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 2, 2021:
Seventy-five years ago, Newark Eagles right-hander Leon Day joined Bob Feller as the only major-league pitchers to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day. The future Hall of Famer shut out the Philadelphia Stars 2-0 on May 5, 1946, to begin play in the Negro National League season. Click here to read the full story at the SABR Games Project.
As we celebrate the start of a new baseball season in 2021, the SABR Games Project has published a variety of new stories on memorable Opening Day games, including articles featuring Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Roy Halladay, and Derek Jeter; the first steps in pennant-winning seasons; the aftermath of one of the most infamous trades in baseball history; and openers that were played far away from “home”:
- April 13, 1914: Terrapins top visiting Buffalo in Federal League’s first big-league game, by Chuck Hildebrandt
- April 12, 1916: Babe Ruth’s throwing error costs him an Opening Day shutout, by Bill Nowlin
- April 16, 1946: Cleveland’s Bob Feller hurls 3-hitter against White Sox on Opening Day, by Joseph Wancho
- April 19, 1960: Rocky Colavito, Harvey Kuenn trade places as Tigers top Cleveland on Opening Day, by Tim Otto
- April 5, 1974: Streaking, brawling Chicago fans overshadow Angels’ Opening Day win, by Jim Klann
- June 21, 1977: Blue Jays bring baseball back to Utica with Opening Day win, by Kurt Blumenau
- April 9, 1985: Cubs’ Rick Sutcliffe, Lee Smith shut down Pirates in opener, by John Fredland
- April 6, 1987: Giants rally for Opening Day extra-inning win over Padres, by Tom Schott
- April 4, 1988: Darryl Strawberry blasts 525-foot homer off Olympic Stadium service ring, by Gary Belleville
- April 2, 1996: Derek Jeter makes first Opening Day start in Joe Torre’s debut as Yankees manager, by Tim Otto
- March 29, 2000: Cubs top Mets in season opener at Japan’s Tokyo Dome, by Thomas J. Brown Jr.
- April 5, 2012: Roy Halladay, Phillies blank Pirates 1-0 on Opening Day, by John Fredland
- July 29, 2020: Toronto Blue Jays play ‘home’ opener in Washington, lose to Nationals, by Laura H. Peebles
To find dozens of other SABR Games Project stories about Opening Day, click here.
In honor of the 2021 season, all baseball fans can save 21% off a new SABR membership! Visit SABR.org/better-together for details on how to sign up. We could celebrate our 50th anniversary this year by eclipsing our all-time high in global membership. With your help sharing this great offer for new members, this goal is within our reach!
SABR is the essential community for the world of baseball, where we celebrate history, research, and statistics of our great game. If you’re a passionate fan, there’s a place for you in SABR!
Add a new baseball book to your collection from the SABR Digital Library:
Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games
Edited by Bill Nowlin
Associate editors Len Levin and Carl Riechers
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-9701-5946-2, $9.99
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-9701-5947-9, $29.95
8.5″ x 11″, 251 pages
What are Major League Baseball’s greatest comeback games? This book set out to collect the stories of those games, but rather than throw together an anecdotally-determined collection of games, SABR decided to see if there was an objective measure, a way to determine which was the greatest comeback game of all time, and to rank the games. Retrosheet’s Tom Ruane created a master list of 630 games and ranked them mathematically in terms of how unlikely the win was, and therefore how great the comeback had been. The games in this volume are presented in rank order, from number 1 through 64.
We also added the greatest postseason comeback games. These seven contests are presented in a separate section devoted to postseason games. And to make sure that every current team in MLB was represented in this volume, we treated the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants as different from the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, and added the greatest comeback by the Colorado Rockies, Texas Rangers, and several other teams.
In the end, every major-league team is represented in Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games, but the Phillies lead the list with six comeback wins in the top 64. Tied for second for most comebacks are four American League teams: the Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, and Yankees.
This book was a team effort by 60 members of the Society for American Baseball Research, who researched and wrote about all 80 games presented herein.
Contributors include: Gary Belleville, Charlie Bevis, Nathan Bierma, David Black, Stephen D. Boren, Thomas J. Brown Jr., Dr. John J. Burbridge Jr., Frederick C. Bush, JP Caillault, Ralph Caola, Ken Carrano, Alan Cohen, Rory Costello, Richard Cuicchi, Rich D’Ambrosio, Scott Ferkovich, James Forr, Brian Frank, Adrian Fung, Gregory Funk, Gordon J. Gattie, Nate Gilman, Steven Glassman, Irv Goldfarb, William Grmek, Vince Guerrieri, Michael Hanks, Paul Hofmann, Mike Huber, Ronnie Joyner, Russ Lake, Kevin Larkin, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Justin Mattingly, Madison McEntire, Bill Nowlin, Tony S. Oliver, Dennis Pajot, Laura H. Peebles, Matthew Perry, Alan Raylesberg, Carl Riechers, Richard Riis, Tom Ruane, Tom Schott, Peter Seidel, Andrew Sharp, Mark S. Sternman, Andrew Stockmann, Jim Sweetman, Bruce Thompson, Michael Trzinski, Joseph Wancho, Brian Williams, Jim Wohlenhaus, Gregory H. Wolf, Allan Wood, and Jack Zerby.
SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!
- E-book: Click here to download the e-book version of Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games for FREE from the SABR Store. Available in PDF, Kindle/MOBI and EPUB formats.
- Paperback: Get a 50% discount on the Baseball’s Greatest Comeback Games paperback edition from the SABR Store ($17.95 includes shipping/tax; delivery via Kindle Direct Publishing can take up to 4-6 weeks.)
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 Digital Library e-book editions for free and save 50% on purchase of the paperback editions. Visit SABR.org/ebooks to find all past titles.
SABR’s Editorial Board — which includes Scott Bush, Christina Kahrl, Bill Nowlin, Jacob Pomrenke, Anthony Salazar, Cecilia Tan, and Sarah Wexler — was established in 2020 to evaluate proposals for publication. The Board welcomes new research project proposals from members to be considered for publication through the Digital Library, SABR.org, or any other multimedia formats.
We strongly encourage new proposals that involve collaboration between SABR research committees and/or chapters, and web-based projects with an eye toward enhanced multimedia presentation.
- Visit https://bit.ly/sabr-editorial-board-proposals to submit a SABR project proposal online
Next deadline for proposals: April 30, 2021 (for publication in late 2022 or early 2023)
SABR seeks to publish 2-4 web-based multimedia projects and 6-8 books per year. Book projects should be of a scope that can fit in a single volume, typically between 100,000 and 200,000 total words.
SABR’s Board of Directors has approved the formation of a new research committee: The Baseball Iconography Project, an ongoing effort to produce a history and catalog of artistic depictions of the game in a variety of forms: fine art, photography, sculpture, illustration, caricatures, engraving, lithography.
The aim of the Iconography Project is not to create a pictorial history of baseball but an imaginary museum or gallery through which we may catalog and see the game’s art in the round. If this research committee is successful in its aim the outcome may be, eventually, a web or print opus that might be termed The Iconography of Baseball.
The committee leaders are Kevin Reichard, James E. Brunson III, and John Thorn. All SABR members are eligible to sign up for email announcements from this committee. Click here to visit the committee page and select “Join Group” to become a committee member.
SABR’s 33 research committees reflect the diverse interests of our members, with groups devoted to the study of a specific area related to the game — from Baseball and the Arts to Statistical Analysis to the Deadball Era to Women in Baseball. Click here to find the full list of SABR research committees and learn more about their work.
SABR chapters and committees are encouraged to set up virtual meetings to stay engaged with our members throughout the world at SABR.org, as part of our Stay Home With SABR initiative to assist in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
- Can’t-Miss Event: On Saturday, April 3, at 9:30 a.m. CDT, the Halsey Hall Chapter in Minnesota will host a virtual book club meeting with Jane Leavy, award-winning author of Squeeze Play and other acclaimed baseball books. For questions or to RSVP for this meeting, please contact Stew Thornley.
- Video Replays: Click here to view more video replays of virtual SABR events.
Here are some more upcoming virtual events you can attend online; check the Events Calendar for complete details:
- April 3: Talkin’ Baseball: Brian Wright (9:00 a.m. EDT)
- April 3: Halsey Hall (MN) Chapter book club meeting with Jane Leavy (9:30 a.m. CDT)
- April 3: Pee Wee Reese (KY) Chapter meeting with Peter Coolbaugh (1030 a.m. EDT)
- April 3: Carolina (NC) Chapter meeting with Jason Schwartz (12:00 p.m. EDT)
- April 6: Halsey Hall (MN) Chapter meeting with Judith Hiltner and James Walker (7:00 p.m. CDT)
- April 7: Baltimore Babe Ruth Chapter meeting with Marty Payne (7:00 p.m. EDT)
- April 8: William Christiansen: The Shortstop from Kalamazoo: The Life and times of Neil Berry (6:30 p.m. EDT)
- April 8: Casey Stengel (NYC) Chapter meeting with Donald Rice (7:00 p.m. EDT)
- April 10: Leslie Heaphy: The Martins and the Red Sox for the Title (12:00 p.m. EDT)
- April 10: Baseball Reminiscence chapter meeting (4:00 p.m. EDT)
Find more upcoming SABR meetings on our Events Calendar page.
- San Diego Padres team ownership history, by John Bauer
More than 75 percent of the current MLB franchises have been completed or are assigned. Teams still available are: Atlanta/Milwaukee Braves, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland/KC/Philadelphia Athletics, Tampa Bay Rays, and Washington Nationals,. We have also begun adding Negro Leagues, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and defunct (mostly 19th century) teams to the project. Many opportunities remain there. If you are interested in writing any of these articles, contact Andy McCue for details.
Registration is still open for the 11th annual SABR Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, which will be held virtually on April 22-24, 2021. All baseball fans are welcome to register for this special online event.
The 2021 virtual conference will be highlighted by a keynote address from Major League Baseball’s Official Historian John Thorn, along with a panel discussion on National League president William Hulbert with Jack Bales, Richard Hershberger, Bill Lamb, and moderator Bill Ryczek; a special presentation by Jim Gates on the “Penny Marshall Sheet Music Collection” at the Baseball Hall of Fame; a Member Spotlight interview of Tom Gilbert by Bob Bailey; plus research presentations.
- Registration: Click here to register online. The cost is $35 per person. Each attendee must register separately in order to receive the Zoom meeting information.
- Schedule: Click here to view the full schedule for the 2021 Ivor-Campbell Conference. Online sessions will be held from 8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 22; 12:00-5:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 23; and 12:00-5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 24. Registration provides access to all panels and presentations for each day.
For questions, please contact Peter Mancuso at email@example.com.
To learn more about the conference, visit SABR.org/ivor-campbell19c.
Would you like to volunteer as a SABR Membership Ambassador? We’re looking for anyone who has a passion for SABR, who loves meeting new people, and who enjoys establishing authentic connections to help welcome new members into our baseball community.
Our Membership Ambassadors will be asked to send a personalized email to new members each week, help promote SABR via word of mouth and/or social media, represent the member ambassador team in at least one New Member Experience online session during the calendar year, and attend a quarterly virtual Zoom meeting with our Community Engagement Manager and other Ambassadors to discuss and review their efforts.
If you are interested in becoming a SABR Membership Ambassador, please email Chanel Zapata at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a list of SABR supporters for the month of March 2021:
|Tony Adams||David Newman|
|Cherise Alexander||Bill Nowlin|
|Todd Bolton||James Odenkirk|
|D. Bruce Brown||James Overmyer|
|John Burbridge III||Gregg Pericich|
|Ken Carrano||John Rall|
|Jim Cox||Michael Rosenwasser|
|Paul Debono||Charles Roussel|
|Steven Elsberry||Bob Russon|
|Barbara Erion||Jason Scheller|
|Diane Firstman||Douglas Schoppert|
|Adam Foldes||Mark Stangl|
|Cheryl Harrison||W.B. Steverson|
|Leslie Heaphy||Thomas Stone|
|Tim Herlich||Wesley Story|
|Rockwell Hoffman||Joseph Thompson|
|David Hughes||John Thorn|
|Donald Jensen||Neal Traven|
|Henry Levy||Steve West|
|Peter Mancuso||Michaela White|
|Alex Marks||Jeffrey Wood|
|John Murphy||Don Zminda|
Episode #104 on Monday, March 29 featured Tom House, former major-league pitcher and founder of the Mustard sports coaching app, which uses machine learning technology to evaluate pitching mechanics in young athletes. He has more than 50 years of experience playing and coaching baseball, including eight seasons as an MLB pitcher with the Atlanta Braves — he caught Henry Aaron’s 715th career home run ball in the Braves’ bullpen — and two other teams. He holds a Ph.D. in sports psychology from U.S. International University and has authored dozens of books and articles on the biomechanics of pitching motions.
Visit SABR.org/sabrcast to listen to the full episode.
Subscribe to SABRcast on your favorite podcast networks, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher, and listen to each episode as soon as it’s released on Mondays. To learn more, visit SABR.org/sabrcast.
Seven new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project. Here are the new bios published this week:
- Fred Curtis, by Darren Gibson
- Don Elston, by Dirk Lammers
- Chico Fernández, by Russ Walsh
- Leonard Koppett, by Jim Leeke
- Mike Pasquella, by Jim Leeke
- Leroy Stanton, by Eric Vickrey
- Jesse Williams, by Tim Hagerty
All new biographies can be found here: SABR.org/bioproject
- Find any SABR biography: You can visit sabr.org/bioproject to search for any player — or manager, executive, scout, spouse, broadcaster, or umpire — who appears in the SABR BioProject. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Games, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires, Writers, people who were Famous Outside Baseball, and a lot more.
Fifteen new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:
- April 13, 1921: Babe Ruth opens Yankees’ season with 5-for-5 ‘one-handed’ performance, by Mike Huber
- April 13, 1921: Ivy Olson’s 9th-inning single wins it for Brooklyn over Braves on Opening Day, by John G. Zinn
- April 21, 1921: Rabbit Maranville sparks Pirates past Reds in home opener, by John Fredland
- April 22, 1921: Jersey City’s Harry Biemiller throws first no-hitter of minor-league season, by Kurt Blumenau
- April 24, 1921: Cincinnati’s José Leblanc outduels Jim Jeffries, blanks Indianapolis ABCs in exhibition, by Thomas E. Merrick
- September 11, 1927: Browns avoid the skunk as Milt Gaston earns ‘brilliant victory’ over mighty Yankees, by Chuck Hildebrandt
- May 2, 1946: Ted Williams homers in the 10th to win another game for Red Sox, by Bill Nowlin
- June 8, 1957: Rube Walker’s three hits, Johnny Podres pitching lead Dodgers past Redlegs, by Steven C. Weiner
- July 19, 1967: Mets ‘Maulers’ Kranepool, Swoboda live up to the hype, by Kurt Blumenau
- May 23, 1975: Harmon Killebrew smashes two homers for Royals, by David Krell
- July 30, 1983: Mark Davis earns first win for Giants with shutout of rival Dodgers, by Tom Schott
- September 22, 1993: Nolan Ryan throws final pitch for Rangers in decorated 27-year career, by Douglas Jordan
- April 17, 2001: Blowout at Busch: Diamondbacks blast Cardinals 17-4, by Joe Schuster
- August 2, 2020: Tigers’ Tyler Alexander sets record for consecutive strikeouts by a reliever, by Laura H. Peebles
- August 25, 2020: White Sox’s Lucas Giolito no-hits the Pirates in Chicago, by Laura H. Peebles
New Games Project stories can be found at SABR.org/gamesproject.
- 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.
- Social media: Follow the SABR Games Project on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with new stories and updates.
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.
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.
Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don’t want you to miss:
- Join us online in June 2021 for Summer of SABR: Golden Celebration Series
- SABR 50, Jerry Malloy conferences rescheduled for 2022
- SABR Negro Leagues Task Force issues recommendations on major-league status
- SABR Digital Library: From Rube to Robinson: SABR’s Best Articles on Black Baseball
- SABR Digital Library: The Miracle Has Landed: The Amazin’ Story of How the 1969 Mets Shocked the World
- Eric Nusbaum honored with 2021 SABR Seymour Medal at NINE Conference
- Joe Niese’s Zack Wheat biography wins 2021 SABR Ron Gabriel Award
- Tony Adams, Bradford William Davis, Shakeia Taylor win 2021 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards
- Students, apply now for a SABR Negro Leagues Committee scholarship in 2021
- SABR 50 at 50: Baseball Books
- Call for papers: 2021 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference
- Students, apply now for the 2021 SABR Women in Baseball Scholarship
- Get a gift for baseball fan in your life with the SABR Store @ CafePress
- All e-books in SABR Digital Library available for free to members
All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: SABR.org/this-week-in-sabr-archives.
You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online Membership Directory.
|Michael Bryan||Tallahassee, FL||Melody Huslage||Maryville, TN|
|Douglas Carlson||Denham Springs, LA||Rory Kelly||South Bend, IN|
|Rosanna Cavalasca||Turin, ITA||Scott Lehotsky||Camp Hill, PA|
|Todd Clark||San Diego, CA||Paul Oslund||Midland, MI|
|Michael Clark||Johnson City, TN||Courtney Penland||Chicago, IL|
|John Daniel III||Prescott, AZ||Rick Potlock||Stephens City, VA|
|Mary Darling||Albuquerque, NM||David Schmitz||Walla Walla, WA|
|Lewis Freedman||Columbus, IN||Justin Seibel||Irvine, CA|
|Elliott Fullmer||Richmond, VA||Laura Simmons-Larsen||Whitefish Bay, WI|
|Bob Fulton||Indiana, PA||Thomas Sipe||Tallmadge, OH|
|Jimmy Granger||Fort Worth, TX||Donald Von Dollen||Palo Alto, CA|
|Gary Haas||Burbank, CA||David White||Cambridge, MA|
|Sam Harder||Lawrence, KS|
Here are the new research committee updates this week:
- Baseball Records: April 2021 newsletter
- BioProject: April 2021 newsletter
- Nineteenth Century: Spring 2021 newsletter
- Official Scoring: April 2021 newsletter
Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research/committees.
Here are the new regional chapter and chartered community updates this week:
- Boston Chapter: Read the final “Dispatches From the Mudville Bureau,” by Joanne Hulbert (Boston, MA)
- Hanlan’s Point Chapter: March 21 meeting recap (Toronto, ON)
Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.
Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:
- Sean Lahman: Negro League baseball teams in New York get major league status (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle)
- Hannah Keyser: Baseball’s longest-awaited opening day brings reminders of bliss — and of COVID-19 reality (Yahoo! Sports)
- Tyler Kepner: Baseball and Its Fans Are Back. Just Not Way, Way Back. (New York Times)
- Jay Jaffe: More Than You Wanted to Know About Opening Day, 2021 Edition (FanGraphs)
- Ben Lindbergh/Rob Arthur: The New Baseball Still Seems Juiced (The Ringer)
- Russell A. Carleton: The Fourth Outfielder of the Apocalypse (Baseball Prospectus)
- Emma Baccellieri: After a Year of Working Solo, Groundskeepers Are Ready for a More Normal Baseball Season (Sports Illustrated)
- Jayson Stark: Numbers that will define the 2021 MLB season, from 10 (playoff teams) to 468,928 (pitches) (The Athletic)
- Clinton Yates: Brewers’ Devin Williams isn’t your average baseball star (The Undefeated)
- Sarah Langs: Major career milestones to watch for in 2021 (MLB.com)
- Michael Baumann: The Top MLB Rivalry of 2021 Isn’t Dodgers-Padres, It’s Twins–White Sox (The Ringer)
- Evan Drellich: MLB’s latest rules to prevent sign-stealing make cheating tougher, but hardly impossible (The Athletic)
- Alex Speier: Inside Bobby Dalbec’s opposite-field blasts — a powerful indicator of his potential (Boston Globe)
- Rob Mains: Baseball Teams and Baseball Cards: Businesses or Alternative Investments (Baseball Prospectus)
- Grant Brisbee: What the Giants taught you on Opening Day (The Athletic)
- Amanda Lane: If It All Goes Wrong For The Mariners (Lookout Landing)
- David Laurila: Blue Jays prospect Simeon Woods Richardson channels Satchel Paige (FanGraphs)
- Drew Weisholtz: Meet the former pitcher, 94, trying to make a women’s baseball museum a reality (NBC Today)
- Kendra Nordin Beato: Breaking grass ceilings: Why more women are coaching men’s teams (Christian Science Monitor)
- Avi Wolfman-Arent: 150 years of high hopes: The tale of Philly’s first professional baseball season (WHYY.org)
- Matt McKinney: Stillwater may honor first Black professional baseball player (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
- Mark Simon: MLB’s Top Defensive Players (ACTA Sports)
- Sol Gittleman: Baseball Fans Pursue Fields of Dreams (Tufts Now)
- Alex Wolfe: Highlights from (virtual) SABR Analytics Conference (Off the Bench)
- Paul Lukas: A Landmark MLB Game That’s Largely Forgotten (Uni Watch)
- Hillel Kuttler: Teaching and Reciting Baseball with Phil Wood, Tim Wiles and Sol Gittleman (ABCs Podcast)
- Parker Reed: Chippewa Library director Joe Niese wins 2021 SABR Ron Gabriel Award (Chippewa Herald)
- Ryan Whirty: New book celebrates Hoosier hero John Merida (Home Plate Don’t Move)
- Jeff Cohen: Baseball and BBQ interview with author Anthony DiComo (Baseball and BBQ)
- Chris Kamka: Oldies but Goodies (SABR Baseball Cards Blog)
- Don Zminda: My rookie collecting year (SABR Baseball Cards Blog)
Please note: Some articles may require a separate subscription to view online. SABR does not endorse, and is not responsible or liable for, any content that appears on a third-party website.
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 email@example.com.
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Originally published: April 2, 2021. Last Updated: April 2, 2021.