SABR 48: Maddox, Firstman win 2018 convention presentation awards

Callie Batts MaddoxCallie Batts Maddox has won the 2018 Doug Pappas Award for the best oral research presentation and David Firstman has won the SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award for the best poster presentation at SABR 48 in Pittsburgh.

Maddox, an assistant professor in the Sport Leadership and Management Program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, won the Pappas Award for her presentation, ” ‘Ty Cobb has Nothing on Her’: Early Twentieth Century Women’s Collegiate Baseball in Ohio,” which she delivered Saturday, June 23 during SABR 48 at the Wyndham Grand hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

Maddox’s abstract is posted below:

These days, it is a given that intercollegiate baseball is for men only; the only analogous sport for college women is fast-pitch softball. Eighty to a hundred years ago, however, that was not the case. Callie Batts Maddox reveals that southern Ohio was a hotbed of women’s college baseball, with established programs at Miami University, the University of Cincinnati, Denison University, and elsewhere. Building on prior research by Dorothy Seymour Mills, Leslie Heaphy, and others, the history of baseball played by women expands considerably, reaching beyond elite northeastern women’s colleges into the heartland.

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.

Firstman, a Data Analyst for the City of New York, won the SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award for his poster, “From Usenet Joke to Baseball Flashpoint: The Growth of “Three True Outcomes.” His abstract is posted below:

Much has been written lately regarding the ever-expanding portion of games taken up by walks, strikeouts and homers. The so-called “three true outcomes” (TTO) have grown from a novelty topic of UseNet newsgroups of the 1990s to a flashpoint for what may or may not be “wrong” with today’s game. Firstman will present the statistical trends in the three “outcome” components, especially within the last 30 years, highlighting the players that epitomize those trends. He will explore five distinct reasons why the components have grown in prominence in today’s game.

(Click here to download a high-resolution image of David’s award-winning poster presentation.)

The SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award was previously known as the USA Today Sports Weekly Award; it was first presented in 1990 as the John W. Cox Award and includes a $125 cash prize with a matching donation to SABR.

Honorable mentions for the oral presentation were:

  • Ed Edmonds, “Injuries in the Stands: MLB Responds with Extended Netting”
  • Alan Nathan, “The Humidor and the Predictive Power of Physics”
  • Eliza Richardson, “Will a 20-Second Pitch Clock Quicken the Pace of Play?”
  • David W. Smith, “Why Do Games Take So Long?”

Honorable mention for the poster presentations was:

  • Chuck Hildebrandt, “Isn’t This Ever Going to End? Addressing Baseball’s Perceived Time Problem”

For more coverage of SABR 48, visit

Originally published: June 23, 2018. Last Updated: June 2, 2021.