Biography (McFarland), Joel Franks’ The Barnstorming Hawaiian Travelers: A Multi-ethnic Baseball Team Tours the Mainland, 1912-1916 (McFarland), and William A. Young’s John Tortes “Chief” Meyers: A Baseball Biography (McFarland).

The subcommittee that is charged annually with selecting the best book published on baseball’s Deadball Era (1901-1919), consists of Jack Carlson, Mark Dugo, David Fleitz, Craig Lammers, John McMurray, Mark Pattison, Gail Rowe, Tom Simon, Doug Skipper and Trey Strecker. Levitt is the 12th author to win this coveted award.

The Larry Ritter Book Award Subcommittee released the following statement about Levitt's The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball:

It is a rare book that brings fresh perspectives and insights to conventional wisdom. Although a good many authors have written about the Federal League (1913-1915) in treating closely-related topics, and Marc Okkonen and Robert Wiggins [the 2010 Ritter Award Winner] have written laudable books on the Federal League itself, Daniel Levitt offers readers a gracefully-written, deeply-researched, and original look at the Federal League's history and legacy.  Focusing more intently on the architects of the league and those who sought to sustain it rather than on its players and its results on the field, Levitt identifies new personnel in the drama of the league's origins, history, and eventual collapse, and fleshes out the personalities of many better-known participants. His account provides a more complex and nuanced story than that previously drawn. He illuminates the Byzantine-like economic, legal, and corporate maneuvers that characterized the Federal League's challenge to the American and National Leagues, and Organized Baseball's response to that challenge. In doing so, Levitt clarifies developments that led in 1922 to the U.S. Supreme Court's exemption of Organized Baseball from federal anti-trust laws. His compelling story not only advances our understanding of baseball's evolution between 1913 and 1922, but it casts light on how Organized Baseball developed into the closed monopolies so familiar to us today.

The award will be presented during the Deadball Era Committee's meeting at the SABR 43 convention, July 31-August 4, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Larry Ritter Award, including a list of previous winners, click here.

SABR member Trent McCotter wins inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award

SABR member Trent McCotter has been selected as winner of the inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award. McCotter’s 2012 essay, “Cal Ripken’s Record for Consecutive Innings,” compiled for the first time the correct total of consecutive innings (8,264) played by the Orioles’ great shortstop between 1982 and 1987. McCotter’s extensive research also created a list of every player who ever played at least 2,500 consecutive innings, information previously unknown despite the fact that the players involved had all retired many decades ago.

The article by McCotter, an attorney living in Washington D.C., first appeared in the Fall 2012 edition of the Society of American Baseball Research’s Baseball Research Journal (Volume 41, No. 2). It was this type of research and presentation that the Greg Spira Research Award was created to honor.

“Greg was one of the top baseball researchers of our time and probably the person most responsible for bringing baseball discussion to the Internet in its early days,” McCotter said. “But more importantly, he was an all-around nice guy, someone whose innumerable research credits show his willingness to share his work with others. I know his friends and family have put a lot of effort into preserving his memory, which is why it is such an honor to be chosen for the first Greg Spira Award. I hope it will encourage other young writers to focus their efforts on baseball research and analysis.”

Given in recognition of the best published article, paper, or book containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger, the winners were announced today, April 27, which would have been Greg Spira’s 46th birthday. Spira, a longtime SABR member, was the founder of the annual Internet Baseball Awards (IBA) in 1991, now maintained by Baseball Prospectus. Spira was also an early adopter and a pioneer in using the Internet to advance baseball analysis, particularly via Usenet’s groundbreaking rec.sport.baseball group and via BaseballProspectus.com.

The dozen judges who evaluated the submissions for the first annual Spira Award were a mix of baseball writers and researchers who knew and respected Greg Spira and his work. The panel consisted of Sean Lahman, Gary Gillette, Sean Forman, Matthew Silverman, Dave Pease, Joe Hamrahi, Claudia Perry, Stuart Shea, Rod Nelson, Carl Rosin, Dvd Avins, and Greg’s brother, Jonathan Spira.

McCotter received $1,000 as the top prize for his article on Ripken’s consecutive innings streak. The $200 second prize went to Dan Farnsworth’s article on the economics of team restructuring, “Is Rebuilding Worth It?” A 2008 graduate of Franklin & Marshall, Farnsworth serves as director of baseball operations and player development at Carmen Fusco’s Pro Baseball & Softball Academy in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. His article was originally published on Frangraphs.com.

The $100 third prize went to SABR member Caleb Hardwick’s detailed website and database about baseball in the 25th state: Arkansas Baseball Encyclopedia.  Hardwick, 19, a student at the College of the Ouachitas in Malvern, Arkansas, has spent four years on the project and continues to add features to the site.

The Greg Spira Memorial Baseball Library is housed at the SABR office in Phoenix, Arizona. Visitors to the SABR office are welcome to use the Greg Spira Memorial Baseball Library for research or reading. Please call (602) 343-6455 before your visit to check on office hours and availability.

For more information, please go to www.SpiraAward.org or contact Gary Gillette, Secretary for the Spira Award Committee.

Read an excerpt from our new book on the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals

Drama and Pride in the Gateway City: The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals, edited by John Harry Stahl and Bill Nowlin, is the fourth book in SABR's "Memorable Teams in Baseball History" series with the University of Nebraska Press (published April 1, 2013.)

You can order the 1964 Cardinals book from the University of Nebraska Press website or from the SABR Bookstore, powered by Amazon.com. The Memorable Teams in Baseball History series, written by SABR members as part of the Baseball Biography Project, will focus on iconic teams with an unquestionable legacy in baseball history. Each book will collect essays detailing the players, moments and games that define these teams. For a complete list of biographies included in the 1964 Cardinals book, click here.

Click the link below to read a special excerpt from the book, on Cardinals catcher turned national TV broadcaster Tim McCarver, written by Dave Williams:

http://sabr.org/latest/1964-cardinals-book-excerpt-tim-mccarver

Related links:

2 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Two new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,417 published biographies. Can we reach 2,500 before the SABR 43 convention in Philadelphia? Here are the new bios:

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

You can find the SABR BioProject at SABR.org/BioProject.

Bios on more than just ballplayers: The ambitious goal of the SABR Baseball Biography Project is to publish a full-life biography of every major league player in history. But SABR members write about a lot more than just ballplayers. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires and a lot more on the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories at http://sabr.org/bioproj/browse. So if you've ever thought, "Hey, that person (or ballpark) should get the full BioProject treatment" — write the story and we'll publish it!

Check out the new Baseball Ballparks Project: The SABR Baseball Biography Project has been accepting/publishing "biographies" of Ballparks for a few years, and we have 39 of them on our website at http://sabr.org/bioproj/parks. However, this thing just got real. Ballparks are now its very own PROJECT — the Baseball Ballparks Project, our first official spin-off. The project leader is Scott Ferkovich, who is now in charge of recruiting ballparks articles and publicizing them. Learn more by clicking here.

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 markarmour04@gmail.com or jpomrenke@sabr.org.

SABR 43 Yoseloff Scholarship deadline extended until May 15

Good news: If you're planning to apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 43 in Philadelphia this summer, the deadline has been extended until May 15, 2013.

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to college students who wish to attend SABR 43 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 31-August 4, 2013. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging up to a total value of $1,250.

The objective of this scholarship fund is to encourage high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR's annual convention and to introduce them to fellow SABR members. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at jschatzki@sabr.org no later than May 15, 2013.

For more information about the SABR convention, visit SABR.org/convention.

SABR 43 hotel in Philadelphia almost sold out

This summer's SABR 43 convention in Philadelphia, July 31-August 4 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, promises to be spectacular. Seamus Kearney, Dick Rosen, Peter Mancuso and the rest of the Connie Mack Chapter are working hard to line up guest speakers and panelists for the convention, and we hope you'll join us in Philly for the 43rd annual convention. Register today at SABR.org/convention.

As we noted last week, SABR's group block at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is going quickly — if you want a room at the Marriott for the SABR convention, you should book your room now. (Don't forget to register for the convention, too!) If and when our room block sells out, we'll set up an overflow hotel nearby and post more information at SABR.org/convention.

SABR has secured an exclusive group rate of $139/night (plus tax) at the Marriott for SABR 43. This is a very low rate for a major hotel in downtown Philadelphia during that time of year. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is at 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, just blocks from City Hall , Independence Hall and many other Philadelphia landmarks. Click here to book your room online or call (877) 212-5752. The hotel's website is www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/phldt-philadelphia-marriott-downtown. Please note that our block of rooms is only available for the nights of July 30 to August 4, 2013.

For more information on SABR 43, visit SABR.org/convention.

ICYMI: Highlights from last week's This Week in SABR

We've heard your feedback: Some of you have said you look forward to "This Week in SABR" every Friday, but sometimes there are just too many compelling articles and announcements to read every week. We're not complaining — hey, keep up the great work! — but we know the feeling. So in an effort to make the length of this newsletter more manageable to read, we'll summarize some of the repeating/recurring announcements in a special "In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)" section of "This Week in SABR".

Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don't want you to miss:

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

Welcome, new members!

We'd like to welcome all of our new SABR members who have joined this week. You can find all Members-Only resources at members.sabr.org and the New Member Handbook can be downloaded here. 

Please give these new members a warm welcome and help them make the most of their membership by giving them the opportunity to get involved in their local chapter or a research committee.

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Joel Altschuler New Port Richey, FL     Kevin Joyce Morrison, CO
Mark Brown Barnesville, OH     Eric Kau Phoenix, AZ
David Campbell Saint Paul, MN     Alan Kornspan Lyndhurst, OH
Warren Chase Waxhaw, NC     Les Morey College Station, TX
Scott Cowan Denver, CO     Eric Olney New York, NY
Mike Crouse Heath, TX     Chuck Paydos Bloomfield, CT
Brad Davis Guilderland, NY     Joseph Pressman Elkins Park, PA
John Dickey Plainwell, MI     Joel Torbeck Morris, IL
Edward Elmer Carmichael, CA     Rudy Urban Chester, CT
Anthony Ferraro Glenview, IL     Katherine Walden Nashville, TN
John Foster Spencerport, NY     Erich Wendt Decatur, GA
Don Hostetler North Augusta, SC     Devon Whetstone Harrisonburg, VA

 

Research committee newsletters

Here are the new SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.

Chapter meeting news

There were no new chapter meeting recaps published this week.

Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:

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.

Around the Web

Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:

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 jpomrenke@sabr.org.

Find exclusive Members' Only resources and information here: http://members.sabr.org

Did you know you can renew your membership at any time? 1- and 3-year SABR memberships are available by clicking "Renew" at http://members.sabr.org. Please also consider a donation to SABR to support baseball research at SABR.org/donate.

Are you following us on Twitter or Facebook? Get SABR updates every day at @SABR or by searching "SABR" on Facebook.

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 May 3, 2013 at 2:26 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.