TWIS archives

This Week in SABR: April 10, 2020

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Click here to view this week’s newsletter on the web. Here’s what we’ve been up to as of April 10, 2020:

SABR 50 convention in Baltimore rescheduled for 2021

SABR 50 logoDue to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the SABR 50 convention has been rescheduled for July 14-18, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland.

With travel restrictions and public health measures now in place, we recognize that many of our attendees, panelists, presenters, and sponsors would not be able to travel to Baltimore to celebrate the special occasion of our 50th annual convention, which would diminish the experience for everyone involved. All of us in the SABR community enjoy watching our friends from throughout the baseball world come together to network and collaborate on new projects and career opportunities at this event.

We will be in touch with all interested parties as we work through this difficult situation and make plans for the 2021 SABR convention. We are also finalizing plans to hold a virtual conference online this summer in order to allow SABR members to share and discuss their baseball research. Anyone who has already registered for SABR 50 is encouraged to contact the SABR office to discuss options regarding their conference registration fees, including converting it into a donation, which hundreds of SABR members have already done.

The postponement of SABR 50 will create significant financial challenges for the organization in the coming year, including the loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. These resources are essential in pursuing our mission and delivering the membership experience our community has come to expect. We will provide more information soon on our Sustainability Campaign, which will help guide SABR through this challenging time. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

SABR Board of Directors election begins on April 20

SABR members, please pay attention to the e-mail address that you have on file with SABR; you will receive a message on Monday, April 20 with a link to vote online in the 2020 SABR Board of Directors election. The poll will close at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Monday, May 4.

You can read the candidate biographies, along with full descriptions of the positions and responses the candidates made to a series of questions, in the 2020 SABR Election Guide which is available for download below:

Download the 2020 SABR Election Guide here (PDF)

When you vote, please rank the candidates in order of preference, with 1 being your top choice. SABR elections use a simplified preferential voting system, allowing voters to rank their preferred candidates 1-2-3 and transferring preferences until a winner with more than 50 percent of votes is achieved.

You will find three items on the 2020 election ballot: the election of the SABR Vice President, Treasurer, and one (1) Director’s position. The candidates are:

For Vice President

  • Leslie Heaphy

For Treasurer

  • F.X. Flinn

For Director

  • Karl Cicitto
  • Tara Krieger
  • Daniel Levitt
  • John McMurray
  • Gregory H. Wolf

The only way to vote online is through the link you will receive by e-mail. All e-mails will come from the address; if you wish to add it to a whitelist in your e-mail client, that may help ensure that you will receive the e-mails. You will receive at least one additional voting email between April 20 and May 4 with active voting links.

Members who did not have an e-mail address on file with SABR as of April 10, 2020, will receive a paper ballot in the mail. Please do not vote online and send in the paper ballot; if you do, the paper ballot will be discarded, and only the online vote will count. If you would like to register your e-mail address on file with SABR so you can vote online (and also receive our “This Week in SABR” newsletter on Fridays), please contact Membership Director Deb Jayne at

Join us for more Stay Home With SABR virtual events

Stay Home With SABR: Bob KendrickThis month, we launched our Stay Home With SABR initiative, an eight-week effort from April 1 to May 31 to assist in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. During this time, all new membership dues SABR receives will be split with Heart to Heart International, a nonprofit organization that distributes urgently needed equipment and medication to partners around the world during this global crisis.

SABR chapters and committees are encouraged to set up virtual meetings to stay engaged with our members throughout the world at Here are some upcoming virtual events you can “attend” online:

  • April 11: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Zoom chat with Negro League Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick (11:00 a.m. CDT)
  • April 13: SABRcast Live with Rob Neyer with Chicago Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper (5:00 p.m. PDT)
  • April 15: Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting with Baseball Hall of Fame president Tim Mead and Mark Anderson of MLB Cathedrals (1:30 p.m. MDT)
  • April 15: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Facebook Live with SABR’s Jacob Pomrenke (6:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Rogers Hornsby Chapter virtual meeting (1:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Educational Resources Committee virtual meeting (2:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Facebook Live with Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (2:00 p.m. CDT)

Find more upcoming virtual meetings and watch replays of past events on our SABR Virtual Calendar page.

SABR Digital Library: Whales, Terriers, and Terrapins: The Federal League 1914-15

Federal League book coverAdd a whale of a baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:

Whales, Terriers, and Terrapins: The Federal League 1914-15
Edited by Steve West and Bill Nowlin
Associate editors: Carl Riechers and Len Levin 
ISBN (e-book)
978-1-9701-5920-2, $9.95
ISBN (paperback):
978-1-9701-5921-9, $29.95
8.5″ x 11″, 472 pages

The Federal League formed in 1913 as an “outlaw league” in six cities across the Midwest. In 1914 it added two teams and declared itself a major league. The league’s owners “stole” players from the two existing major leagues and put teams in some of the same cities. Both the American and National Leagues struck back. After the 1915 season, with several Federal League teams struggling financially, the two more-established leagues bought out several teams. This caused the collapse of the Federal League. 

The impact of the Federal League on baseball is still felt today. The league filed one of the first antitrust lawsuits against Organized Baseball. The case ended up in the court of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who looms large in baseball history. Although that case was settled, a later lawsuit went all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court decided that baseball is entertainment and thus not subject to antitrust law. This decision has had a wide-ranging effect on the business of baseball. For a physical reminder of the Federal League, one can still see the ballpark built for the Chicago Whales, now known as Wrigley Field. 

This book contains biographies of a number of the key players and executives, and game accounts of some of the most interesting games during the league’s brief existence.  

The enthusiasm for this book on the Federal League was so great that 54 SABR members quickly signed up to make the book a reality. Contributors include: Matt Albertson, Bob Barrier, Rich Bogovich, Maury Bouchard, Thomas J. Brown Jr., Dan Busby, Frederick C. Bush, Matthew Clever, Jerrod Cotosman, Richard Cuicchi, Tom Drake, Jeff Findley, Adam Foldes, Brian M. Frank, Paul Hofmann, Mike Huber, Joanne Hulbert, Bill Johnson, Jimmy Keenan, Anne Keene, Adam Klinker, Sean Kolodziej, Kevin Larkin, Jim Leeke, Bob LeMoine, Dan Levitt, Chad Moody, Rob Nee, Skip Nipper, Bill Nowlin, Chad Osborne, Mark Pestana, Chris Rainey, Richard Riis, Joel Rippel, C. Paul Rogers III, Benjamin Sabin, Steve Schmitt, Harry Schoger, Blake W. Sherry, Steve Steinberg, Mark S. Sternman, Andy Terrick, Cindy Thomson, Bob Webster, Steve West, Robert Peyton Wiggins, Phil Williams, Gregory H. Wolf, Brian Wood, Jack Zerby, and John Zinn.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

Having trouble downloading our e-books? To view PDF files on your computer, click here to download the free Adobe Reader software. Having trouble downloading e-books to your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or iPad? Click here for additional help.

SABR members can download all SABR Digital Library e-books for free or get 50% off the paperback editions. To find all titles, visit

In Memoriam: Al Kaline

Al KalineAl Kaline, the man known as Mr. Tiger, spent more than six decades in the Detroit Tigers organization as a Hall of Fame player, broadcaster, and executive — but not a single day in the minor leagues. He was as beloved for his grace and elegance off the field as he was for anything he did on the baseball diamond.

But boy, how he shined on the field, joining the Tigers as a teenage phenom in 1953 and becoming the youngest batting champion in major-league history at age 20 two years later. He went on to hit 399 home runs — plus two more to help the Tigers win the 1968 World Series — and record 3,007 hits during his stellar 22-season career, earning him induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980.

Kaline died at age 85 on Monday, April 6 at his home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Click here to read the full announcement at

Related links:

SABR office continuing to work remotely

The SABR office, housed at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix, Arizona, has been closed indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Staff members will work remotely until it is advisable to resume normal operations on-site.

On Monday, March 16, ASU announced that all in-person classes would transition to online instruction for the rest of the spring semester through the end of April. A reassessment of the situation will take place at that time. Please contact a member of the SABR staff by email or phone with any questions.

Noel Hynd’s The Final Game at Ebbets Field wins 2020 SABR Ron Gabriel Award

Noel Hynd's 'The Final Game at Ebbets Field'SABR is pleased to announce that Noel Hynd’s The Final Game at Ebbets Field, published by Red Cat Tales, has been selected as the winner of the Ron Gabriel Award in 2020.

Hynd, who lives in the Los Angeles area, is an acclaimed author and novelist with many books in the spy/espionage and true crime genres. He is also the author of The Giants of the Polo Grounds and a former contributor to Sports Illustrated and several other national magazines.

The Ron Gabriel Award annually honors the author(s) of the best research, published or unpublished, on the subject of the Brooklyn Dodgers completed during the preceding calendar year.

Click here to read the full announcement at

Deadline extended! Students, apply now for a SABR Negro Leagues Committee scholarship in 2020

2020 SABR Jerry Malloy Negro League ConferenceSABR’s Negro Leagues Committee will award $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors in its 12th annual Thomas R. Garrett Scholarship essay contest in 2020. Students must write a 1,200-word essay answering a question related to one of the Negro League figures who are the namesakes of the scholarships.

Visit to learn more about each scholarship or to download an application. All applications must be sent or postmarked no later than May 4, 2020, and emailed to Dr. Leslie Heaphy at

Eligible applicants must be 1) a current high school senior, 2) anticipating completion of high school diploma at the time of application, 3) planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S. post-secondary institution, and 4) carrying a minimum 2.5 GPA at the end of their junior year of high school.

Click here to read the full announcement at

SABRcast Live with Rob Neyer: Listen to an interview with ESPN broadcaster Jon Sciambi

Jon "Boog" SciambiAs part of our Stay Home With SABR intiative, SABRcast with Rob Neyer will be recorded via online livestream each Monday night at 5:00 p.m. PDT. Each episode will feature nationally known guests plus an interactive Q&A in which all baseball fans can participate. The first live show, Episode #54, featured ESPN announcer Jon “Boog” Sciambi, aired on Monday, April 6 at

Sciambi joined ESPN full time in 2010 as play-by-play voice for MLB “Sunday Night Baseball” on ESPN Radio, while continuing the same role for college basketball, which he has done since 2005. He has also been the regular play-by-play voice for ESPN’s “Wednesday Night Baseball” telecasts since 2014.

Subscribe to SABRcast on your favorite podcast networks, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play, and listen to each episode as soon as it’s released on Mondays. To learn more, visit

MLB Team Employee Database project update

Bill VeeckThe SABR Business of Baseball Committee’s new project, a database of historical Major League Baseball team employees, has been making nice progress since last summer. Sean Lahman is in the process of constructing the physical database from our data entry. To date, we have completed more than 600 team-seasons and have 200 more assigned. But there are still many team-seasons to go.

If you would like to help, we still need volunteers to enter data from information sources, principally team media guides, into a spreadsheet. Most of the team-seasons for which we have electronic sources have already been entered or are in process. To get involved, contact Daniel Levitt at

We have hard copies of roughly two-thirds of the years between 1983 and 2004 for most teams and can upload the relevant couple of pages if there is a team you’d like to work on. If you have a source with the relevant information and would be willing to enter it into a spreadsheet, that would be terrific as well. Additionally, we are looking for folks with access to a significant run of guides that could be made available for data entry.

We have a terrific group of volunteers who have made this project possible:

Mike Bender   Connor LaVelle
Dennis Bidwell   Andrea Long
Cliff Blau   Matt Mitchell
Kurt Blumenau   Mauricio Montenegro
David Cieslinski   Sven Muencheberg
Richard Cuicchi   Bill Nielsen
Ray Danner   Andrew Noe
Dennis Degenhardt   Elena North
Mark Galus   Stan Osowiecki
Jerry Gauthier   Michael Scott
Stephen Ginader   Karly Siegler
John Green   Bruce Thompson
Vince Guerrieri   Stew Thornley
Leslie Heaphy   Mike Webber
Sarah Johnson   Jim Wohlenhaus
David Krell    


— Daniel Levitt

10 new SABR biographies published

Clyde KluttzTen new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 5,130 published biographies. Here are the new bios published this week:

All new biographies can be found here:

6 new stories published by the SABR Games Project

George BellSix new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:

New Games Project stories can be found at Find all published Games Project articles at

  • Get involved: Have memories of a game you attended? Or a game you watched that caught your interest? Write about it! Writing for the Games Project is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by reading the Games Project FAQs section or checking out the Authors’ Guidelines. We have editors and fact checkers who are willing to help you write your first article.


Listen to recent episodes of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Saturdays

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by former SABR Board President Vince Gennaro, is back at a new time. Listen to new episodes at 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET on Saturdays on MLB Network Radio.

You can also listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio app. Click here to learn more.

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM focuses on examining and interpreting the statistical analysis that plays a critical role in baseball today. It airs weekly throughout the year on MLB Network Radio, available to subscribers nationwide on XM channel 89, Sirius channel 209, and on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

Baseball Digest archives now available for free online

Baseball DigestAs fans await the return of baseball on the field, Baseball Digest will unlock its archive and make its complete inventory of more than 800 issues from 1942 through 2019 available for free online.

Unlimited access to the archive site at no cost will continue until at least July 15 and fans can take advantage of the free offer by visiting

Current paid subscribers to the Baseball Digest Archive will receive three free months added to their subscription as compensation. Click here to learn more about SABR member discounts for Baseball Digest Archive subscriptions.

ICYMI: Highlights from last week’s This Week in SABR

We’ve heard your feedback: Some of you have said you look forward to “This Week in SABR” every Friday, but sometimes there are just too many compelling articles and announcements to read every week. We’re not complaining — hey, keep up the great work! — but we know the feeling. So in an effort to make the length of this newsletter more manageable to read, we’ll summarize some of the repeating/recurring announcements in a special “In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)” section of “This Week in SABR”.

Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don’t want you to miss:

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here:

Welcome, new members!

We’d like to welcome all of our new SABR members who have joined this week. You can find all Members-Only resources at and the Membership Handbook can be downloaded here.

Please give these new members a warm welcome and help them make the most of their membership by giving them the opportunity to get involved in their local chapter or a research committee.

You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Gerald Buckingham Fairfax, VA     Carter Hillstrom Lighthouse Point, FL
Jeffrey Delwiche Chicago, IL     Paul Keltner Whitefish Bay, WI
D.J. Donnel Spring, TX     Literary Lives Ottawa, ON
Richard Downing Little Rock, AR     Jack Manning Naperville, IL
M. David Emmett Greencastle, PA     Don McCorkindale Phoenix, AZ
Joey Esposito Milwaukee, WI     Michael McGowen Jerseyville, IL
Tom Esslinger Gainesville, VA     Michael Rendos Lock Haven, PA
Ed Farber West Chester, PA     George Shattuck Gardner, MA
Brian Foster Plano, TX     Karly Siegler Encino, CA
Isabelle Gillis Lexington, KY     Fred Sprague Sheffield, ENG
Craig Goettsch Des Moines, IA     Matt Teeters Knoxville, TN
Ryan Guild Springfield, VT     Jeff Truant Farmington, MI


Research Committee news

Here are the new research committee updates this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Virtual Events Calendar

Here are the upcoming virtual events on the SABR calendar:

  • April 11: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Zoom chat with Negro League Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick (11:00 a.m. CDT)
  • April 13: SABRcast Live with Rob Neyer with Chicago Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper (5:00 p.m. PDT)
  • April 15: Rocky Mountain Chapter meeting with Hall of Fame president Tim Mead and Mark Anderson of MLB Cathedrals (1:30 p.m. MDT)
  • April 15: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Facebook Live with SABR’s Jacob Pomrenke (6:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Rogers Hornsby Chapter Zoom meeting (1:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Educational Resources Committee virtual meeting (2:00 p.m. CDT)
  • April 18: Emil Rothe Chicago Chapter: Facebook Live with Lansing Lugnuts broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler (2:00 p.m. CDT)

Find more virtual meetings on our SABR Virtual Events Calendar page.

Note: We strongly recommend that all SABR chapters consider postponing or canceling any large meetings planned through May 31 as a precautionary effort to keep everyone safe and healthy. We encourage chapters and committee to meet “virtually” during this time to talk baseball together using Skype, Zoom, or other online platforms. For more information, visit our SABR Virtual Events Calendar.

Around the Web

Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:

Read these articles and more at

This Week in SABR is compiled by Jacob Pomrenke. If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in “This Week in SABR,” e-mail

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Originally published: April 10, 2020. Last Updated: June 17, 2020.