SABR 44: Information

Research presentations Schedule of events Committee meetings
Poster presentations Featured speakers Vendors Room
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July 30-August 3, 2014
Royal Sonesta Houston
2222 W Loop S Fwy.
Houston, TX 77027

The featured speakers at SABR 44 included Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros; and Larry Dierker, former Astros pitcher, broadcaster, and manager who is also the namesake of the local Houston SABR chapter.

In addition, we had several exciting panel discussions, including:

  • College Baseball Panel with Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner and University of Texas legend, coach Jim Gilligan of Lamar University, Mike Gustafson of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and moderator Mike Vance
  • Decision Sciences Panel led by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and executives Sig Mejdal and David Stearns
  • Astros Player Panel with Art Howe, Alan Ashby, Larry Dierker, and moderator Bill Brown
  • From Playing Field to Front Office with former American League president Dr. Bobby Brown , former Astros player and GM Bob Watson, former All-Star first baseman and GM Eddie Robinson, and moderator C. Paul Rogers III
  • Houston Colt .45s Panel with Jimmy “Toy Cannon” Wynn, Bob Aspromonte, Hal Smith, Carl Warwick, sportswriter Mickey Herskowitz, and moderator Greg Lucas
  • 1980 Houston Astros Panel with Enos Cabell, Jose Cruz, coach Deacon Jones, GM Tal Smith, and moderator Kenny Hand
  • Media Panel with Astros broadcaster Bill Brown, Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, Alyson Footer of, Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez, and moderator Brett Dolan
  • Women in Baseball Panel with  Jana Howser of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League alumnus Marie “Red” Mahoney, Leila Rahimi of Comcast SportsNet Houston, Alyson Footer of, and moderator Leslie Heaphy

On Saturday, August 2, SABR convention attendees had the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park for an exclusive pregame ballpark session with Houston Astros executives and players. Before the Astros' 6:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, two SABR 44 panel discussions took place inside Minute Maid Park.

We also visited Constellation Field, home of the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters, for a game against the Bridgeport Bluefish on Thursday, July 31. Before the game, former Houston Astros president and SABR member Tal Smith, a special advisor to the president of the Skeeters, welcomed SABR 44 attendees, along with Ira Liebman, voice of the Skeeters and also a SABR member.

There were 32 groundbreaking presentations of baseball research — including a study of the Astrodome and its place in popular culture; facial hair and the 1972 World Series; the Retroactive All-Star Game Project; an examination of MLB managers and leadership qualities; an insider's look at Cuban baseball defectors; an in-depth study of team chemistry in baseball; and the Negro League Houston Eagles.

The Awards Luncheon included keynote speaker Larry Dierker, along with the presentation of SABR's highest honor, the Bob Davids Award. As always, there was the highly competitive and entertaining SABR Trivia Contest finals on Friday night.





About the SABR 44 convention

The SABR Convention, which is open to all baseball fans, includes top featured speakers from around the baseball world — front office executives, players, managers, scouts, writers and analysts — innovative panel discussions, groundbreaking research presentations, major and minor league games, tours of historic ballparks, the SABR Trivia Contest, the Awards Luncheon, and most of all, the opportunity to make and renew baseball friendships over the course of this spectacular and memorable event.

Guest speakers at SABR 44 are expected to include:

  • Reid Ryan, President of Business Operations for the Houston Astros
  • Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner and a college baseball legend at the University of Texas
  • Jeff Luhnow, General Manager for the Houston Astros
  • Tal Smith, former Astros President and former SABR Director
  • Jimmy Wynn, an early Colt .45s star whose number has been retired by the Astros
  • Larry Dierker, longtime Astros player, broadcaster and manager
  • Bill Brown, current Astros television broadcaster
  • Dr. Bobby Brown, former American League President
  • Buck Martinez, former player and current Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster
  • Bob Watson, former player and general manager for the Astros
  • Eddie Robinson, longtime player, general manager and baseball executive
  • Bob Aspromonte, original Colt .45 and former Brooklyn Dodger
  • Marie "Red" Mahoney, alumnus of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • Mickey Herskowitz, noted baseball author and sportswriter
  • Jim Gilligan, Lamar University baseball coach with more than 1,000 career wins

Click here to learn more about our featured speakers at SABR 44.


Experience SABR 44 at the ballpark

A special treat is in store for SABR 44 attendees. On Saturday, August 2, SABR convention attendees had the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park for an exclusive ballpark session with Houston Astros executives and players.

Before the Astros' 6:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, two SABR 44 panel discussions took place at Minute Maid Park.

The Astros Player Panel at 2:30 p.m. included Art Howe, Alan Ashby, and Larry Dierker, along with broadcaster and moderator Bill Brown. The Decision Sciences Panel at 3:30 p.m. was led by Astros GM Jeff Luhnow with front-office executives Sig Mejdal and David Stearns.

Purchase of SABR 44 conference registration AND a game ticket was required to attend this special session at Minute Maid Park. 

Because of this special arrangement with the Astros for Saturday night's game, the SABR 44 Trivia Contest semifinals and finals was moved to Friday night. The Awards Luncheon still took place on Friday afternoon and the Donor Breakfast on Saturday morning, as usual.


Students, apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 44

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR awarded four scholarships to high school or college students to attend SABR 44 on July 30-August 3, 2014, in Houston, Texas. 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 high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR's annual convention and to introduce them to fellow SABR members. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

Click here to learn more about the Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 44 in Houston.


A note from our SABR 44 hosts

On behalf of Houston and the Larry Dierker Chapter, and our co-hosts, the Rogers Hornsby Chapter of Austin-San Antonio, we're excited about the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of all the fine places that have previously hosted SABR conventions. Our goals are clear and our work has been cut out for us, but we know that you'll enjoy everything our great city has to offer during SABR 44 in the summer of 2014.

We've already started lining up activities and seeking an array of speakers and panel guests that will interest even the most seasoned baseball people among us. The days will be filled with many of the past players, managers and executives who call Houston home. Our chapter is named after a pitching phenom who signed with the Colt .45's at the age of 17 and has been a part of the organization ever since, serving as a player, broadcaster, club ambassador and four-time division-winning manager. You can count on SABR member and Houston baseball icon Larry Dierker to be part of the festivities.

Another member who will be very visible is Tal Smith, whose baseball career dates back to the 1950s, encompassing front office time with the Reds, Astros and Yankees. We'll also be calling upon players from a pool of local residents that includes former big league stars such as Monte Irvin, Jimmy Wynn, Bob Watson and many more. And, of course, you can bet there will be a segment on sabermetrics and its use by our hometown team, the Houston Astros.

We're proud to show off our downtown Minute Maid Ballpark, which is one of the best in the majors, and we'll visit a brand-new independent league park in nearby Sugar Land. SABR 44 attendees will receive a souvenir print edition of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, and there's even a brand-new book on Houston's ballplaying past which will be released to coincide with SABR 44.

In addition to the activities inside the hotel and an exclusive ballpark session for convention attendees on Saturday afternoon, there will be other offerings to get you out into the nation's fourth-largest city, as well. You'll be staying at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the heart of the Galleria, not far from many top restaurants, bars, theatre and music venues. The museum district is only a short drive away, and if you wish to venture a bit further, it's less than an hour to Space Center Houston or to historic Galveston, the island city on the Gulf of Mexico.

We'll even offer an insider's list of dining recommendations so you can sample a little of the diverse fare that has made our hometown a consensus top-5 restaurant city in America. You'll find Houstonians to be friendly and pretty laid back. That's to be expected in the second-southern-most city to ever host a SABR convention. So count on great food, hospitality and talking baseball. What more can you ask? See you in Houston in 2014.

— Bob Dorrill, Marsha Franty
Larry Dierker (Houston) Chapter

— Gilbert Martinez
Rogers Hornsby (Austin/San Antonio) Chapter