Glew: Pioneer Canadian statistician Allan Roth honored with SABR’s Chadwick Award

From SABR member Kevin Glew at the Canadian Baseball Network on February 15, 2019:

Trailblazing Canadian baseball statistician Allan Roth is one of SABR’s three 2019 Henry Chadwick Award recipients.

The Montreal native, who passed away in 1992, will be honoured posthumously. The other two recipients are baseball writer Rob Neyer and late diamond scribe Leonard Koppett.

The Henry Chadwick Award was established to honour the game’s great researchers — historians, statisticians, and archivists — for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.

It was in 1944 that a 27-year-old Roth made a pitch to Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey about the importance of advanced statistics, such as on-base percentage. Roth also introduced Rickey to the concept of identifying how batters fared against right- and left-handed pitching. Rickey grew intrigued with the young statistician and hired him in 1947, making him the first statistician ever on a major league club’s payroll.

Roth would collect and analyze stats for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers until 1964. The mathematically minded Canadian recorded every pitch and wrote his stats out by hand.

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Originally published: February 15, 2019. Last Updated: February 15, 2019.