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 January 22, 2021:
It’s nearly impossible to overstate Henry Aaron’s greatness on and off the baseball field. His record of 755 home runs, shattering Babe Ruth’s iconic career mark while enduring relentless racist threats in the segregated Jim Crow South, transcended the game.
His quiet brilliance and proud spirit displayed over a 23-year Hall of Fame career with the Braves — who moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, the heart and headquarters of the Civil Rights Movement, in the mid-1960s — made him one of the most visible Black men in American society, an idol to millions of fans and generations of ballplayers before his death at the age of 86 on Friday, January 22.
On the field, Aaron set all-time records for home runs (since broken by Barry Bonds), RBIs (2,297), and total bases (6,856) as one of the most complete all-around players baseball has ever seen. He had power, speed, smarts, and durability, hitting more than 20 home runs in every season between 1955 and 1974 — the year he surpassed Ruth with his 715th home run. But if you took away all of Aaron’s 755 home runs, he still would have recorded more than 3,000 career hits.
Off the field, Henry Louis Aaron was born on February 5, 1934, and grew up as the son of sharecropper parents in Mobile, Alabama, a hotbed of Black baseball talent despite the indignities of the Jim Crow era. Five years after Jackie Robinson integrated the all-white major leagues, Aaron began his professional career in the Negro American League as a cross-handed-hitting teenager with the Indianapolis Clowns, hitting .366 in 26 games before he signed with the then-Boston Braves. The Braves sent him to spring training in Waycross, Georgia, and later to integrate the Southern Atlantic League as its first Black player at age 19.
SABR commemorates its 50th anniversary in 2021 and will launch its year-long celebration with SABR Day on Saturday, January 30. SABR Day will be hosted virtually around the globe for the first time, giving baseball fans a chance to come together — wherever they live — to share their love of the game.
The program will include conversations with broadcasting legend Bob Costas of MLB Network, with moderator Marty Appel, and National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum President Tim Mead, with moderator Bruce Markusen.
- Q&A: Visit SABR.org/sabrday to submit your questions of Bob and Tim in advance, and we will make every effort to have them answer as many as possible during their SABR Day sessions.
“We are honored and thrilled to have Bob Costas and Tim Mead join us for the first-ever virtual SABR Day,” SABR CEO Scott Bush said. “There is not a better way to lead off our Golden Anniversary and we excitedly look forward to sharing SABR with the entire baseball community.”
SABR Day registration is free for all SABR members. A $10 donation will be requested of non-members. Click here to register online. The virtual SABR Day program will run from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EST on January 30.
Early registration is open only through January 31 for the SABR Virtual Analytics Conference, which will be held over four days in online sessions from March 11-14, 2021. 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. Register today to join us!
Programming will run on Thursday and Friday evening from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Eastern, all day Saturday from 12:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern, and Sunday afternoon from 1:00-5:00 p.m. EDT.
- Registration: Click here to register for the 2021 SABR Virtual Analytics Conference. Early-bird registration is $75 for SABR members, $100 for non-members, and $50 for currently enrolled high school or college students (includes one-year SABR membership) through January 31, 2021. Students should email Scott Carter with a photo of their student ID to receive the discounted registration link.
- Diamond Dollars Virtual Case Competition: Register your team or learn more about the 2021 Diamond Dollars Virtual Case Competition.
- Research Awards: Finalists for the 2021 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards will be announced next week.
Stay tuned for more details on guest speakers, panelists, and presenters! Visit SABR.org/analytics to learn more.
The National Pastime is SABR’s annual summer journal, which since 2009 has been themed to the location of the SABR national convention. Last year’s theme was Baltimore, but the 2020 convention was pushed forward to 2021 due to the global pandemic — meaning that in 2021 we were free to explore a new thematic direction. We are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to expand and challenge our thinking and become Baseball Futurists.
The 2021 issue of The National Pastime will focus on the future through the lens of baseball. Just as baseball and its history is a reflection of the culture and society of the past and present, it can also serve as input, context, and/or predictor of plausible futures for sports in the United States and other countries. Tentatively subtitled The Future According to Baseball, this issue of The National Pastime will collect thought-provoking articles from a variety of disciplines.
This issue of The National Pastime will be co-edited by Marty Resnick and Cecilia Tan. Marty will be taking queries and abstracts until February 1, 2021. First drafts of articles will be due no later than March 8 and rewrites (if needed) will be due by April 15. To query, send an email to email@example.com with the subject line “TNP Query” and a key word or two on your subject.
SABR chapters and committees are encouraged to set up virtual meetings to stay engaged with our members throughout the world at SABR.org, as part of our Stay Home With SABR initiative to assist in limiting the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
- Can’t-Miss Event: On Saturday, January 23 from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST, the Bob Davids Chapter in Washington, DC, will hold its virtual SABR Day meeting with some very special guests expected — including the oldest living MLB player Eddie Robinson, Washington Nationals broadcaster Bob Carpenter, former Washington Senator Fred Valentine, author Brad Snyder, and Washington Post columnist Jerry Brewer. Click here to register for this free Zoom event.
- Video Replays: This week, we heard from International League president Randy Mobley, Ken Rosenthal and Zack Meisel of The Athletic and Cleveland Indians scout Clint Longenecker, The Hall Ball author Ralph Carhart, The Presidents and the Pastime author Curt Smith, baseball card artist Adam Korengold, and four Wisconsin-born MLB rookies: Kyle Cody (Rangers), J.P. Feyereisen (Brewers), Jonathan Stiever (White Sox), and Daulton Varsho (Diamondbacks).
Here are some more upcoming virtual events you can attend online; check the Events Calendar for complete details:
- January 23: NW Ohio Chapter meeting (9:00 a.m. EST)
- January 23: Bob Davids Chapter meeting with Eddie Robinson, Bob Carpenter, Fred Valentine, Brad Snyder, and Jerry Brewer (9:30 a.m. EST)
- January 23: Josh Gibson Foundation speaker series with Ted Knorr (10:00 a.m. EST)
- January 23: Schott-Pelican (New Orleans) Chapter meeting (10:00 a.m. CST)
- January 23: Carolina Chapter meeting with Ralph Carhart (1:30 p.m. EST)
- January 23: Baseball Reminiscence meeting (4:00 p.m. EST)
- January 25: Elysian Fields (N.J.) Chapter meeting with Ron Schweiger (9:00 p.m. EST)
- January 26: Luke Easter (N.Y.) Chapter meeting with Luke Erickson, Britt Ghiroli, and Byron Kerr (7:30 p.m. EST)
- January 26: Gardner-Waterman Vermont Chapter meeting with Carl Backman (7:30 p.m. EST)
- January 28: Oscar Charleston (Indiana) Chapter meeting with Howard Kellman, Kimberly Parkhurst, and Andrew Heckroth (6:30 p.m. EST)
- January 28: Larry Doby (S.C.) Chapter meeting (7:00 p.m. EST)
- January 30: Elysian Fields (N.J.) Chapter meeting with Matt Silverman, Bill Nowlin, Jim Gates, Lyle Spatz, Peter Golenbock, Ouisie Shapiro, and John Florio (9:00 a.m. EST)
- January 30: Southern Michigan Chapter meeting with Gary Gillette, Chuck Klonke, Larry Paladino, Roger Castillo, Jason Beck, and Evan Woodberry (11:00 a.m. EST)
- January 30: Rogers Hornsby (Texas) Chapter meeting (11:00 a.m. CST)
- January 30: National SABR Day with Bob Costas and Tim Mead (2:00 p.m. EST)
Find more upcoming virtual meetings on our SABR Events Calendar page.
Click here to view replays of hundreds of recorded SABR virtual events.
“I never wanted to be a superstar, or the highest paid player,” Don Sutton said. “[A]ll I wanted was to be appreciated for the fact that I was consistent, dependable, and you could count on me.”1 By that measure, Sutton achieved his goal and more, as few pitchers in baseball history were as reliable, and as healthy, for as long as the right-hander.
During his 23-year major-league career with the Los Angeles Dodgers and four other teams from 1966 to 1988, Sutton logged at least 200 innings in 20 of his first 21 seasons, a remarkable stretch interrupted only by the strike-shortened campaign of 1981; and struck out at least 100 batters in 21 straight seasons, a feat subsequently duplicated only by Nolan Ryan, Greg Maddux, and Roger Clemens.
Sutton’s 324 wins, 58 shutouts, 3,574 strikeouts, and 5,000-plus innings pitched secured his enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998. The outspoken, cerebral competitor spent the rest of his life as a respected baseball broadcaster, calling games mostly for the Atlanta Braves for nearly three decades until his death at the age of 75 on January 18, 2021.
- Bill Shaikin: Dodgers Hall of Fame ironman pitcher Don Sutton dies at 75 (Los Angeles Times)
- Jay Jaffe: Remembering Durable Don Sutton (1945-2021), the Ultimate Compiler (FanGraphs)
- Steven Goldman: Don Sutton Fields Forever (Baseball Prospectus)
- Tyler Kepner: Don Sutton Had an ‘Easy Job’ Thanks to a Lifetime of Hard Work (New York Times)
- Mark Bowman: Braves forever grateful for Sutton’s impact (MLB.com)
SABR’s Baseball and the Arts Committee looks forward to presenting the third edition of Turnstyle: The SABR Journal of Baseball Arts, an offering of baseball art and literature. The deadline for submissions for Volume 3 is April 1, 2021. Please submit your baseball masterpiece to the Turnstyle editors, Jay Hurd or Joanne Hulbert.
We will consider the following: essays, short fiction, memoirs, creative nonfiction, poetry, original illustrations, photographs that enhance a storyline, and other creative expressions of the art of baseball. We did not suggest a theme for our previous editions. However, given the challenging nature of 2020, perhaps you feel inspired to share thoughts about life and baseball during a year of pandemic and politics — what would you like to pass along to baseball fans in the future?
Click on a link below to download your free e-book edition or get 50% off the paperback edition:
The Society for American Baseball Research is seeking remote interns to work during the Spring 2021 semester. An internship with SABR will involve responsibilities across a variety of disciplines, possibly including:
- Working with the Director of Editorial Content or Publications Director to help publish and/or produce content for our website at SABR.org
- Working during an online SABR event, such as the SABR Virtual Analytics Conference
- Working with other SABR staff members on organizational duties, membership renewal drives, customer service
Interested candidates should be able to demonstrate basic office-related computer skills and have a reliable Internet connection for remote working. Experience with WordPress (or other content management systems) and Zoom (or other virtual-conference platforms) is a plus. A working knowledge of baseball — and an awareness of the game’s general history and basic statistics — is required. The internship is an educational opportunity that may count toward college credit, covering 15-20 hours per week with a flexible schedule.
Please send a resume and cover letter in PDF form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5:00 p.m. MST Monday, February 1, 2021.
Nominations are now open for the 2021 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award — “The Dorothy” — named in honor of Dorothy Seymour Mills and her lifetime of contributions to promoting women’s baseball.
Eligible candidates include any person with a sustained involvement in women’s baseball or any woman with a longtime involvement in baseball in any fashion — player, umpire, writer, executive, team owner, scout, etc. Candidates do not have to be living; it can be awarded posthumously. Self-nominations are accepted. The winner will be selected by the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award Committee.
Send nominations by May 31, 2021, to Dr. Leslie Heaphy by e-mail at email@example.com or by mail at Dr. Leslie Heaphy, KSU at Stark, 6000 Frank Ave., North Canton, OH 44720.
Registration is now open for the 11th annual SABR Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, which will be held virtually on April 22-24, 2021. All baseball fans are welcome to register for this special online event.
The 2021 virtual conference will be highlighted by a keynote address from Major League Baseball’s Official Historian John Thorn, along with a panel discussion on National League president William Hulbert with Jack Bales, Richard Hershberger, Bill Lamb, and moderator Bill Ryczek; a special presentation by Jim Gates on the “Penny Marshall Sheet Music Collection” at the Baseball Hall of Fame; a Member Spotlight interview of Tom Gilbert by Bob Bailey; plus research presentations.
- Registration: Click here to register online. The cost is $35 per person. Each attendee must register separately in order to receive the Zoom meeting information.
- Schedule: Click here to view the full schedule for the 2021 Ivor-Campbell Conference. Online sessions will be held from 8:00-10:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 22; 12:00-5:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 23; and 12:00-5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, April 24. Registration provides access to all panels and presentations for each day.
For questions, please contact Peter Mancuso at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the conference, visit SABR.org/ivor-campbell19c.
Good news! The Fall 2020 edition of the Baseball Research Journal was recently mailed out to all SABR members. This issue includes a special illustrated cover of Hall of Fame catcher and Negro Leagues legend Josh Gibson by SABR member Gary Cieradkowski. Click here to learn more about Gary’s design for the new BRJ cover.
Those of you who receive the print edition should find your BRJ arriving in the next two to four weeks. For digital subscribers, the e-book edition was delivered on December 21.
- All articles from the Fall 2020 Baseball Research Journal can now be read online at SABR.org.
- Click here to download the e-book edition of the Fall 2020 Baseball Research Journal.
- Click here to order a copy of the print edition of the Fall 2020 Baseball Research Journal from Amazon.com.
We hope you enjoy reading the Fall 2020 Baseball Research Journal!
Episode #94 on Monday, January 18 featured Chris Welsh, Cincinnati Reds broadcaster and former major-league pitcher. He spent parts of five seasons from 1981 to 1986 in the big leagues with the San Diego Padres, Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, and the Reds. He moved into the broadcast booth in 1993 and has been calling Reds games on TV for the past quarter-century. He is also the founder and owner of Baseball Rules Academy, an interactive online forum to teach the rules of baseball.
Visit SABR.org/sabrcast to listen to the full episode.
Subscribe to SABRcast on your favorite podcast networks, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher, and listen to each episode as soon as it’s released on Mondays. To learn more, visit SABR.org/sabrcast.
Nine new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project. Here are the new bios published this week:
- Craig Chamberlain, by Malcolm Allen
- Alvin Davis, by Eric Vickrey
- Bill Foxen, by Bill Lamb
- Bob Hendley, by Tony Oliver
- Cliff Hill, by Darren Gibson
- Bill McCaffrey, by Bill Lamb
- Jack Reis, by Darren Gibson
- Tom Simpson, by Bill Nowlin
- Sy Studley, by Paul Proia
All new biographies can be found here: SABR.org/bioproject
- Find any SABR biography: You can visit sabr.org/bioproject to search for any player — or manager, executive, scout, spouse, broadcaster, or umpire — who appears in the SABR BioProject. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Games, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires, Writers, people who were Famous Outside Baseball, and a lot more.
- Seeking authors for 2021 Hall of Fame candidates: As part of our BioProject Hall of Fame Ballot initiative, we are still seeking authors for all of the first-time players on this year’s ballot, including Tim Hudson, A.J. Burnett, Nick Swisher, and Shane Victorino. Please contact email@example.com if you are interested in writing about one of these players.
Seven new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:
- April 23, 1939: Ted Williams hits his first major-league home run, by Bill Nowlin
- April 30, 1955: Burlington, Vermont, welcomes pro ball with a bang, by Kurt Blumenau
- August 11, 1963: Auburn, Batavia combine for 40 strikeouts to set new league record, by Kurt Blumenau
- August 10, 1975: Bruce Springsteen takes in the rising Royals’ win over the Indians in Cleveland, by Vince Guerrieri
- July 4, 1980: Bob Sykes spins 10-inning shutout as Cardinals win on George Hendrick walk-off homer, by Tom Schott
- April 12, 1992: Roger Clemens follows Young’s ‘no-hitter’ with two-hit shutout, by Ray Danner
- April 22, 2019: Yankees strike out four times in the 14th, take lead anyway to defeat Angels, by Laura H. Peebles
New Games Project stories can be found at SABR.org/gamesproject.
- Get involved: Have memories of a game you attended? Or a game you watched that caught your interest? Write about it! Writing for the Games Project is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by reading the Games Project FAQs section or checking out the Authors’ Guidelines. We have editors and fact checkers who are willing to help you write your first article.
- Social media: Follow the SABR Games Project on Twitter or Facebook to keep up with new stories and updates.
- Read all stories from Babe Ruth greatest games book: Click here to read all stories from The Babe (SABR, 2019), edited by Bill Nowlin and Glen Sparks, online at the SABR Games Project.
Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by former SABR Board President Vince Gennaro, is back at a new time. Listen to new episodes at 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET on Saturdays on MLB Network Radio.
You can also listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio app.
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.
- SABR Baseball Research Award (outstanding research articles/projects; deadline: 1/31/2021)
- Jefferson Burdick Award (significant contributions to baseball card hobby; deadline: 1/31/2021)
- McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award (best history/biography articles; deadline: 2/15/2021)
Please note: Only ONE entry per nomination will be considered (do not submit multiple nominations for the same award). For more information on SABR Awards, click here.
Here are some major headlines from recent weeks that we don’t want you to miss:
- SABR member Kazuo Sayama elected to Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame
- SABR establishes task force to consider Negro Leagues as major leagues
- SABR unveils 50th Anniversary logo for 2021
- Watch highlights from SABR Detroit’s Hank Greenberg Birthday Symposium
- ‘Lost’ no-hitter by Cleveland’s Pete Dowling in 1901 now recognized as first in American League history
- SABR 50 at 50: Baseball Films and TV
- SABR Digital Library: Baseball’s Biggest Blowout Games
- Take a tour of the newly redesigned SABR.org website
- Get a gift for baseball fan in your life with the SABR Store @ CafePress
- All e-books in SABR Digital Library available for free to members
All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: https://sabr.org/content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.
You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online Membership Directory.
|John Alcamo||Roselle, NJ||Brian Hall||Fairfax, VA|
|Don Allison||Horseheads, NY||Asim Handy||Bloomfield Hills, MI|
|Marty Bender||Flushing, NY||Matt Hudson||Tallahassee, FL|
|George Bovenizer||Los Angeles, CA||Scott Hughes||Montclair, NJ|
|Elliott Brandon||Sycamore, IL||Stephen Johnson||Corinna, ME|
|Robert Busch||Mesa, AZ||James Jordan||Louisville, KY|
|Kenneth Colburn||Wickliffe, OH||Greg McMorrow||Walpole, MA|
|Stephen Cooper||North Salem, NY||Scott McNatt||Decatur, AL|
|Joseph Costa||Mt. Airy, MD||Robert Pyle||Boulder, CO|
|Anthony DiCola||Wesley Chapel, FL||Gary Scamehorn||Melbourne, FL|
|Aaron Drake||Santa Barbara, CA||Jackson Scofield||Downers Grove, IL|
|Gregory Emmons||Scottsdale, AZ||Michael Simon||North Caldwell, NJ|
|Noah Gill||Beach City, OH||Jim Vnenchak||Bethlehem, PA|
|Cole Greenberg||Sandy Springs, GA||Sarah Walsh||Charlottesville, VA|
|Jason Greenfield||Xenia, OH|
Here are the new research committee updates this week:
- Baseball Cards: Call for nominations: 2021 Jefferson Burdick Award
- Women in Baseball: Call for nominations: 2021 Dorothy Seymour Mills Award
Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research/committees.
Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:
- Boston Chapter: Read a new “Dispatches From the Mudville Bureau,” by Joanne Hulbert (Boston, MA)
- Connecticut Smoky Joe Wood Chapter: Winter 2021 newsletter (Hartford, CT)
- Larry Dierker Chapter: January 21 meeting recap (Houston, TX)
- Southern Michigan: The Detroit Chapter and Western Michigan Chapter have merged into a new group, the Southern Michigan Chapter, led by Nathan Bierma, Gary Gillette, and Rogelio Castillo. If you have already signed up to receive emails from the Detroit or Western Michigan chapter, you will now receive emails from the Southern Michigan Chapter. Any member who wishes to sign up for emails from the Southern Michigan Chapter can click here and select “Join Group”.
Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.
Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:
- Marc Carig: Negro Leagues stats and MLB history: Truth, mythology and the last .400 hitter (The Athletic)
- Britt Ghiroli: ‘Be nice’: For female reporters, it can feel like there is no other choice (The Athletic)
- Hannah Keyser: When do baseball players get the COVID-19 vaccine? How MLB will navigate the messy rollout (Yahoo! Sports)
- Nathan Fenno: In football stadiums and ballparks, Halley Harding fought for the rights of Black athletes (Los Angeles Times)
- Emma Baccellieri: MLB’s To-Do List: What Needs to Be Answered Before the 2021 Season (Sports Illustrated)
- Rob Arthur: Teams With More Analysts Win Trades More Often (Baseball Prospectus)
- Jay Jaffe: Mr. Lester Goes to Washington (FanGraphs)
- Jayson Stark: The greatest era of shortstops ever? We did the math — it’s true (The Athletic)
- John Thorn: Walt Whitman, Plagiarist? (Our Game)
- Rob Mains: The Competitive Balance Tax and Competitive Balance (Baseball Prospectus)
- Russell Carleton: The Invasive Reliever (Baseball Prospectus)
- Eno Sarris: What is ‘seam-shifted wake’ and which pitchers benefit most from it? (The Athletic)
- David Laurila: Dave Magadan Talks Hitting (FanGraphs)
- Howard Megdal: Finding Certainty In An Uncertain World: A DH Story (Baseball Prospectus)
- Roger Cormier: The Baseball Game Cut Out of The Great Gatsby (Baseball Prospectus)
- John Racanelli: Dick Allen and the Very, Very, Very Useful Photo (SABR Baseball Cards Blog)
- Tim Jenkins: Juan’s Double Prints (SABR Baseball Cards Blog)
Please note: Some articles may require a separate subscription to view online. SABR does not endorse, and is not responsible or liable for, any content that appears on a third-party website.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Originally published: January 22, 2021. Last Updated: January 23, 2021.