Spring 2016 Baseball Research Journal

  • Golden Pitches: The Ultimate Last-at-Bat, Game Seven Scenario By Wade Kapszukiewicz

    In Game Seven of the 2014 World Series, each of the six pitches that Madison Bumgarner threw to Salvador Perez could have produced a World Series championship for the Royals (had Perez hit a home run) or the Giants. This is an occurrence so incredibly rare that it has only happened seven times in World Series history.

  • Flashback Gordon: Cryptic Communication within a Base-Running Relay-Throw Event By Jeffrey N. Howard

    In a game where cryptic communication is of paramount importance in assuring success, why would the offense allow the defense free access to their “stop” and “go” signals as conveyed by their third base coach?

  • The Planting of Le Grand Orange By Norm King

    The Astros sent Rusty Staub to Montreal in return for first baseman Donn Clendenon and outfielder Jesus Alou, but the mechanics of the deal go back to October 14, 1968, when Montreal drafted Clendenon and Alou in the expansion draft. The actions of the players involved showed that baseball management was beginning to lose its hold on the absolute power it enjoyed over players for nearly a century.

  • Working Overtime: Wilbur Wood, Johnny Sain and the White Sox Two-Days’ Rest Experiment of the 1970s By Don Zminda

    Wilbur Wood never performed any postseason heroics during a 17-year career that produced 164 major league victories. But any discussion of “the durable and dominant aces of old” should rightly include the lefty knuckleballer. How did Wood, a pitcher who had worked primarily in relief prior to the 1971 season, become an iron-man starter with a workload out of the deadball era? And why did he pretty much stop pitching on short rest after 1975?

  • Player Win Averages (1946-2015) By Pete Palmer

    The Player Wins Averages is a combination of all the aspects and factors that go into baseball. Eldon and Harlan Mills showcased their new idea and systematic thinking into the world of baseball statistics.

  • Analyzing Coverage of the Hines Triple Play By Brian Marshall

    In 1878 a triple play by Providence’s Paul Hines didn’t attract any extraordinary attention other than the excitement of a triple play that saved the day for Providence. The Hines play gained notoriety in baseball folklore when it was labeled by some as the first unassisted triple play in National League history.

  • Revisiting the Hines Triple Play By Richard Hershberger

    On May 8, 1878, the National League club of Providence hosted their counterparts from Boston. In the eighth inning Providence turned a triple play, initiated by center fielder Paul Hines. Was it the first unassisted triple play, or was the play completed by Providence second baseman Charlie Sweasy? This has long been a subject of debate, to the present day. This article will reexamine the question, considering contemporaneous game accounts and the rules of 1878.

  • The Roster Depreciation Allowance: How Major League Baseball Teams Turn Profits Into Losses By Stephen R. Keeney

    Taxing sports franchises is a challenge because the business model and profitability depend heavily upon intangible assets: things that create value but cannot be physically touched, such as television and trademark rights.

  • Hype and Hope: The Effect of Rookies and Top Prospects on MLB Attendance By Russell Ormiston

    What is unclear is whether fan responsiveness is limited to a select few rookie hurlers in history or whether it extends to other key rookies, prospects, and draft picks whose hype may precede them in the major leagues and whose presence may offer hope for a better future for their respective teams.

  • Negro League Baseball, Black Community, and The Socio-Economic Impact of Integration By Japheth Knopp

    The story of Negro League baseball in general and the Kansas City black community and ball club in particular provide an example of the economic and social changes occurring in urban African American communities during the post-war era.

  • 'Playing Rotten, It Ain't That Hard To Do': How the Black Sox Threw the 1920 Pennant By Bruce S. Allardice

    Why did the Black Sox throw possibly a dozen games in 1920? The answer is simple. Money was the primary motive.

  • No 'Solid Front of Silence': The Forgotten Black Sox Scandal Interviews By Jacob Pomrenke

    It’s easy to believe that players involved in the tainted 1919 World Series had no interest in “talking about the past.” But like many common myths about the scandal, the idea that the Big Fix was too shameful or too dangerous for the Chicago White Sox or Cincinnati Reds players to talk about doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny.

  • The Browns' Spring Training 1946 By Roger A. Godin

    The St. Louis Browns’ American League championship in 1944 was followed by a 1945 campaign best remembered for one-armed Pete Gray and a late season pennant rush which seemed unlikely as late as August. One can make the case that things might never have looked as bright for the franchise as they did on Opening Day 1946.

  • Never Make the First or Last Out at Third Base ... Perhaps By Ryan Gantner

    Looking through Major League Baseball's data, the author analyzes and explores the advice of never making the first or last out at third base.

  • Notes Related to Cy Young’s First No-Hitter By Brian Marshall

    Next to a perfect game, the no-hitter may be the most alluring event in baseball, attracting the attention of researchers, historians, and fans alike. Historians are keen to understand every detail related to a no-hitter—easily done for recent games, but not for the games of the nineteenth century. Case in point are the various articles published regarding Cy Young’s first no-hitter on September 18, 1897, which provide conflicting, incorrect, and incomplete information.

  • Bacteria Beat the Phillies: The Deaths of Charlie Ferguson and Jimmy Fogarty By Jerrold Casway

    Between the years 1888 and 1891, the National League's Philadelphia Phillies lost two prominent ballplayers on what promised to be contending teams. The late nineteenth century was still lacking medicines for infectious diseases and questions persisted about how these illnesses were contracted and spread. Baseball players, in spite of their athletic conditioning, were just as susceptible as the general population to the ravages of disease. The perceived invulnerability of the healthy athlete was just a delusionary product of a ballplayer’s notoriety.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: John Dewan By Sean Forman

    John Dewan has spent his career bringing sports statistics to baseball fans and analysts starved for information. First as the executive director of Project Scoresheet, then as a co-founder and CEO of STATS, Inc., and once more as the principal owner of Baseball Info Solutions, John has time and again led the creation of the systems and techniques necessary to collect accurate, comprehensive and timely baseball data.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Larry Lester By Rob Neyer

    For more than 25 years, Larry Lester has done as much as anyone to recognize and promote the historical significance of the Negro Leagues and their players.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Norman Macht By John Thorn

    Norman Macht has lived a baseball life that all of us may envy, starting in a minor-league broadcast booth alongside Ernie Harwell and continuing through the writing of more than 30 baseball books, including a magisterial three-volume biography of Connie Mack.

  • Henry Chadwick Award: Tom Ruane By Mark Armour

    A prized member of the SABR family for more than 25 years, Tom Ruane’s broad knowledge and interests have allowed him to contribute to many committees, especially Baseball Records, Statistical Analysis, Biographical Research, and the Biography Project. He received the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest individual honor, in 2009. A longtime board member and stalwart of Retrosheet, Tom has been involved in many of its most noteworthy efforts, including the design and implementation of its website.