This Week in SABR: April 19, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of April 19, 2013:

Exciting weekend in Cooperstown: Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference, Bud Fowler Day

To honor Bud Fowler‘s contributions to baseball and the fight for racial equality, Cooperstown, New York, will honor its own trailblazer on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of his death. The ceremony will take place in coordination with the fifth annual Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference on April 19-20, 2013, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Village of Cooperstown Mayor Jeff Katz, a SABR member, has proclaimed Saturday, April 20 as “Bud Fowler Day.” On that day, Cooperstown will name the entrance into legendary Doubleday Field “Fowler Way” and will install a permanent plaque in the brick wall of the first base bleachers. Fowler, born John W. Jackson, is recognized as the first African-American player in organized professional baseball, playing for over two decades in the nineteenth century despite facing constant racial discrimination. Fowler was born in nearby Fort Plain but grew up in Cooperstown, where his father worked as a barber on Main Street. All baseball fans are welcome to attend the Bud Fowler Day festivities.

For more on the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, visit

Related links:

Read the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal articles online

The Spring 2013 edition of the Baseball Research Journal was shipped this week and should be showing up in your mailboxes any day now. In the meantime, you can begin reading these great articles online today at:

Edited by Cecilia Tan, this issue of the Baseball Research Journal has a number of articles that tackle “what if?” questions, allowing us to revisit moments in history and analyze what happened by investigating alternatives. Lyle Spatz asks what if Burt Shotton had not been manager of the Dodgers in 1947? Paul Hensler asks what would have happened if during Nolan Ryan’s incredible 1973 season he had been able to face not the newly-created designated hitters, but his fellow pitchers? Robert Shaefer wonders how the record books might have been different if a home-run-prevention screen had not been installed in Sportsman’s Park.

Of course then there are the record books themselves. I feel sometimes what we do in SABR is write new gospel, and recover lost gospels, too. Todd Peterson brings to light a chapter of baseball history that should by all rights be a significant part of the lore and record books of the Negro Leagues, except that those record books are only being written now, as we uncover and compile the stories and facts of events like the east-west championships that were not as well documented as those in Major League Baseball. Of course there is also the fact that sometimes even MLB wasn’t as meticulously recorded as we would have liked it to be! In this issue Herm Krabbenhoft continues his painstaking correction of incorrect RBI records, Ron Selter sets a clerical mystery straight, and Frank Vaccaro details why pitcher win-loss records are perhaps not as comparable across eras as they might appear to a casual fan.

And there is much more. Click here to read the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal online.

E-book editions (in PDF, EPUB and MOBI/Kindle formats) are available for download for FREE to members by clicking here. If you’d like to order an additional copy of the print edition of the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal, you can find it at the SABR Bookstore online.

We hope you enjoy reading the Spring 2013 Baseball Research Journal!

Excerpt: The 1947 New York Yankees’ Ownership

This essay is an excerpt from “Bridging Two Dynasties: The 1947 New York Yankees,” edited by Lyle Spatz, the third book in SABR’s “Memorable Teams in Baseball History” series with the University of Nebraska Press (published April 1, 2013). You can order the 1947 Yankees book from the University of Nebraska Press website or from the SABR Bookstore, powered by The Memorable Teams in Baseball History series, written by SABR members as part of the Baseball Biography Project, focuses on iconic teams with an unquestionable legacy in baseball history. Each book collects essays detailing the players, moments and games that define these teams. For a complete list of biographies included in the 1947 Yankees book, click here.

What came to be known as the Yankees Dynasty began under the twenty-four-year stewardship of Jacob Ruppert. Known as “Colonel” because of his prior service in the National Guard, Ruppert owned and operated a profitable brewery, served four terms in the United States Congress, and in 1915 purchased half of the New York Yankees. His co-owner, Tillinghast L’Hommedieu Huston, rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the army during the First World War. Colonel Ruppert bought out Colonel Huston in 1923, by which point the Yankees were the class of the American League.

Ruppert’s willingness to invest in his team led to the purchase of several players from the Boston Red Sox, most notably Babe Ruth, and the new talent helped win a string of pennants. In the fall of 1920 the Yankees owners hired Ed Barrow as one of baseball’s first general managers. Two and a half years later the team christened the massive Yankee Stadium, with nearly sixty thousand seats, which became the country’s most venerated sporting facility. In 1932 Ruppert hired George Weiss to create and run one of baseball’s first and best farm systems, ensuring the continuation of the dynasty.

At the time of Ruppert’s death, in January 1939, the club had won ten pennants and seven World Series. Ruppert had no children; he left his entire estate, including his brewery and the Yankees, in a trust for the benefit of two nieces and the daughter of a deceased friend. Barrow and manager Joe McCarthy continued to ably run the club, and the team made four more World Series appearances (winning three) in the next six years.

Meanwhile, Ruppert’s trustees were faced with a large estate-tax burden and not enough cash to settle it. There were also disagreements between the government and the trust as to the value of its assets, including the Yankees. When Ruppert bought out Huston in 1923 the team had been valued at $2.5 million, but the government now assessed it at $5 million. The estate chose to litigate the valuations of both the team and the brewery, which had the benefit of postponing the tax payment for a few years. Nevertheless, in order to raise the funds to settle the tax burden, the eventual sale of the team was inevitable.

— Mark Armour and Daniel R. Levitt

To read the full excerpt, click here:

Join SABR’s newest research committee: Baseball and the Media

A note to all SABR members:

SABR’s newest research committee, the Baseball and the Media Research Committee, was approved last month by the Board of Directors.

The goal of this exciting new committee is to provide research into the media’s coverage of baseball both as news (i.e., journalism) and as an event (i.e., in-game coverage).

We will aim to provide information and insights about the journalists who have reported on the game over the last fourteen decades and the newspapers and magazines they worked for; as well as the broadcasters who used their mellifluous voices and colorful descriptions to teach us how to love the game—and who entrance us still today.

We will also strive to assemble a comprehensive library of reference material pertaining to the baseball media, including a comprehensive bibliography of the seminal publications and articles that provide information of, analysis of and insights into the baseball media, as well as databases detailing the history of baseball coverage in print, broadcast and electronic media.

We would love to bring together a group of SABR members who have an interest in the way the media have helped make an impact on baseball’s development as both a cultural and commercial phenomenon. In other words: we would love to have you aboard! To join the group, please click here to go to the committee’s home page, and once there, click on “Join Group” toward the top of the page.

The committee is being headed up by Chuck Hildebrandt (Chair) and John McMurray (Vice Chair). Feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions, or have any research ideas to share with us.

— Chuck Hildebrandt

5 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Five new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,405 published biographies. Wow!

Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

Bios on more than just ballplayers: The ambitious goal of the SABR Baseball Biography Project is to publish a full-life biography of every major league player in history. But SABR members write about a lot more than just ballplayers. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires and a lot more on the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories at So if you’ve ever thought, “Hey, that person (or ballpark) should get the full BioProject treatment” — write the story and we’ll publish it!

Check out the new Baseball Ballparks Project: The SABR Baseball Biography Project has been accepting/publishing “biographies” of Ballparks for a few years, and we have 39 of them on our website at However, this thing just got real. Ballparks are now its very own PROJECT — the Baseball Ballparks Project, our first official spin-off. The project leader is Scott Ferkovich, who is now in charge of recruiting ballparks articles and publicizing them. Learn more by clicking here.

Get involved! If you’d like to help contribute to the SABR BioProject, visit our BioProject Resources page or read the FAQs section to get started. We’re also looking to expand the BioProject to include all “encyclopedic” articles on baseball-related subjects from past SABR publications or committee newsletters. If you come across an article you think should be included in the SABR “baseball repository” at the BioProject, send a copy or link to or

Download your free copy of the 2013 Emerald Guide to Baseball

The Emerald Guide to Baseball, edited by Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer with Rod Nelson and Ted Turocy, is the most comprehensive record of the previous baseball season.

Historically, the primary purpose of annual baseball guides has been the publication of the official league standings plus the official team and individual statistics for both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. Our new Emerald Guide follows faithfully in that tradition, containing the official batting, pitching, and fielding statistics for every team and every player in the Major Leagues plus extensive lists of league leaders.

The Emerald Guide to Baseball is our attempt to fill the gap in the historical record created by the recent demise of The Sporting News Baseball Guide. First published in 1942, The Sporting News Guide was truly the annual book of record for our National Pastime. It is our great privilege to document for posterity a slice of recent baseball history in our new book.

The 2013 edition of the Emerald Guide runs more than 600 pages and covers the 2012 season; it also includes a 2013 Major League Season Preview with Franchise Directories, Schedules, Spring Training Rosters, Minor League Affiliates, Broadcasting Information, and Career Leaders in 26 Categories for All Major League Teams.

The Emerald Guide is available in both a printed version and in a downloadable PDF format.

To learn more about other SABR research resources, visit

All e-books in SABR Digital Library now available for free to members

One of the great perks of being a SABR member is access to all the new books we’re publishing as part of the SABR Digital Library at

So far in 2013, the list includes Batting, by F.C. Lane; Memories of a Ballplayer: Bill Werber and Baseball in the 1930s, by Bill Werber and C. Paul Rogers III; and Sweet ’60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, edited by Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin. We’ve got a lot more books in store for you this year and they’ll all be free to download on the website.

Last week, we announced that ALL of the ebooks published as part of the SABR Digital Library since we launched it in December 2011 are now available for free to members at the SABR Store:

So if you haven’t downloaded your copy of any e-book from the SABR Digital Library, today’s a fine day to do it.

SABR 43 Yoseloff Scholarship deadline extended until May 15

Good news: If you’re planning to apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 43 in Philadelphia this summer, the deadline has been extended until May 15, 2013.

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to college students who wish to attend SABR 43 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 31-August 4, 2013. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging up to a total value of $1,250.

The objective of this scholarship fund is to encourage high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR’s annual convention and to introduce them to fellow SABR members. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at no later than May 15, 2013.

For more information about the SABR convention, visit

SABR 43 hotel in Philadelphia almost sold out

This summer’s SABR 43 convention in Philadelphia, July 31-August 4 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, promises to be spectacular. Seamus Kearney, Dick Rosen, Peter Mancuso and the rest of the Connie Mack Chapter are working hard to line up guest speakers and panelists for the convention, and we hope you’ll join us in Philly for the 43rd annual convention. Register today at

As we noted last week, SABR’s group block at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is going quickly — if you want a room at the Marriott for the SABR convention, you should book your room now. (Don’t forget to register for the convention, too!) If and when our room block sells out, we’ll set up an overflow hotel nearby and post more information at

SABR has secured an exclusive group rate of $139/night (plus tax) at the Marriott for SABR 43. This is a very low rate for a major hotel in downtown Philadelphia during that time of year. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is at 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, just blocks from City Hall , Independence Hall and many other Philadelphia landmarks. Click here to book your room online or call (877) 212-5752. The hotel’s website is Please note that our block of rooms is only available for the nights of July 30 to August 4, 2013.

For more information on SABR 43, visit

Call for papers: British baseball research for Project COBB

A Call for Papers has just been published for This Diamond Isle, a new biannual journal of British baseball (to be published online only as the periodical for the Project COBB Chartered Community of the Society for American Baseball Research).

You can see the Call for Papers by clicking here.

Pieces may focus on anything linking baseball to Britain, from roots games, through the “invasion” of American baseball in the late 19th Century, all the way to the modern game (including aspects of developing the minority sport and its players in Britain or following foreign professional leagues from afar).

The deadline for submission for the first issue is 15 August 2013.

If you would like to get involved, as an author or in some other way, then please get in touch with me via this form.

To learn more about Project COBB, visit

— Joe Gray

Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America project

The National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia is seeking SABR members’ help to collect online artifacts for their forthcoming exhibition, “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Jews in America,” Their website can be found at

Associate Curator Ivy Weingram says, “This collecting initiative is so crucial to the success of our exhibition and our efforts to illustrate baseball’s impact on everyday people — we’re encouraging fans and collectors of all stripes, with collections large or small, to post photos of objects they might like to lend to Chasing Dreams.”

The museum is asking fans to share items such as uniforms, signed baseball memorabilia, bobble heads and other giveaways; stickball, whiffle, and T-ball equipment; handwritten scorecards; signed tickets, balls, baseball cards, and other memorabilia (preferably with authentication or photo of the object being signed); baseball cards of personal significance; Little League trophies and championship bats; armed-forces or war-related baseball memorabilia (example: World War II V-mail commenting on baseball back home); girls’ baseball uniforms; photos of marriage proposals at ballparks; Cracker Jack toys from boxes purchased at a baseball game; and fantasy baseball memorabilia.

Items specific to the Jewish experience in baseball might include any of the above related to Jewish players; baseball-themed bar- and bat-mitzvah memorabilia; custom Little League jerseys sponsored by Jewish businesses; Jewish summer camp baseball artifacts and relics (t-shirts, signs with baseball calls in Hebrew); Jewish heritage night giveaways; kosher ballpark food artifacts (signs, hot dog steamers, concession uniforms).

For more information, visit

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 New Member 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.

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Terry Alkofer Tacoma, WA     Rich Kitchens Concord, CA
Paul Baechtold Shaker Heights, OH     Michael Mancini South Bend, IN
Robb Bailey Euless, TX     Robert Moreira Mission, TX
Chris Blazakis Chadds Ford, PA     Richard Noonan Jr. Brookfield, WI
Tyler Boschert Colorado Springs, CO     Mark Pekrul Ellicott City, MD
Patrick Bourgo Seoul, SK     Steven Popper Topanga, CA
Leonard Camp Doylestown, PA     Nicholas Sette Bronx, NY
Jay Dillon Bay Village, OH     Wayne Strasbaugh Philadelphia, PA
John Duane East Meadow, NY     Michael Wagner New York, NY
Jonathan Joannides San Juan Capistrano, CA     Steve Wulf Larchmont, NY
Kyle King Topmost, KY        


Research committee newsletters

There were no new SABR research committee newsletters published this week.

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting news

Here are the chapter meeting newsletters published this week:

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:

All SABR meetings and events are open to the public. Feel free to bring a baseball-loving friend … and make many new ones! Check out the SABR Events Calendar at

Around the Web

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

Read these articles and more at

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in “This Week in SABR”, e-mail Jacob Pomrenke at

Find exclusive Members’ Only resources and information here:

Did you know you can renew your membership at any time? 1- and 3-year SABR memberships are available by clicking “Renew” at Please also consider a donation to SABR to support baseball research at

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Originally published: April 19, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.