SABR 47: Spink Award winner Claire Smith to speak at NYC convention

We’re excited to announce more featured speakers for the SABR 47 convention this summer in New York City.

SABR 47 will be held June 28-July 2, 2017, at the Grand Hyatt New York. Full registration and single-day rates are available now at All baseball fans are welcome to attend.

Our guest speakers will include:

  • Claire Smith was selected in December 2016 as the first woman to win the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award, honoring meritorious contributions to baseball writing, and she will be recognized during the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend this summer. She was the first female African American newspaper reporter to cover Major League Baseball on a daily basis, beginning with the Hartford Courant and later as the national baseball columnist for the New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a coordinating editor for ESPN’s universal news group. Among her many honors are the Association for Women in Sports Media’s Mary Garber Pioneer Award and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s Sam Lacy Legacy Award.
  • Perry Barber is one of very few women to have umpired major-league spring training games in the United States, and the only woman to umpire major-league exhibitions in both the United States and Japan. She assembled the first (and so far, only) four-woman crew to umpire a major league spring training game in 2008, and when she’s not umpiring international tournaments in Taiwan and Hong Kong or spreading the gospel of umpiring to the next generation of male and female umpires, she travels the world speaking to diverse audiences and writing about the rewards of umpiring for her blog, “Dishing It … and Taking It, Too,” while working on an upcoming book about her unusual and far-flung career. She is a board member of the International Women’s Baseball Center, which is creating a bricks-and-mortar museum and conference center in Rockford, Illinois, home of the Rockford Peaches of A League of Their Own fame. She is also an accomplished singer/songwriter who has opened concerts for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Hall and Oates, and Billy Joel, as well as a former Jeopardy! champion.

Smith will interview New York Yankees Sr. Vice President/Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman in a special one-on-one session on Thursday, June 29 at SABR 47. Smith and Barber will both be guest speakers at the Women in Baseball Committee meeting later that afternoon at the Grand Hyatt New York.

Please note: All speakers and events may be subject to change based on availability.

They will join an All-Star lineup of featured speakers at SABR 47 that is expected to include: New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson and Manager of Baseball Research and Development T.J. Barra, New York Yankees Sr. VP/Assistant GM Jean Afterman, former major-league pitcher and Ball Four author Jim Bouton, MLB Official Historian John Thorn, correspondent Lindsay Berra, Driving Mr. Yogi author Harvey Araton, longtime New York Times columnist George Vecsey, sports and political commentator Keith Olbermann, Henry Chadwick Award recipients David S. Neft and Peter C. Bjarkman, former Yogi Berra Museum director Dave Kaplan, authors Mark Armour, Mitchell Nathanson, and Marty Appel, Larry Ritter Book Award winner Glenn Stout, Canadian baseball broadcaster Alain Usereau, and more.

Click here to learn more about our featured speakers and panelists.

Register now to join us at

Originally published: May 9, 2017. Last Updated: May 9, 2017.