This Week in SABR: February 15, 2019

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Click here to view this week’s newsletter on the web. Please note: The SABR office will be closed on Monday, February 18 for the Presidents Day holiday. Here’s what we’ve been up to as of February 15, 2019:

SABR announces 2019 Henry Chadwick Award recipients

SABR is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award, established to honor the game’s great researchers — historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists — for their invaluable contributions to making baseball the game that links America’s present with its past.

The 2019 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are:

  • Leonard Koppett, a long-time sportswriter known for his intellectual rigor and evidence-based analysis, and the author of 22 sports books, including A Thinking Man’s Guide to Baseball, The Man in the Dugout, and Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball
  • Rob Neyer, the first widely read, sabermetrically savvy writer on the Internet, and the author of seven baseball books, including the award-winning The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers and, most recently, Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game.
  • Allan Roth, the first statistician to be employed full-time by a majorleague team; he was hired as Branch Rickey’s right-hand man with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and remained there until 1964 after the team’s move to Los Angeles.

Click here to read the full announcement at

For a complete list of Chadwick Award winners, click here.

Announcing more speakers for the 2019 SABR Analytics Conference

We are pleased to announce more of our featured speakers and panelists at the eighth annual SABR Analytics Conference, presented by MLB and KinaTrax in Phoenix, Arizona.

The SABR Analytics Conference will be held Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix. The conference is open to all baseball fans. Click here to register!

Here is some more information about our featured speakers:

  • Emilee Fragapane, Baseball Operations Coordinator with the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Ben Jedlovec, Director of Engineering, Data Quality, for Major League Baseball
  • Scott Radinsky, longtime pitching/bullpen coach and former major-league pitcher for 11 seasons
  • Joe Rosales, Vice President of Research and Development for Baseball Info Solutions 
  • Julian Volyn, Co-Founder and Chief of Product for TrinityVR

They will join our other featured speakers, who are expected to include: Our All-Star lineup of speakers is expected to include: Jason Benetti, Chicago White Sox broadcaster; Steve Berthiaume and Mike Ferrin, Arizona Diamondbacks broadcasters; Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball; Dr. Steven Cadavid of KinaTrax; Seth Daniels of Rapsodo; John Dewan of Baseball Info Solutions; Vince Gennaro, SABR President; Rob Neyer, author of Power Ball: Anatomy of a Modern Baseball Game and host of the new weekly podcast, SABRcast with Rob Neyer; Carlos Peña of MLB Network; Eduardo Perez of ESPN; Travis Petersen, Daren Willman, Mike Petriello, Greg Cain, and Cory Schwartz of MLB Advanced Media; Dr. Lee Picariello of Mindful Athlete Training; Eno Sarris of The Athletic; and more to be announced soon.

Click here to learn more about our speakers and panelists. Please note: All speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

For more information, visit

2019 SABR Analytics Conference research presentations

SABR and Baseball Info Solutions are pleased to announce the research presentations for the eighth annual SABR Analytics Conference, presented by MLB and KinaTrax, which will be held March 8-10, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Full abstracts and presenter bios will be posted online soon.

  • Kevin Antonevich, “Pitch Sequence Optimization in Major League Baseball”
  • Daniel Calzada, “DeepBall: Modeling Expectation and Uncertainty with Recurrent Neural Networks”
  • Vince Gennaro, “Impact of Pitch Sequencing: The Effective Velocity Approach”
  • Rohan Gupta, “Introducing Pitch Score, Pitch Matrices, and Rapscore”
  • Clinton Hausman, Michael Shames, and Bradley Waddell, “Optimal Fielder Positioning Model”
  • Glenn Healey, “Spin Signatures for Pitcher Evaluation and Development”
  • Jonathan Judge, “A Theory of Expected Performance”
  • Ayane Kusafuka, “The Relationship Between Release Parameters and Pitch Location in Baseball Pitching”
  • Andrew Kyne, “Wall Balls: Incorporating the Outfield Wall into Defensive Runs Saved”
  • Rob Mains, “Modern Roster Construction, Payroll Considerations, and the Next Collective Bargaining Agreement”
  • Alan Nathan, “Optimizing the Swing: A Physics-Based Approach”
  • Brian Reiff, “The Effectiveness of Strategic Outfield Positioning”

For more information, or to register for the conference, visit

Still time to register for the 2019 SABR Analytics Conference

Join us for the eighth annual SABR Analytics Conference, presented by MLB and KinaTrax, on Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, where we’ll bring together the top minds in the baseball analytics community to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball. All baseball fans are welcome to attend. Register today to join us!

The Analytics Conference schedule consists of a combination of Guest Speakers, Panels, and Research Presentations — plus the unique Diamond Dollars Case Competition, in which undergraduate, graduate and law school students from across the country analyze and present a real baseball operations decision.

For more information on the 2019 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Renew your membership by February 28 to receive the SABR Baseball Research Journal

For those of you whose memberships expired recently, there’s still a little time left to renew and be a part of the SABR community again in 2019. If you’ve already renewed, we thank you for your support and look forward to another exciting year ahead.

Renew now to receive the Spring 2019 edition of the Baseball Research Journal, plus discounts on registration to the 2019 SABR Analytics Conference and SABR 49 in San Diego, and a lot more! Please note: We MUST receive your dues by February 28, 2019, in order for you to receive the upcoming BRJ.

  • Here’s how to renew: You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 496-1463; or by mailing this downloadable PDF form and your payment to the SABR office at Cronkite School at ASU, 555 N. Central Ave. #416, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: $65 for an annual membership or $45 for anyone under 30 or over 65. Click here for a full list of SABR membership benefits.

SABR Digital Library: The Team that Couldn’t Hit: The 1972 Texas Rangers

Add a brand-new baseball book from the SABR Digital Library to your collection this season:

The Team that Couldn’t Hit: The 1972 Texas Rangers
Edited by Steve West and Bill Nowlin
Associate editors: Len Levin and Carl Riechers

ISBN (paperback): 978-1-9438-1693-4
, $29.95
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-9438-1692-7,
414 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

The 1972 Texas Rangers were a culmination of decades of trying to get a major-league team in Dallas-Fort Worth. The area has a long history with baseball, going back to the 1800s, and minor-league teams played in both cities right up until the Rangers arrived with Ted Williams at the helm.  

High expectations were quickly dashed. Just how bad were those early Rangers teams? When reporter Mike Shropshire wrote a book about covering the Rangers from 1973 to ’75, he titled it Seasons In Hell. Twenty years later, the Rangers still hadn’t made the playoffs. Counting the decade when the franchise was known as the Washington Senators, the team did not go to the playoffs for the first 35 years of its existence.  

So why write a book about the 1972 Texas Rangers, perhaps the worst team in club history? Because they’re the start of that history. Articles in this book cover the effort to bring a team to North Texas and the story of Tom Vandergriff, the man now known as “the father of the Rangers.” Biographies of every man to play — or coach — for the 1972 team are presented, including Frank Howard, Larry Bittner, Horacio Pina and Tom Grieve, and broadcasters Don Drysdale and Bill Mercer. Owner Bob Short and Arlington Stadium itself are given full write-ups as well.  

This book is the collaborative work of 46 SABR members. Contributors include: Marc Z. Aaron, Mark Armour, John Bennett, Robert W. Bigelow, Maurice Bouchard, Bruce Bumbalough, Frederick “Rick” Bush, Bo Carter, Greg Chandler, Alan Cohen, Rory Costello, Dan Fields, Paul Geisler, Joseph Gerard, Charlie Grassl, Chip Greene, Paul Hofmann, Chris Holaday, Mike Huber, Gordon Janis, Chris Jones, Maxwell Kates, Duane Keilstrup, Norm King, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Francisco Rodriguez Lozano, Chad Moody, Bill Nowlin, Will Osgood, Carl Riechers, C. Paul Rogers III, Ray Rossi, Kris Rutherford, Rick Schabowski, William Schneider, David E. Skelton, Mark S. Sternman, Joe Stroop, Wayne Strumpfer, Clayton Trutor, Dale Voiss, Joseph Wancho, Steve West, Bob Whelan, Gregory H. Wolf, and Don Zminda.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

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.

Vote now in 2019 Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend primary election

2019 is here and it’s time to start the ball rolling as we choose our Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend of the year.

Last year, Dummy Hoy (pictured at right) joined previous winners Pete Browning (2009), Hall of Famer Deacon White (2010), Harry Stovey (2011), Bill Dahlen (2012), Ross Barnes (2013), Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams (2014), Tony Mullane (2015), Jack Glasscock (2016), and Bob Caruthers (2017) as SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends.

The preliminary voting process, which we call the Overlooked Primary Election, will consist of each voter selecting 10 names from the list of 25 candidates. The top 10 will be presented to the SABR membership later this spring, when all members will be able to vote in the final election. The winner will be announced at the SABR 49 convention this summer in San Diego.

Click here to download a PDF file with the 25 candidates for 2019 and a brief explanation of their baseball accomplishments and/or contributions to our national pastime.

The voting in the Overlooked Primary Election will end at 11:59 p.m. MST on Monday, March 4, 2019.

To vote in the Primary Election, you must be a member of the Nineteenth Century Committee. Click here to join the group and then you can request a copy of the ballot from Adam Darowski.

Early registration is now open for SABR 49 in San Diego

We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a spectacular SABR 49 convention this summer in San Diego. Conference and hotel registration is now available at

Click here for more information on the SABR 49 All-Inclusive Package, Early-Bird Registration, and optional sessions. Click here to register for SABR 49.

  • Registration: Click here for complete information on the SABR 49 All-Inclusive Package, Early-Bird Registration, and optional sessions. Or click here to register for SABR 49! We’re again offering a special All-Inclusive Package for the annual SABR convention. For the $369 all-inclusive rate, SABR members can get:
    — Full registration to SABR 49 in San Diego (early-bird: $289; regular rate: $319)
    — 1 ticket in the Upper Infield Reserved (1B) section to the Padres vs. Cardinals game on Friday, June 28 at Petco Park ($24 value)
    — 1 ticket to the Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 28 ($70 value)
    — 1 exclusive SABR 49 convention logo lapel pin
    — 2 complimentary Continental breakfasts on Thursday and Friday mornings*
    *The Continental breakfast benefit is only available when you register for the All-Inclusive Package.
    Non-members can pay $399 for the All-Inclusive Package; the deadline to register is Monday, May 6, 2019.
  • Hotel: The special SABR group rate at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego of $224/night (single rate) or $254/night (double rate) is only available to registered convention attendees. After you register for the SABR 49 convention, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with details on how to book your hotel room at the SABR group rate. If you do not receive your confirmation email after registering, please contact Deb Jayne at There are a limited number of rooms in our group block, so be sure to register for SABR 49 early!
  • Awards Luncheon: SABR will host a special Awards Luncheon on Friday, June 28 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. The Awards Luncheon, which includes a meal, will feature the announcement of SABR’s annual awards — including the Bob Davids Award, our highest honor. One ticket to the Awards Luncheon is included in the all-inclusive package or guest tickets are available for $70 when you register for SABR 49.
  • Research presentations: SABR invites all members to present their research findings to their colleagues attending SABR 49. The deadline to submit your abstract is Sunday, February 24, 2019. Click here for complete details and application form.
  • Yoseloff Scholarship: Students, click here to learn more about a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 49 in San Diego. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 29, 2019.

Visit to learn more or to register for the SABR 49 convention.

SABR 49: Two weeks left to submit your presentation abstract

SABR invites all members to present their research findings to their colleagues attending SABR 49, the 2019 annual convention in San Diego.

Through on-site judging, the most highly-regarded presentations will receive the Doug Pappas Award for best oral presentation and the SABR Convention Poster Presentation Award for best poster presentation.

The submission deadline for SABR 49 abstracts is midnight PST on Sunday, February 24, 2019.

Click here for complete details and submission criteria.

Students, apply now for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 49 in San Diego

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to high school or college students to attend SABR 49 on June 26-30, 2019, in San Diego. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging (double occupancy) up to a total value of $1,250.

The objective of this scholarship fund is to encourage high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR.

All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at no later than Friday, March 29, 2019.

Click here for complete details and submission criteria.

Call for nominations: 2019 SABR Board of Directors election

The SABR Nominating Committee seeks nominations for candidates for the 2019 elections. All candidates for the Board of Directors must have been members of the Society for at least the preceding four years to be eligible for election. Deadline for nominations is February 28, 2019. Nominees must prepare a Candidate Statement Form following guidelines that will be available from any Nominating Committee member. The Candidate Statement Form must be received by the Nominating Committee chair no later than March 15.

The offices to be filled:

  • President (2-year term; currently Vince Gennaro)
  • Director (3-year term; currently Chris Dial)
  • Director (3-year term; currently Bill Nowlin)

Self-nominations are welcome. If you would like to nominate yourself or another candidate or suggest a question for the candidates, contact Nominating Committee chair Neal Traven at

Click here to read the full announcement at

SABR to launch new baseball podcast in 2019: SABRcast with Rob Neyer

Baseball fans, tune in this season to SABRcast with Rob Neyer, a new weekly podcast hosted by award-winning author and longtime SABR member Rob Neyer.

SABRcast, which will launch around Opening Day in the spring of 2019, will feature insights and analysis of what’s happening in modern baseball on and off the field, plus compelling interviews with figures from around the game — and music from The Baseball Project.

Click here to read the full announcement at

New team ownership history: Kansas City Royals

The SABR Team Ownership Histories Project is a joint effort of SABR’s Business of Baseball Committee and the BioProject. The intention is to keep its essays up-to-date and to provide as much detail as possible about the organization and composition of ownership groups, franchise sales, relocations, stadiums, and other issues that provide the financial context for team success on the field.

One new article was published this week:

Click here to read all published team ownership histories at

The project also includes a new section on the defunct franchises in major-league history, beginning with Charlie Bevis’s articles on the Boston Unions (1884) and the Worcester Nationals (1880-82). We will be publishing more articles on defunct major-league franchises from the National Association, National League, American Association, Union Association, Players League, and Federal League

Some team articles have been assigned, but anyone who wishes to contribute is encouraged to contact Andy McCue at The project is also looking for authors interested in writing the ownership history of the Milwaukee and/or Atlanta Braves, all versions of the Athletics, the Angels, Brewers, Nationals, Padres, Pirates, Rockies, Orioles, and Rays. Thanks to Len Levin for his work in copy editing all of these essays. To learn more or to read the author guidelines, click here.

3 new SABR biographies published

Three new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 4,789 published biographies. Here are the new bios published this week:

All new biographies can be found here:

1 new story published by the SABR Games Project

One new game story was posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here is the new game story:

New Games Project stories can be found at Find all published Games Project articles at

Read all stories from the Pittsburgh Pirates greatest games book at the SABR Games Project

In Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates, published by SABR in 2018 and edited by Jorge Iber and Bill Nowlin, we explored some of the most memorable games in Bucs history, from no-hitters to World Series-winning homers to the last tripleheader ever played in major-league baseball. Famous Pirates like Honus Wagner and Roberto Clemente — and infamous ones like Dock Ellis — make their appearances on the field, as well as recent stars like Andrew McCutchen.

All of the stories from Moments of Joy and Heartbreak can now be found online at the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories from the book posted this week:

To read more stories from the Pittsburgh Pirates greatest games book at the SABR Games Project, click here.

Listen to a new episode of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, is back for the Hot Stove League offseason at a new time, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET on Sundays, on MLB Network Radio.

This week’s guests are SABR member Ben Jedlovec of Major League Baseball and Harry Pavlidis of Baseball Prospectus.

You can also listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App. Click here to learn more. 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.

Register for the 2019 Southern Association Conference in Birmingham

SABR’s Rickwood Field Chapter announces the 16th annual Southern Association Conference, which will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Southern Association and the history of baseball in the South, the conference will take place from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at historic Rickwood Field, located at 1137 2nd Avenue West, Birmingham, AL 35204.

The cost is $35 per person, and a snack breakfast and full lunch is included. Contact David Brewer or Clarence Watkins with questions or if you are interested in giving a presentation.

ICYMI: Highlights from last week’s This Week in SABR

We’ve heard your feedback: Some of you have said you look forward to “This Week in SABR” every Friday, but sometimes there are just too many compelling articles and announcements to read every week. We’re not complaining — hey, keep up the great work! — but we know the feeling. So in an effort to make the length of this newsletter more manageable to read, we’ll summarize some of the repeating/recurring announcements in a special “In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)” section of “This Week in SABR”.

Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don’t want you to miss:

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

Welcome, new members!

We’d like to welcome all of our new SABR members who have joined this week. You can find all Members-Only resources at and the Membership Handbook can be downloaded here.

Please give these new members a warm welcome and help them make the most of their membership by giving them the opportunity to get involved in their local chapter or a research committee.

You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Jaime Antonio Mesa, AZ     Brandon Kraft Austin, TX
Christopher Black Carlsbad, CA     Joseph Krajc Davenport, FL
Frank Boesch Bedminster, NJ     Ayane Kusafuka Tokyo, JPN
Bill Chuirazzi Idaho Falls, ID     Glenn Lewandos Mt. Pleasant, MI
Richard Davis Lynchburg, OH     Robert Maisano Lake View, NY
Brandon Day Fort Gratiot, MI     Kenneth Mayer Henderson, NV
Wesley Ellenwood St. Paul, MN     Eric Nusbaum Culver City, CA
Bill Fischer New York, NY     Forrest Peiper St. Louis Park, MN
Matthew Gantzer Bay Village, OH     Thomas Rogers Phoenix, AZ
Stephen Geraghty Columbus, OH     Roger Smith Ashland City, TN
Richard Harris Cranston, RI     Kyle Stich Rochester, NY
Jon Henson Tiverton, RI     Jason Stubbs Northport, ME
Dan Hill Moline, IL     Gregory Szarpa Sloan, NY
Russell Hiller Birmingham, AL     Robert Whittington New York, NY
William Horsey Novato, CA     Chris Wolff Chicago, IL
Doug Hustis Centennial, CO     Dana Yost Morris, MN


Research Committee news

Here are the new research committee updates this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:

  • SABR Day highlights! Check out more stories and photos from SABR Day events around the globe at
  • Magnolia Chapter: Follow along with updates from the Atlanta-based Magnolia Chapter on Twitter at @MagnoliaSABR. For a complete list of SABR chapters and committees on social media, click here.

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming events on the SABR calendar:

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

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

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Originally published: February 15, 2019. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.