This Week in SABR: December 9, 2011

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of December 9, 2011 — and don’t forget to renew your membership!

SABR member Bob Elliott wins J.G. Taylor Spink Award

We are proud to congratulate SABR member Bob Elliott, a longtime sports writer for the Toronto Sun, on receiving the prestigious J.G. Taylor Spink Award from the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday. Elliott will receive his award during 2012 Induction Weekend ceremonies, July 20-23 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.

Elliott covered the Montreal Expos in the early 1980s with two Ottawa newspapers and quickly earned the trust and respect of the public relations department, front office, players and coaching staff. His move to the Toronto Sun allowed his talents as a writer to be appreciated by a wider audience.

The emergence of the Canadian pro baseball player closely parallels the emergence of Elliott as a major North American sports writing influence. In 2007, there were 750 Canadian athletes on scholarship at U.S. universities, colleges and junior colleges. At the same time there were 500 Canadian hockey players on scholarship in the States. A former chairman of the Toronto Chapter, Boxer has served on several BBWAA committees and was the national president in 1999.

Elliott is the ninth SABR member to win the Spink Award, joining Bill Madden (2010), Tracy Ringolsby (2005), Leonard Koppett (1992), Jerome Holtzman (1989), Jack Lang (1986), Allen Lewis (1981), Bob Broeg (1979) and Fred Lieb (1972).

Download your free copy of “Can He Play: A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession”

Last week, we launched the new SABR Digital Library with the publication of CAN HE PLAY? A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession. It’s available to all SABR members as a free e-book download through February 29, 2012, at:

CAN HE PLAY? collects the contributions of 26 SABR members on the subject of scouts, including biographies and historical essays. The book touches on more than a century of scouts and scouting with a focus on the men (and the occasional woman) who have taken on the task of scouring the world for the best ballplayers available. In CAN HE PLAY? we meet the “King of Weeds,” a Ph.D. we call “Baseball’s Renaissance Man,” a husband-and-wife team, pioneering Latin scouts, and a Japanese-American interned during World War II who became a successful scout—and many, many more.

SABR members, click the link below to get your free download of our new book on baseball scouts:

New Analytics Conference speakers: Doug Melvin, Chris Antonetti

Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti have been added to the list of speakers for the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference, joining Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Arizona Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall and Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro. More speakers will be announced soon.

Don’t forget to sign up by December 31, 2011, to get the early registration rate for the:

SABR Analytics Conference, presented by Bloomberg Sports
When: March 15-17, 2012
Where: Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa, 1011 West Holmes Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85210

Never before have as many of the top minds of the baseball analytic community come under one roof to discuss, debate and share learnings of insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball. Some of the topics we are planning to cover include: how technology is changing baseball; Managers Panel on how analytics has changed the game; GM Panel on how analytics shape decisions; measuring player performance; technology and in-game strategy, and much more.

The SABR Analytics Conference will begin on Thursday, March 15 and conclude on Saturday, March 17 at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa in Arizona. The schedule will consist of a combination of Guest Speakers, Panels and Research Presentations — plus the inaugural SABR Case Competition, in which graduate students will analyze and present a real baseball operations decision, and be judged by MLB front office executives.

The early registration rate ($250 for SABR members and students; $350 for non-members) is available until December 31, 2011. SABR has secured a special hotel rate of $139/night at the Hilton, which includes complimentary wireless high-speed Internet, parking and breakfast buffet for two.

To register for the SABR Analytics Conference, visit

To sign up for the Case Competition, visit or contact SABR President Vince Gennaro.

Wrapping up at the Winter Meetings

The Hot Stove heated up this week at the 110th annual Baseball Winter Meetings in Dallas, Texas. Our interns, Coral Marshall and Graham Tyler, welcomed thousands in the baseball community to the SABR booth all week at the Hilton Anatole, while SABR members in Dallas and elsewhere were writing about the biggest stories to come out of the meetings. Here’s a sampling of our favorites:

Monument planned for Minneapolis Millers, St. Paul Saints

SABR member David Stalker is looking for funding to erect a monument in honor of the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints at Target Field. The plan is to unveil the plaque during the SABR 42 convention, June 27-July 1, 2012. A Minneapolis Millers historian has pledged $500 for the Millers’ side of the monument.

If a Saints fan/historian is interested in making a similar donation, contact David at The primary donors will have their donations noted on the monument.

Ballparks Committee conference call

The SABR Ballparks Research Committee will hold a free confererence call at 4 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 11. The purpose of the call is to update committee members of our plans for next year, including reviving the committee newsletter, and to solicit ideas for committee projects for 2012. All three committe co-chairs will be participating in the call, including Gary Gillette, Stan Meradith and Jim Gordon.

The call is scheduled to last about an hour. Anyone who calls in is welcome to offer their ideas and opinions. To participate in the call, please e-mail for the call-in number and passcode. (Note that the conference call is free, but the dial-in number will not be toll-free.) 

  • A note on committee newsletters: You may have noticed some changes when you visit the research committee pages at this week. In short, current and past newsletters will soon be available for everyone to download without logging in. We’ll explain more in “This Week in SABR” next Friday when we finish uploading all the newsletters to their respective committee pages. Thanks for your patience.

Six new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Six new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,745 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.

It’s time to renew your SABR membership!

‘Tis the holiday season, which means it’s time to renew your SABR membership for 2012. For most of you, your annual membership will expire on December 31*. (If you don’t know when your membership expires, go to the Members’ Info page and click the link that says “See when your membership expires”.)

You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 343-6450; or by mailing this downloadable PDF form and your payment to the SABR office at 4455 E. Camelback Road, Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: for this, you get three publications (two issues of the Baseball Research Journal and one issue of The National Pastime); access to research resources such as Paper of Record (with complete archives of The Sporting News); discounts to SABR conferences such as the national convention (Minneapolis 2012), the Arizona Fall League Conference, the spring Analytics Conference and Case Competition, and the summer Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference; access to our SABR-L e-listserv; research committees, regional chapter meetings; and more.

We believe SABR has something for everyone, from the active researcher to the passionate baseball fan. We hope you’ll invite your friends, colleagues and family members to join, too, at

* All members are on the “rolling” calendar system as of August 1, 2011. If you signed up before that date and continue to renew, your annual membership will expire on December 31 as it always has.

Please consider a donation to SABR

Here at SABR, we are proud of our mission to foster the study of baseball, to assist in developing and maintaining the history of the game, to facilitate the dissemination of baseball research, and to stimulate interest in baseball. These are worthy goals, and when combined with fellowship, community, and our great publications, SABR has a lot to offer. Of course, all of this takes resources.

If you support SABR and all the groundbreaking research our members have and will produce, please consider donating online at or via mail. No amount is too big or too small, and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, your donation to SABR is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have given in the past, we remain grateful and hope you will consider giving again. If you are a first-time donor, welcome aboard!

Donor Levels

  • $25-$99: receive a “Donor” convention badge ribbon entitling early entry into the SABR 42* Banquet
  • $100-$249: receive the above benefit plus a ticket to the Donor Breakfast at SABR 42* that features a “State of SABR” presentation by our executive leadership
  • $250-$499: receive all of the above benefits plus the new SABR Lapel Pin
  • $500-$1,499: receive all of the above benefits plus a SABR MVP Polo Shirt
  • $1,500-$2,499: receive all of the above benefits plus a junior suite upgrade at the SABR 42* hotel
  • $2,500 and up: receive all of the above plus an executive level room upgrade at the SABR 42* hotel.

*SABR 42 convention-related incentives assume payment of registration fees.

While the incentives are attractive, the real benefit is the satisfaction received from contributing to the continuing knowledge and appreciation of our national pastime. For more information, please contact SABR’s Director of Operations, Jim Cassandro, at or (602) 343-6452.

Calls for award, election nominations

  • Ron Gabriel Award, due 1/31/2012: This award honors the author(s) of the best research, published or unpublished, on the subject of the Brooklyn Dodgers, completed during the preceding calendar year. Eligible works include but are not limited to magazine and journal articles, previously unpublished chapters or articles in anthologies or other books with multiple authors, unpublished research papers, written versions of oral presentations, books, databases and websites. Nominations should be sent to William Dahlberg at no later than January 31, 2012. All nominations must include a copy of the research material, a link to the material or some other reference enabling the award committee to review the work.
  • SABR elections, due 2/1/2012: The SABR Nominating Committee seeks nominations for candidates for the 2012 SABR Board of Directors elections. Deadline for nominations is February 1, 2012. Nominees must prepare a Candidate Statement Form following guidelines that will be available from any Nominating Committee member: chair Barry Mednick, Rich Schabowski, and Barry Deutsch. Self-nominations are welcome. The offices to be filled are Vice President (2-year term: currently Bill Nowlin); Secretary (3-year term; currently Todd Lebowitz); and Director (3-year term; currently Gary Gillette.)

Chapter meeting recaps

Attention, chapter leaders: Just a reminder that the third annual SABR Day is scheduled for January 28, 2012. Please send the details of your SABR Day meeting to Jacob Pomrenke at A few are already posted now at, and we’ll post the rest as soon as we get them.

Upcoming SABR events:

Visit for details on all 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 at the Members’ Info page 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

Replying to this e-mail goes to an undeliverable address. If you would like to contact the SABR office, please visit:

Originally published: December 9, 2011. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.