This Week in SABR: July 19, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of July 19, 2013:

SABR 43: Phillies Player Panel to include Gary Matthews, Dickie Noles

We’re pleased to announce the speakers for the SABR 43 Phillies Player Panel on Thursday, August 1 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. The panel will be held from 12:30-1:45 p.m. in the Salon E room at the Marriott.

  • Gary “Sarge” Matthews, All-Star center fielder and 1973 National League Rookie of the Year. He played for the Phillies from 1981-83 and hit .429 with three home runs in the 1983 NLCS to earn Most Valuable Player honors. The following year, he led the NL in on-base percentage (.410) for the division-winning Chicago Cubs. He was a veteran of 16 seasons in the major leagues, beginning with the San Francisco Giants in 1972 and including stints with the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners, finishing his career with more than 2,000 hits. He is also the father of major leaguer Gary Matthews Jr. and is in his seventh year as a Phillies TV broadcaster. 
  • Dickie Noles, an 11-year major league veteran who was a member of the Phillies’ 1980 World Series championship team. A right-handed pitcher from Charlotte, North Carolina, he spent a majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs and also played with the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Detroit Tigers. In retirement, he has served the Phillies as an employee assistance counselor.
  • Moderator: Dan Baker, Philadelphia Phillies public address announcer. Now in his 42nd year with the Phillies, Dan is the longest-serving public address announcer in Major League Baseball. He has served as the PA voice for five World Series, two All-Star Games and three NFC Championship Games for the Philadelphia Eagles. A graduate of Rowan University, he is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

To register for SABR 43 or for more information on the national convention in Philadelphia, visit

SABR 43: Steve Wulf’s special presentation on Johnny Callison’s hard-knock life

We are pleased to host a special presentation by SABR member Steve Wulf on Philadelphia Phillies great Johnny Callison at SABR 43 on Saturday, August 3 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

Wulf, the former Executive Editor of ESPN The Magazine, will present a video on the 1964 All-Star Game hero and answer questions about the Phillies star. Callison was the subject of Wulf’s recent feature article at, which you can read here:

The presentation will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 3 in the Salon E Room at the Marriott.

The SABR 43 convention will take place July 31-August 4 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. To register for SABR 43, visit All baseball fans are welcome to attend.

  • Related link: Our new BioProject book, The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, edited by Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin, is almost complete. It will be available soon at and limited paperback copies will be on sale at SABR 43.

SABR 43: Schedule changes and updates

In addition to the Phillies Player Panel and Steve Wulf presentation noted above, here are a few other additions and updates to the SABR 43 schedule:

  • Pictorial History Committee meeting: The Pictorial History Committee is scheduled to hold its annual meeting from 7:00-8:00 a.m. on Friday, August 2 in Room 407/409 on the fourth floor at the Marriott.
  • Black Sox Scandal Committee meeting: The Black Sox Scandal Committee meeting — a panel discussion commemorating the 50th anniversary of Eight Men Out with special guest Patricia Anderson, niece of Buck Weaver — has been moved to the Salon E room on the 5th floor. It will be held from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. on Friday, August 2.
  • Business of Baseball Committee meeting: Here’s the agenda for the Business of Baseball Committee meeting (5:00 p.m., Friday, August 2, Room 401/403): Learn how to conduct business of baseball research at large archives! Find the treasures that can drive your research. The SABR Business of Baseball committee and Librarian Caucus have teamed together and will feature a roundtable-style discussion with experts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the National Archives at Philadelphia. Find out how to prepare for your site visit; build a top-notch exploration plan; deal with challenges in the archives; stay true to archival etiquette; and conclude your visit. Tom Shieber (National Baseball Hall of Fame) and Jefferson Moak (NARA) will share their knowledge, information about their collections, and will answer your questions. Additionally, insider information will be available from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
  • “Breaking the Line with the Mudville Nine”: In case you missed it, singer/songwriter Kevin Kane will perform “Breaking the Line with the Mudville Nine” at the SABR 43 Awards Luncheon on Friday, August 2. His new performance piece, first presented at The Baseball Hall of Fame in May, gives Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s Casey at the Bat a new hero: a Negro Leaguer who breaks into the Mudville lineup sixty-eight years before Jackie Robinson broke into the Major Leagues. To attend the SABR 43 Awards Luncheon, click here to register. The keynote speaker at the banquet is scheduled to be Rob Manfred, MLB’s Executive Vice President of Economics & League Affairs.
  • Room switch on Saturday morning: At 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, the Biographical Research Committee will switch rooms with the Baseball and the Media Committee. The Biographical Research Committee meeting will now be held in Room 407/409, while the Baseball and the Media Committee meeting will now be held in Room 401/403.

For more information or to register for SABR 43, visit

SABR 43: Call for on-site presentation judges

On-site judges are needed for SABR 43 research presentations. Each judge will be responsible for viewing and evaluating oral and poster presentations during SABR 43 in Philadelphia.

Potential judges need not be “experts” in particular topics. They may choose which oral presentations they wish to evaluate, but are requested to judge all oral presentations they attend.

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.

If you’re interested, send a message to the Research Presentations email at either or

Still time to register for SABR 43 in Philly!

We hope you’ll join us for SABR 43, July 31-August 4, 2013, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, just blocks from City Hall, Independence Hall and many other Philadelphia landmarks. All baseball fans are welcome to attend.

You can register online at the SABR Store or on-site at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown during the convention. Registration includes access to all panel discussions, research presentations, committee meetings and other on-site events.

Please note that our block of Phillies ballgame tickets and the discounted all-inclusive rates are no longer available.

SABR Digital Library: Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century

This groundbreaking book on early baseball is a fantastic new addition to the SABR Digital Library — and to your library, too:

Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century
Edited by Bill Felber
Associate editors: Bob Bailey, Mark Fimoff, Jerry Casway, Len Levin, Robert L. Tiemann, Peter Mancuso and Craig Waff
Foreword by John Thorn
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-93359-942-7
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-933599-43-4
308 pages, 8″ x 10″

A project of SABR’s Nineteenth Century Committee, INVENTING BASEBALL brings to life the greatest games to be played in the game’s early years. From the “prisoner of war” game that took place among captive Union soldiers during the Civil War, to the first intercollegiate game (Amherst versus Williams), to the first professional no-hitter, the games in this volume span 1833-1900 and detail the athletic exploits of such players as Cap Anson, Moses “Fleetwood” Walker, Charlie Comiskey, Mike “King” Kelly, and John Montgomery Ward.

42 SABR members contributed chapters to the effort, including Bill Felber, Bill Nowlin, Bob Bailey, Bob Tiemann, Casey Tibbitts, Charles Faber, Cliff Blau, Craig Waff, David Arcidiacano, Dick McBane, Donald Jensen, Edward Achorn, Frank Vaccaro, Greg Rhodes, Irv Goldfarb, James Rygelski, Jean-Pierre Caillault, Jeff Samoray, Jerry Casway, Jerry Grillo, Jim Overmyer, Jimmy Keenan, Joanne Hulbert, John Bauer, John Husman, John Thorn, John Zinn, Jon Barnes, Kathy Torres, Lyle Spatz, Mark Pestana, Mike Harrington, Parker Bena, Patricia Millen, Paul Browne, Peter Mancuso, Phil Dixon, Rich Bogovich, Richard Hershberger, Terry Gottschall, W. Lloyd Johnson, and William Lamb.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. For more information and other titles, check out

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.

New research resource: 1915 Federal League case files

The SABR Business of Baseball Committee has made available scanned documents from the original filing of the 1915 Federal Baseball lawsuit against organized baseball. The 1915 Federal Baseball lawsuit is a cornerstone topic for the committee because of the wide span of the case across so many business-related disciplines and the impact of the case on baseball history.

One of the committee’s goals has been to scan in and make available case files from the original lawsuit filed in United States District Court: The Federal League of Professional Baseball Clubs v. The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, et. al.

You can now view these files exclusively at by clicking on the link below:

We hope these files will help future baseball researchers better understand the scope of the case, ensure accuracy in coverage of the Federal League, and potentially foster much new research about the case and its impact on baseball.

This case — presided over by Judge Kenesaw Landis, later the first commissioner of baseball — was a precursor to the more famous cases of Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore (you can read Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’ opinion in the 1922 Baltimore case here), as well as Toolson v. New York Yankees and Flood v. Kuhn. You can learn more about the Federal League in this Q&A with award-winning author Daniel R. Levitt, who wrote  The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy. Or read Justice Samuel Alito’s article from the Fall 2009 Baseball Research Journal, “The Origin of the Baseball Antitrust Exemption.”

According to a description from the National Archives and Records Adminstration (NARA):

This is the civil case in which the Federal League of Professional Baseball Clubs sued both the American League of Professional Baseball Clubs and the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, as well as various teams and owners, over the signing of players already under contract in the former league. In this anti-trust case, the Federal League claimed the American and National Leagues controlled baseball commerce. The case involved many of the leading baseball figures of the day, such as Charles Comiskey, August Herrmann, Joseph Tinker, Lee Magee, Cornelius McGillicuddy (Connie Mack), Charles Ebbets, and Charles Weeghman. Included in the records are affidavits, contracts, exhibits, petitions, notices, complaints, memorandums, and the judgment.

The description above represents only the outer layers of the onion. The scanned documents represent nearly 2,000 pages. Many of the documents were scanned using optical character recognition for simplified searching and a finding aid is available, an absolute boon to researchers. The finding aid describes the collection and is available here:

Ongoing thanks to Tom Pardo, Kyle McCafferty, Eve Mangurten, and William Holderfield, who were responsible for the organizing and scanning of the case files.

The number of research opportunities from these documents is nearly endless.

“Providing baseball researchers with access to the original documents filed in the Federal League litigation will undoubtedly lead to a fuller, richer, more nuanced understanding of both that litigation specifically and baseball history overall,” said SABR member and author Mitchell Nathanson, whose article on baseball’s antitrust exemption won a 2013 McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award

“Now, baseball historians will at last have the ability to analyze these documents themselves and draw their own conclusions, rather than simply rely on the received wisdom regarding this crucial episode in baseball’s development. There is simply no substitute for that. The digitization of these crucial documents is a landmark occasion in the field of baseball research.”

— Steve Weingarden

Seeking nominations for the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards

What are the best baseball analytics articles you’ve read so far in 2013?

We’re seeking nominations for the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards, which recognize baseball researchers who have completed the best work of original analysis or commentary during the preceding calendar year in the following categories:

  • Contemporary Baseball Analysis: Honoring the best analysis focusing on a subject related to the modern game(s), team(s) or player(s).
  • Contemporary Baseball Commentary: Honoring the best commentary focusing on a subject related to the modern game(s), team(s) or player(s). 
  • Historical Baseball Analysis/Commentary: Honoring the best original analysis or commentary focusing on a subject related to a game(s), team(s) or player(s) throughout baseball history.

Please send all nominations via e-mail to this address: Include author, title, date of publication and a URL link (if applicable).

Voting for the winners will be conducted online in January 2014 at,, and, with results weighted equally at 25%.

Results will be announced and presented at the third annual SABR Analytics Conference, March 13-15, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona. Learn more or register for the conference at

To view the winners and finalists of the 2013 awards, click here.

Wish a happy 90th birthday to Joe Simenic

“If you spend much time at the Hall of Fame perusing the files of obscure players, it will not be long before you find a note written by Joe Simenic. In particular, if you think you’ve found a promising new lead on one of the approximately 250 mystery major leaguers whose death information is unknown, it will not be long before you discover that Joe Simenic has been there before you. For more than four decades, Joe has been at the forefront of biographical research for major league ballplayers.”

The passage above is the opening to Peter Morris’ SABR biography of Joe Simenic. Joe is one of SABR’s 16 founding members and he is about to celebrate his milestone 90th birthday on Sunday, August 4, 2013.

Joe would like nothing more for his birthday than to receive a card from SABR members around the world.

In appreciation of his lifelong love of baseball and his efforts to advance our knowledge of the game, we invite you to send Joe a birthday card to: [address redacted].

We also encourage you to learn more about SABR’s founding members at You can read more about SABR’s organizational history at

Happy birthday, Joe!

5 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Five new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,479 published biographies. Can we reach 2,500 before the SABR 43 convention in Philadelphia? Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

1912 Boston Red Sox bios now online: Last year, we commemorated the 100th anniversary of one of the greatest teams in baseball history with Opening Fenway Park With Style: The 1912 World Champion Red Sox, edited by Bill Nowlin, with Dan Desrochers, Len Levin and Maurice Bouchard. The SABR BioProject biographies that appeared in the book — from Tris Speaker to Smoky Joe Wood, from Bill Carrigan to Harry Hooper, from Neal Ball to Charley “Sea Lion” Hall — can now be read online at: SABR members can download the e-book in PDF, EPUB or MOBI/Kindle formats for FREE by clicking here. Or click here to get the paperback edition for the special members-only price of $10.00 at The book is also available for purchase at the SABR Bookstore.

Bios on more than just ballplayers: The ambitious goal of the SABR Baseball Biography Project is to publish a full-life biography of every major league player in history. But SABR members write about a lot more than just ballplayers. In addition, we have pages for Ballparks, Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires and a lot more on the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories at So if you’ve ever thought, “Hey, that person (or ballpark) should get the full BioProject treatment” — write the story and we’ll publish it!

Check out the Baseball Ballparks Project: The SABR Baseball Biography Project has been accepting/publishing “biographies” of Ballparks for a few years, and we have 39 of them on our website at However, this thing just got real. Ballparks are now its very own PROJECT — the Baseball Ballparks Project, our first official spin-off. The project leader is Scott Ferkovich, who is now in charge of recruiting ballparks articles and publicizing them. Learn more by clicking here.

Get involved! If you’d like to help contribute to the SABR BioProject, visit our BioProject Resources page or read the FAQs section to get started. We’re also looking to expand the BioProject to include all “encyclopedic” articles on baseball-related subjects from past SABR publications or committee newsletters. If you come across an article you think should be included in the SABR “baseball repository” at the BioProject, send a copy or link to or

June 23 Board minutes posted

Minutes from the Board of Directors conference call on June 23, 2013, have now been posted on the SABR website.

You can view all past minutes of SABR Board meetings by going to the page below:

Or you can go to the Members’ Info page and click on “Org. files”, then “Board Minutes” to view the minutes.

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 New Member 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.

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Ron Backer Pittsburgh, PA     John McGettigan Salt Lake City, UT
Paul Benziger New York, NY     Mark Nagy Loveland, OH
Jim Blue II Pittsburgh, PA     Denis O’Sullivan Half Moon Bay, CA
Robert Bogdan Queensbury, NY     John Patterson Haddonfield, NJ
Max Burgess Houston, TX     Alex Poterack Providence, RI
Eric Frost Pearland, TX     Ed Presnell Augusta, GA
Jeffrey Griffith Santa Ana, CA     Ted Rosenholm Granby, MA
Tom Hoffmeister Ellicott City, MD     Howard Smith Port Matilda, PA
Leslie Hoffmeister Ellicott City, MD     Richard Tharp Gaithersburg, MD
Stephen Hoffmeister Ellicott City, MD     Frank Tursi Swansboro, NC
Ken Krause Medford, MA     Benjamin Wechsler Pittsburgh, PA
Alexa Maldonado Short Hills, NJ     Patrick Whitney Dallas, TX
Bob McGee North Salem, NY     Keith Wilson Oceanside, CA


Research committee newsletters

There were no new SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting news

Here are the new chapter meeting recaps published this week:

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

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in “This Week in SABR”, e-mail Jacob Pomrenke at

Find exclusive Members’ Only resources and information here:

Did you know you can renew your membership at any time? 1- and 3-year SABR memberships are available by clicking “Renew” at Please also consider a donation to SABR to support baseball research at

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Originally published: July 19, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.