This Week in SABR: February 19, 2016

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Click here to view this week’s newsletter on the web. Here’s what we’ve been up to as of February 19, 2016:

SABR announces 2016 Henry Chadwick Award recipients

The Society for American Baseball Research is pleased to announce the 2016 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 2016 recipients of the Henry Chadwick Award are:

  • John Dewan (1954 – ): John Dewan has spent his career bringing sports statistics to baseball fans and analysts starved for information. First as the executive director of Project Scoresheet, then as a co-founder and CEO of STATS, Inc., and once more as the principal owner of Baseball Info Solutions, John has time and again led the creation of the systems and techniques necessary to collect accurate, comprehensive and timely baseball data. As CEO of STATS Inc, John led STATS’ transition from a small organization serving a handful of teams to the primary sports-data provider of the Internet age, compiling nearly every number imaginable in real-time. After selling STATS in 2000, Dewan returned to baseball data in 2002, co-creating Baseball Info Solutions; he now serves as CEO. The company’s Defensive Runs Saved and underlying defensive data, along with their four volumes of The Fielding Bible in the last 10 years, are widely viewed as the best publicly available sources of defensive data. 
  • Larry Lester (1949 – ): For more than 25 years, Larry Lester has done as much as anyone to recognize and promote the historical significance of the Negro Leagues and their players. Lester co-founded Kansas City’s Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and served as Research Director and Treasurer from 1991 through 1995. From 2001 through 2004, Lester co-chaired the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum’s groundbreaking “Out of the Shadows” project, which unearthed huge amounts of new data about Negro Leagues baseball. As the chairman of SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, Lester organizes the annual Jerry Malloy Conference. He has also written or co-written many of the seminal works about the Negro Leagues, including books about the East-West All-Star Game; Rube Foster; black baseball in Detroit, Kansas City, Chicago, and Pittsburgh; and black baseball’s first World Series. Simply put, it’s difficult to imagine the state of Negro Leagues research today without Larry Lester.
  • Norman Macht (1929 –  ): Honoring octogenarian Norman Macht might well seem a long time coming. But it might also seem appropriate, since it comes just a few short months after publication of the third and final volume of his biography of Connie Mack, an endeavor that demanded over 30 years of research, writing, effort, and love. The product of Macht’s effort is the definitive biography of one of baseball history’s giants, the first volume of which won the Larry Ritter Award from SABR’s Deadball Era Committee in 2008. Macht’s association with the game goes back to his work in minor-league front offices and as a statistical assistant to Frick Award-winning broadcaster Ernie Harwell, and he also contributed to the autobiographies of Dick Bartell and Rex Barney. A member of SABR since 1985, Macht served as treasurer and secretary while serving on the Board of Directors; he’s also responsible for helping found the organization’s Oral History and Scouts research committees.
  • Tom Ruane (1954 – ): A prized member of the SABR family for more than 25 years, Tom Ruane’s broad knowledge and interests have allowed him to contribute to many committees, especially Baseball Records, Statistical Analysis, Biographical Research, and the Biography Project. He received the Bob Davids Award, SABR’s highest individual honor, in 2009. A longtime board member and stalwart of Retrosheet, Tom has been involved in many of its most noteworthy efforts, including the design and implementation of its website. While Retrosheet had already served a valuable role in the research community, it was Tom’s extensively linked site which made it a prized tool for the masses. He led a group of volunteers to create box scores using official dailies and newspaper accounts, an effort requiring painstaking diligence and persistence that has led to Retrosheet having a complete set of box scores dating back to the early 20th century.

By honoring individuals for the length and breadth of their contribution to the study and enjoyment of baseball, the Chadwick Award will educate the baseball community about sometimes little known but vastly important contributions from the game’s past and thus encourage the next generation of researchers.

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

2016 SABR Analytics: Register now to join us!

The fifth annual SABR Analytics Conference is less than one month away and there’s still time to register! Once again, we’re bringing together the top minds of the baseball analytic community under one roof to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.

Click here for a full schedule of the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference. The schedule will consist 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.

  • Conference registration is available now at the SABR Store. Click here to register! The conference is open to all baseball fans. The full registration rate is $595 for SABR members and $695 for nonmembers, or $350 for currently enrolled high school or college students (includes one-year membership to SABR). Please note: The early-registration discount has now expired.
  • Hotel: The 2016 SABR Analytics Conference will be held Thursday, March 10 through Saturday, March 12 at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Visit or call (602) 252-1234 to book your room. Please note: The special SABR discounted group rate has now expired.
  • Schedule: Click here for a complete schedule of the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference.

Our featured speakers and panelists are expected to include: Derrick Hall, President/CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks; Dick Williams, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Cincinnati Reds; Billy Eppler, General Manager, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; former major-leaguers Aaron Boone, Alex Cora, and Dallas Braden of ESPN and Eric Byrnes of MLB Network; Brian Kenny of MLB Network; Ken Rosenthal, MLB Network and; John Dewan; owner, Baseball Info Solutions; broadcaster Mike Ferrin of the Arizona Diamondbacks and MLB Network Radio; front-office executives Nick Ennis of the San Diego Padres, Sarah Gelles of the Baltimore Orioles, and Yeshayah Goldfarb of the San Francisco Giants; SABR President Vince Gennaro; Dan Migala of Property Consulting Group; Eno Sarris of FanGraphs; and Michael Bentley of Blast Motion as featured speakers at the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference.

Visit for more information.

2016 SABR Analytics Conference research presentations

We are pleased to announce the research presentation abstracts and presenter bios for the fifth annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 10-12, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.

Click here to read the presentation abstracts and bios. The full conference schedule is available at

Thursday, March 10

  • RP1: Jason Sherwin, “How The Brain Hits, And Where We See It On The Field”
  • RP2: Scott Spratt, “Splitting Range, Positioning, and Throwing in Defense”

Friday, March 11

  • RP3: Jonathan Judge, “Measuring Performance Better and Sooner”
  • RP4: Joe Rosales, “Quantifying the Impact of Injuries on Playing Time and Performance”
  • *RP5: Robert Brustad, “Hidden Gold on the Diamond? The Contribution of the Relative Age Effect to Talent Estimation Errors of High School Players in the June MLB Draft”
  • *RP6: Scott Powers and Eli Shayer, “True wOBA: Estimation of True Talent Level for Batters”

Saturday, March 12

  • RP7: Rob Arthur, “Hot & Cold Streaks Using Batted Ball Velocities”
  • RP8: Brian Cartwright, “Solving DIPS by Deconstructing BABIP”
  • *RP9: Jim Albert, “Component Predictions of Batting and Pitching Measures”
  • *RP10: Lindsay Parr, “The Stolen Base”
  • *RP11: Rob Mains, “Unintended Consequences of Rising Strikeout Rates”

* Presented by Baseball Info Solutions

Visit for more information.

New speakers added for 2016 SABR Analytics Conference

Two additional speakers have also been added for the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference:

  • Corrine Vitolo, CEO of SmartSports, will join the Technology Panel with Blast Motion founder Michael Bentley and moderator Vince Gennaro, SABR President. That panel is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Friday, March 11.
  • Caleb Peiffer, the Seattle Mariners’ Manager of Baseball Operations, will join the Defensive Metrics Panel along with ESPN analyst Alex Cora and Baseball Info Solutions owner John Dewan. That panel, moderated by Mike Ferrin of the Arizona Diamondbacks/MLB Network Radio, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 12. 

Click here for a complete list of speakers, panelists, and presenters at the SABR Analytics Conference.

Early registration now open for SABR 46 in Miami

We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a spectacular SABR 46 convention, July 27-31, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Miami in downtown Miami, Florida.

  • Registration: Click here for complete information on SABR 46 registration rates, all-inclusive packages, and optional sessions. Or click here to register for SABR 46! More details on guest speakers, panelists, and presenters will be announced soon. We’re again offering a special all-inclusive rate for the annual SABR convention. SABR members can pay $269 for an all-inclusive package that includes full registration to SABR 46, a premium Home Plate Box ticket to the Miami Marlins game on Friday, July 29 (includes special pregame ballpark session/tour and roundtrip bus transportation), and one ticket to the Awards Luncheon — the package is a savings of $40 off the regular rate. Non-members can pay $299 for the all-inclusive rate. The deadline to register at the all-inclusive rate is Monday, June 13, 2016.
  • Hotel: Don’t forget to book your hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Miami; our room block usually goes quickly. Click here to book your room online. The deadline to book your room at the SABR group rate of $129/night (plus tax) is Monday, June 13, 2016. If you have any questions about your reservation, please call the hotel at (305) 358-1234.
  • Pregame ballpark session/tour: SABR 46 attendees will have a special opportunity to visit Marlins Park for an exclusive pregame ballpark session with Miami Marlins executives and players. Before the Marlins 7:10 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 29, a special SABR 46 panel discussion will take place at Marlins Park followed by a ballpark tour for convention attendees. Guest speakers and more details will be announced soon. Purchase of SABR 46 conference registration AND a game ticket will be required to attend this special session. A SABR 46 Marlins game ticket also includes roundtrip bus transportation. Click here to learn more.
  • Pre-order your SABR logo shirts, caps, or souvenir baseballs: Avoid the rush at registration, and pre-order your SABR logo polo shirt, T-shirt, baseball caps, or souvenir crystal baseball online when you register for SABR 46. Please indicate shirt size (adult S to XXXL) when you register. Caps are one-size-fit-most. Your items will be available to be picked up when you arrive at the SABR convention. The souvenir baseballs are crystal paperweights measuring about 3 inches around, with an embossed SABR logo in the center. Deadline to pre-order: Monday, June 13, 2016.

All SABR 46 attendees will also receive a souvenir print edition of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, focusing on baseball teams, players and events in the Miami area. All SABR members, whether you attend the convention or not, will receive the expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime in their inboxes later this summer. Click here to register for SABR 46.

SABR 46: Join us for a special pregame ballpark session and tour

Attendees at the SABR 46 convention this summer in Miami will have a special opportunity to visit Marlins Park for an exclusive pregame ballpark session with Miami Marlins executives and players.

Before the Marlins 7:10 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, July 29, 2016, a special SABR 46 panel discussion will take place at Marlins Park followed by a ballpark tour for convention attendees. Guest speakers and more details will be announced soon.

Purchase of SABR 46 conference registration AND a game ticket will be required to attend this special session. A SABR 46 Marlins game ticket also includes roundtrip bus transportation. Registration for the 2016 SABR convention is now available at

Click here to learn more.

SABR 46: Call for presentations

SABR invites all members to present their research findings to their colleagues attending SABR 46, the 2016 annual convention on July 27-31 in Miami, Florida.

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. 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 46 abstracts is midnight PST, Sunday, MARCH 13, 2016. Click here for complete details and criteria.

Submit abstracts to, the research presentations address for SABR 46. You may also use the alternate address

Please note: If your abstract is accepted and you intend to make a research presentation, you must register to attend the SABR 46 convention. Registration and hotel information for SABR 46 is now available at

Mort Zachter’s Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life wins 2016 Ron Gabriel Award

Gil Hodges: A Hall of Fame Life, written by Mort Zachter and published by the University of Nebraska Press, has been selected as the winner of the Ron Gabriel Award in 2016.

Zachter, a Brooklyn native who lives in Princeton, New Jersey, will be honored at the SABR 46 convention, July 27-31, 2016, in Miami. Click here to register.

The Ron Gabriel Award annually 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.

Honorable mention was given to the following books:

  • Our Bums: The Brooklyn Dodgers in History, Memory and Popular Culture, by David Krell (McFarland & Co.)
  • Tearin’ up the Pea Patch: The Brooklyn Dodgers, 1953, by Andrew Paul Mele (McFarland & Co.)
  • “There Used to be a Ballpark Right Here: Washington Park,” by Tom Shieber (Baseball Researcher)
  • Havana Hardball: Spring Training, Jackie Robinson, and The Cuban League, by Cesar Brioso (University Press of Florida)

To learn more about the Ron Gabriel Award, click here.

Renew your SABR membership by February 28 to receive the new 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 2016. 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 2016 edition of the Baseball Research Journal, plus discounts on registration to the 2016 SABR Analytics Conference and SABR 46 in Miami, and a lot more! Please note: We MUST receive your dues by February 28, 2016, 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) 496-1460; 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.
  • Logging in: If you’ve had trouble logging in this week, please try resetting your password using this link and then try again at the link above: We apologize for any inconvenience, but we appreciate your patience!

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: for this, you get two editions of the Baseball Research Journal, the expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime; 8-10 free e-books published by the SABR Digital Library; “This Week in SABR” every Friday; access to research resources such as Paper of Record (with complete archives of The Sporting News); discounts to all SABR conferences such as the National Convention (Miami 2016), the SABR Analytics Conference, the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, and the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference; and much, much more.

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

Want to receive your Baseball Research Journal in e-book format?

Once again, SABR is offering its members the opportunity to opt out of receiving the printed version of the Spring 2016 Baseball Research Journal. We’ll deliver the e-book version of the BRJ in the format of your choice (EPUB, MOBI/Kindle or PDF) straight to your inbox around Opening Day 2016. Click here to learn more about receiving the e-book edition of the BRJ.

Opt out of receiving the printed edition by February 28, 2016, in order to get early access to all the great content in the BRJ in e-book format and online at

  • To opt out of receiving the printed version of the Baseball Research Journal: Click here to edit your membership profile. Scroll to the bottom and select “Receive publications electronically.” Then save your changes.

Please note: If you do nothing, you will continue to receive two print editions of the Baseball Research Journal every year by mail.

If you’ve never read a Baseball Research Journal in e-book form, click here to try it out with the Spring 2015 edition. The Baseball Research Journal, and all SABR e-books, are available in EPUB, MOBI/Kindle or PDF formats.

Call for nominations: 2016 SABR Board of Directors election

The SABR Nominating Committee seeks nominations for candidates for the Spring 2016 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 26, 2016. 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 18, 2016.

The offices to be filled:

  • Vice-President (2-year term; currently Bill Nowlin)
  • Director (3-year term; currently Leslie Heaphy)
  • Director (3-year term; currently Chris Dial)

The Nominating Committee also seeks your input. Members are asked to submit office-specific questions for each of the offices open in this election. We also seek input on general questions for every nominee. Candidates will answer selected questions on the Candidate Statement Form. Regional Chapter leaders and Research Committee Chairs are especially encouraged to pass on this request to their respective members to better address member needs.

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

Update: 2016 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held in Kansas City

Late breaking news: The 2016 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference is going to Kansas City to celebrate the 110th birthday/anniversary of black baseball’s most prolific pitcher, Leroy “Satchel” Paige. Paige’s oldest son and daughter are planning to attend the Malloy to talk about their father and help us cut the cake.

Plans are under way to invite a few players, attend a Royals game, and enjoy some savory ribs. 

The dates are still the same as previously announced — July 7-9, 2016 — and the hotel will be the Overland Park Sheraton Hotel in Kansas. The early-bird rate is $119 per night; much better than last year’s rate of $189. So put us in your budget and travel plans.

More information is coming soon about how to register for the hotel and for the “best and biggest black baseball conference in America.” Check back at for more details.

— Larry Lester

SABR BioProject reaches 3,600 published biographies

Nine new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 3,600 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

2 new stories published by the SABR Games Project

Two new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:

All new Games Project stories can be found here: updates Negro Leagues Database with 1918-19 Cuban League stats

We are pleased to pass along this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at on February 17:

The 1918/19 Cuban winter season was the only time Tinti Molina’s Cuban Stars, normally a summertime traveling team in the United States, competed under that name for the regular Cuban League championship. (Molina would enter teams that were essentially his Cuban Stars in the league under different names: as the “White Sox” in 1916/17, and as “América” in 1919-20.) Nicknamed “Los Osos Tropicales” (the Tropical Bears), the Cuban Stars played fairly well but suffered from both bad luck and the absence of Cristóbal Torriente, the best player in Cuban history to that point. They finished well back of Habana in the first half of the split season. One of the highlights of their season occurred in a December 21, 1918, game against Almendares, when Bienvenido Jiménez stole 8 bases, and Bartolo Portuondo another 5. Their victims were Almendares pitcher Benito Marrero and the legendary (but aging) catcher Gervasio “Strike” González.

Read the full update here:

To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit

Listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a new radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, will return this weekend at its regular time, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Sundays, on MLB Network Radio.

You can listen to all recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

Baseball SABR Style 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.

For more information, click here.

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
Jon Bailey Boerne, TX     Lawrence Pelo Denver, CO
Samuel Benbow San Diego, CA     Ron Rapoport Santa Monica, CA
Michael Broe Cincinnati, OH     Joshua Robinson Scottsdale, AZ
Keith Dunn Johnstown, PA     Bill Robinson Barnegat, NJ
Kevin Ferris St. Petersburg, FL     Brody Roush Austin, TX
Matthew Gerke Lone Tree, CO     Joe San Diego Milpitas, CA
Dean Hanley Cincinnati, OH     Kwabena Sankofa Cleveland, OH
Andres Hernandez Hialeah, FL     Rob Schwark San Antonio, TX
John Hetzler Grosse Pte. Woods, MI     Keith Setz Mukwonago, WI
Mark Karabajakian Northville, MI     Curt Thompson N. Little Rock, AR
Bob McManus Seaford, NY     Robert Vokurka Village Mills, TX
Adam Nicholas Dallas, TX     John Wilson Reno, NV
Michael Ortiz Fort Worth, TX     David Witkowski Hanover, MD


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee updates this week:

  • Collegiate Baseball: Winter 2016 newsletter  (and Excel supplement)
  • Educational Resources: The SABR Educational Resources Committee is creating a Syllabi and Activity Depository to collect baseball related education materials. We are hoping in the near-future to create a database for people to search, and download these materials. We are asking that if you are teaching a “baseball course” (Introduction to Baseball Literature, etc.) or using baseball as an example to teach a particular topic to please share those materials with us. Please fill out one of our surveys — click here for the Syllabi form or click here for the Activity form — and then e-mail your activity or syllabi (in PDF format) to Tom Mueller at

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:

  • Juan Marichal Chapter meeting recap (February 17; Santo Domingo, DR)
  • Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap (February 16; Houston, TX)
  • Connecticut Smoky Joe Wood Chapter: Information on ordering the chapter’s new book, 100: The 100 Year Journey of a Baseball Journeyman, Mike Sandlock, can be found on the chapter website at Contributors include chapter members Don Harrison, Norman Hausmann, Alan Cohen, Steve Krevisky, Stan Dziurgot, Peter Seidel, Tom Monitto, and Karl Cicitto. The book will be available on Amazon for $14.95 plus shipping. SABR members can pre-order copies for $10 plus shipping by emailing Karl Cicitto at
  • SABR Day: Find highlights and photos from the 7th annual SABR Day at

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

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

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 19, 2016. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.