This Week in SABR: October 12, 2012
Here's what we've been up to as of October 12, 2012:
SABR has a long and storied history with baseball statistical analysis, evidenced by the link between our name and sabermetrics. While SABR is a multi-faceted organization involved in virtually every aspect of baseball, we have taken a major step to re-connect with our beginnings by producing and hosting the second annual
SABR Analytics Conference
presented by Major League Baseball and Bloomberg Sports
March 7-9, 2013
Once again, we're bringing together the top minds of the baseball analytic community under one roof to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.
The schedule will consist of a combination of Guest Speakers, Panels and Research Presentations — plus the unique Diamond Dollars Case Competition, in which undergraduate, graduate and law school students from across the country analyze and present a real baseball operations decision.
Conference registration is available now at the SABR Store. Click here to register. The conference is open to all baseball fans.
The 2013 SABR Analytics Conference will be held Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9, 2013, in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The World Baseball Classic will also be in Phoenix that weekend, with first-round games scheduled at Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and we plan to talk more about global baseball issues at the second annual Analytics Conference.
Featured speakers for the 2013 conference are expected to include Stan Kasten, President/CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Derrick Hall, President/CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and many others. More speakers will be announced soon!
Some of the topics we are planning to cover include:
- General Managers Panel on how analytics shapes front-office decisions
- Measuring Player Performance
- New innovations in baseball analytics
- Player Agents — their view of analytics
- Advances in medical information and its impact on decisions
- New applications of PITCHf/x data
- The use of analytics in scouting
- Player panel — the impact of data and information on performance
- The International Game — the next hot spot for talent development
Sportvision is also pleased to announce that it is collaborating with SABR to integrate its fifth PITCHf/x Summit into the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference. Integrating these two popular gatherings of influential baseball analysts and thought leaders will further enhance this event as the premier baseball analytics conference. Sportvision will manage a series of presentations specifically related to f/x data much like the PITCHf/x Summit. The presentations will be integrated with other SABR Analytics talks throughout the course of the event.
SABR's long history in this area of baseball research, coupled with our mission of advancing the understanding and knowledge of baseball, makes us the perfect choice to coordinate and host this ground-breaking event.
The inaugural SABR Analytics Conference in 2012 was an enormous success. For complete coverage of the 2012 SABR Analytics Conference, visit SABR.org/analytics/2012.
With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to college students who wish to attend the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 7-9, 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 student engagement with baseball analytics, and to engender an active interest in baseball research and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR's Analytics Conference and to introduce them to fellow SABR members and professionals within the baseball community. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.
For details on the scholarship requirements or to download an application form, click here.
Students must be currently enrolled in a high school, college undergraduate or graduate program, and be between 18 and 29 years of age at the time of the conference.
As you probably know by now, we switched to the "rolling calendar" membership system last year. Anyone who joined SABR before then — which is most of you — should renew your SABR membership before December 31 as you've done in the past. Thanks again for all your support.
You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 343-6450; 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.
Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: for this, you get three high-quality research publications (two issues of the Baseball Research Journal and one issue of The National Pastime); deep discounts to all publications in the SABR Digital Library; 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 (Philadelphia 2013), the SABR Analytics Conference, the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, and the Arizona Fall League Conference; access to a growing network of SABR baseball community, including our 27 research committees and 60+ regional chapters.
We believe SABR has something for everyone, from the active researcher to someone passionate about baseball. We hope you'll invite your friends, colleagues and family members to join at http://store.sabr.org.
SABR member Jacques Doucet, a longtime member of the Quebec Chapter and a Montreal Expos broadcaster from 1969-2004, was named as one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Ford C. Frick Award, honoring excellence in baseball broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Doucet was honored by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004 with the Jack Graney Award for broadcasting excellence. You can read more about him in this 2007 profile by fellow SABR member Bill Young. Doucet was also a finalist for the 2012 Frick Award.
The winner of the 2013 Frick Award will be announced on December 4 at baseball's Winter Meetings and honored during Hall of Fame Weekend, July 26-29, 2013, in Cooperstown, New York.
The other finalists for the 2013 Frick Award are: Tom Cheek, Ken Coleman, John Gordon, Bill King, Graham McNamee, Eric Nadel, Eduardo Ortega, Mike Shannon and Dewayne Staats.
Doucet, Cheek and King were the top three fan selections in online balloting at the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page. The other seven candidates were chosen by a Hall of Fame research committee.
Previous winners of the Frick Award can be found here: http://baseballhall.org/news/press-releases/2013-ford-c-frick-award-ballot-finalized
An update to the schedule for the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference, November 1-3, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona:
Former All-Star third baseman Matt Williams will be the guest speaker at our Scottsdale Stadium ballpark cookout on Friday, November 2. Williams is managing the AFL's Salt River Rafters; his Rafters are playing the Scottsdale Saguaros that night. (Sorry, due to time restrictions Williams will not be available for autographs.)
You can register for the AFL Conference now at SABR.org/AFL.
The conference will feature four AFL games, each at a different ballpark. Guests will see all six AFL teams, showcasing every major league team's top prospects. The final game on Saturday night is the Rising Stars Game at Talking Stick at Salt River, the crown jewel of Arizona's Cactus League parks.
But if you can't take in the whole conference that weekend, why don't you stop by for one night of baseball fun with your SABR friends? We've just added special a la carte registration rates for dinner at Don and Charlie's on Thursday night, the ballpark cookout with Matt Williams on Friday night, and the Rising Stars Game on Saturday night. Sign up to attend any of these events at SABR.org/AFL.
Also, on Saturday morning, November 3, SABR's Flame Delhi (Arizona) Chapter will hold its regional fall meeting. Admission is free for the chapter meeting.
The full registration price, of course, gets you in to all of these events plus transportation and an AFL Media Guide.
The Arizona Fall League (mlbfallball.com) is baseball's premier player development league. In the first three years of the conference, attendees were treated to sneak peeks at Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Starlin Castro and Stephen Strasburg before they hit the big leagues.
All baseball fans are welcome to attend, so join us in November for the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference! Here are the details:
- Host hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Old Town Scottsdale, 3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. The conference rate is $99/night + tax. Book your room online at http://www.hiescottsdalehotel.com or call the hotel at (480) 675-7665 and mention the "SABR AFL Conference."
- Registration: $160. To register for the conference online, click here. Your registration fee includes one ticket to all four games; an AFL Media Guide; dinner at Don and Charlie’s on Thursday night; ballpark cookout at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday night; and transportation to and from all events. A la carte registration rates are also available to certain events.
- Schedule: A detailed schedule can be found at SABR.org/AFL.
- Information: Please contact Rodney Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you like to watch no-frills, high-quality baseball with future major league stars, the Arizona Fall League Conference is for you. We hope to see you in November!
A note from SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on October 10:
This week we’ve added the 1924 Negro leagues, both the Negro National League and Eastern Colored League. This year marked the end of the war between the leagues and saw the champions meet in the first Colored World Series, one of the classic postseason series of all time.
The ECL expanded to eight teams, adding the Washington Potomacs (an independent club in 1923) and the Harrisburg Giants, which had existed as an independent team for nearly 20 years. Before peace was declared, Harrisburg was able to snare several NNL stars, including Detroit first baseman Edgar Wesley, Indianapolis ace Darltie Cooper, and the biggest prize of all, center fielder Oscar Charleston, who captured the triple crown (.405, 15 home runs, 63 RBI). Still, even with these players plus rookie Rap Dixon, the Giants couldn’t quite manage a .500 finish.
Hilldale, under rookie manager Frank Warfield, won its second straight ECL pennant, led by Nip Winters, who set a blackball record with 23 overall wins (counting the World Series) despite a declining strikeout rate. The team was packed with hitters (Louis Santop, Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, George Carr), but had become defensively unbalanced; Jake Stephens, the best defensive infielder on the team, could not hit well enough (.151 for his Negro league career through 1924) to hold down a spot, meaning that Biz Mackey, one of the most renowned defensive catchers in the history of the Negro leagues, had to fill in at shortstop, while catching only five games the whole season. This would come back to haunt them in October.
Veteran Pete Hill took over the reins of 1923′s last-place Baltimore Black Sox and brought in slugging shortstop John Beckwith to team up with first baseman Jud Wilson. The Black Sox rocketed to second, pushing Hilldale the whole way. The New York Lincoln Giants also turned their team around, moving up from fifth the previous year to third, even though they had cut loose their longtime manager and biggest star, Cyclone Joe Williams.
Back in the Negro National League, José Méndez‘s Kansas City Monarchs consolidated their dynasty behind the hard hitting of shortstop Dobie Moore, left fielder Heavy Johnson, and third baseman Newt Joseph, and an astonishing season by pitcher/outfielder Bullet Rogan, who went 16-5 while batting .411/.454/.636. Cristóbal Torriente (league-leading 77 RBI) and the Chicago American Giants gave the Monarchs some stiff competition, though they ultimately fell short by a handful of games.
View the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database here: http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php
In case you missed it, SABR's Board of Directors approved its 27th research committee during a recent conference call.
The new Educational Resources Committee, led by chair Andy Andres and vice-chair Bill Nowlin, is designed to help educators develop and expand courses using baseball as a teaching tool, assisting educators in using baseball to better understand subjects such as physics, history, literature, the arts and/or culture.
The Educational Resources Committee will gather information to build baseball teaching resources and present these to the public. The committee's scope will embrace both classroom and online courses ranging from elementary school through high school and college, to lifelong learning programs.
To sign up for announcements from the Educational Resources, click the "Join Group" button here: http://profile.sabr.org/members/group.asp?id=106621
- Related link: Quinnipac professor Stanley Rothman uses baseball to teach statistics (The Cheshire Citizen)
Bobby Valentine is gone, so the future must be looking brighter for Red Sox fans, right? But a half-century ago, Red Sox fans suffered through some bad seasons just like this — learn more about them in our newest book in the SABR Digital Library:
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
E-book price: $9.99
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-933599-34-2
Paperback price: $19.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-933599-24-3
8.5" x 11", 376 pages
Americans in the 1950s found new ways of enjoying themselves, from the rapid proliferation of television sets into every home, to the dawn of a new age of popular music, rock and roll, symbolized by a charismatic crooner named Elvis Presley. Baseball’s place in American culture was still paramount, though the competition was gaining.
In Boston, the baseball landscape changed dramatically in 1953 when the Braves moved to Milwaukee. Despite having the city to themselves, the Red Sox steadily lost attendance throughout the decade, due mainly to a series of teams that failed to contend. But because of television, fans of the region were able to “watch” Red Sox baseball for the first time without setting foot in Fenway Park. With its lagging fortunes of the team on the field, the club retained its hold on the hearts of the region throughout this period.
The 1950s Red Sox were teeming with huge stories. You might know about Ted Williams, of course, but consider his teammates: Harry Agganis, a legendary local athlete whose tragic death is remembered by millions in the region; or Jimmy Piersall, whose illness and breakdown led to a book and two movies; or Jackie Jensen, a famous collegiate football star who forged a great career with the Red Sox. The Red Sox are famous for failing to integrate until 1959, the last team to do so. Depicted here are the people mostly blamed for this oversight (Tom Yawkey, Joe Cronin, and Mike Higgins), as well as the man who finally broke the color line (Pumpsie Green).
Thanks to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), you can read the stories of 46 of these men, including all of of the aforementioned and one of the greatest announcers ever, Curt Gowdy. But along with many of the people you might remember, there are still plenty of lesser-known players that you can discover for the first time. All of these men made it the major leagues and played well enough to stick around for at least a few years. We think all of them are worth learning about, and hope you enjoy doing so.
SABR members get a 50% discount! Here's how:
- E-book: Click here to purchase the e-book version of Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis for the members-only price of $4.99 from the SABR Store.
- Paperback: SABR members, click here to get the paperback edition of Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis for the members-only price of $10.00 at Createspace.com.
Seven new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,088 published biographies.
Here are the new bios:
- Frank Betcher, by Jack Morris
- Charlie Boardman, by Terry Bohn (first-time author)
- Bunk Congalton, by Bill Nowlin
- John Godwin, by Bill Nowlin
- Lum Harris, by Warren Corbett
- Bill McGunnigle, by Ron Shafer
- Jim Mooney, by Charlie Weatherby and Gregory Wolf
All new biographies can be found here: http://sabr.org/bioproj/recent
You can find the SABR BioProject at its new home page: SABR.org/BioProject.
Bios on more than just ballplayers: Many of us have researched a ballplayer's life outside of baseball and found their spouses' lives to be equally compelling. Their stories deserve to be told, too. So in addition to Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, etc., we've now added a new Spouses category to the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories, and more, at http://sabr.org/bioproj/browse. So if you've ever thought, "Hey, that ballplayer's wife should get the full BioProject treatment herself" — write the story and we'll publish it!
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.
Minutes from the Board of Directors conference call on September 30, 2012, have now been posted on the SABR website.
You can view all past minutes of SABR Board meetings by going to the page below:
Or you can go to the Members' Info page and click on "Reports", then "Board Minutes" to view the minutes.
Unlike many nonprofit organizations that hold monthly donation pledge drives and continually solicit donations, SABR has never been proactive about asking for donations. However, like all other nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, SABR relies heavily on generous donations to supplement its membership dues and help the organization survive and prosper. We appreciate those members who have given in the past and continue to donate to SABR. As SABR continues to serve its members and move forward with exciting new member opportunities, we are going to become more proactive by asking our passionate and knowledgeable members to support their very special organization.
All donations to SABR are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. We thank you for supporting SABR and baseball research in all its forms.
To make a donation to support SABR, visit SABR.org/donate.
— Marc Appleman, SABR Executive Director
Here is a list of new members:
|Adi Angel||Muncie, IN|
|Matthew Arietta||Westwood, NJ|
|Andrew Collup||Encinitas, CA|
|Be Demsk||Baltimore, MD|
|David Eckles||Athens, GA|
|John Giammarino||New York, NY|
|Jared Lemin||Pittsburgh, PA|
|Michael O'Grady||Naperville, IL|
|Andrew Perry||Longmeadow, MA|
|William Schuth||Madison, WI|
|Heith Treadwell||Pflugerville, TX|
- There were no committee newsletters published this week.
Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.
Here are the chapter meeting recaps published this week:
- Halsey Hall Chapter meeting recap (Roseville, MN; October 6)
- Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap (Houston, TX; October 8)
Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.
Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:
- October 13: Halsey Hall Chapter book club meeting (Roseville, MN)
- October 13: South Florida Chapter meeting (Tamarac, FL)
- October 13: Auker-Seminick Chapter meeting (St. Cloud, FL)
- October 13: Talkin' Baseball: Timothy Gay (Columbia, MD)
- October 13: Gardner-Waterman (Vermont) Chapter fall meeting (Burlington, VT)
- October 14: Hanlan's Point Chapter meeting (Toronto, ON)
- October 16: Bob Davids Chapter Maryland Hot Stove Dinner (Silver Spring, MD)
- October 16: "Baseball: Personal Stories of the Game" by Stephen Johnson III (Oberlin, OH)
- October 17: Rocky Mountain Chapter monthly lunch (Denver, CO)
- October 18: James Creighton sesquicentennial memorial ceremony (Brooklyn, NY)
- October 18: Katya Cengel book signing (Los Angeles, CA)
- October 20: Monarchs Chapter meeting (Kansas City, MO)
- October 20: Dennis Corcoran book signing (Mohegan Lake, NY)
- October 20: Hugh Bedient Centennial Banquet (Jamestown, NY)
- October 23: Katya Cengel book signing (Santa Barbara, CA)
- October 25: New York Giants Preservation Society meeting (New York, NY)
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:
- Peter C. Bjarkman: A historical Cuban perspective on Aroldis Chapman's season (Baseball de Cuba)
- Jason Wojciechowski: The Raul Ibanez special (Baseball Prospectus)
- David Laurila: Q&A with Joe Torre on catchers (FanGraphs)
- Vince Gennaro: A-Rod's postseason problem (Diamond Dollars)
- Walter Johnson's daughter links Washington to its baseball past (New York Times)
- Larry Granillo: Earl Weaver's thoughts on changing postseason formats in 1969 (Baseball Prospectus)
- Uni Watch's Paul Lukas: The history of the wishbone-C logo (ESPN.com)
- Bill Parker: Projecting Robinson Cano's next 10 years (Pinstriped Bible)
- Calling attention to four glorious but forgotten MLB pennant races (MarketWatch)
- Cliff Blau: The 1890 Athletics, worst team in major league history (Seamheads.com)
- Brent S. Gambill: The sanctity of the 162-game season (Baseball Prospectus)
- Bradley Woodrum: Reassessing talent levels in Japan's professional leagues (FanGraphs)
- Remembering forgotten Jewish baseball players (The Jewish Standard)
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.
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.
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This page was last updated October 16, 2012 at 10:40 am MST.