SABR 43: Poster presentations

From 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 3, SABR 43 attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and talk with presenters of the 10 poster presentations in the Franklin A foyer on the 4th floor of the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The posters will be available for viewing all week in the Franklin A foyer. 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 43 oral research presentations, click here.

Here are the poster presentation abstracts and presenter bios:

P1: Baseball's Longest Day: May 31, 1964
Alan Cohen

Two teams on a part cloudy, part rainy, part clear, and much too long day played a doubleheader during which records were set, broken, and made altogether unrecognizable. In game one, won by the Giants 5-3, the lead run was scored by Orlando Cepeda. After doubling and going to third base on a sacrifice by Jim Davenport, Cepeda stole home. Game 2 went 23 innings and lasted a National League-record 7 hours and 23 minutes. Cohen describes the crazy plays (including a triple play), the emergence of Gaylord Perry and his signature (albeit illegal) pitch, and the participation of a half-dozen future Giants Hall of Famers.

Alan Cohen <> received his B.A. in History from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and retired in 2011 after forty years as an insurance underwriter. This season, he is working as a datacaster with the New Britain Rock Cats, the Class AA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. He has been married for forty-two years, and has four children and six grandchildren. He is coming to the convention after working as a walking scorer at the Travelers Championship, where he has been a volunteer for twenty-one years. He has volunteered at numerous other golf tournaments including eight U.S. Opens (four Men’s and four Women’s). He contributed two bios to the Sweet 60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates book and is looking forward to more research in the upcoming years.

P2: Rising Ballplayers' Income Inequality and Team Performance
Barry Krissoff

In a competitive environment, we would expect the high-performing players to gravitate to teams willing to pay commensurate compensation, thereby leading to successful teams. Scully, Bradbury, Gennaro and others have written well-cited books and articles examining batters’ and pitchers’ performances and salaries. While levels of income and performance have been examined, the issue of income inequality and performance has not. The relative income hypothesis suggests that individuals are concerned not only with absolute income but with how their income compares to others and in what income percentile they are in. Krissoff compares a team’s performance and income inequality measures for the thirty major league teams in 2010 and provides insights into whether they have a negative relationship.

Barry Krissoff, MSS, MA <> is a member of the Washington, D.C. Bob Davids SABR chapter and enjoys the group’s monthly discussions at the Hard Times Cafe. He is an avid baseball fan and looks forward to a World Series championship for the Washington Nationals. He also enjoys playing fantasy baseball in a competitive keeper league. This is his first presentation at a SABR annual convention. The poster is based on an article in the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal. He has a Ph.D from the University of Virginia in economics.

P3: Do MLB Hitters Boost Performance in Their Contract Year?
Heather O’Neill

O’Neill focuses on 256 MLB free agent hitters under the 2006-2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement to determine whether hitters increase their offensive production during the last year of their guaranteed contract since there is an incentive to land another lucrative guaranteed contract. An important feature generally not accounted for in previous studies is whether a player intends to retire at the end of a contract. If so, one would expect a decreased contract year performance since the attraction of future income dissipates. O’Neill uses fixed effects panel data estimation to control for unmeasured traits (and shows different results from typical pooled ordinary least squares estimation) while exploring whether there is a contract year boost and if the boost is also there for retiring players.

Heather O’Neill <> is entering her 27th year as a Professor of Economics at Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA, where all of her students know she is an active athlete and a survivor of the 1964 Phillies collapse. An avid Phillies fan who still uses her Johnny Callison-signed Wonder Web baseball glove, she serves as the “Cookie Rojas” in her department by teaching a variety of applied microeconomics courses, including the Economics of Sports. To mitigate the pain of numerous losing seasons by the Phillies, in the late 1960s she began her love affair with the New York Yankees. Following the completion of her undergraduate degrees from the University of Vermont (’76) in Math and Economics, she met her husband, Mike, while pursuing her Ph.D at Georgetown University (’86). Despite Mike’s favorite team being the Boston Red Sox, their mixed marriage boasts four adult children and continued visits to various ball parks yearly. Her most recent professional publications span varied topics, all of which incorporate applied econometric techniques. She is attending her first SABR conference.

P4: The Hall of Stats: An Alternate Hall of Fame Populated by a Mathematical Formula
Adam Darowski

Darowski conceived the Hall of Stats because the Hall of Fame voting process has become a political nightmare. A massive backlog of worthy candidates is piling up — some because of association with PEDs (or simply suspicion), but some because voters just don't realize how good they were. There seems to be a false perception of what the Hall of Fame actually is. Using WAR and’s WAA, with various adjustments for 19th-century differences and other inequalities, Darowski aims to show how run- and win-value statistics can be used to measure a player's Hall of Fame case.

Adam Darowski <> is a web designer and developer living in Massachusetts with his wife and three young children. He is the founder of the Hall of Stats: an alternate Hall of Fame populated by a mathematical formula. While he doesn’t believe the Hall of Fame actually should be populated by a formula, he loves to use context-adjusted advanced statistics to find overlooked and otherwise interesting players from all eras of baseball’s history. The Hall of Stats is a conversation starter and the place where Darowski publishes his research and analysis.

P5: The Forging of a Dynasty in 1973
Matthew Silverman

Three years undeniably makes a dynasty. Why three? To quote the 1973 Schoolhouse Rock song: “Three, that’s a magic number.” It’s also a unique number when it comes to consecutive World Series championships — only the Yankees and the 1972-74 Oakland A’s have pulled off that feat. One of Silverman’s aims for this presentation is to shed positive light on both that A’s dynasty and the landmark season of 1973 (when the underdog Mets nearly interrupted the streak) that marks its 40th anniversary this year. His presentation includes photos as well as charts listing the accomplishments of the roster and multi-championship major league teams over a two-, three-, and four-year span.

Matthew Silverman <> is the author of more than a dozen books, most recently Swinging ’73: Baseball’s Wildest Season. He has written a half-dozen books about the Mets, in addition to co-writing Shea Goodbye with Keith Hernandez and Mets by the Numbers with Jon Springer. He has also written Red Sox by the Numbers (with Bill Nowlin), and Cubs by the Numbers (with Al Yellon and Kasey Ignarski), and co-edited The Miracle Has Landed: The Amazin’ Story of How the 1969 Mets Shocked the World. As associate publisher for Total Sports Publishing in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he served as principal editor for Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. He was managing editor for Total Baseball, Total Football, and The ESPN Football Encyclopedia. He served as associate editor for five editions of The ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. A longtime SABR member, he resides with his family in High Falls, New York.

P6: When the Big Leagues Came to Reading: Exhibition Games Played by Major League Teams in Reading, Pennsylvania between 1875 and 2000
Brian Engelhardt

On May 22, 1875, Harry Wright’s Boston Red Stockings of the ill-fated National Association bludgeoned the Reading Actives 27-11 before 1,000 fans (then left town with the Active’s best player). On May 8, 2000, Gary Varsho’s Reading Phillies, powered by a grand slam home run hit by Pete Rose Jr., defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2 in a 7-inning game before a crowd of 9,300. In the 125 years between those two dates, at least 73 exhibition games were played in Reading by major league teams, including two between major league teams — 1906 (Phillies and A’s) and 1964 (Red Sox and Cubs). Engelhardt provides insights and historical materials on these game and baseball history, particularly in Reading, and the business reasons exhibition games like these are disappearing.

Brian Engelhardt <> is a native of Reading, PA, where he resides with his wife, Suzanne, who is a good sport about a lot of things. Their three daughters are grown (and Phillies fans). A member of SABR since 2006, he has written for the SABR BioProject, The National Pastime, and the Deadball Committee newsletter. A regular contributor to the Berks County Historical Review, he also has written for several other Reading-area publications, including the (then) Reading Phillies (now Fightins’) website. At age 13, his emotional growth was permanently stunted by the combination of the collapse of the 1964 Phillies plus his mother throwing out his baseball cards because he left them laying around after she told him to pick them up "for the tenth time." He does not easily let things go.

P7: The Adirondack Valley League - Adjusted Statistics For 1961-1976
Eric Thompson

In Baseball's Lost Tradition: Two Eight-Team Leagues, Thompson took on the challenge of researching and reporting the history of baseball's first organized expansion and then switched gears to a unique mathematical application to the statistical side of the game, all in the interest of his favorite topic, baseball. This year's poster presentation reflects an extension of the mathematical application for 1961 to 1976. Thompson also recently authored Cooperstown Tales – Book 1: A Providential Meeting and Cooperstown Tales – Book 2: A Trilogy.

Eric Thompson <> is a three-time presenter at SABR national conventions concerning baseball's first expansion between 1960 and 1962. A retired high school mathematics teacher and a lifelong Cleveland Indians fan, Thompson coached youth baseball and served as an assistant high school baseball coach for many years. Today, Thompson plays softball in The Babes of 1916 senior league for players 65 and over. Eric lives in Solon, OH, with Colleen, his wife for 44 years. He has three grown children and four grandchildren. The fourth is due at the end of June.

P8: The Uncertain Relationship Between Stolen Bases And Runs Scored
Brendan Bingham

An appreciation of the complex relationship between stolen bases and runs scored, and how this relationship has evolved over the history of major league baseball, is integral to understanding base stealing as a strategy. Using correlation analysis and tapping into data assembled in the ML Team Totals pages of, Bingham examines league-level and team-level relationships between stolen bases and runs scored for the seasons 1901 through 2012.

Brendan Bingham <> has been a SABR member since 2009. He is an occasional contributor to the website Baseball: Past and Present and was a contributing author to the recent SABR BioProject book Bridging Two Dynasties: The 1947 New York Yankees. Brendan works in the medical device industry. During a twenty-five-year career as a research scientist, he has published original work in genetics, endocrinology, and neuroscience.

P9: Two Mirrors: Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees (1926-1931)
Victor Wilson

Nineteen teams have won at least three league championships in a row. Never have two of those teams been so close in time and performance as the New York Yankees of 1926-28 and the Philadelphia A's of 1929-31. Wilson compares both teams using statistics such as WAR, Pythagorean formula, OPS+, ERA+, Defensive Efficiency Rating, Standard Deviation Scores, record versus opponents, team splits, comparative game scores, etc. He will also highlight the contrasting styles of the two ballclubs: Offense versus Pitching and Defense. These breakouts will give a more definitive picture of an era of greatness which has never been matched by two other teams so close in time with so many players that would go on to selection to the Hall of Fame.

Victor Wilson <> joined SABR and the Allan Roth (Los Angeles) Chapter in 1984 and resides in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. He has presented many times for the local chapter. He has been a Braves fan ever since his fourth grade teacher, Miss Braun, (a nun from Milwaukee) "beat it into him" in 1955. Miss Braun, a "pioneer" in Prayer in Public Schools, would have the students pray for Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, etc. His major interests have been adjustment of player statistics and all-time franchise teams having built statistical databases starting in 1984 (on 10k floppies) and added to each year thereafter. In 1987, he did an oral presentation at the Washington D.C. convention and wrote an article on Fernando Valenzuela in the 2011 The National Pastime. Major associates over the years have been Pete Palmer, Michael Schell and Bob Buege.

P10: At Bat for Uncle Sam: Visual Rhetoric in WWII-Era Score Cards and Programs
Geri Strecker

In the years leading up to and during World War II, Americans were intensely patriotic. Symbolism appeared in every facet of society — including documents associated with our national pastime. Minor and major league baseball programs and score cards featured red, white, and blue graphics with images of Uncle Sam, American Eagles, and other symbols of power and victory. Strecker displays an assortment of images from 1939-1945, including a 1944 Phillies scorecard with remarkable patriotic imagery, and a 1942 Indianapolis Indians program with Uncle Sam pitching a baseball.

Geri Strecker <> is an assistant professor at Ball State University, where she teaches writing for architecture and urban design. She has published articles in NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, Black Ball: A Negro Leagues Journal, and The National Pastime. She is currently finishing a book on Oscar Charleston and another on the early history of baseball in the Philippines. She lives in old Bush Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Indians from 1931-1996.

P11: Dealing within the City of Philadelphia—A History of Transactions between Philadelphia Baseball Teams from 1871 through 1954
Steven Glassman

Between 1871 and 1954, Philadelphia played host to seven baseball teams in five different leagues. Glassman discusses each of the seven occasions in which a Philadelphia team released a player and another Philadelphia squad signed that player as a free agent. In 1901, seven players jumped from the Phillies to the Athletics and one player jumped back to the Phillies in 1902. Glassman will discuss how a 1902 Pennsylvania State Supreme Court decision played a role with players who were jumping from the Phillies to the Athletics.

Steven Glassman <> has been a SABR member since 1994 and regularly makes presentations for the Connie Mack Chapter. Steven is attending his eighth convention. His prior convention oral presentation was “Thank You for Your (Non-) Support” (SABR 42), and he is also making his fourth poster presentation in the past five years. 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 1970s 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.

P12: The Outfield Sign: Past, Present, Future
Dobb Mayo and John Weitzel

Once fences were erected around ball grounds so that spectators could be charged admission to baseball matches, it wasn't long before team owners discovered the fences made possible another source of revenue. Space on the fences themselves could be rented out to businesses wishing to advertise to the 'captive' audiences inside the fences. This was happening as early as the 1880s, and this source of income has become more important with time. Mayo and Weitzel trace how stadium advertising has evolved over time — how it has changed as the American economy itself became more of a consumption-based economy, and how it has changed as the advertising industry itself evolved.

Dobb Mayo <> is currently a systems architect at the boutique advertising agency Gazillion & One, in the lakeside community of Grand Haven, MI. Dobb has been in and around the sports marketing industry for more than 13 years — working with top sports and entertainment companies such as Topps, CART, World Wrestling Entertainment and a number of minor league sports teams. Additionally, he worked in the front office of the Albany Diamond Dogs baseball club and was the Chief Operating Officer of SunCoast Baseball. He is a vintage base ball player, as well as the grandson of former Tigers second baseman Eddie Mayo.

John Weitzel is a Master Faculty Specialist in the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University, where he teaches advertising and sports marketing. Prior to joining the WMU faculty in 2001, John spent 26 years in the advertising agency business. He co-founded the J.W. Messner agency in Grand Rapids, which surpassed $110 million in billings while John served as Executive Vice President. The agency represented Chevrolet dealer associations in the western half of the country. In 1999, John joined GMR*Works, an events and promotions firm exclusively dedicated to serving General Motors at the regional level. With degrees from Kent State and the University of Washington, John has served as a consultant and principal with firms in the retail grocery, music production, and minor league baseball industries.


For more information about SABR 43 or to register, visit