SABR 44: Poster presentations

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From 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 1, SABR 44 attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk with presenters of the poster presentations in the Champions pre-function area on the 2nd floor of the Royal Sonesta Houston in Houston, Texas.

The posters will be available for viewing all week in the Champions pre-function area. The top poster presentation, as selected by on-site judging, will win the USA Today Sports Weekly Award. Check out a list of past winners here.

To view the list of SABR 44 oral research presentations, click here.

Here are the poster presentation abstracts and presenter bios:

P1: Value Points: A Statistical Analysis of Evaluating Baseball Players
Evan Wessman

Wessman presents a new player evaluation formula, Value Points. The system uses weights that represent the amount of a run a certain action by a single player theoretically results in (for example a single is .25 of a run.) Wessman compares his system to different averages and shows which correlate the best. Short lists of the most productive players from 2013 and their estimated run production are also displayed.

Evan Wessman <> started following baseball at age 8 in 2007, but did not begin working with stats until 11. In the four and a half years since, he has studied baseball stats as a hobby and wants to make a career out of it. H created the player analysis formula called value points. This summer he is working as a statistician and official scorekeeper for a college summer league team.

P2: Building From Within or Acquiring from Without: An Analysis of Roster Construction for Post-Season MLB Teams from 2009-2013
Jimmy Sanderson and Matthew Crownover

To what extent should an organization build their roster through homegrown players, or through acquisitions? Sanderson and Crownover examined the rosters for all playoff teams in MLB for the 5-year period from 2009 – 2013, using variables for player position, league affiliation, and how the player was acquired, and also incorporated the player’s WAR value. Using regression analysis and sampling, they explore whether having homegrown at certain key positions does, in fact, correlate with better performance.

Jimmy Sanderson <> is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University, where he also directs the Sports Communication BA program. His research interests focus on the influence of social media on sports. He has been cited in USA Today,, and the Chronicle of Higher Education and is the author of It's A Whole New Ballgame: How Social Media is Changing Sports. You can find him on Twitter @jimmy_sanderson

Matthew Crownover is a rising junior at Clemson University, majoring in Sports Communication and minoring in Athletic Leadership. He is a current member of the Clemson baseball team, where he has won Freshman All American honors and third-team All-ACC honors as a sophomore. He aspires to one day work in a major league front office and be in charge of building an organization.

P3: Nineteenth Century Major League Home Runs: 1893-1900
Ron Selter

Selter reviews all major league (NL) homers from 1893-1900. He discovered that the number of Bounce and Inside-the-Park-Home-Runs for this period was far more than had been shown in the Home Run Log. The number of Bounce and Inside-the-Park-Home-Runs varied tremendously by ballpark. His research permits the correction of the historical record for homers in the 1890s and correct identification of home run types for about 2,000 home runs.

Ron Selter <> is the author of an award-winning book published by McFarland & Co. Inc. (October 2008) entitled Ballparks of the Deadball Era. This book examines the history of major league ballparks and the relationship between batting and ballparks in the 1901-1919 Deadball Era. He is one of the top SABR ballpark experts. He was the text editor for the ballpark encyclopedia-Green Cathedrals (2006 Edition) published by SABR. In addition he was a contributor to the book Forbes Field (2007 by McFarland). His area of expertise is 20th century major-league ballparks.His most recent baseball article was “Two Home Runs That Never Were”, which appeared in the Spring 2013 edition (Volume 42) of the SABR Baseball Research Journal. Selter is a retired economist formerly with the Air Force Space Program. A SABR member since 1989 and a member of the Ballparks, Minor League, Statistical, and Deadball Committees. He has made presentations at both SABR regional meetings and at several national conventions. These presentations have been focused have been about ballparks, and the relationship between ballparks and batting. 

P4: The Gulf States/Lone Star League
Steven Glassman

Glassman explores the Gulf States League’s beginning in 1976 and restructuring into the Lone Star League with all Texas-based teams in 1977. He covers the teams and their home fields, and the regular and postseason. He also shows award winners, name and team changes for 1977 season. Finally, he provides reasons why it disbanded, along with alumni such as Greg Wells and Leo Mazzone.

Steven Glassman <> has been a SABR member since 1994 and regularly makes presentations for the Connie Mack Chapter. Steven is attending his ninth convention. “A History of the Houston Colt .45s/Astros in The Rule Five Draft” will be his third convention oral presentation. “The Gulf States/Lone Star League” will be his fifth poster presentation. Steven wrote “Philadelphia’s Other Hall of Famers” for The National Pastime (Online Edition) (SABR 43). The Temple University graduate in Sport and Recreation Management has worked in the Sports Information field for Temple University, West Chester University, Albright College, and Rutgers University-Newark. He currently works as a full-time scoreboard operator for The Sports Network in Hatboro, PA. Steven is also a part-time volunteer Director of Sports Information for Manor College in Jenkintown, PA. He has been attending Philadelphia Phillies games since the 1970’s and has been a partial season-ticket holder since 2003. Steven also serves as a part-time right fielder/first base coach/scorekeeper for his summer league softball team. Originally born in Philadelphia, PA, Steven currently resides in Warminster, PA.

P5: Interactive Visualizations in Professional Baseball: Houston 1980-2013
Thomas Ciszek

Ciszek delivers a poster sequence visualizing Houston baseball for the past 30 years. He provides data points on influential pitchers and batters in Houston MLB's history using cloud and data analysis techniques developed in recent research literature. Houston fans have seen some great years of performance. The main focus of this poster is to provide new techniques and means for exploratory data analysis for U.S. professional baseball teams. Relative and grouped MLB organization performance is significant in predicting outcomes for the future of baseball. Ciszek also plans to make a companion interactive visualization publicly available to SABR attendees via web browser.

Thomas Ciszek <>

For more information on SABR 44, or to register for the convention, click here.