The SABR Baseball Games Project is a group initiative to research and write articles on major-league and Negro League regular, postseason, and All-Star Games. These game accounts will complement Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference box scores as well as BioProject essays on the players involved.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions.
What is the purpose of the project?
As noted in the opening paragraph, our primary purpose is to research, write, edit and web-publish essays on all major- and Negro League regular-season, postseason, or All-Star Games describing context of the individual game as it may related to the larger perspective of baseball’s history.
Must I have attended the game?
No. While attendance provides a unique perspective, requiring someone to attend a game would obviously restrict the scope of this project.
Are doubleheaders to be considered as one entry or separate entries?
While there may be a reason to link both games of a doubleheader (Stan Musial’s five home runs in a doubleheader) each game should be considered a separate entry.
How long will I have to complete a game essay once assigned to me?
The author will have 90 days from being assigned a game to turning in a draft. Should a viable draft not be received within that time frame, the game will be made available for reassignment.
Who is eligible to write for the Games Project?
This is a SABR project, and the writers are members of SABR. If you are not a member of SABR, please learn more and then join. You can do both here: SABR.org/join. There are no qualifications for membership other than a love of baseball.
Some of our writers are seasoned pros, but many are first-timers. If you are a novice at writing, we can work with you to help you turn your research into a worthy article. Most authors enjoy the process and come back to write another one.
How do I join the Games Project committee?
Please send a note to Mike Huber. He will then ask you if you have read the rest of this FAQ.
What game should I write about?
If you want to write but are not sure which game to write about, consider what kind of research you want to do. Do you want to be able to interview one of the individuals who played in the game? Does this game hold personal memories for you? If so, try to use them as a source.
Whom do I inform of my chosen subject(s)?
Please send a note to Steve Weiner. This is important — not only does this ensure that your game is available, but it also keeps other people from starting their own game essays on the same game.
NOTE: You can have several game essay assignments at the same time.
How do I get started on the research?
We hope to expand this answer to include a link to a page, which thoroughly explores research methods and tools. For now, we recommend trying to interview a participant or research newspaper accounts of the game.
What are the requirements of the finished article?
It should be no longer than 1,500 words in length. They cannot contain excessive play-by-play descriptive or first-person narrative. Anything beyond 1,500 words must be pre-approved by the project leaders.
Questions one might try to explore include how the teams were doing when the game was played whether this game played a pivotal role in either team’s season, or whether this was a particularly noteworthy game for any of the players, coaches, managers, or umpires involved. In short, what was relevant to this game that cannot be discerned from the box score?
I am finished with my story. What do I do with it?
Please send your finished draft to Len Levin.
What happens next?
The article will edited and fact checked. This process is being worked out, but you will approve the final version before it is posted.
It will then be sent to the appropriate person who will post the finished version to the Games Project website.
Where do editors come from?
From our committee. This is a crucial role, but unglamorous and thankless (though we do try to thank as much as we can). If you have any experience editing, we could really use your help (e-mail Rory Costello or Mike Huber for details.) Fact-checkers are also wanted. You could volunteer, for example, to read all game essays from the early 1950s for accuracy.
Are there opportunities to work with others?
Yes. Under the auspices of Games Project, there will be opportunities for group efforts. They might include articles related to a particular team in a given season (e.g. all games from the 1960 Pirates season). They might cover a franchise’s history (e.g. the 100 greatest games in Toronto Blue Jays history). On a more ambitious level, a project could cover key games in a particular season (e.g. the most important games of the 1977 major league season). Alternatively, they might include a postseason championship series, or block of All-Star Games. This would be similar in nature to Group Projects in the BioProject initiative where groups of 15-20 authors and editors join on a collaborative effort. For example, check out Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century, published by SABR in 2013. Click here to learn more about SABR's Games Project-themed books.
How do I join one of these projects?
From time to time, there will be announcements of these efforts through various SABR communications asking for interested participants, at which time you can elect to volunteer your services. If you are a member of our committee, you will be informed of these projects as they are starting and along the way. You can also ask Bill Nowlin for information on any specific book projects that are in the works.