This Week in SABR: June 12, 2015

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 June 12, 2015:

SABR 45: Still time to register for the Chicago convention

The SABR 45 convention is less than TWO weeks away and we hope you’ll join us June 24-28, 2015, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Click here for complete information on SABR 45 registration rates. Or click here to register for SABR 45.

Click the link below to find the full convention schedule online:


SABR 45 will include top featured speakers from around the baseball world — front office executives, players, managers, scouts, writers, and analysts — plus innovative panel discussions on the Cubs, White Sox, the Negro Leagues, women in baseball, baseball broadcasting, and more. See below for details on our featured panels:

  • Ernie Banks/Minnie Minoso Tribute: The SABR 45 Awards Banquet will include a special tribute to Chicago baseball icons Ernie Banks and Minnie Minoso, presented by national columnist Phil Rogers. Click here for more details.
  • White Sox Players Panel: Panelists include two-time AL All-Star Carlos May; 1983 AL Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle; and former White Sox outfielder Mike Huff, and moderator Dan Migala. Click here for more details.
  • Curveballs: Pitching Prodigies, Real and Imagined: Panelists include two of the most colorful characters in baseball during the 1980s: Joe Berton, who played the role of Sidd Finch in Sports Illustrated’s classic hoax “The Curious Case of Sidd Finch;” Steve Trout, a former MLB first-round draft pick who starred for the Cubs and White Sox in real life; and moderator Barry M. Bloom. Click here for more details.
  • Broadcasters Panel: Panelists include Chicago Cubs announcers Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies, and Ron Coomer, and moderator Curt Smith. Click here for more details.
  • Negro Leagues Panel: Panelists include former Negro Leagues pitchers Al Spearman and Ernie Westfield, and moderator Larry Lester. Click here for more details.
  • Women in Baseball Panel: Panelists include Cubs executive Caroline Phillips, White Sox executive and author Martha Jo Black, author and historian John Kovach, and South Bend Blue Sox player Christie Spisak, along with moderator Leslie Heaphy, SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee co-chair. Click here for more details.

Here are some more highlights and information about SABR 45 in Chicago:

All SABR 45 attendees will also receive a souvenir print edition of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, focusing on baseball teams, players and events in the Chicago area. All SABR members, whether you attend the convention or not, will receive the expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime in their inboxes later this summer. Click here to register for SABR 45.

For more information on SABR 45, visit

Last call! Donate to SABR and go on the field at Wrigley during SABR 45

We just wanted to remind you about a special SABR donation package that will be offered for SABR 45 in Chicago. Only one pregame spot and five total opportunities remain, so reserve your place today.

Thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Cubs, anyone who makes a donation of $1,500 or more to the SABR General Fund between May 1 and June 15, 2015, will have the opportunity to go on the field before or after the Cubs-Dodgers game on Thursday, June 25 during SABR 45.

This special opportunity is only available to eight SABR donors — four people before the game and four after the game. Donors will be able to go on to the field and take photographs during batting practice before the game or walk the field and take photographs after the game. Each one-time donation is good for one on-field ticket. Choice of before/after the game is first-come, first-serve (please contact Marc Appleman to express preference.)

In addition to the on-field opportunity at Wrigley Field, the SABR 45 donation package also includes four tickets to the SABR 45 Baseball Project concert at the Palmer House Hilton, two tickets to the SABR 45 Donors Breakfast, a special SABR 45 glass commemorative baseball, and a one-year membership to SABR.

SABR is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

  • If you are interested in the SABR 45 donation package, please contact Executive Director Marc Appleman at

SABR 45: Get your tickets now for The Baseball Project concert

Attendees at the SABR 45 convention this summer in Chicago will have a special opportunity to see The Baseball Project in concert on Thursday, June 25, 2015, in the Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hilton.

Advance tickets for The Baseball Project at SABR 45 are now available for $40 when you register for the SABR convention online at Tickets will be $60 on-site during the convention until the concert venue reaches capacity.

Formed in 2007 by Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Gutterball), The Baseball Project began as a way for a couple of fans to pay musical tribute to our national pastime. But The Baseball Project has since blossomed into a full-fledged, much-loved band in its own right, one which includes drummer Linda Pitmon (Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Zuzu’s Petals), and Peter Buck and Mike Mills, founding members of R.E.M., one of the best-selling alternative rock bands of all time.

To learn more about The Baseball Project, visit their website at or their YouTube channel at

(Note: For those interested, The Baseball Project concert will not conflict with the SABR 45 Trivia Contest preliminaries on the schedule.)

Registration for SABR 45 is now available at

SABR 45: Single-day rates will be available on-site at Palmer House Hilton

Single-day registration for SABR 45 can be purchased on-site during convention registration hours.

The single-day rate of $99 — which is available for Friday, June 26 and/or Saturday, June 27 — includes admission to all convention panels, research presentations, and committee meetings at the Palmer House Hilton. It can be purchased on-site via cash, check, or credit card (sorry, no American Express accepted.)

Please note: Admission to the SABR 45 Awards Banquet and the Donors Breakfast is not included.

Click here for complete information on SABR 45 registration.

SABR Digital Library: Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox

Add a salacious baseball book to your collection with the newest book from the SABR Digital Library:

Scandal on the South Side:
The 1919 Chicago White Sox
Edited by Jacob Pomrenke
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-933599-95-3
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-933599-94-6
$19.95 paperback; $9.99 e-book
8.5″ x 11″, 324 pages

The Black Sox Scandal is a cold case, not a closed case.

When Eliot Asinof wrote his classic history about the fixing of the 1919 World Series, Eight Men Out, he told a dramatic story of undereducated and underpaid Chicago White Sox ballplayers, disgruntled by their low pay and poor treatment by team management, who fell prey to the wiles of double-crossing big-city gamblers offering them bribes to lose the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Eddie Cicotte, and the other Black Sox players were all banned from organized baseball for life. But the real story is a lot more complex.

We now have access to crucial information that changes what we thought we knew about “baseball’s darkest hour” — including rare film footage from that fateful fall classic, legal documents from the criminal and civil court proceedings, and accurate salary information for major-league players and teams. All of these new pieces to the Black Sox puzzle provide definitive answers to some old mysteries and raise other questions in their place.

However, the Black Sox Scandal isn’t the only story worth telling about the 1919 Chicago White Sox. The team roster included three future Hall of Famers, a 20-year-old spitballer who would go on to win 300 games in the minor leagues, and even a batboy who later became a celebrity with the “Murderers’ Row” New York Yankees in the 1920s.

All of their stories are included in Scandal on the South Side, which has full-life biographies on each of the 31 players who made an appearance for the White Sox in 1919, plus a comprehensive recap of Chicago’s pennant-winning season, the tainted World Series, and the sordid aftermath.

This book isn’t a rewriting of Eight Men Out, but it is the complete story of everyone associated with the 1919 Chicago White Sox. The Society for American Baseball Research invites you to learn more about the Black Sox Scandal and the infamous team at the center of it all.

Contributors include: Bruce Allardice, Russell Arent, Steve Cardullo, Brian Cooper, James E. Elfers, David Fleitz, David Fletcher, Daniel Ginsburg, Irv Goldfarb, John Heeg, Rick Huhn, Bill Lamb, Len Levin, Dan Lindner, Adrian Marcewicz, Brian McKenna, Steven G. McPherson, Paul Mittermeyer, Jack Morris, Peter Morris, Rod Nelson, James R. Nitz, Bill Nowlin, Jacob Pomrenke, Kelly Boyer Sagert, Jim Sandoval, Richard Smiley, Lyle Spatz, Steve Steinberg, Brian Stevens, Andy Sturgill, and Gregory H. Wolf.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

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 45: Looking for on-site presentation judges

On-site judges are needed for SABR 45 research presentations. Each judge will be responsible for viewing and evaluating oral and poster presentations during SABR 45 in Chicago.

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. The Pappas Award winner will have the opportunity to repeat that presentation on Saturday evening.

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

For the complete SABR 45 presentation schedule, click here.

SABR 45: Just a few spots left for Chicago Downtown Baseball Walking Tour

At SABR 45, join us for a magnificent 2- to 3-mile guided walking tour of significant baseball sites in the Downtown Loop. The tour will depart from the hotel at 1:00 p.m. and last approximately two and a half hours. The guided tour will be limited to the first 40 people who sign up; please RSVP by sending an e-mail to There are just a few spots remaining.

For everyone else, a map and handout will be available at the SABR 45 information table to allow any convention attendees to do it themselves during their stay in Chicago. (Click here to download the walking tour map/handout as a PDF.)

The tour will include stops at the Fisher Building, the Old Colony Building, and the Congress Hotel before we stroll up Michigan Avenue to view the People’s Gas Building, the Jack Brickhouse statue, old White Stocking Park, and other sites along the way. The tour will end at the old Criminal Courts Building and Harry Caray’s Steakhouse, just a few blocks away from the CTA Red Line station at Grand/State, where you can take the “L” back to the hotel (you will be responsible for your own $3 CTA fare) or walk back with us through the heart of the Loop on State Street to the Palmer House Hilton. (This is the difference between the 2.1-mile tour and the 2.9-mile tour.) Another option: Find some SABR friends and stop for lunch on your own at the Billy Goat Tavern or Harry Caray’s Steakhouse.

To register for SABR 45, visit

SABR 45: Transportation tips

As we get ready for SABR 45, members of the host Emil Rothe Chapter have compiled a list of transportation tips, including directions to the Palmer House Hilton from both of Chicago’s major airports, to help visitors and convention attendees enjoy their stay in the Windy City. If you have any questions during your stay, please don’t hesitate to ask a friendly SABR 45 volunteer for assistance during the convention.

Click the link below to access our SABR 45 transportation tips page:


To register for SABR 45, visit For more information on Chicago’s award-winning restaurants, upcoming events and other attractions, visit

Andy McCue’s Walter O’Malley biography wins 2015 Ron Gabriel Award

SABR is pleased to announce that Mover & Shaker: Walter O’Malley, the Dodgers, and Baseball’s Westward Expansion, written by Andy McCue and published by the University of Nebraska Press, has been selected as the winner of the Ron Gabriel Award in 2015.

McCue, a past SABR President and business journalist who resides in Riverside, California, will be honored at the SABR 45 convention, June 24-28, 2015, in Chicago. Click here to register.

Earlier this year, McCue’s acclaimed biography was also named as the winner of the 2015 Seymour Medal, which honors the best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year.

The Ron Gabriel Award annually honors the author(s) of the best research, published or unpublished, on the subject of the Brooklyn Dodgers completed during the preceding calendar year. Eligible works include but are not limited to magazine and journal articles, previously unpublished chapters or articles in anthologies or other books with multiple authors, unpublished research papers, written versions of oral presentations, books, databases and websites.

The award subcommittee included: Bill Nowlin (chair pro tem, non-voting), Rich Applegate, Gary Cieradkowski, and Gary Sarnoff.

For a list of past Ron Gabriel Award winners, click here.

Submit your entry for 2015 SABR Negro Leagues Youth Art Contest

Entries are now being accepted for the SABR Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference’s 2015 Youth Art Contest.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Black Baseball Life” and the deadline for entries is June 30, 2015.

Cost: $10 per three entries. No maximum number per school.

For more information on criteria and guidelines, click here.

The 18th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 6-8, 2015, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages. Visit for registration or more information.

Register now for 2015 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Pittsburgh

The 18th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 6-8, 2015, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages.

  • Register today! Click here to register online at the SABR Store. Or click here to download a registration form (PDF); please mail your check or money order before July 31 to SABR Malloy Conference, Cronkite School at ASU, 555 N. Central Ave. #416, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

    Regular registration is $175 for an adult rate (includes all activities) or $125 for a student rate. Single-day registration for Friday or Saturday is $100. The rate for the Thursday education forum only is $20. Optional sessions are also available.

The 2015 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will celebrate the rich history of black baseball in Pittsburgh. We welcome proposals for oral and poster presentations from all research fields. Previous presenters have included college faculty, public school teachers, graduate students, and independent scholars. Presentations may focus on any topic related to the theme, “Baseball’s Best: the Grays and the Crawfords,” or other Negro Leagues issues. Some possibilities include: Josh Gibson, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Gus Greenlee, Cum Posey, Vic Harris, Cool Papa Bell, the Crawford Grill, and many others.

Visit for information on the 2015 Call for Papers, Essay Contest, Art Contest, and Library Grant Program.

15 new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Fifteen new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which — including the new biographies from Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Soxbrings us to a total of 3,249 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here: /bioproj/recent

You can find the SABR BioProject at

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 /bioproj/browse. 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!

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

Rory Costello takes over as SABR BioProject chief editor for Jan Finkel

Rory Costello has agreed to assume the role as Chief Editor of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, replacing Jan Finkel, who is stepping down after 12 years. Rory has been doing this work on an interim basis this spring while Jan was traveling abroad, and the two agreed to make the change permanent.  Rory has written more than 180 biographies for the project and served as an editor for many more.

What this means: Effective immediately, all biographers should submit their finished articles to Rory at What this also means: Thank you, Jan.

I have told this story many times but I will do so again. This project was started in 2002 with the help of many people, including the late Fred Ivor-Campbell, who served as our first chief editor. After six months or so, Fred called me and said that he was not the right person for the job, that he was an old pen-and-paper editor who worked slowly and was somewhat disorganized, a poor match for what I needed. What I really needed, Fred felt, was Jan Finkel. And that was that.

We have published the works of over 500 different authors, many of whom do not write like Hemingway, but Jan and his editors have helped bridge that gap many times. And the quality of the work coming in has improved considerably, thanks to them. And it must be said that we have had our fair share of author drama along the way, and Jan has handled all of this with grace and tact, and we have kept it all out of the morning papers.

I am confident that Rory will do great work for us, and likely find some ways to improve the process. Jan has done way more than his share, and he is going to spend more time enjoying life. (Jan is very good at enjoying life, by the way.) And even better: he is not going anywhere. He is still a great part of the project and SABR, and will still be the life of most conversations.

Find all published SABR biographies at

— Mark Armour, SABR BioProject director

Listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM

We invite you to listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a new radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, on Sunday nights on MLB Network Radio.

Baseball SABR Style focuses on examining and interpreting the statistical analysis that plays a critical role in baseball today. It will air 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. (Recent shows are available afterward in the “on-demand” section of the SiriusXM app or website.)

For more information, click here.

In Memoriam

  • SABR member John P. McCarthy, 77, a native San Franciscan and active in the Lefty O’Doul Chapter, died on June 2, 2015. He was vice president of the Old Timers Baseball Association of San Francisco and wrote the monthly newsletter for many years. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1955 and attended City College of San Francisco and USF while on a baseball scholarship. He graduated with a Masters in Recreation Administration from San Francisco State University and worked at the City of Palo Alto for 15 years as a recreation supervisor. John created a golf tournament for amateurs and professionals and worked in the golf industry for more than 35 years. He is survived by Beverly, whom he was married to for 55 years, his brother William McCarthy of Vacaville; daughters Susan Buehler of Fremont, Michele McCarthy of Boulder Creek, and Kelly McCarthy of Mountain View; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Services were held on June 8 at Valente Marini Perata & Co. with graveside services at the Italian Cemetery, Colma. In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Old Timers Baseball Association Scholarship fund in John’s memory. 401 Cunningham Way, San Bruno, CA 94066.

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: /content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.

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.

You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
James Armstrong Los Angeles, CA     David Lemcoe Roswell, GA
Bruce Bastoky San Jose, CA     Eric Lilly Milford, OH
Stephen Bratkovich New Brighton, MN     Daniel Mumford Ocean City, MD
Adam Coleman Denver, CO     Lyle Pirnie N. Attleboro, MA
Corey Dawkins Watertown, MA     Frederic Rappaz Montreal, QC
Carl Eichert Lomita, CA     Jessica Rosenberg New York, NY
Alistair Jardine Helensburgh, SCO     Max Schumacher Indianapolis, IN
Ron Kimberling New York, NY     Stevie Stevens Butler, KY
Charlie Kupfer Camp Hill, PA        


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee updates for this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates for this week:

  • Connie Mack Chapter: The Connie Mack Chapter’s annual meeting will be in the Hall of Fame Room at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, June 20 in Philadelphia. A full program is being planned with guest speakers including Chris Wheeler, Jerry Casway, Mike Sielski, and more. Choice seats will also be available for the game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Cost: $55 (includes luncheon). Register before June 15. Space is limited to 50 guests. Click here for more details.

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

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: June 12, 2015. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.