This Week in SABR: August 12, 2011

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of August 12, 2011:

Celebrating SABR’s 40th anniversary

The founding of the Society for American Baseball Research on August 10, 1971, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, marked the beginning of a new era. For the first time, an organization would exist to foster the study of baseball as a significant American social and athletic institution; to establish an accurate account of baseball through the years; and, most important, to facilitate the dissemination of baseball research information around the country.

We invite you to celebrate SABR’s four decades with us online at

  • On August 10, 2011, we celebrated our 40th anniversary with a commemorative ceremony at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. View a photo gallery of the ceremony here, along with a photo of the scoreboard message posted by the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park honoring SABR.
  • On behalf of Major League Baseball, Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig sent along a letter of congratulations honoring SABR on its 40th anniversary. Download a copy of the letter by clicking here.
  • A History of SABR: Originally written by Dick Thompson in 2000 and updated for the 40th anniversary by Tom Hufford — a founding member of SABR — here is the story of the organization that has done more to advance our knowledge of the sport we love.
  • SABR convention history: A multimedia look at each of our national conventions since 1971. Listen to keynote speeches, watch video highlights, view photo galleries, read SABR members’ memories and check out the box scores from convention ballgames over the last 40 years.
  • The Cooperstown 16: A profile of Bob Davids and the 15 other “statistorians” who gathered in Cooperstown to form the Society for American Baseball Research four decades ago.
  • Top Baseball Storylines of the SABR Era: Here are the results of a survey among SABR members to determine the top 40 baseball storylines over the Society’s first 40 years, from 1971 to 2011.
  • “He Does It By The Numbers”: This article on Bill James, a little-known baseball writer from Lawrence, Kansas, appeared in Sports Illustrated on May 25, 1981 — and SABR was never the same.
  • SABR timeline: Charting SABR’s progress and achievements over the last four decades.
  • Baseball Research Journal archives: Read thousands of articles from SABR’s flagship publication.
  • Anniversary tributes to SABR: Several prominent longtime SABR members — including Hall of Famer Monte Irvin, writers John Thorn and Rob Neyer, and MLB executive Roland Hemond — wished the organization a happy 40th anniversary.

Save the date: SABR Arizona Fall League Conference, Nov. 3-5, 2011

After the World Series ends, you won’t have to wait until next season to get your baseball fix. SABR is planning to hold an Arizona Fall League Conference in Phoenix on November 3-5, 2011.

The schedule is expected to include:

  • Four AFL games, including the premier Rising Stars Game on November 5 in Surprise, Arizona
  • The Arizona Major League Alumni Awards Dinner
  • A tour of the “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” museum exhibit
  • A tour of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Research presentations and guests speakers

2012 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference: The 2012 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference will be held on Friday afternoon, April 20, and all day Saturday, April 21, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. There will be optional gatherings scheduled for both Friday and Saturday evenings. Click here for more information on submitting a research presentation abstract.

Dittmar: Bergen’s hitless streak was 45, not 46

We noted last week that Bill Bergen held the major league record for consecutive hitless at-bats with 46 for the Brooklyn Superbas in 1909, contradicting information reported by the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s Official Statistician. Elias maintained that Bergen’s streak was 45, a mark that was tied by Milwaukee Brewers infielder Craig Counsell last week.

Our note was based on research by SABR member Joe Dittmar which first appeared in the April 1997 edition of the Baseball Records Research Committee newsletter. After a story on Bergen appeared in The New York Times on August 3, Dittmar went back to confirm his original research — and discovered that Bergen’s streak was actually 45.

As Dittmar wrote, “There was one date in particular, July 14, where the Bergen AB entry was fuzzy. Upon review it looked to be either a 2 or a 3. At the time of my original research I did not reference any play-by-play materials and interpreted that AB entry as 3. Now, upon closer scrutiny, and particularly with confirmation from the Retrosheet data, it’s pretty certain Bergen had 2 ABs on that date.”

SABR 41 convention feedback survey

We hope you enjoyed our 41st annual national convention last month in Long Beach, California, along with all of our online coverage of the event at

If you attended SABR 41, we would appreciate if you took a moment to fill out this survey and shared your feedback with us on the registration, communication, programming and your overall experience of the convention:

Click the link above to start the survey. Thank you for your feedback.

Seven new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Seven new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,648 published biographies:

All new biographies can be found here:

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.

Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award winners announced

The 2011 winners of the Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award are:

No award was given in the middle school division. The winners will receive a plaque honoring their achievement, a $200 prize and a one-year membership to SABR.

You can read the winning entries by clicking on the links above.

Recent Research Committee newsletters

Last week, as a service to those members who have reported problems with logging in to the SABRNation system, we posted direct links for members to download recent Research Committee newsletters that have been published so far this summer. We unfortunately missed a few, so we’re including them this week instead:

(If you have a recent newsletter that does not appear on this list, please e-mail a PDF copy to Jacob Pomrenke.)

The SABR office staff is in ongoing discussions with the support team from the software provider that manages SABRNation, and we hope to have those problems resolved as soon as possible.

Please note: If you receive an error screen asking you to log in again when you are already logged in, just click the word “SABRNation” on the left side of the screen and that should take you back to the SABRNation home page. From there, you can navigate to the page you were originally searching for. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Chapter meeting recaps

(If you would like to include your chapter meeting recap in “This Week in SABR”, please e-mail a notice to Jacob Pomrenke.)

Upcoming SABR events:

In other recent SABR news:

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

Find more information about SABR and at the Members’ Info page here:

Originally published: August 12, 2011. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.