SABR

This Week in SABR: October 19, 2012

Here's what we've been up to as of October 19, 2012:

Join us for Rising Stars Game and more at SABR Arizona Fall League Conference

We're just two weeks away from the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference, November 1-3, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona. There's still time to register online at SABR.org/AFL.

The fourth annual 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 Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 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 former MLB All-Star 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 sabrrodney@aol.com.

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!

Registration open for 2013 SABR Analytics Conference

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
Phoenix, Arizona

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; Brian Kenny, MLB Network host; 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.

Students, apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend 2013 SABR Analytics Conference

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. 

Please note: Participants in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition are not eligible for the Yoseloff scholarship.

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.

Almost time to renew your SABR membership

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.

Cast your vote in the 21st annual Greg Spira Memorial Internet Baseball Awards

In 1991 — before the World Wide Web was created — SABR member Greg Spira founded the Internet Baseball Awards.

A lifelong, diehard, passionate and knowledgeable New York Mets fan, Spira joined SABR in 1988 and was viewed by his colleagues as a peerless researcher. In his short life, Spira contributed to many books and built one of the most admired private baseball libraries in the world. He died in December 2011 at age 44.

But the IBAs live on today in his name at BaseballProspectus.com. Voting for the 21st annual Greg Spira Memorial Internet Baseball Awards is available now and ends at 11:00 p.m. PST on Monday, October 22, 2012.

You can cast your vote at http://www.baseballprospectus.com/iba.

As a thank you for your participation in the IBAs, our friends at BaseballProspectus.com will hold a drawing for a year of Baseball Prospectus Premium access (a $39.95 value.) One vote per person per category, please.

Want to know what the voters decided in previous seasons? Click here for previous IBA Results.

SABR members honor baseball pioneer James Creighton in Brooklyn

On Thursday, SABR members gathered at the gravesite of 19th-century baseball superstar James Creighton at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Mickey "The Lip" Tangel, Thomas Gilbert, John Thorn, Eric Miklich, Bob Johnson and Craig Nordquist are mentioned in this article by the New York Times recapping the event:

As the hitter gripped his bat and the pitcher began his windup, the catcher’s voice rang out across the blades of Kelly green grass on Thursday morning under a baseball-perfect sky in Brooklyn.

“Strike ’em out, Creighton!” hollered silver-haired Mickey Tangel, 64, crouching behind the plate in a baggy cotton shirt with a 19th-century baseball logo. 

But the man to whom Mr. Tangel referred, James Creighton, was not standing 60 feet 6 inches away. Instead, Mr. Creighton’s remains were buried 6 feet below ground, beneath a marble monument at Green-Wood Cemetery.

Mr. Tangel and a half dozen other 19th-century-baseball enthusiasts had gathered at the cemetery to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of Mr. Creighton, a man who scholars of baseball’s nascent days say revolutionized the game.

“There’s a good argument that Creighton changed the game more than Babe Ruth,” Thomas W. Gilbert, an author and historian, said.

Mr. Creighton rose to fame in 1860 as a member of the Brooklyn Excelsiors, an amateur team, and was the first pitcher to throw something he called a “speedball,” a term so antiquated it sounded quaint in the first verse of Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 song “Glory Days.” Today’s hurlers call Mr. Creighton’s innovation a “fastball.”

“He was a pioneer,” said John Thorn, the official historian for Major League Baseball. “There are people without whom the story of baseball cannot be told, and I think James Creighton is one of those players.”

Read the full article here: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/in-brooklyn-honoring-a-baseball-pioneer/

Sign up for baseball tour of Cuba in 2013

Cubaball, organized by SABR member Kit Krieger, will conduct its 11th annual baseball tour of Cuba from January 25-February 2, 2013.

The program includes attendance at five or six games of the Cuban National Series, visits to historic sites related to the rich history of baseball on the island (La Tropical Stadium and the baseball monuments at Havana's Cristobal Colon cemetery), and opportunities to meet with Cuban stars and league officials.

The highlight of each tour is our visit to the home of Conrado "Connie" Marrero, who at 101 years young is baseball's oldest living major leaguer. We also meet with veterans of the fabled Havana Sugar Kings and pre-revolutionary Cuban winter league.

The tour package includes:

  • 8 nights accommodation at historic 4- to 5-star hotels in Havana and 3- to 4-star hotels in outlying cities, with daily breakfast, as determined by the baseball schedule
  • The final itinerary will be set upon release of the 2012/13 Cuban National Series baseball schedule
  • Best seats for all National Series games
  • All activities, speakers, meetings and admissions as specified in the itinerary
  • Expert Cuban and English-speaking tour guide
  • Deluxe air-conditioned motor coach
  • Airport transfers as available

The tour is limited to 25 persons and places are quickly filled. For more information and to register, visit http://www.prime-travel.com/cubaball_form_submit.asp or contact me at ejkrieger@shaw.ca.

4 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Four new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,092 published biographies.

Here are the new bios:

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

SABR Digital Library: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s

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 2012 — 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:

Donate to SABR and support the future of baseball research

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

In Memoriam

Peter J. Connell, 72, of Greenville, Rhode Island, passed away on October 12, 2012, after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was a SABR member since 1998 and an active member of the Lajoie-Start Chapter in Southern New England.
He was married to the love of his life, Dorothy A. (Healey) Connell, for 46 years. Throughout the last 15 years, he and Dorothy traveled to three major league cities each summer to watch baseball and participate in SABR events at various locations. Besides his home in Greenville, McCoy Stadium — home of the Pawtucket Red Sox — was his favorite place to spend time. Just a month ago, Connell was well enough to attend Governor’s Cup Playoff games with his sons as the PawSox secured their first championship in 28 years.

Born in Providence, he was the only child of the late William A. & Margaret J. (McGovern) Connell. He graduated from LaSalle Academy in 1956 and Providence College in 1960. He performed graduate studies at Long Island University through 1962 and earned a Master‘s Degree in Rehabilitation from Assumption College in 1975. Peter served his country proudly for six years in the Vietnam Era, while being on active duty with the Army Reserves.

He was the devoted father of William T. Connell and his wife, Karen, of North Smithfield; Colleen Kiernan of Greenville; and Peter S. Connell of Greenville. He was the doting grandfather of Nicole, Shawn, Meghan, Billy, & Kaleigh.

Peter was an employee of the State of Rhode Island for 31 years, retiring in 1990 as the Chief of Public Relations for the Department of Employment Security (now Labor & Training). He began his career as a social worker for the former Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. He worked briefly for the former Eastern Airlines upon retirement.

In 1991, he embarked on a second career as a sportswriter for the Observer Publication and subsequent Valley Breeze Newspapers. For 21 years, he was a fixture at high school sporting events in Burrillville, Glocester, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Scituate, and Smithfield covering the accomplishments of legions of superb student-athletes. He umpired softball and baseball throughout his adult life. Beginning with men’s softball leagues in Providence in the early 70’s, followed by Little League in Smithfield and beyond, he retired in 2011 after umpiring high school baseball for 20 years. He was a member of the Association of Baseball Umpires of Rhode Island.

A funeral Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, October 16 at St. Philip Church in Greenville. Burial is in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to St. Philip Church Endowment Fund, 622 Putnam Pike, Greenville, RI 02828 or Home and Hospice Care of RI, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904. For a complete obituary, messages of condolence and directions, visit andersonwinfield.net.

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.

Here is a list of new members:

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Scott Broadwell Oberlin, OH     Joseph Rockne Seattle, WA
John Cannataro Port Washington, NY     Mark Stoler Orange, CT
Alexandre Caron Boucherville, QC     Mike Sullivan Denver, CO
Mark Dobson S. Burlington, VT     Greg Trandel Athens, GA
Carlos Gomez Orlando, FL     Charlie Vaughan Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Daniel T. Hunt Bartlett, IL     Michael Vittone Bentleyville, PA
David Hyde Miami, FL        

 

Pre-2000 SABR research committee newsletters now available online

While there were no new committee newsletters published this week, many older ones are now available online for the first time.

Thanks primarily to the efforts of SABR intern Sean Aronson, all committee newsletters from 1986-1999 that we have in our office archives have been digitized and are listed on their respective committee pages here:

SABR.org/research/research-committees

Select a committee and click the "Newsletters" button to find all newsletters available for that committee. If you have a committee newsletter(s) that does not appear online here, please send a copy — PDF preferred — to Jacob Pomrenke at jpomrenke@sabr.org.

Also, if you have any interest in volunteering to create a newsletter index for one or more committees, contact Jacob at the e-mail address above.

All SABR research committee newsletters can be found at SABR.org/research/resources.

Chapter meeting recaps

Here are the 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.

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This page was last updated October 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm MST.

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