SABR 45: Hildebrandt, Grilc win 2015 presentation awards

Chuck Hildebrandt has won the 2015 Doug Pappas Award for the best oral research presentation and Brandon Grilc has won the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for the best poster presentation at SABR 45 in Chicago.

Hildebrandt, chair of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Committee and a SABR member since 1988, won the Pappas Award for his presentation, “‘Little League Home Runs’ in MLB History,” which he delivered Saturday during SABR 45 at the Palmer House Hilton.

His abstract is posted below:

Many of us played Little League baseball when we were kids, or have had kids who’ve played in Little League.  So we are all familiar with the term “Little League Home Run”, especially when jokingly applied to major leaguers. In this fun presentation, Hildebrandt will identify instances in major league history in which the batter scored on the play by means of the “little league home run”, commonly understood as when the defending team throws the ball all over the place, allowing the batter and runners to score on the play. Hildebrandt will seek to establish an accepted definition for this phenomenon; share some interesting characteristics and stats surrounding these incidents; and most fun of all, show video of actual “little league home runs” in action.

The Doug Pappas Award — originally established as the USA Today Sports Weekly Award in 1992 and renamed in 2004 to honor the late baseball researcher — includes a $250 cash prize with a matching amount donated to SABR.

Grilc, a 2014 SABR Yoseloff Scholar and recent graduate from the University of Oregon’s Historic Preservation graduate program, won the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for his poster presentation, “Stealing Home: How American Society Preserves Major League Baseball Stadiums, Ballpark, & Fields.”

His abstract is posted below:

Ballparks are buildings. Each is different in terms of its relationship with its city, region, neighborhood, and social milieu. As they age and are replaced by more efficient, more modern facilities, a tension arises between preservation and demolition, between memorialization and dismissal. Grilc, a professional preservationist, identifies five ways in which a former MLB ballpark can be memorialized. Presenting examples observed during his studies of numerous former stadium sites, he considers the fate of the ol’ ballyard when its useful life reaches its eventual end.

(Click here to view a high-resolution JPG image of Grilc’s award-winning poster.)

The USA Today Sports Weekly Award — first presented in 1990 as the John W. Cox Award — includes a $125 cash prize with a matching donation to SABR.

Honorable mentions for the oral presentation were:

  • David W. Smith, “Home Team Scoring Advantage in the First Inning Largely Due To Time and Travel”
  • Dan Levitt, “Pat Gillick and His ‘Many Rivers’: One General Manager’s Approach to Gaining an Edge”

The honorable mention for the poster presentations was:

  • Heather O’Neill, “Boom and Bust: How Hitters Perform In Their Contract Year and the First Year after Signing a Long Term Contract”

For more coverage of SABR 45, visit

Originally published: June 27, 2015. Last Updated: July 27, 2020.