This Week in SABR: July 27, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of July 27, 2012:

SABR 42 research presentations now posted online

We had some fantastic research presentations at SABR 42 in Minneapolis, led by Rob Fitts’ “Murderers, Spies, and Ballplayers: The Untold Story of the 1934 All American Tour of Asia”, which won the Doug Pappas Award for best oral presentation at this year’s convention.

Of course, with 34 presentations on the schedule and many solid talks double-tracked against each other because of scheduling constraints, it’s impossible to hear them all (and trust us, we tried!)

So we’re bringing a little bit of SABR 42 to you:

Research abstracts and presenter bios can be found on the page above. Where available, you can also listen to select presentations and view prepared PowerPoint slides by clicking on the links with each presentation.

Complete coverage of SABR 42 — including multimedia clips, photo galleries, stories, featured panels, web recaps and more — is available at

Watch all six SABR panels from 2012 MLB All-Star FanFest

SABR was in Kansas City for the 2012 MLB All-Star FanFest, and SABR members participated in a variety of panels throughout All-Star weekend, July 6-10  at the Kansas City Convention Center.

We’ve uploaded them all online and you can now watch them here:

The panels include:

  • Women in Baseball Panel: Leslie Heaphy, SABR Director; Justine Siegal, Executive Director, Baseball For All; Wendy Lewis, MLB Senior Vice President, Diversity and Strategic Alliances; and  Amanda Rykoff, (moderator).
  • Negro Leagues Legends Panel: Bob Motley, Negro Leagues umpire; Robert Paige, son of Hall of Famer Satchel Paige; and Larry Lester, Negro Leagues Committee co-chair (moderator).
  • Negro Leagues Historians Panel: Todd Peterson, historian and author; Leslie Heaphy, historian and author; Peter Gorton, historian and author; and Larry Lester, historian and author (moderator).
  • Kansas City Baseball History Panel: Jay Hankins, Kansas City A’s; Larry Lester, Kansas City Monarchs; Roger Erickson, author; and David Starbuck (moderator).
  • SABR Panel: Vince Gennaro, SABR President; John Thorn, MLB Official Historian; Roland Hemond, 3-time MLB Executive of the Year; and Cory Schwartz, (moderator).
  • SABR Trivia: Cory Schwartz, (host).

Check out our YouTube page at for more SABR videos.

Watch Bob Elliott accept his Spink Award at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Congratulations are again in order to longtime SABR member Bob Elliott, a sports writer for the Toronto Sun, who received his J.G. Taylor Spink Award last Saturday in Cooperstown after being honored by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Bob is the first Canadian writer to be honored and the ninth SABR member, joining Bill Madden (2010), Tracy Ringolsby (2005), Leonard Koppett (1992), Jerome Holtzman (1989), Jack Lang (1986), Allen Lewis (1981), Bob Broeg (1979) and Fred Lieb (1972).

Spink, the longtime editor and publisher of The Sporting News, was a 2011 recipient of SABR’s Henry Chadwick Award, honoring baseball’s greatest researchers, historians, statisticians, annalists and archivists. MLB Network will air highlights from the awards ceremony beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

Watch the video of Bob Elliott’s Spink Award acceptance speech here (

Read the text of Elliott’s Spink Award acceptance speech here (Toronto Sun)

Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference wrap-up

The 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference was held July 19-21, 2012, at the Renaissance Cleveland hotel in Cleveland, Ohio.

You can check out our coverage of the conference online at — including photo galleries, a look at the Art Contest and Essay Contest winners, and information on the recipients of the SABR Negro Leagues Committee’s School Library Grants.

The theme of the 2012 Malloy Conference was “Black Baseball in Ohio”. Black baseball has a strong history in Ohio and especially the city of Cleveland. In the 19th century, one of the first African American players in the majors, Moses Fleetwood Walker, played in Toledo. The city of Cleveland had more Negro League entries (11) than any other city in the Negro Leagues from the 1920s through the 1940s. The crowning success came with the 1945 Cleveland Buckeyes winning the Negro League World Series. Their roster included such key players as Quincy Trouppe, Sam Jethroe, Eugene Bremer and Archie Ware.

In 1948, the Cleveland Indians boasted the first African American player in the American League with the signing of Larry Doby and, later, the legendary Satchel Paige. The 15th annual Malloy Conference celebrated Ohio’s baseball history. In addition to two days of research presentations and player/author panels, attendees also enjoyed a special presentation about League Park and a Cleveland Indians game. A special stamp honoring Larry Doby, part of the U.S. Postal Service’s Major League Baseball All-Stars collection, also was unveiled during the conference. 

Featured speakers at the conference included Minnie Forbes, last living female owner of a Negro Leagues team; authors Dr. Thomas Aiello, Dr. Lee Lowenfish, Byron Motley, and Terry Pluto; and more. Click here for a list of more speakers.

Related links:

Ozzie Guillen is having lunch with Rocky Mountain SABR

Matthew Repplinger, President of the SABR Rocky Mountain Chapter, passes along this exciting news:

Ozzie Guillen, the colorful manager of the Miami Marlins, will speak at the Rocky Mountain SABR Luncheon/Chapter Meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 18. Please join us in hosting Ozzie as our guest at the Denver ChopHouse located at 1735 19th Street in LoDo, near Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

Cost to attend the event is $15. Because this is a fundraiser for the chapter, lunch is not included with your admission. Lunch options available by the ChopHouse are one’s own additional expense.

It is important to please send in your reservation as soon as possible as the event is likely to sell out. “Day of“ tickets (if available) will be $20 per ticket so please take advantage of our pre-sale and reserve your seat today. The pre-sale deadline is August 14.

Reservations can only be made by mail. Telephone and e-mail cannot be accepted. Your reservation is not secured until payment is received. Mail $15 for each reservation, payable to RMSABR, to:    

5803 Orchard Creek Lane
Boulder, CO 80301

Please e-mail any questions to the below address.  

The 6:10 p.m. Rockies-Marlins game also is the chapter’s Game of the Month. Cost per ticket for the August 18 game is a group discounted price of $20. If you would like to attend, add $20 per ticket to the amount you send in. You may purchase game tickets without attending the Ozzie Guillen Lunch – but if you miss Ozzie, you’ll miss a rare baseball experience like no other.

IMPORTANT: Please include your name and telephone number with your order. We will acknowledge receipt of your reservation by phone.

  • SAVE THE DATE: The 15th Annual RMSABR Banquet will take place Friday, November 9, 2012, at the Denver Athletic Club. The Keynote Speaker will be 1962 NL MVP and breaker of Ty Cobb’s long-standing stolen base record, Maury Wills. Our Featured Speaker will be Roland Hemond, the 2011 recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award recognizing the profound impact he has had on the game. Please join us for this unique event!

Sincerely yours in baseball,
Matthew Repplinger, RMSABR President

For more information, visit the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s website at

How will second wild card affect MLB’s trading deadline?

SABR President Vince Gennaro opened his new blog, “Diamond Dollars”, this week with a discussion of the new two wild-card system and its effect on the MLB trading deadline. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve loved the wild card from its inception in 1995 and I love the addition of a 2nd wild card even more. The new playoff format rationalizes the postseason for MLB—it provides appropriate playoff advantages and disadvantages based on regular season performance. Coupled with a schedule that has more uniformity (beginning in 2013) for teams competing in the same division, it’s a better system. Under the old format (1995-2011), it’s fair to say a postseason berth was a 1-in-8 lottery ticket to a world championship. (In fact, of the 34 wild card teams, 5 have won the World Series).

In the new two wild card system, the teams with the best regular season will have a decided advantage. Since the two wild cards in each league will meet for a one-and-done play-in game, this cuts the probability in half that a wild card team will reach the final eight teams. The wild cards are disadvantaged even further by needing to use their ace starter for the all important play-in game, leaving the wild card winner to potentially face a #1 seed, with one (pitching) arm tied behind their back. For example, imagine a wild card winning Angels club having to start their 2, 3, 4, 1 against the Yankees 1, 2, 3, 4. Not only is it a decided disadvantage for the wild card entrants, but also a boost for the #1 seed in each league.

At this point I don’t know enough about how the new format will play out to have the conviction to place odds on each seed, but the old “1-in-8″ could range from a 15% to 20% chance for teams in each league with the best regular season record, to a 5% chance for the 2nd wild card qualifier. That’s a big shift from the former egalitarian playoff format.

Read the rest of Gennaro’s article here:

Related links:

On the Washington Nationals, ace pitchers and innings limits

The most accomplished major league team in the history of Washington, D.C., entered the season with a young phenom in the outfield, a veteran first baseman, a deep and talented pitching staff — and an ace starter on a controversial “innings limit”. 

The 2012 Nationals do have the best record in the National League — but we’re not talking about Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Co.

As SABR member Ted Leavengood reports at, the 1924 Washington Nationals also had a star pitcher on an innings limit, too:

The 1924 Nationals were built around pitching, or better still, “a” pitcher: Walter Johnson. The ‘Big Train’ was 36 years old that year. Owner Griffith and manager Bucky Harris only let him throw 277 innings. They had him on an “innings limit,” and allowed him only 38 starts. Walter had thrown 340-370 innings most years earlier in his career and led the league in that category as well as appearances—usually 45-50 games a season counting those he closed for others on the staff as well.

In 1924 Walter had a supporting cast that allowed GM Griffith to tout how he was “saving” Johnson. Tom Zachary had a career year, and Curley Ogden and Firpo Marberry were good enough that the Nationals led the AL in team ERA with a mark of 3.34. The second place Yankees trailed at 3.86. They were the only other team with an ERA under “4.” …

Manager Harris used Firpo Marberry and Curly Ogden frequently in relief of Johnson and did restrict his use during the course of the season.

Read the full article here:

SABR members: Get discounts on MLB.TV, Shop

In case you missed it last week, SABR members are now eligible for a 25% discount for new MLB.TV Premium Monthly subscriptions through the remainder of the 2012 season. (That means your first month is free, no matter when you sign up.)

The 25% discount applies to MLB.TV Premium and MLB.TV subscriptions, and to new MLB.TV monthly subscribers only.

SABR members also are eligible for a 10% discount off their next order at the Shop (certain restrictions apply; click below for details).

Click here to take advantage of our special discount offers for MLB.TV and the Shop:

With MLB.TV Premium Monthly, you can watch home or away feeds of every out-of-market regular season game LIVE in HD quality. At Bat 12 is now included free with your MLB.TV Premium subscription: watch on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and select Android phones (now available), PLUS, new connected devices for the 2012 season like Xbox 360.

We hope you enjoy these special offers from SABR and MLB Advanced Media!

3 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project — and we’re still putting the finshing touches on our new BioProject book, Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, edited by Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, with Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin — which brings us to a total of 2,030 published biographies.

Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

Earlier this year, we relaunched the BioProject at its new home page: The new BioProject fully integrates its design with and upgrades the back-end platform, making it easier for us to post and edit new bios and eliminating some formatting problems with the original software. All of your old URLs should still work (and if you find one that doesn’t, please contact

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

  • 1957 Braves biographers needed: Editor Gregory H. Wolf is hard at work on a new BioProject team book on the 1957 Milwaukee Braves. But several players still need to be assigned: Dick Cole, Harry Hanebrink, Dave Jolly, Nippy Jones, Taylor Phillips, Mel Roach, Ray Shearer, Bob Trowbridge and coach Bob Keely. The deadline is January 1, 2013. If you’d like to contribute to the 1957 Braves book, please contact Gregory at

Convention Board minutes posted

Minutes from the Board of Directors meetings at SABR 42 on June 27, June 28 (ABM), and July 1 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 “Organizational Files”, then “Board Minutes” to view the minutes.

Research committee newsletters

Here are the research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting recaps

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

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Originally published: July 26, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.

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