Bittner: Sabermetrics pioneer Sherri Nichols leads lineup at CMU analytics conference

From Adam Bittner at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on October 18, 2018, on longtime SABR member Sherri Nichols:

The keynote speaker for Carnegie Mellon’s second sports analytics conference isn’t a hot shot stats wiz from some pro team’s front office, nor is she a prominent pundit known for data-driven analysis. Instead, she works on a truancy board and the planning commission in Redmond, Wash., and is active with the ACLU. 

Don’t let those seemingly unrelated pursuits fool you, though. Sherri Nichols was one of the most influential voices in the early days of baseball’s sabermetrics movement, and her work continues to shape the sport. 

The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh profiled the former CMU student, who’s been out of baseball circles for years now, back in February. He documented her revolutionary work on a stat called “defensive average,” an early attempt to quantify baseball players’ defensive value beyond their fielding percentage. It remains the foundation for some of the most popular modern defensive stats.

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Originally published: October 19, 2018. Last Updated: October 19, 2018.