This Week in SABR: July 27, 2018

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 July 27, 2018:

SABR Defensive Index rankings released through first half of 2018 MLB season

Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman leads all fielders in the AL and St. Louis second baseman Kolten Wong has taken the NL’s top spot in the SABR Defensive Index rankings through the first half of the 2018 MLB season.

For the sixth consecutive season, the SABR Defensive Index will be used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™, presented by SABR. The SABR Defensive Index accounts for approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that will be added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Chapman’s SDI of 17.2 is the highest in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon (10.6). Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias (7.6), Los Angeles second baseman Ian Kinsler (7.6), and Oakland shortstop Marcus Semien (7.4) round out the top five in the AL.

Wong’s SDI of 10.7 leads all fielders in the NL, followed by Cincinnati left fielder Adam Duvall (8.1), Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain (7.6), and Pittsburgh left fielder Corey Dickerson (7.5). San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt and Colorado second baseman DJ LeMahieu are tied for fifth place at 6.6.

The updated SDI results were released this week by the Society for American Baseball Research. Click here to view full SDI rankings by position through games of July 15, 2018.

The final SDI results will be released following the conclusion of the 2018 season at

Read SABR biographies of Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2018 class

This weekend, Chipper Jones, Vladimir Guerrero, Jim Thome, and Trevor Hoffman will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, along with former Detroit Tigers stars Alan Trammell and Jack Morris, who were selected for induction by the Modern Era Committee.

Jones, the 1999 NL MVP and star third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, received 97.2 percent of the 422 ballots cast by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in his first year on the ballot. He is the sixth member of the Braves’ dynasty to make the Hall of Fame, joining Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and manager Bobby Cox (2014), John Smoltz (2015), and GM John Schuerholz (2017) in baseball’s Valhalla. That group led Atlanta to 14 consecutive division titles, five pennants, and one World Series championship between 1991 and 2005.

Guerrero, the free-swinging Dominican outfielder with a rocket arm who drew comparisons to Roberto Clemente, received 392 votes (92.1 percent) in his second year on the writers’ ballot. Guerrero came up with the Montreal Expos in 1996 and later won an MVP award for the then-Anaheim Angels in 2004.  

Thome, who received 379 votes (89.8 percent) as a first-ballot selection, hit 612 home runs in his 22-season career with the Cleveland Indians and five other teams. As Joseph Wancho wrote in his SABR biography of the slugger, Thome was “a dependable, hard-working, blue-collar type of ballplayer whom fans cheered for … a ‘throwback.'”

Hoffman, the San Diego Padres closer who missed election by just five votes in 2017, made it to Cooperstown in his third year on the ballot. The first pitcher to reach the 600-save milestone received 337 votes for 79.9 percent.

You can learn more about the Class of 2018 at the SABR BioProject:

The 2018 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend will take place July 27-30 in Cooperstown, New York.

Find all published SABR biographies for Baseball Hall of Fame inductees — including the Class of 2018 — by clicking here.

  • Join us on Induction Day! All baseball fans visiting Cooperstown this weekend are invited to join SABR’s Cliff Kachline Chapter for its annual Induction Day meeting, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 29 at Tillapaugh’s, just a block south of the Hall of Fame at 28 Pioneer Street. Our guest speakers are expected to include: Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and author of The Pride of the Yankees; along with SABR members Cary Smith, Ralph Carhart, and Chris Dial. Click here to learn more. For more information, contact chapter chair Jeff Katz.

Read articles from The National Pastime: Steel City Stories online

Since 2009, The National Pastime has served as SABR’s convention-focused publication. Published annually, this research journal provides in-depth articles focused on the respective geographic region where the national convention is taking place in a given year. All SABR members receive a free e-book copy of The National Pastime as part of their membership benefits, while attendees of the national convention also receive a souvenir print edition in their goody bags.

All articles from the 2018 convention journal, The National Pastime: Steel City Stories, can now be read online at

Click a link below to download the e-book edition of the 2018 The National Pastime:

If you weren’t able to attend the convention in Pittsburgh, please enjoy this issue of The National Pastime as your virtual trip to the Steel City. Happy reading!

To learn more about contributing to a future SABR publication, click here.

— Cecilia M. Tan, Publications Director

SABR 48: Check out complete coverage from our 2018 convention in Pittsburgh

Couldn’t make it to Pittsburgh for SABR 48? Check out more stories, photos, and multimedia clips from the SABR 48 convention, held June 20-24, 2018, at the Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh, at

You can find stories, photos, and multimedia clips from SABR 48 in Pittsburgh, including our panels on the lives and legacies of Pittsburgh Pirates great Roberto Clemente, pioneering sports writer Wendell Smith, and Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey; the 1979 Pirates Player Panel with John Candelaria and Grant Jackson, the Media Panel with Pirates broadcasters Steve Blass, Lanny Frattare, Greg Brown, and Joe Block; the SABR 48 Ballpark Session at PNC Park, and much more.

Check out the new SABR Statistical Analysis Committee website

One of SABR’s earliest and most influential research committees has started a brand-new website. Check out the Statistical Analysis Committee’s forum, which launched this week, at

Led by committee chairs Phil Birnbaum and Chris Dial, the SABR Statistical Analysis site will include essays and articles, new and old, from the committee newsletter, By The Numbers, the Baseball Research Journal, and other SABR publications; links to articles at popular sabermetric websites such as FanGraphs, Baseball Prospectus, or Beyond the Box Score; as well as original, new content from SABR committee members and other contributors. 

You can also follow along with the Statistical Analysis committee on Twitter at @SabrStat.

Check out some featured articles below:

If you are interested in helping to curate the website or want to learn more, please e-mail Mark Armour. New articles with original sabermetric analysis will follow SABR’s standard editing and peer review process; please click here to read SABR’s Publication Guidelines or contact committee chairs Phil Birnbaum or Chris Dial if you are interested in submitting an article.

Registration now open for 2018 SABR Cleveland 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium

Join us for the SABR Cleveland 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium, which will take place on Saturday, November 10, 2018, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the majestic Main Branch of the Cleveland Public Library in the heart of downtown Cleveland.

The day-long Saturday symposium will be devoted to 19th-century baseball as it was played and evolved in Cleveland and its greater region of northeastern Ohio. A keynote luncheon address of interdisciplinary history by David Goldberg, Professor of History at Cleveland State University, will provide a look at late 19th-century Cleveland with a particular understanding of one of that city’s most important and powerful forces, its transportation system. In addition to the on-site luncheon, there will be both an early morning and mid-afternoon coffee and refreshments service.

Other speakers are expected to include John Thorn, MLB’s Official Historian; John Skrtic, Director of Public Services, CPL; Jeremy Feador, Cleveland Indians, Historian & Curator; and four SABR researchers and authors with specific focus on elements of 19th-century Cleveland area baseball: David Fleitz, Joseph Wancho, Ken Krsolovic, and Bryan Fritz. Click here to download a complete schedule (PDF).

We hope to see you there!

SABR Games Project reaches milestone with 1,000th published story

One of SABR’s newest research initiatives, the SABR Games Project, reached a milestone with the publication of its 1,000th article last week.

The newest batch of SABR Games Project stories includes notable and memorable games from all eras of baseball history, including stories about Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hitter (1990), Lou Brock’s 3,000th hit (1979), the 10-cent beer riot at Cleveland Stadium (1974), and the first night All-Star Game in Philadelphia (1943).

Formed in 2014 and now headed up by Mike Huber, Steven C. Weiner, Len Levin, and Bruce Slutsky, the SABR Games Project is an initiative to research, write, and publish accounts of major-league regular season, postseason, and All-Star Games, along with other games of historical significance such as in the Negro Leagues, minor leagues, or international or exhibition contests. These game accounts complement Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference box scores, as well as SABR BioProject essays on the players involved.

It’s easy to get involved. Any SABR member is eliglble to write for the Games Project. If you’d like to help contribute, find out how by reading the Games Project FAQs or checking out the Authors’ Guidelines.

SABR Digital Library: Cincinnati’s Crosley Field: A Gem in the Queen City

Add this new book from the SABR Digital Library to your collection, on one of baseball’s classic crown jewels:

Cincinnati’s Crosley Field: A Gem in the Queen City 
Edited by Gregory H. Wolf 
Associate Editors: Len Levin, Bill Nowlin, and Carl Riechers 
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-943816-75-0,
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-943816-74-3,
311 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

Click here to read the full description of this book at

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including e-book editions for free. Visit for a list of all titles.

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 SABR book on the World Series in the Deadball Era brings baseball history to life

A special new publication produced by SABR’s Deadball Era Research Committee vividly brings back the exploits of Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson, Home Run Baker, and Babe Ruth to life with more than 250 rare photos: 

The World Series in the Deadball Era: A History in the Words and Pictures of the Writers and Photographers
Edited by Steve Steinberg
Foreword by Dr. Charles Alexander
Published by St. Johann Press
ISBN (hardcover): 978-1-9379-4345-5, $45.00
306 pages, 8.5″ x 11″

Click here for a complete description of this book at

This book is available for purchase from, your local bookstore, or directly from the publisher at St. Johann Press.

Buy the book:

Students, apply now for the 2018 SABR Women in Baseball Scholarship

SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee will award one $500 scholarship to a high school senior in its inaugural Women in Baseball Essay Contest in 2018.

Students must write an essay of 1,500 words or less addressing the following question: “Choose one person or event in women’s baseball history that you believe has made a significant impact on the game and explain the importance.”

Click here to download the 2018 SABR Women in Baseball Scholarship application and style guidelines (PDF)

All applications must be e-mailed or postmarked by August 13, 2018, and sent to Dr. Leslie Heaphy at

Click here for complete details and submission criteria.

11 new SABR biographies published

Eleven new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 4,603 published biographies. Here are the new bios published this week: 

All new biographies can be found here:

  • Search for any SABR biography: You can now visit to search for any player — or manager, executive, scout, spouse, broadcaster, or umpire — who appears in the SABR BioProject. You can also browse all of these BioProject categories and a lot more, including 300-game winners, Hall of Famers, 1960s All-Stars, or Negro Leaguers, at our Browse page:
  • Read bios from SABR’s No-Hitters book: In SABR’s No-Hitters, edited by Bill Nowlin and published in 2017, we focused on pitchers who threw no-hitters and the no-hitters they threw. Naturally, we couldn’t present biographies of everyone who ever threw a no-hitter nor could we present Games Project accounts of all of them. From around 300 no-hitters thrown in the majors (out of over 213,000 games), we have selected 59 no-hitters to include, along with the biographies of the men who threw them. All of the biographies — from Hall of Famers such as Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, and Randy Johnson to more obscure pitchers such as Larry Corcoran, Charlie Robertson, and Dallas Braden — that appeared in No-Hitters can now be read online at the SABR BioProject. More game summaries from the No-Hitters book will be posted at the SABR Games Project soon. You can also download the No-Hitters e-book for free or purchase the paperback edition at 50% off by clicking 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:

New Games Project stories can be found at Find all published Games Project articles at

If you have any questions about the Games Project, please contact Mike Huber. To request an assignment, please contact Steven C. Weiner. After the article has been completed in accordance with our Authors’ Guidelines, please submit it to Len Levin, who will initiate the editing process and get your story started toward publication.

  • 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.
  • Read all articles from SABR book on greatest games at Milwaukee’s County Stadium: In SABR’s From the Braves to the Brewers: Great Games and Exciting History at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, edited by Gregory H. Wolf and published in 2016, we told the stories of memorable moments from the heart of the Badger State. All of the stories that appeared in this book are now available to be read online at the SABR Games Project by clicking here.

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

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, is back for the 2018 season at its regular time: 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Sundays, on MLB Network Radio.

This week’s guests are SABR member Mark Simon of Baseball Info Solutions and Julian McWilliams, Oakland A’s beat writer for The Athletic.

You can listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App. Click here to learn more.

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.

Cubaball Tours announces 2018 dates

SABR member Kit Krieger of Cubaball Tours is pleased to announce that the 19th annual baseball tour of Cuba will be conducted from September 23-30, 2018.

Highlights of the tour include five games of the 58th National Series in five different ballparks; meetings with current and veteran players, including Luis Zayas, the last surviving member of the fabled Havana Sugar Kings living in Cuba, and Sigfredo Barros, the baseball beat writer for Granma, the national newspaper of Cuba; a visit to the monuments erected in Colon Cemetery, including the gravesites of Adolfo Luque and Hall of Famer Jose Mendez Caridad; seminars on contemporary Cuba, including US-Cuban relations, and more.

The tour, which is limited to 25 people, is licensed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Asset Control and complies with US requirements for travel to Cuba. Click here for complete details.

Contact Kit Krieger ( to register.

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
Bruce Abraham Dallas, TX     David Nielsen San Diego, CA
Jan Hahn St. Louis Park, MN     Grant Sigler Fort Worth, TX
Jay Hahn Colorado Springs, CO     Shea Spencer Columbus, GA
Robert Johnson Scottsdale, AZ     Steven Stark Belmont, MA
Aaron Marek Oak Harbor, WA     Christian Tinory Attleboro, MA
Kevin Mendoza Stratford, CT        


Research Committee news

Here are the new research committee updates this week:

  • Statistical Analysis: Check out the new Statistical Analysis Committee website at or follow us on Twitter at @SabrStat for timely updates and discussion.
  • Games Project: For more updates from the SABR Games Project, check out the committee’s revived page on Facebook. “Like” our page and contribute to the discussion at

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming events on the SABR calendar:

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: July 27, 2018. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.