This Week in SABR: April 27, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of April 27, 2012:

SABR 42 speakers announced

Listed below are some of our scheduled speakers for SABR 42, to be held June 27-July 1, 2012, at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, 30 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Please note that all events are subject to change.

A full SABR 42 schedule, plus a list of research presentations and panels, will be available soon. Check back at for complete details. We hope to see you in the Twin Cities this summer! Scroll down for more information on registering and booking your hotel room, too.

  • Dave St. Peter, President, Minnesota Twins
  • Terry Ryan, Executive Vice President/General Manager, Minnesota Twins
  • Roy Smalley III, All-Star shortstop and 13-year veteran, 1975-87
  • Bob “Rocky” Johnson, 11-year veteran infielder with seven MLB teams, 1960-70
  • Dorothy Seymour Mills, SABR member and co-author of the groundbreaking “Baseball” series
  • Leslie Heaphy, Negro Leagues historian, chair of SABR Women in Baseball Research Committee, and SABR director
  • Cecilia Tan, SABR Publications Editor, co-editor of Baseball Prospectus Annual, founder of Circlet Press
  • Stew Thornley, Minnesota Twins official scorer, author, past president of SABR Halsey Hall Chapter 
  • David Vincent, Washington Nationals official scorer, home run expert, 1999 SABR Bob Davids Award winner
  • Gregg Wong, Minnesota Twins official scorer, retired reporter at St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1969-2002

We’ll be announcing more speakers, panelists and presenters soon, so stay tuned!

In addition to the speakers listed above, we’re also planning an exclusive tour of Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, with special access to areas of the ballpark not available to the public; a tour of the Minneapolis Public Library; a trip to the baseball exhibit at the new Minnesota African American Museum; a Twin Cities historic ballparks site tour; a one-man play on Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey; our renowned SABR Convention Trivia Contest; and much more.

Check out a preliminary schedule of events here.

Book your room now! Our room block at the Marriott City Center is going fast. Click here to book your room online or call (800) 266-9432 and mention that you are with the SABR convention.

Register for SABR 42 by Tuesday to get $199 all-inclusive rate

Special for 2012, we’re offering an all-inclusive rate of $199 (SABR members) or $249 (non-members) for SABR 42 if you sign up by May 1 — that’s this coming Tuesday. The all-inclusive rate includes full registration to all convention panels and presentations, one ticket to the Awards Banquet on Friday, June 29 and one Skyline Deck ticket to the Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, June 29. After May 1, the all-inclusive rate will be available at $219 for SABR members and $269 for non-members.


We’re offering two options for registration this year:

1) All-inclusive rate
Special for 2012: We’re offering an all-inclusive rate for SABR 42. From now until May 1, SABR members can pay $199 and nonmembers can pay $249 to receive:

  • Full registration to SABR 42 in Minneapolis (regular price: $129 for SABR members or $179 for nonmembers)
  • 1 ticket to the Awards Banquet (regular price: $45)
  • 1 Skyline Deck ticket to the Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, June 29 (regular price: $44)

Please note: Skyline Deck tickets are only available to the first 250 people who select the all-inclusive rate. Those who select the all-inclusive rate after Skyline Deck tickets are sold out will receive a Home Plate View ticket (regular price: $38) instead.

After May 1, the all-inclusive rate will be available at $219 for SABR members and $269 for non-members.

2) Regular rate
SABR members and non-members who wish to purchase registration, banquet tickets and game tickets separately can do so at the following rates:

includes access to all panel discussions, research presentations, committee meetings and other on-site events.

  • SABR members: $129
  • Non-members: $179

Awards Banquet on Friday, June 29

  • Awards Banquet: $45

Meal includes salad, chicken entree and dessert. (If you have special dietary considerations, please contact Deb Jayne at

Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, June 29
SABR has reserved a block of tickets in the Skyline Deck and Home Plate View sections. (Please note: Our Skyline Deck block has already sold out as of April 27, 2012; only tickets in the Home Plate View section are available.) Click here for a seating chart at

  • Home Plate View: $38

You will be able to redeem your game ticket at the registration desk using the chit system. If you do not care with whom you sit, you should turn your chit into your game ticket right away at the hotel. But if you want to sit with a friend, wait to turn in your chits at the registration desk at the same time, thereby getting tickets next to one another.

We hope you’ll join us in Minneapolis this summer!


Alpert, Staples, Seamheads group win 2011 SABR Baseball Research Awards

The 2011 SABR Baseball Research Awards, which honor outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year which have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball, has been awarded to:

  • Rebecca T. Alpert for the research she did to prepare her book, Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball, published by Oxford University Press.
  • Gary Ashwill, Scott Simkus, Dan Hirsch and Kevin Johnson for the research they did to assemble the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database at
  • Bill Staples Jr. for the research he did to prepare his book, Kenichi Zenimura: Japanese American Baseball Pioneer, published by McFarland & Co.

The authors will receive their awards at the SABR 42 national convention, June 27-July 1, 2012, at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The winners receive a plaque and a $200 cash award.

Alpert is an Associate Professor of Religion and Women’s Studies at Temple University and a recipient of Temple’s College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Teaching Award. Also the author of Whose Torah?: A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism, she has lectured at a number of colleges and universities, including Columbia, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Swarthmore. She earned her Ph.D. in religion at Temple University and her Rabbinical training at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Pennsylvania.

Ashwill, a freelance writer and editor who graduated from the University of Kansas and Duke University, was a member of the Negro League Research and Authors Group (NLRAG), a historic study sponsored by Major League Baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame that was used to select Negro Leagues players to the Hall of Fame in 2006; he writes about the Negro Leagues at Simkus, who blogs regularly at and publishes The Outside Baseball Bulletin, was the lead consultant for the Strat-O-Matic Game Company in New York, helping research and write a 32-page booklet for their ground-breaking Negro League All-Star set; his work has been profiled in Sports Illustrated, The New York TimesLos Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, National Public Radio, among others. Hirsch, a graduate of the University of South Florida and a firefighter at Offutt Air Force Base in Kansas, runs The Baseball Gauge and is a web designer at Johnson (KJOK), a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis who now works for a travel technology company in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, is a founding contributor at and SABR member since 1986; he helped create the Seamheads Ballparks Database in 2009.

Staples is Director of Marketing and Communications at the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Also serving as chair of SABR’s Asian Baseball Research Committee, Staples’ book was also named an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, in conjunction with Arizona’s 2012 centennial. He writes regularly about Japanese-American baseball at He lives in Chandler, Arizona.

The SABR Baseball Research Award, formerly known as the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, is designed to honor projects that do not fit the criteria for the Seymour Medal or the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award.

The selection committee consists of: Steve Gietschier (non-voting chair), Monte Cely, Andrew Goldblatt and Monica Nucciarone.

To submit a nomination for the 2012 awards, which will be presented at the SABR 43 national convention in 2013, please send the work’s title, author and publisher information to Steve Gietschier.

To see a complete list of SABR Baseball Research Award winners, click here.

Add SABR’s Great Hitting Pitchers to your baseball library

We are pleased to offer the next title in the SABR Digital Library:

Edited by L. Robert Davids, updated for 2012 by Mike Cook, aided by David Vincent

Ebook price: $5.99
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-933599-31-1
Paperback price: $9.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-933599-30-4
102 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

First published in 1979, GREAT HITTING PITCHERS was one of SABR’s early publications. Including the contributions of several members of the Society and edited by SABR’s founder, Bob Davids, the book compiled together records and anecdotes about pitchers excelling in the batters box. Now updated for 2012 by Mike Cook and overseen by SABR’s Publications Editor Cecilia Tan, GREAT HITTING PITCHERS has been updated so that all tables include 1979-2011 data, and previous stats have been corrected to reflect the most recent updates in the record books. Joining the original chapters on pitchers hitting grand slams, pitchers’ hitting performances in World Series play, and how the pitchers of no-hitters performed at bat in those games, an all-new chapter by Mike Cook explores the top hitting pitchers since 1979, including Mike Hampton, Micah Owings, and CC Sabathia.

Buy the book:

SABR members:

To view all books in the SABR Digital Library, visit

To learn more about SABR Publications, contact Publications Editor Cecilia Tan at

1970 Baltimore Orioles: The Oriole Way

Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers, edited by Mark Armour and Malcolm Allen, is the second book in SABR’s “Memorable Teams in Baseball History” series with University of Nebraska Press. It will be published on Tuesday, May 1.

At, we’ve published a special excerpt from the new book, “The Oriole Way”, by Warren Corbett. Here’s a sample:  

The seed that sprouted into the powerful Baltimore Orioles teams of the 1960s and ‘70s was planted by two baseball lifers who despised each other. Together they lifted the once-woeful St. Louis Browns into the ranks of the game’s elite.

The Orioles were just one season removed from their sorry history in St. Louis when Paul Richards took over as both general manager and manager in September 1954. He proclaimed, “I’m running the show.” A lanky, hard-eyed Texan—a friend’s wife described him as “a cold fish”—Richards came from Chicago, where he and general manager Frank Lane had transformed the sagging White Sox into a consistent winner. Wearing his two hats in Baltimore, Richards exercised total control over baseball operations.

The scouting and farm director he inherited, Jim McLaughlin, had come with the franchise from St. Louis. The farm system was a joke; the Browns had been too poor to invest in scouting and player development. But McLaughlin convinced Richards that he could do better with money to spend. It was a marriage made in hell. The two had just one thing in common: Each of them got up every morning, looked in the mirror, and thought he saw the smartest man in baseball.

The 1954 Orioles played like the old Browns; they lost 100 games, the same as in their final season in St. Louis. It took Richards and McLaughlin six years to build them into pennant contenders. By 1960, when the Birds flew with the Yankees until the last two weeks of the season, the foundation for future success had been laid.

Read the rest of Warren’s essay on “The Oriole Way” at

You can order the 1970 Orioles book from the University of Nebraska Press website or from the SABR Bookstore. The Memorable Teams in Baseball History series, written by SABR members as part of the Baseball Biography Project, will focus on iconic teams with an unquestionable legacy in baseball history. Each book will collect essays detailing the players, moments and games that define these teams.

For a complete list of biographies included in the 1970 Orioles book, click here.

SABR Negro Leagues Committee awards 2012 school library grants

SABR’s Negro Leagues Research Committee has awarded $1,000 library grants for 2012 to Windy Hill Elementary School of Jacksonville, Florida, and Buffalo United Charter School in Buffalo, New York. School libraries from across the country were invited to submit grant proposals centering on educating students about black baseball and American history.

Windy Hill Elementary School intends to use the grant to purchase new books for the library and provide students with the opportunity to learn about individual players as well as the history of Negro Leagues and character education. Some of the books include Just Like Josh Gibson, by Angela Johnson; Finding Buck McHenry, by Alfred Slote; and The Negro Leagues of Baseball. Patty McQueen is the school librarian.

Buffalo United Charter School intends to use the grant for its “Player of the Week” program for grades K-5. The program consists of each teacher teaching their students about a specific African-American baseball player, using books and videos so students can visualize what trials and successes that player faced and how important that player is to baseball history. Janice Glenn is the school librarian.

Judges for the library grant program were Dick Clark, co-chair of SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee; Tim Bottoroff, Head Librarian of the Universal Orlando Foundation Library, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida; Ilia Kirstein, Media specialist/librarian at Edward T. Bowser Sr. Elementary School, East Orange, New Jersey; and Mark Moore, Senior Subject Librarian of the Cleveland Public Library.

  • Register for Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, July 19-21, Cleveland, Ohio: Registration is now open for the 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference at The Malloy Conference, hosted by SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, promotes activities to enhance scholarly, educational, and literary objectives. For the past 14 years, the event has been the only symposium dedicated exclusively to the examination and promotion of black baseball history. The conference is open to baseball and history fans of all ages. Each year, monies are targeted to donate books to schools or libraries; raise funds for the Grave Marker Project; and award scholarships to high school seniors in a nationwide essay contest and a nationwide art contest. Research presentation abstracts were due by March 19, 2012. A complete information packet with schedule, mail-in registration form and program advertising opportunities can be downloaded here (PDF) or on the website.

Wrapping up the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference

The fourth annual Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference was held April 20-21, 2012, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

In addition to the six research presentations listed below, the conference included:

  • a Member Spotlight Interview of author David Nemec by Tom Simon
  • a special Hall of Fame-related presentation by Jim Gates
  • a Friday evening Welcoming Dinner at the Otesaga Hotel
  • a Special Presentation by Jerrold Casway on “The Irish and the Advent of Jim Crow Baseball”
  • a Luncheon with Keynote Speaker William Ryczek
  • a Panel Discussion on 19th Century Baseball Rules moderated by Eric Miklich with panelists John Thorn, Richard Hershberger and David Nemec
  • a Post Conference Gathering at the Back Alley Grill (formerly the Hoffmann Lane Bistro).

Here is a list of research presentations from the 2012 conference:

  • David Krell, “Bridegrooms and Superbas and Dodgers…Oh My!: The Birth of Brooklyn Baseball in the 19th Century”.
  • Robert Tholkes, “The Birth of Baseball Statistics”.
  • Hugh MacDougall, “Abner Graves, the Man Who Brought Baseball to Cooperstown”.
  • Donald Jensen, “’The Great John L.’ and the National Game”.
  • Monica Nucciarone, “A Comparison of Alexander Cartwright and William Wheaton”.
  • William Lamb, “John B. Day, the Metropolitan Exhibition Company and the Re-establishment of Major League Baseball in New York”.

Read SABR member Bill Francis’ daily recaps of the conference at, with photos by Milo Stewart Jr.:

Related links:

Spring 2012 Baseball Research Journal articles are now online

Many members have received their copy of the new Baseball Research Journal in the mail. If you haven’t received yours, it should be arriving soon. Meanwhile, you can get started reading the Spring 2012 BRJ (online articles for members only!) at:

That link also offers you a way to download the PDF version of the magazine to read on your computer or e-reader device, as well as a chance to purchase additional copies of the BRJ for any baseball-loving family members or friends at the SABR Bookstore.

In addition to all of the BRJ articles you will find in the print edition, we’re also proud to once again present special supplemental material, available exclusively at, related to Herm Krabbenhoft’s ongoing research of Hank Greenberg’s RBI totals.

Click here to read more articles from the Spring 2012 “Baseball Research Journal”

Vote in the 2012 SABR Board of Directors election

SABR members, pay attention to the e-mail address that you have on file with SABR; you should have received a message on Thursday, April 5, with a link to vote online in the 2012 SABR Board of Directors election. The poll will close at 12:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on Sunday, May 20.

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 more voting -email between April 5 and May 20 with an active voting link. If you did not receive a voting e-mail on April 5, you can contact Jacob Pomrenke at to send you a custom voting e-mail.

Members who do not have an e-mail address on file with SABR as of April 5, 2012, 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  

When you vote, you will find three items on the 2012 Board of Directors ballot: the election of the SABR Vice President, Secretary, and one Director. The candidates are:

For Vice President

  • Bill Nowlin (incumbent)
  • Chris Dial

For Secretary

  • Todd Lebowitz (incumbent)

For Director (open)

  • Bill Staples Jr.
  • Ty Waterman

You can read candidate biographies, along with full descriptions of the positions and responses the candidates made to a series of questions, in the 2012 SABR Election Guide below.

Download the 2012 SABR Election Guide here:

One new biography posted at the SABR BioProject

One new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,910 published biographies. Can we reach 2,000 bios before the SABR convention in June? Keep ’em coming! Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

We recently relaunched the BioProject at its new home page: The new BioProject fully integrates its design with and upgrades the back-end platform, making it easier for us to post and edit new bios and eliminating some formatting problems with the original software. All of your old URLs should still work (and if you find one that doesn’t, please contact

Writing a biography for the BioProject is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by visiting our BioProject Resources page or reading the FAQs section.

  • 1964 Phillies editors needed: Mel Marmer is looking for a volunteer to serve as a co-editor/fact checker on a work-in-progress SABR BioProject book on the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies. If you are interested, please contact Mel at
  • 1914 Braves biographer needed: Of the 34 individual player biographies for the upcoming SABR BioProject book on the 1914 “Miracle” Boston Braves, we have someone who is writing (or has already written) every one of them — except for poor Dick Crutcher. Dick needs a biographer. He passed away in 1952, so his feelings aren’t hurt. But it would nice if someone would sign up to write his biography. If you are interested, please contact Bill Nowlin at

Greg Spira Award created to recognize young baseball researchers

A group of distinguished writers and researchers have collaborated to create a new award as a memorial to the late baseball researcher and SABR member Greg Spira. The Greg Spira Baseball Research Award ( will be given annually in recognition of the best published article or paper containing original baseball research by a person 30 years old or younger. The winning entry must display innovative analysis or reasoning.

Working with the Spira family, the creators of the Greg Spira Award include SABR members Sean Forman (, Joe Hamrahi (Baseball Prospectus), Sean Lahman ( and Gary Gillette (24-7 Baseball, LLC), along with Dave Pease (Baseball Prospectus).

The winner of the Greg Spira Baseball Research Award will receive a cash prize of $1,000. The program will also recognize two additional writers with awards of $200 for second place and $100 for third place.

Articles or papers eligible for consideration include those published on the Internet, in e-books and in print, as well as academic dissertations and presentations at conferences. Winners of the Greg Spira Award will not be eligible for consideration for future awards.

The inaugural Greg Spira Baseball Research Award winner will be announced on April 27, 2013 — the 46th anniversary of Greg’s birthday. Future awards will be announced on April 27 of succeeding years.

A seven-person panel of judges will determine the winner. Greg’s brother, Jonathan Spira, has agreed to serve as one of the initial judges for the Award. Deadlines and procedures for submissions will be announced on June 1, 2012.

Earlier this month, the Greg Spira Memorial Library was created at the SABR office in Phoenix, Arizona, after his family graciously donated his “unparalleled” collection of baseball books to the Society.

For more information on the Spira Award, please go to or contact Gary Gillette.

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

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Originally published: April 27, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.