SABR 51: Firstman, Hildebrandt win 2023 convention presentation awards

David Firstman at SABR 51David Firstman has won the 2023 Doug Pappas Award for the best oral research presentation and Chuck Hildebrandt has won the SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award for the best poster presentation at SABR 51 in Chicago.

Firstman, a Data Analyst for the city of New York, won the Pappas Award for his presentation, “Dan Uggla: History’s Most Unlikely Hitting Streak?”, which he delivered Thursday, July 6 during SABR 51 at the Palmer House Hilton hotel.

Firstman’s abstract is posted below:

Hitting streaks of 30 or more games are extremely rare. With all-time greats (DiMaggio, Cobb, et al.) on the list, it seems obvious that such streaks require real batting prowess. Of course, there’s luck involved as well; how else to explain the likes of Jerome Walton and Andre Ethier? And then there’s Dan Uggla, a low-BA guy in the middle of a horrid 2011 season who, out of nowhere, had hits in 33 straight games. The utter improbability of Uggla’s feat offers Firstman the opportunity to apply statistical methods to the problem, complementing the historical and biographical aspects.

The Doug Pappas Award was originally established as the USA Today Sports Weekly Award in 1992 and renamed in 2004 to honor the late baseball researcher.

Chuck Hildebrandt at SABR 51Hildebrandt, a two-time Pappas Award winner and founder of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Committee, won the SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award for his poster, “Long-Tenured Teammates on Big League Teams.” His abstract is posted below:

The 2022 Chicago White Sox had the distinction of having eight players on the squad who had been playing with the team for six consecutive seasons. Considering that they had more six-year teammates than over 99% of all teams in big league history, and that it occurred during the era of free agency player movement, this seems to be a truly remarkable circumstance. But just how unusual is this? Are there teams with more than eight players who were teammates for six straight years? Are there teams with eight players who were together for more than six years? Are there even teams with more than eight teammates together for more than six years? Hildebrandt examines the more than 2,600 AL and NL teams of the modern major leagues to determine which had among the most—as well as among the fewest—long-tenured teammates, determining. which eras were the most likely to have teams featuring numerous tenured teammates, and which franchises tended to keep the most (and fewest) long-tenured teammates.

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.

Honorable mentions for the oral presentation were:

  • Allison R. Levin, “The Celebrification of the Game: Examining Player Media Personas from ‘What’s My Line’ to ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’”
  • Dan Levitt, “The Coming of the Farm System and the Manipulation of Player Control Rights”

Honorable mention for the poster presentations was:

  • John J. Burbridge Jr., “Revisited: Wrigley’s Cavalcade of Coaches”

For more coverage of SABR 51, visit

Originally published: July 8, 2023. Last Updated: July 8, 2023.