Lindbergh: Sherri Nichols, the sabermetric movement’s forgotten foremother

From SABR member Ben Lindbergh at The Ringer on February 20, 2018:

Sherri Nichols’s career holds a special significance in light of sabermetrics’ homogenous history. On an off day during the New York Yankees’ championship run in October 2009, another then-intern for the team, Alex Rubin, and I passed a slow afternoon at the stadium in the nerdiest way imaginable: by creating a Sporcle quiz about the inventors of sabermetric statistics. Gchatting arcane names and acronyms across the small room where the other interns and we sat, we assembled a list of 60 sabermetric stats and the people who’d published them. In a nod to late-aughts stathead humor, we also included a couple of hidden answers that poked fun at a pair of ESPN advanced-stat disparagers, Buster Olney (“Productive Out Percentage”) and Joe Morgan (“computer numbers”). Had we undertaken our task a little later, we surely would have found room for another then-ESPN pundit’s senseless Frankenstein stat, OPSBI.

It didn’t dawn on either of us at the time, but the inventors we’d identified had something in common: They were all men. We’d traced baseball’s statistical lineage over a span of several decades, from Allan Roth to Bill James to Tom Tango, and in sketching out that whole history, we hadn’t included one woman.

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Originally published: February 20, 2018. Last Updated: February 20, 2018.