This Week in SABR: November 4, 2011
Live from the Arizona Fall League Conference, here's what we've been up to as of November 4, 2011:
Baseball Analyst, a Bill James creation that he self-published from 1982 to 1989, was one of the first publications to feature articles devoted to sabermetrics — a phrase he coined in part to honor SABR. From the beginning, its content was groundbreaking: The first article in the first issue of June 1982 was by Paul Schwarzenbart on ballpark effects, now a widely accepted idea in baseball analysis. In Issue 8 of October 1983, Baseball Analyst announced the creation of Project Scoresheet — started because there was no easy way to find box scores or stats of historical major league games — the same project that has evolved today into the amazing Retrosheet. Many esteemed writers contributed articles to Baseball Analyst over the years, including Pete Palmer, a 2010 Henry Chadwick Award winner; Craig Wright, the first full-time sabermetrician employed by a major league team (Texas Rangers); Phil Birnbaum, longtime editor of the Statistical Analysis Committee newsletter; Bill Deane, former Senior Research Associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library; and more.
Thanks to the generosity of Bill James and Phil Birnbaum, we are pleased to offer the entire run of Baseball Analyst for the first time online at SABR.org. Each of the 40 issues are available for download on our Baseball Analyst archives page. We're also glad to have SABR member and Baseball Nation editor Rob Neyer, who began his baseball writing career as an assistant for Bill James — you can read James' ad for the job in Issue 37 of August 1988 — introduce the collection, which you can find here:
SABR member Wendy Thurm writes:
Within minutes of the final out of Game 7 of the World Series, Rogers Hornsby's famous quote zoomed through the Twitterverse: "People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring."
If only Hornsby were alive today.
For you, dear baseball fan, there is much to do other than stare out the window until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. However you choose to keep the baseball spirit alive through the dreary winter, there is something for you in The Ultimate Off-Season Survival Guide. Bookmark this now. You'll want to come back to it over and over again.
Among her suggestions to keep your baseball fix going: watching winter-league baseball in the Caribbean (it'll be on TV and online), catching up on some new (or old) baseball books and movies that you haven't had time to peruse, visit one of the many baseball museums around the country or ... get started planning your 2012 spring training trip. (Hint, hint: We'll have some big news next week on the upcoming spring analytics conference we announced during SABR 41. Stay tuned.)
Read Wendy's full article here: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/10/30/2523273/ultimate-offseason-survival-guide
On Monday, November 7, MLB Network will air the premiere of its first analytics-based studio show, "Clubhouse Confidential", hosted by Brian Kenny. It airs at 5:30 p.m. ET. We'll be on the lookout for SABR members, who you'll probably see pop up on this show pretty frequently.
Here's part of the MLB Network press release:
With sabermetrics continually at the forefront of baseball conversations, "Clubhouse Confidential" will serve as an open forum to discuss and debate the day’s news and moves using modern statistical research and value projection. Segments like “High Heat,” “The Showdown,” and “It’s Not What You Think,” will welcome differing opinions by asking pointed questions, going against conventional wisdom and reaching conclusions in the new age of baseball analytics.
Working off the news of the day, Clubhouse Confidential will regularly feature contributors from the sabermetrics community as well as MLB Network’s own hosts, analysts and insiders. Viewers will be able to interact with Kenny via the show’s Twitter feed, @CHConfidential, and on MLB Network’s Facebook page.
For more information and to find MLB Network in your area, go to MLBNetwork.com.
Check your mailbox for the new Fall BRJ
The Fall 2011 "40th Anniversary" issue of the Baseball Research Journal has begun landing in member mailboxes this week — we'll get all the articles online soon, too — which means that we are already hard at work on the Spring 2012 issue. Editor Cecilia Tan notes that she has many historical pieces in her reading queue, but at the moment there seems to be a dearth of stats or science pieces.
To be considered for the spring issue, abstracts must be submitted by November 15, and full drafts suitable for peer review will need to be in by December 1. Any current SABR member is eligible to submit. Contact Cecilia at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit an abstract/proposal or to get the current author/manuscript guidelines.
Six new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,692 published biographies. Who will write No. 1,700?
- Rich "Goose" Gossage, by Alfonso L Tusa C
- Steve Hargan, by Gregory Wolf
- Ted Kubiak, by Rory Costello
- Jim O'Rourke, by Bill Lamb
- Duane Pillette, by John Green
- Herman Pillette, by John Green
All new biographies can be found here: http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=n&m=61
It's been a week of sad news here at SABR, as we were informed of the passings of three longtime members.
David Ball, 60, a member of the Hoyt-Allen Chapter in Cincinnati, died peacefully in his sleep of heart failure on October 26. Ball was born in New York City, where his passion for baseball developed at an early age while attending games with his father. He worked at the Classics Library at the University of Cincinnati after receiving an undergraduate degree in philosophy and both a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from Cincinnati. Ball was recognized as the foremost authority on nineteenth-century baseball transactions and was also a leading authority on nineteenth-century Cincinnati and Indianapolis major league teams. An author who combined depth and sensitivity with a wry wit, he wrote numerous player and owner biographical sketches and was the book editor of Base Ball at the time of his death. Ball's most recently published works were his contributions to the business of baseball and player transactions as well as many biographical sketches in MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROFILES: 1871-1900, vols. 1 & 2, published in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Press. In addition, he was a major contributor to the forthcoming book The Rank and File of 19th Century Major League Baseball: Biographies of 1,081 Players, Owners, Managers and Umpires, to be published by McFarland in 2012. Ball's closest surviving relative was his sister, Sandra Ball. An online guestbook through which condolences may be expressed to the family has been posted at http://obit.chasamillersons.com/obitdisplay.html?id=986521&listing=Current
Paul Warburton, 58, a member of the Lajoie-Start Chapter in Southern New England, died unexpectedly on October 2. Paul, who lived in Wakefield, Rhode Island, was 58 years old. His book, Signature Seasons: Fifteen Baseball Legends at Their Most Memorable, was published by McFarland in 2010, and he gave a presentation based on the book at the chapter's November 2010 meeting. Paul was hoping to do a follow-up book with different players; he was an accomplished researcher. He worked in the claims department at Metropolitan Life Home & Auto for 23 years. He graduated from Providence College with a degree in History, and played hockey at both Dartmouth College and Providence College. An online guestbook through which condolences may be expressed to the family has been posted at http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/providence/obituary.aspx?n=Paul-Warburton&pid=153963744
David Stephan, 78, a member of the Allan Roth Chapter in Los Angeles (and a longtime friend of Allan's), passed away on July 10 at a hospital in West Los Angeles, California. He had been scheduled to deliver a research presentation, "The Quest for Baseball's Missing Treasures", with Trent McCotter at SABR 41 on July 8. He was a frequent presenter at SABR conventions, a dogged contributor to Retrosheet, and a Dodgers historian and fan. In 1998, the Los Angeles Times profiled him in this article: http://articles.latimes.com/1998/sep/20/sports/sp-24788. David resided in Culver City, California. He was a retired mathematician and market consultant with 35 years in the aerospace industry.
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 email@example.com.
Baseball-Reference.com founder Sean Forman has decided to shut down the long-running blog on his site. A note from Sean:
One of the tough parts of running a business is deciding when to put more effort into something and when to not. After a lot of internal debate, we've decided to stop posting editorial content on the B-R blog.
This obviously has nothing to do with the quality of the content produced by our writers (Andy, Steve, Raphy, John, or Neil or any of the guest writers). Their posts were phenomenal. I always looked forward to their posts and know you did to. A big thanks to them for making this such a vital place for baseball discussion and analysis. As a small company, focus is vital for our success, and we are choosing to focus our energy on pumping out as much statistical baseball data as possible and that means cutting back in other areas.
Sean says Baseball-Reference.com has been posting blog entries, in one form or another, for about 11 years.
There's just two weeks left to submit an application for a SABR internship, so please pass the word around if you know any students who might be interested in taking advantage of this educational opportunity.
We're seeking an intern with journalism and multimedia skills for the spring of 2012. The ideal candidate will produce and edit content to be displayed on our website at SABR.org, working with our Web Content Editor/Producer and other staff members. This internship will include responsibilities across a variety of disciplines.
This internship is an unpaid educational opportunity, covering 15-20 hours per week (flexible schedule), at the SABR office in Phoenix, Arizona. The internship will be for a fixed period of time and is designed to provide the intern with skills and training that may be applicable to working in a nonprofit research environment or in other research-based organizations. No housing assistance will be provided. Internships may count toward college credit. Please send a resume, cover letter and 4-6 samples of published articles in PDF form by 12 p.m. MST November 15 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chapter meeting recaps
- Cliff Kachline Chapter meeting recap (October 29)
- Pittsburgh/Forbes Field Chapter meeting recap (October 29)
If you would like to include your chapter meeting recap in "This Week in SABR", please e-mail a notice to Jacob Pomrenke.
Upcoming SABR events:
- November 4-5: SABR Arizona Fall League Conference (Phoenix, AZ)
- November 4: Rocky Mountain Chapter banquet (Denver, CO)
- November 4: Lee Lowenfish talk on Branch Rickey (Eugene, OR)
- November 5: Northwest Chapter meeting (Seattle, WA)
- November 5: Schott-Pelican Chapter meeting (New Orleans, LA)
- November 5: Bresnahan/Mud Hens Chapter meeting (Toledo, OH)
- November 5: Quebec Chapter meeting (Montreal, QC)
- November 5: Rio Grande Chapter meeting (Albuquerque, NM)
- November 5: Halsey Hall Chapter Hot Stove Morning (Richfield, MN)
- November 6: Wally Pipp Chapter meeting (Wyoming, MI)
- November 8: Larry Dierker Chapter meeting (Houston, TX)
- November 9: John Thorn book signing (Houston, TX)
- November 10: Bob Luke book signing (Baltimore, MD)
- November 11-12: SABR fall board meeting (Phoenix, AZ)
- November 12: Gardner-Waterman Chapter meeting/Buster Olney's "Batting for Vermont" fundraiser (Randolph, VT)
- November 12: Talkin' Baseball: Rebecca Alper (Columbia, MD)
- November 12: Dayton Chapter meeting (Dayton, OH)
- November 12: Sacramento Chapter luncheon (Sacramento, CA)
In other recent SABR news:
- Josh Goldman breaks down stolen bases' break-even points (FanGraphs)
- Christina Kahrl analyzes some controversial Gold Glove award winners (ESPN.com)
- John Thorn offers a history of professional baseball's first championship — in 1871 (Our Game)
- As the Mets prepare to move in the fences at Citi Field, Gary Gillette explains that field dimensions have never been stable (New York Times)
- Larry Granillo looks at how recently retired Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa was viewed throughout his career (Baseball Prospectus)
- Bruce Markusen reflects on Thursday's death of 1966 NL batting champ Matty Alou, who was 72 (The Hardball Times)
- Doug Gladstone and Nick Diunte wonder whether former major leaguer Frank Fanovich was entitled to a pension payment before his death (Examiner.com)
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 email@example.com.
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This page was last updated November 4, 2011 at 4:16 am MST.