This Week in SABR: February 10, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of February 10, 2012: 

A moment to remember: Bob Davids

Today is the 10th anniversary of the passing of SABR’s founder, L. Robert “Bob” Davids. Davids’ lasting impact on our knowledge of the game we all love cannot be understated.

After founding SABR with fifteen other interested “statistorians” in 1971, Bob ran the Society out of his northwest Washington, D.C., home for 10 years, preparing and mailing the SABR Bulletin newsletter and Baseball Research Journal, along with serving as the primary editor for most of the early SABR books, such as Great Hitting Pitchers, This Date in Baseball History and the three-volume Minor League Baseball Stars. In 1985, Bill James dedicated his landmark Historical Baseball Abstract to “the man who has done more for baseball research than anyone else living — L. Robert Davids.”

SABR established an award in his name in 1985. The Bob Davids Award — which is selected annually at the national convention — is considered the Society’s highest honor. SABR’s first regional chapter, which serves the Washington-Baltimore area, was named for him in 1986.

Without Bob’s efforts and his dedication to baseball research, we wouldn’t be here today. For those who never had the pleasure of meeting him, we invite you to learn more about the man who started it all:

Renew your SABR membership by February 29!

Thanks to all of you who have already renewed your SABR membership for 2012. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we appreciate your support.

For those of you who haven’t renewed, please send in your dues by February 29, 2012, in order to continue receiving the many benefits of SABR membership all year long. We’ve got a lot of exciting benefits in store for 2012 — including a groundbreaking Analytics Conference and Case Competition during spring training; new titles in our Digital Library book collection; SABR 42 in Minneapolis; many additions to the BioProject; and, of course, three high-quality research publications in the Baseball Research Journal (2 issues) and The National Pastime (1 issue)  — and we’re glad you’re along for the ride. 

You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 343-6455; 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.

Note: If you have already renewed for 2012 or just recently sent in your dues, please disregard this notice … and thank you again! 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”.

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: all members in good standing receive 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 (June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis), the spring Analytics Conference and Case Competition (March 15-17 in Phoenix), the summer Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference (July 19-21 in Cleveland) and the Arizona Fall League Conference; access to our SABR-L research listserv and lending library; all 27 research committees, 60+ regional chapters; and more.

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

  • Donate to SABR: If you support SABR and all the groundbreaking research our members have and will produce, please also 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!

Sign up now for SABR Analytics Conference

We don’t think you’ll want to miss our lineup of speakers for the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference. Last week, we added three new speakers to our list: San Diego Padres assistant GM A.J. Hinch, Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond and MLB Vice President of Western Operations Laurel Prieb.

They’ll be joined by Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, Arizona Diamondbacks president/CEO Derrick Hall, Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro, Milwaukee Brewers GM Doug Melvin, Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti and Los Angeles Angels GM Jerry Dipoto. More panelists, speakers and moderators will be announced soon.

Also, SABR member Sean Forman, president of Sports Reference, LLC, will be holding a Baseball-Reference Open Forum on Friday and Saturday. Sean will be available for two hours each morning to provide tips, suggestions and answer user questions. In addition to a rundown of popular features and tools, Sean will show you how to embed B-R content within your blogs or websites, quickly link from your articles to player pages, and promote your content directly to users. Stop by our forum or stop Sean in the hallway and receive a free 15-day trial to the Baseball Reference Play Index!

Check out our website at for the most up-to-date SABR Analytics Conference information.

Sign up now to get the early registration rate for the:

SABR Analytics Conference, presented by Bloomberg Sports and Major League Baseball
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 undergraduate and graduate students will analyze and present a real baseball operations decision, and be judged by MLB front office executives. Participating schools now include New York University; University of Chicago; Northwestern University; University of California-Berkeley; Elon University; University of Portland; University of South Carolina; Siena College; and Manhattanville College.

The early registration rate ($250 for SABR members and students; $350 for non-members) will expire soon. 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.

One week left to submit your SABR 42 research presentation

We invite all members to present their research findings to their colleagues attending SABR 42, June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Oral presentations are expected to last 20 minutes, followed by a five minute question-and-answer period. Posters will be presented, with the author on-hand to discuss the work, during a poster session of 90 or so minutes, and will probably remain on display throughout the convention. Abstracts covering all aspects of baseball research are welcomed.

Through on-site judging, the most highly regarded presentations will receive the Doug Pappas Award for best oral presentation and the USA Today Sports Weekly Award for best poster presentation.

The submission deadline for SABR 42 abstracts is midnight PST, Sunday, FEBRUARY 19, 2012.

Submit abstracts to, the research presentations address for SABR42. (You may also use the alternate address Questions regarding the submission, review, and evaluation procedures should also be sent to

Attention, students: Apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 42 in Minneapolis

The SABR Bookshelf: Winter 2012

Periodically throughout the year, publishes listings of new books that are received at the SABR office. This feature is called The SABR Bookshelf, continuing a popular section from the old SABR Bulletin.

Here are The SABR Bookshelf listings for Winter 2012:

To get your NEW book listed on The SABR Bookshelf, make sure a review copy is sent to: The SABR Bookshelf, Society for American Baseball Research, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

To ensure a listing in The Baseball Index — SABR’s online catalog of baseball research materials with 240,000+ citations at — make sure a review copy is sent to The Baseball Index, 4025 Beechwood Pl., Riverside, CA 92506.

Nine biographies posted at the new SABR BioProject

Nine new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,786 published biographies:

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

The upgraded BioProject also gives you the ability to search the full text of any biography we’ve published. Use the search bar that appears atop every biography to find any name or phrase that appears in the BioProject. And just click the words “SABR Baseball Biography Project” in the search bar to get back to the home page.

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.

Download your free SABR e-books: “Can He Play?” and “Run, Rabbit, Run”

You still have a few weeks left to download your free copy of our first two SABR Digital Library ( selections. Both of our books are being offered as free member downloads through February 29, 2012.

RUN, RABBIT, RUN: The Hilarious and Mostly True Tales of Rabbit Maranville is the unfinished autobiography of Hall of Fame infielder Walter “Rabbit” Maranville — one of baseball’s all-time funny characters. He was a star shortstop on the “Miracle” Boston Braves’ world championship team of 1914 and, despite his 5-foot-5 stature and weak bat, sometimes served as the team’s cleanup hitter in those Deadball Era days. He did compile 2,605 career hits, but it was his stellar defensive play that kept him in the major leagues for 23 colorful seasons with the Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and Chicago Cubs. At the urging of his daughter and sports writer Max Kase, Maranville put down on paper his collection of amusing anecdotes a year before his death in 1954, just weeks before his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. For decades, the stories were virtually unread until Dallas and Ralph Graber discovered the manuscript and brought it to SABR for resurrection. SABR originally published RUN, RABBIT, RUN in 1991 as a benefit for members, with an introduction by baseball historian Dr. Harold Seymour and a biographical essay on Maranville by Bob Carroll. The text and photographs in this newly published edition of RUN, RABBIT, RUN remain unchanged.

CAN HE PLAY? A Look At Baseball Scouts And Their Profession: They dig through tons of coal to find a single diamond. They spend countless hours traveling miles and miles on lonely back roads and way too much time in hotels. Their front offices expect them to constantly provide player reports and updates. So much of their time is spent away from family and friends, missing birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Their best friend is Rand McNally. Always asking the question, “CAN HE PLAY?” Such is the life of a professional scout. CAN HE PLAY? collects the contributions of 26 members of the Society for American Baseball Research 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.

Kindle users: Having trouble downloading a SABR e-book to your device? Visit for assistance.

To learn more about the SABR Digital Library, visit To learn more about all SABR Publications, contact Cecilia Tan at

Lahman Baseball Database now available for download

Good news for researchers this week: The updated version of SABR member Sean Lahman’s Baseball Database is now available for download at Available in several database formats, including Microsoft Access and comma-delimited versions, the Lahman Database includes individual and team stats for Major League Baseball seasons from 1871-2011, along with exhaustive data on awards, the Hall of Fame, the All-Star Game, and other information.

The Lahman Baseball Database enables people to do the kind of queries and analysis that traditional baseball encyclopedias and reference sources do not allow.

This marks the 20th year since Lahman first created the database and the 15th year since he first released it publicly. Sean writes: “Thanks to all of the folks who have helped make this release possible, especially Sean Forman, Tom Tango, John Rickert, and Dvd Avins. And thanks to all of the volunteers at the Baseball Databank for helping with the tedious but important work that keeps this effort going.”

SABR Research Exchange update for February 2012

A list of articles that have been recently added to the SABR Research Exchange can be viewed here:

All articles are available on request from Len Levin, 282 Doyle Ave., Providence, R.I. 02906-3355. The cost for copying and mailing is 12 cents a page for up to 99 pages, 11 cents a page for 100 or more pages.

You can contact Len at the postal address above, by phone at (401) 351-3278, or by e-mail at:

Len voluntarily administers the SABR Research Exchange, where members can send short bits of research like lists or charts, articles or stories that do not fit the Baseball Research Journal or The National Pastime. A complete list — including a fully text-searchable index — of the more than 4,500 articles in the Research Exchange is available here:

Can you solve Rick Swaine’s latest Baseball Crossword Puzzle?

SABR member Rick Swaine has been creating baseball crossword puzzles of varying difficulty and posting them every week on his website at

Try his latest one online by visiting

Find out about his new puzzles every week on the SABR Bulletin group at SABRNation, which you can access by clicking here:

In Memoriam

  • Al Gwinnell, 79, one of the Flame Delhi (Arizona) Chapter’s eight founding members, passed away on January 27, 2012. Al served as the chapter secretary for many years, and he was an avid Red Sox and Arizona State fan. He often attended SABR conventions and was an important contributing member of the Flame Delhi Chapter. He went into the hospital the day after Christmas and never recovered from respiratory problems. As per his wishes, his collection of baseball books is being donated to the Flame Delhi Chapter and will be part of the next chapter book sale. Services will be held in his hometown of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he will be laid to rest. Condolences can be sent to his wife Carol Gwinnell at 1296 E. Horseshoe Dr., Gilbert, AZ 85296. No phone calls please.
  • M. Dwight Burgess Jr., 64, of Glen Allen, Virginia, died on July 13, 2011. Often referred to as a “Renaissance Man” by those who knew him, Dwight held degrees in areas as diverse as chemistry, business, marketing and history. In addition to retiring from Dominion Virginia Power, after 26 years, in marketing and marketing research, Dwight worked as a forensic chemist, research consultant and spent many years as an adjunct professor with VCU, J. Sargeant Reynolds, the University of Richmond and the University of Maryland, where he first taught marketing classes, and for the past 10 years, European history. Each year for the past 23 years, Dwight and his dear friend, Bob, traveled to different major league baseball parks, a real love. Dwight and his beloved wife of 42 years, Eileen, traveled extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, visiting over 20 countries. They lived in various locations such as Germany, Dallas and Washington D.C. In addition to travel, Dwight and Eileen shared a deep love for Wirehaired Dachshunds. A graveside service was held July 19 at Forest Lawn Cemetery. Donations may be made in his memory to the animal rescue organization of your choice.

We send our condolences to their families and friends. 

All “In Memoriam” notices are posted in the SABR Bulletin group here: Please send notices to Jacob Pomrenke at

Register for Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference

  • Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, April 20-21, Cooperstown, New York: Registration is now open for the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference at Conference registration is open to all SABR members and up to two non-SABR family members or friends (18 years or older). There are also “Welcoming Dinner”, “Luncheon Only” and “Post Conference Gathering” registration options. Registration will continue until April 10, 2012, or space is filled, whichever comes first. Click here to download a Registration Form in the Nineteenth Century Committee’s Winter 2012 newsletter. Registrations can be accepted by mail only. Submit your research presentation abstracts by February 15, 2012. Conference attendees who are baseball authors will have an opportunity to submit their books when registering so that the Hall of Fame bookstore can stock their book for purchase and for signing.
  • 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. Submit your research presentation abstracts 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.

Call for award nominations

  • McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award, due 2/15/2012: The McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award honors the authors of the best articles on baseball history or biography completed or published during the preceding calendar year. A $200 cash award accompanies the honor. To submit a nomination for the 2011 awards, please send back this downloadable nominating form plus FIVE (5) copies of the work by February 15, 2012, to: (e-mail); or (mail) Len Levin, 282 Doyle Ave., Providence, RI 02906-3355.

Chapter meeting recaps

Upcoming SABR events:

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In other recent SABR news:

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Originally published: February 10, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.