SABR

SABR Day

SABR Day is an annual event that brings together SABR members and friends on the same day, regardless of where they live. The sixth annual SABR Day was held on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

Regional SABR meetings are open to all baseball fans — though we encourage you to join SABR if you like what you find — and are usually free to attend. Guest speakers often include current and former baseball players, managers, umpires, executives, scouts, writers and authors.

SABR Day events were held Saturday, January 24, 2015, in the following cities:

  • Albuquerque, NM (Rio Grande Chapter)
  • Austin, TX (Rogers Hornsby Chapter)
  • Bangor, ME (Maine Chapter)
  • Boston, MA (Boston Chapter)
  • Chandler, OK (Oklahoma Chapter)
  • Cincinnati, OH (Hoyt-Allen Chapter)
  • Cooperstown, NY (Cliff Kachline Chapter)
  • Dallas, TX (Banks-Bragan DFW Chapter)
  • Denver, CO (Rocky Mountain Chapter)
  • Des Moines, IA (Field of Dreams Chapter)
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL (South Florida Chapter)
  • Houston, TX (Larry Dierker Chapter)
  • Kansas City, MO (Monarchs Chapter)
  • Knoxville, TN (East Tennessee Chapter)
  • Las Vegas, NV (Maddux Brothers-Las Vegas Chapter)
  • Little Rock, AR (Robinson-Kell Chapter)
  • Louisville, KY (Pee Wee Reese Chapter)
  • Minneapolis, MN (Halsey Hall Chapter/TwinsDaily.com)
  • Montreal, QC (Quebec Chapter)
  • Nashville, TN (Rice-Russell Chapter)
  • New Orleans, LA (Schott-Pelican Chapter)
  • New York, NY (Casey Stengel Chapter)
  • Philaelphia, PA (Connie Mack Chapter)
  • Phoenix, AZ (Flame Delhi Chapter)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Forbes Field Chapter)
  • St. Louis, MO (Bob Broeg Chapter)
  • San Diego, CA (Ted Williams Chapter)
  • San Francisco, CA (Lefty O'Doul Chapter)
  • Seattle, WA (Northwest Chapter)
  • Tallahassee, FL (Buck O'Neil/North Florida Chapter)
  • Toronto, ON (Hanlan's Point Chapter)
  • Victoria, BC (Northwest Chapter)

In addition, some chapters are holding their SABR Day meetings on a different day, due to venue or schedule availability. Click on a link below or see the Events Calendar for details on each of these meetings, as well:

We're posting highlights from SABR Day 2015 as they come in; to add your SABR Day recap to this page, please send details to jpomrenke@sabr.org.

Albuquerque, New Mexico (Rio Grande Chapter): Toby Smith discussed the challenges and opportunities encountered while conducting oral research for his book Bush League Boys: The Postwar Legends of Baseball in the American Southwest in the Rio Grande Chapter's SABR Day meeting at the Special Collections Library in Albuquerque. — Gary Herron

Jeff KatzJeff KatzCooperstown, New York (Cliff Kachline Chapter): 17 SABR members and friends braved the early-morning chill and snow to meet at the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Bullpen Theater in Cooperstown. Presentations were made by Bill Deane ("Larry Doby and the 1954 MVP voting"), Tom Shieber ("Straw Boaters and Hilltop Park," another in a series of Tom’s incredible accounts of photo research), Gabriel Schechter ("The Unique Career of Jack Bentley"), and Bruce Markusen ("Dick Allen and His Many Controversies"). In addition, the Cliff Kachline Award was presented to Richard Hunt, former chapter president. There were heavy hearts in Cooperstown and all over after we learned of Ernie Banks' death the day before; Banks' plaque in the Hall of Fame Gallery was draped in a floral arrangement as a tribute to "Mr. Cub." View photos from the meeting on the chapter's Facebook page. — Jeff Katz

Roger Hadix and Chris WarrenRoger Hadix and Chris WarrenDenver, Colorado (Rocky Mountain Chapter): 52 SABR members and friends were in attendance for the Rocky Mountain Chapter's sixth annual SABR Day event. Chapter President Matthew Repplinger provided panel member introductions and welcome greetings to all guests and chapter members. Marc Stout of Root Sports Rocky Mountain, the Video Coordinators Panel moderator, provided a number of questions to the panelists Chris Warren, Advance Scout for the Colorado Rockies and Luke French, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, about their video and scouting experiences, duties and responsibility. The Scouts Panel, consisted of Kent Gregory of the Yankees, Ed Henderson of the Twins, Al Blesser of the Seattle Mariners, Tom Maloney of the Kansas City Royals, and Charles Ro of the Atlanta Braves. Marc Stout also provided questions that enable panel members to provide discussion and feedback on the number of games attended and scouted daily and annually. Panelists were praised for their outstanding feedback as keynote speakers by all members and guests. Click here for a full recap and more photos. — John Paul

Des Moines, Iowa (Field of Dreams Chapter): On a day that featured nicer weather than most I-Cub home openers, 16 members and guests of the Field of Dreams Chapter gathered at the 515 Brewing Company in Clive for our annual SABR Day gathering. The day featured a couple of great presentations. Mike Haupert summarized the contributions of William Hulbert, the first president (and really the founder) of the National League; the Hall of Fame executive's work in setting league schedules, rules of conduct, and player contracts served as the model for all future professional leagues in the U.S. John Liepa writes articles for the I-Cubs program each year, and he gave us a preview of an upcoming article about super-scout and Cedar Rapids native, Cy Slapnicka. Slapnicka was a journeyman minor league player, and got two cups of coffee in the Majors, but he's most known as the scout who signed Bob Feller (along with many other noteworthy stars, including Bob Lemon, Hal Troskey, and Roger Maris). The meeting also featured plenty of good conversation and pizza, along with a trivia quiz supplied by Mike Coveyou. Tim Rask won the trivia honors. — Tim Rask

Houston, Texas (Larry Dierker Chapter): Last week was a pretty special week for our chapter. We started out with our regular meeting Monday, January 19 (click here for the recap.) Thursday brought an outstanding 2015 Hot Stove Banquet at Sugar Land's Constellation Field where by my count we had 31 SABR members and guests either in attendance or on the program. Tal Smith and Larry Dierker did a superior job on their panel while Ira Liebman and Greg Lucas did a truly fine job honoring our own Monte Irvin with our chapter's first annual award. It was good to see Jimmy Wynn back out and about after his surgery. Thanks to Mike McCroskey for staying behind this project and for singing the National Anthum. On Saturday, the chapter took part in the Astros' FanFest at Minute Maid Park. Reid Ryan told me early on they expected 6,000 people and I think all 6,000 came by our booth. Thanks to Jim Kreuz, Tom White, Joe and Susan Thompson, and Tony Cavender, we handed out lots of SABR applications and sold the entire lot of Houston Baseball: The Early Years books that had been signed Monday night. A fun day. I doubt any other SABR chapter can brag that they had 6,000 fans come to their SABR Day event. — Bob Dorrill

Drew JenkinsDrew JenkinsKnoxville, Tennessee (East Tennessee Chapter): Nearly a dozen members and friends met for SABR Day at the Lawson McGhee Library in Knoxville, where former major league left-hander Steve Jones spoke on his very interesting baseball career. Jones pitched for the Chicago White Sox in 1967, Washington Senators in 1968, and Kansas City Royals in 1969. We also heard presentations from author Amber Roessner, journalism professor at the University of Tennessee, on her recent book, Inventing Baseball Heroes: Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and the Sporting Press in America; and from Drew Jenkins, writer/columnist at Rant Sports, who spoke on his columns and the work he does in Prospect and Free Agent Analysis. Lucas Hobbs, Vice President of Bristol Baseball Inc., spoke on the Appalachian League, the teams and the parent club working arrangements. Lucas has attended three prior Baseball Winter Meetings (Year 2014 in San Diego) and described the event to our attendees. The 2015 meeting will be in Nashville and a should provide an interesting opportunity for many area fans. Click here for a full recap and more photos. — Mark Aubrey 

Las Vegas Chapter (Maddux Brothers Las Vegas Chapter): The first SABR Day for our new chapter turned out great. The seven members who attended were greeted warmly by the great staff of the Las Vegas Mob Museum and shown to our meeting place in the Oscar Goodman Room. Rick Swift called the meeting together and opened with "This Date in Baseball History, which led to a discussion about the Baseball Hall Of Fame, SABR's BioProject biography of Sam Crane, and the new pitch clock to help speed up the game. We then welcomed our guests, Don Logan owner of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s and Russ Langer, radio voice of the 51s. They were interviewed by chapter member Chris Kaempfer. After about an hour, the interview came to an end and we broke for lunch. After lunch, Rick Swift give a presentation about the first professional baseball team in Las Vegas, the 1947 Les Vegas Wranglers (a team that hit 271 home runs in a 140-game season.) Chris Kaempfer led a discussion about Barry Bonds and if he will ever make the Baseball Hall of Fame. A short trivia contest was won by Dana Marshall, who chose a Bill James book as his reward. Following a business meeting to pick our next meeting date and location, we adjourned and some members spent the rest of the afternoon touring the Mob Museum. — Rick Swift

Chris BurkeChris BurkeLouisville, Kentucky (Pee Wee Reese Chapter): The Pee Wee Reese Chapter's 2015 SABR Day meeting was a resounding success. A total of 27 members and guests from Louisville and Indiana attended, the largest number for at least six years. Featured speaker Chris Burke, former MLB'er with three teams, was very entertaining, enlightening and frank about his experiences. He gave a dramatic recreation of the most famous HR in Houston Astro history. Dr. Rodger Payne, a die-hard Kansas City Royal rooter, gave a research presentation on "Can Small Market Teams Compete" which was outstanding and very timely. It deserves a wider audience. Faithful member Bud Thieman gave a brief remembrance of the 1997 Louisville Convention, and he introduced award-winning front-office executive Mary Barney, the first Redbirds staffer hired when Baseball returned to Louisville in 1982. The Trivia Contest overseen by Dr. Jack Sullivan was more fun than ever with Bob Sawyer winning the $50 cash prize again, and Brian Lepley coming in second. Next year, we plan to have cash awards for the top two finishers. Everyone present left with a door prize and new friendships. This was the best gathering the Chapter has had in a long time. Click here for a full recap and more photos. — Harry Rothgerber

Montreal, Quebec (Quebec Chapter): The Quebec Chapter held a productive meeting on SABR Day 2015. Six members were on hand to celebrate baseball and its history. Robert Duval was the headliner of the meeting. He talked about former major leaguer Tim Harkness. Born in Lachine, a Montreal suburb, Harkness played for the Dodgers and the Mets between 1961 and 1964. Quebecers are used to hearing about French speaking players of the period such as Ron Piché and Claude Raymond. Harkness, however, remains a relative unknown mostly because he moved to Toronto in the late seventies. Our members also talked about the Major League season to come. Our consensus was that the Cubs would be the team to beat in the National League followed closely by the Dodgers. In the American, the Blue Jays were deemed definitive contenders for the pennant. The chapter gave itself a new mandate, that of figuring out who can be called a “Quebec Player”. The case of former St. Louis outfielder Oscar Taveras (who died in a car accident in October of 2014) was discussed. Born in the Dominican Republic, Taveras arrived in the Province of Quebec at age 12 but left four years later to avoid being drafted. Since he played baseball in Montreal, that his family still live in the city and that his departure from Quebec was not voluntary but simply a strategic move, our members granted Quebec player status to Taveras. He becomes the 31st Quebec player to reach the Majors. Click here for a full bilingual recap. — Patrick Carpentier

New York, New York (Casey Stengel Chapter): On a nasty, icy day in New York City, when the talk of the town seemed to be the Patriots and their deflated footballs, many New Yorkers gathered to discuss our national pastime at the New York Public Library. The conference opened with some sadness as Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks passed away the night before. But there was excitement, too, as folks in SABR’s Casey Stengel Chapter began to settle in to hear a great lineup of speakers. The three panels on the agenda included one about baseball legend Frank Robinson, another about what it's like to be an MLB scorekeeper, and a presentation about new information about Babe Ruth. The Frank Robinson panel featured ESPN’s Peter Keating and Willie Weinbaum. It was particularly special because this year is the 40th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first black manager in Major League Baseball. Keating and Weinbaum showed a short clip from an ESPN "Outside the Lines" special that highlighted moments of Robinson’s career. After a short lunch break, we regrouped to learn about MLB scoring from official scorers Billy Altman and Jordan Sprechman. Each of these fantastic scorers has recorded some astounding moments in baseball history, from Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit to the game where the Yankees hit three grand slams to the first no-hitter in Mets history by Johan Santana. The final panel of the day was also very entertaining. The speaker was Michael Gibbons, the Executive Director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore. The museum focuses on his pre-MLB days and features parts of the home where Ruth grew up before being whisked off to boarding school by his parents at the age of seven.  Gibbons said that one of the great parts of his job is that he almost gets to work with "The Bambino" every day. The sixth annual SABR Day was a lot of fun and it was a thrill to attend. Click here to read Max Mannis' full recap at SIKids.com. — Max Mannis

Sean KaneSean KanePhoenix, Arizona (Flame Delhi Chapter): 37 SABR members and friends were in attendance for the Flame Delhi Chapter's SABR Day meeting at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Sean Kane of Painted Gloves Collectibles showed off his unique artwork, which included original gloves focused on such players as Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench, and Cecil Cooper. Veteran baseball writers Barry Bloom and Tony DeMarco squared off in a lively discussion on the future of the Baseball Hall of Fame and the ramifications of the Steroid Era. Chuck Johnson delivered a presentation on Mariano Rivera and the intracacies of the modern save rule. Some members then took the occasion to go downstairs and view Tempe Diablo Stadium's new exhibit on Cactus League spring training history, which was written by chapter president Rodney Johnson. Click here for more photos— Jacob Pomrenke

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Forbes Field Chapter): Held in the luxurious Lexus Club at PNC Park, our SABR Day meeting began with our annual Hall of Fame report and update from Sam Reich. This was followed by an entertaining presentation by Harry Funk on "The American Association and its Ties to the Pittsburgh Pirates." We then had a special guest, Dennis Degenhardt from Wisconsin, who gave us a very informative presentation on former Pirate Ginger Beaumont. Dennis was presented with a check for $500, our chapter's contribution to the proposed plaque honoring Beaumont at Beaumont Field in Burlington, Wisconsin. After lunch, local KDKA sportscaster Rich Walsh conducted a spirited discussion of the Pirates and the upcoming 2015 season. Rich was followed by Don Thomson, who discussed the players who narrowly missed Triple Crown designation with his presentation "Triple Crown Lite." Our final speaker, Stephanie Liscio, leader of the Cleveland SABR chapter, took us on a trip through the history of League Park which just happens to be where they will be having their SABR Day on February 7. We concluded the day with a Pirates trivia contest with Jim Haller taking home the prize. We thank the Pittsburgh Pirates for donating the use of the Lexus Club for our use. — George Skornickel

Dave MatchetteDave MatchetteToronto, Ontario (Hanlan's Point Chapter): Allen Tait, Barry Naymark, and Dave Matchette gave presentations to Seneca College’s Spring Training for Baseball course, led for the past 37 years by SABR member Bill Humber. Allen covered statistical analysis on pitchers starting three games in a seven-game World Series. Barry covered obscure Baseball Firsts and Records with Trivia. Dave supplied research and statistics and accounts of Canadian-born players who hit homers on Canadian soil (in Toronto and Montreal.) — Barry Naymark



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