This Week in SABR: July 26, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Please note that the SABR office will be closed for convention week beginning Monday, July 29. Here’s what we’ve been up to as of July 26, 2013:

Last chance to register for SABR 43 in Philly!

We’re just a few days away from the start of SABR 43, which will be held 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.

Complete schedule and details can be found online at Please consult the “pocket schedule” that will be available in your registration packet for the most up-to-date schedule at SABR 43.

The featured speakers at SABR 43 include Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Economics and League Affairs; and David Montgomery, General Partner, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Film producer Aviva Kempner will also host an exclusive screening of film extras from her award-winning documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.

In addition, we’ll have several exciting panel discussions, including:

  • an innovative Statistical Analysis Panel with SABR President Vince Gennaro, Bill Petti of FanGraphs, sabermetrics pioneer Dick Cramer and fantasy baseball expert Steve Mann
  • a Women in Baseball Panel with Phillies executive Susan Ingersoll Papaneri, U.S. National Women’s Baseball Team members Robin Wallace and Kristin Mills Caldwell, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League alumnus Sarah Ferguson and pro umpire Perry Barber
  • the colorful “Imagining Baseball” Panel with MLB Official Historian John Thorn, authors Steve Wulf and Eric Rolfe Greenberg, and memorabilia collector Dr. Mark Cooper 
  • a Media Panel with Jayson Stark of ESPN, 2013 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner Paul Hagen, Alan Schwarz of the New York Times, longtime Philadelphia sportswriter Donald Hunt and ESPN Deportes’ Leonte Landino 
  •  a Philadelphia Baseball History Panel with award-winning authors Norman Macht, Jerry Casway, Richard Hershberger, Rich Westcott and David Jordan 
  • a Player Panel that includes former Phillies greats Gary “Sarge” Matthews and Dickie Noles, moderated by longtime Philadelphia PA announcer Dan Baker.

There will be 32 groundbreaking presentations of baseball research — including a study of integration in independent baseball decades before Jackie Robinson’s debut; untold stories of Bill Veeck’s promotional genius; the exciting possibilities of motion-capture technology in baseball analytics; using Big Data to examine pitcher vs. batter performance; and the Great Rube Waddell Straw Hat Mystery of 1905.

We’ll also have a special tour of historic Philadelphia ballpark sites, a vintage 1860s-style base ball game (near Pat’s and Geno’s!), and a special video presenation by ESPN’s Steve Wulf on Phillies great Johnny Callison. The Awards Luncheon on Friday will include keynote speaker Rob Manfred, Kevin Kane’s “Breaking the Line with the Mudville Nine,” and the presentation of SABR’s highest honor, the Bob Davids Award. As always, there’s the highly competitive and entertaining SABR Trivia Contest finals on Saturday night.

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 43: Vintage 1860s Base Ball Game in Philadelphia

SABR 43 offers an alternative to Major League Baseball for convention attendees in Philadelphia.

On Saturday, August 3, the Athletics of Philadelphia will play a vintage base ball game against the Mechanicsville team using rules from 1864. Game time is 4 p.m. on the greensward of Passyunk Square (aka Columbus Square) in South Philadelphia.

Passyunk/Columbus Square is between 13th & 12th Streets and Wharton & Reed Streets. It is easily reachable by the No. 23 SEPTA bus, which stops outside the hotel at 12th and Market. You can also take the Broad Street Line south to the Ellsworth/Federal stop. Then walk to 13th and south on 13th to Wharton Street.

After the game, you can take a short walk to the Cheesesteak Capital of the World. Pat’s Steaks and Geno’s occupy venues at the intersections of 9th & Wharton Streets and Passyunk Ave. Pat’s claims to be the inventor of the popular Philadelphia sandwich while Geno’s is the place of “Order in English” infamy. Both do a fine job preparing steaks, but make sure you ask for genuine cheese — and not Whiz.

Getting back is easy: Take the SEPTA 23 bus on 11th Street at Wharton Street or the No. 47 bus on 7th Street. Get off at Market Street [11th for #23, 7th for #47] and walk west toward City Hall to the hotel.

SABR 43: The “Ted Williams Walk”

Everyone who’s been to a SABR convention knows the fun doesn’t end when the ballgame does. During your trip to Philadelphia for SABR 43, we invite you to take the “Ted Williams Walk.” 

Ted is, of course, the last major leaguer to hit .400 over the course of the long season. And he finalized this feat during a season-ending doubleheader against the Philadelphia A’s at Shibe Park in 1941. Though technically his average could be rounded up from .39955 — it wasn’t actually .400, and he decided to play. But Ted was nervous the night before these games and he chose to walk off this nervousness with a long walk throughout Center City. Accompanied by clubhouse attendant, Johnny Orlando, he set off from the Ben Franklin Hotel at 9th and Chestnut Streets.

No one knows the exact path of Ted’s walk to fame, but we have created a made-up route that includes some contemporary drinking establishments. Click here for all the details and directions and sample Center City’s nightlife with the “Ted Williams Walk.”

SABR 43: Schedule changes and updates

Here are a few other additions and updates to the SABR 43 schedule:

  • SABR 43 Baseball Variety Show: The SABR 43 Baseball Variety Show has been moved to the Salon C/D Room at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 3. SABR 43 Co-Chair Seamus Kearney will emcee and participate in the first-ever baseball-themed variety show at a SABR convention. Baseball and the Arts Committee Chair Joanne Hulbert and others will give us her rendition of a “Saturday Night Live” News Update. Professional comedian Jerry Kahn will present an original comedy routine poking fun at the National Pastime. Professional musician Erik Balkey of the Copper Ponies will conclude the show with a few of his original baseball-related songs. The SABR Trivia Contest will immediately follow at 8:00 p.m. in the Salon E room.
  • Baseball and the Media Committee meeting: The inaugural Baseball and the Media Committee meeting will be held at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3 in Room 407/409. To download the meeting agenda, click here (PDF)

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

Once a SABR Overlooked Legend, Deacon White highlights 2013 HOF Induction Weekend

Each year, SABR’s Nineteenth Century Research Committee conducts a survey to select an Overlooked Base Ball Legend from that era — a 19th-century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

This weekend, for the first time, one of SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Legends will earn his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

Deacon White, who hit .312 in a 20-year major league career between 1871 and 1890, was elected by the Pre-Integration Era Committee in December 2012 and will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s Induction Weekend ceremonies on Sunday, July 28. Former New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and National League umpire Hank O’Day will also be inducted.

SABR members Pat Gillick, Roland Hemond, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris and Tom Simon were among the 16 members of the Pre-Integration Era Committee.

Back in 2010, White was selected as SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Legend, in the second year of the award. “Deacon White was a great all-around player,” SABR member Joe Williams told The Sporting News recently. “His defensive skills set the standard in his day. He was called cat-like for his quickness. He had a powerful throwing arm and was among the early backstops to play closer to the batter despite fast pitching. Yes, he would have won several Gold Gloves as a catcher.”

White is the first player who played primarily in the 19th century to be elected to the Hall of Fame since pre-Negro Leagues star Frank Grant in 2006.

Hank O’Day, a National League umpire from 1895 to 1927, is most famous for his decision to end the famous “Merkle Game” in a tie on September 23, 1908. He called 10 World Series and is just the 10th umpire to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Read his SABR biography here, written by David Anderson.

Jacob Ruppert became co-owner of the Yankees in 1915 and quickly helped changed the team’s fortunes by purchasing Babe Ruth from the Red Sox and building Yankee Stadium. While Ruppert owned the Yankees, New York won 10 American League pennants and seven World Series titles. Read his SABR biography here, written by Daniel R. Levitt.

More information on the 2013 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend can be found at

SABR’s Cliff Kachline Chapter will be holding its traditional Induction Day chapter meeting at 5:00 p.m. at Tillabaugh’s, 28 Pioneer Street in Cooperstown. All baseball fans are welcome to attend. Speakers are expected to include: Tom Simon, Peter Morris, Gabriel Schechter, Alan Cohen, Mike Hauser and Dave Karpinski. Please contact chapter president Jeff Katz — the mayor of Cooperstown — for more information.

To learn more about the SABR Overlooked 19th Century Legends project, click here. The 2013 winner will be announced at the Nineteenth Century Committee’s annual meeting at SABR 43 on Thursday, August 1.

SABR Digital Library: The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies

What’s this, another new baseball book from the SABR Digital Library to add to your collection? YES!

The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies
Edited by Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin
Associate Editors: Clem Comly, James Forr, Russ Lake and Len Levin
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-93359-951-9
ISBN (ebook):
356 pages, 70+ photos

Catcher Gus Triandos dubbed the Philadelphia Phillies’ 1964 season “the year of the blue snow”-a rare thing that happens once in a great while.

The Phillies were having a spectacular season in which everything was going right. They held a 6 1/2 game lead on September 20, with just 12 games to play. But the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals never gave up, and when the Phillies lost 10 consecutive games, it became a horrific collapse for Phillies fanatics.

But wait a minute. When it was seemingly too late, the Phillies finally won a game-and the first-place Cardinals lost two to the lowly Mets, so on the last day of the season there might be a three-way tie for first place. On the final day, the Phillies beat the Reds, 10-0. Could the Mets knock off the first-place Cardinals for a third straight game? The Mets carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth, but succumbed, 11-5.

But what a season for Phillies fans. Jim Bunning threw the first NL perfect game in 84 years. The hero of the 1964 All-Star Game was Johnny Callison, who hit the third walk-off home run in the history of the All-Star Game. The team also boasted the electrifying NL Rookie of the Year, slugging third baseman Richie Allen (later called Dick Allen).

In Philadelphia, the ’64 campaign left an ache that lasted for years. This book sheds light on the facts for the reader to determine answers to lingering questions they may still have about the Phillies team in the 1964 season-but any book about a team is really about the players. A collaborative effort by 37 members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), this work offers life stories of all the players and others (managers, coaches, owners, and broadcasters) associated with this star-crossed team, as well as essays of analysis and historical recaps.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

To view all books in the SABR Digital Library, visit

  • 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.

SABR BioProject celebrates 2,500th published biography

With Tuesday’s release of the newest e-book in the SABR Digital Library, The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies (see above), the SABR Baseball Biography Project has passed a milestone with its 2,500th published biography.

Formed in 2002, the BioProject is arguably SABR’s most ambitious research project yet. Led by Mark Armour, the BioProject is an ongoing effort to produce comprehensive, peer-reviewed biographical articles on every person who ever played or managed in the major leagues, as well as other subjects significant to baseball history. It’s a project that, we hope, will never end.

You can read about anyone in baseball from A (Hank Aaron) to Z (Bob Zuk). Some of our favorite articles produced by the BioProject are of the “cup of coffee” players whose stories had never been told, such as Flame Delhi, the first major leaguer from Arizona. You can also read about Sadaharu Oh, Japan’s legendary all-time home run leader, or stars from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, such as Sophie Kurys of the Racine Belles.

We’ve got hundreds of SABR biographies in progress, and we’re adding more every week. We’ve even compiled some of them into books focusing on special teams or themes. Eighteen BioProject books have been published so far, including the 1964 Phillies book this week — just in time for the SABR 43 convention in Philadelphia. You can find them all at the SABR Bookstore.

You can also browse all of our biographies by category, to find bios of Hall of Famers or players from a specific team. In addition, we have pages for Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, Spouses, Umpires and a lot more on the BioProject website at

The BioProject also includes the SABR Baseball Ballparks Project at The project leader is Scott Ferkovich. Learn more about the Ballparks Project by clicking here. In the coming weeks, we’ll also be introducing the new Baseball Games Project at

It’s easy to get involved. Any SABR member is eliglble to write for the BioProject. If you’d like to help contribute, visit our BioProject Resources page or read the FAQs section to get started. If you’re not a SABR member, visit to learn more or to sign up for an annual membership.

3 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,523 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

2013 SABR Annual Report has been posted online

Our 2013 Annual Report was posted on the website today and can be downloaded here:

All previous SABR Annual Reports can be found on the Annual Reports page. If you have a copy of any Annual Report from before 2002 (the oldest currently available), please e-mail a copy of it to or mail one to the SABR office at 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Seamheads Negro Leagues Database updated with 1922-23 stats

We’re pleased to pass along this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at

We’re making a small but important addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database today: the 1922/23 Cuban winter league, plus a few additional games for 1916, 1919, and 1922.

After a few seasons of turbulence in the Cuban game, the 1922/23 season marked a new beginning.  The league added two new teams, Santa Clara and Marianao, to the Habana-Almendares duopoly. Santa Clara was run by Tinti Molina, who put together the most famous outfield in Cuban baseball history: Alejandro Oms (.411) in left, Oscar Charleston (.418) in center, and Pablo Mesa (.286) in right. Molina also added lefty Dave Brown (5-4, 2.47) and a few other stateside stars, and the Leopardos sprinted to the league lead—but after a victory over Marianao was thrown out by league authorities, Santa Clara angrily withdrew. They would be vindicated the following winter, when the 1923-24 Santa Clara Leopardos emerged as the most legendary team in Cuban history, the island’s equivalent of the 1927 Yankees.

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

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!

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
Eddie Akers Edwardsville, IL     Matthew McConkey Englewood, TN
Mark Anderson Atlanta, GA     Robert McKenzie Houston, TX
Fredy Buenter Bern, SWI     Todd Radom Brewster, NY
Scott Dominiak Oak Forest, IL     Gary Romey Burbank, CA
LuAnn Eakins Lakewood, CO     Zachary Smith Swarthmore, PA
William Hood Chesterfield, MO     Stephen Smith Lafayette, IN
Bob Jayne Grand Island, NY     Howard Spierer Milford, NJ
Sean Leahy Chicago, IL     Nate Stone Gray, ME
Cory Little Littleton, CO        


Research committee newsletters

Here are the new SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

  • Baseball Records Committee: August 2013 
  • Asian Baseball Committee: The committee held its first Teleconference/Webinar on July 24, 2013.  Click here to view the webinar archive. We had SABR members from California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Japan and Korea participate.

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting news

Here are the new chapter meeting recaps published this week:

  • Rogers Hornsby Chapter meeting recap (July 20; Round Rock, TX)
  • Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap (July 22; St. Louis, MO)
  • Halsey Hall Chapter August 2013 newsletter (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Hall-Ruggles (Dallas-Fort Worth) Chapter honors college senior: Northwood University’s Elvin Rodriguez has been honored as the 2013 Collegiate Player of the Year by the DFW Hall-Ruggles Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research. A senior from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Rodriguez was the Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He was also named to the NAIA All-American first team. Rodriguez is only the second Knights player to be named an NAIA first team All-American, joining former catcher Johnny Aldaz. He is also the first Northwood player to win the Dallas-Fort Worth SABR chapter’s Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Rodriguez helped lead the Knights to their first-ever trip to the NAIA World Series and an end-of-season ranking as the No. 6 NAIA team in the nation. He hit .360 with 50 RBI in his senior season. After graduation, Rodriguez signed to play professional baseball with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League.

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

Are you following us on Twitter or Facebook? Get SABR updates every day at @SABR or by searching “SABR” on Facebook.

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Originally published: July 26, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.