This Week in SABR: June 14, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of June 14, 2013:

SABR 43: Deadline for early rate and all-inclusive rate ends tonight!

If you’re planning to attend SABR 43, please note that the special all-inclusive rate of $219 — which includes convention registration, one Phillies game ticket and one ticket to the Awards Banquet — will expire at 12:00 a.m. MST on Saturday, June 15. That’s tonight!

Our block of Phillies ballgame tickets will also be unavailable after tonight and the early registration rate of $169 will increase after tonight to $199 for SABR members or $252 for non-members. You can still register for the convention and the Awards Banquet online at the SABR Store, but the discounted all-inclusive rate and our block of Phillies ballgame tickets will no longer be available after June 15.

SABR 43 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.

We’ve got an exciting schedule on tap (see below), and we hope you’ll all join us in Philly this summer!

To register for SABR 43, click here.

SABR 43: Full daily schedule now available online

The full schedule of events for SABR 43, July 31-August 4, 2013, at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, has now been posted online and can be viewed here:

We’ve got an All-Star lineup of guest speakers, including MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred and Philadelphia Phillies President and CEO David Montgomery; featured panels on Philadelphia Baseball History, Women in Baseball, Statistical Analysis and other subjects; 32 high-quality research presentations ranging from Rube Waddell to Bill Veeck to motion capture technology in baseball; committee meetings, poster presentations and the popular and challenging SABR Trivia Contest; a walking tour of Olde City landmarks and a bus tour of historical ballpark sites; a vintage base ball game and baseball-related variety show; a Major League game at beautiful Citizens Bank Park; and much more. 

Please note all events and speakers are subject to change.

Join us in Philly for SABR 43; all baseball fans are welcome to attend. Register today by clicking here.

SABR 43: Black Sox Scandal Committee to host Eight Men Out panel discussion

The SABR Black Sox Scandal Committee will host a panel discussion at SABR 43 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eight Men Out, which was written by Eliot Asinof and first published in 1963. We’ve learned a great deal more about the Black Sox Scandal in the last half-century, and we’ll go over some of that new information and how it affects our understanding of the story popularized by Asinof’s landmark book, which introduced so many of us to the fixed 1919 World Series.

The panelists will include:

  • Dr. David Fletcher, founder and president of the Chicago Baseball Museum
  • Bill Lamb, a retired New Jersey prosecutor and author of Black Sox in the Courtroom: The Grand Jury, Criminal Trial and Civil Litigation
  • Moderator: Jacob Pomrenke, chair of the SABR Black Sox Scandal Committee
  • And our special guest of honor: Patricia Anderson, niece and surrogate daughter of Buck Weaver. She and her sister, the late Bette Scanlon, were raised by Buck and Helen Weaver in Chicago for 16 years after their father died in 1931.

The panel is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 2 at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

Register for SABR 43 at

SABR 43 hotel in Philadelphia almost sold out

SABR’s group block at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is going quickly — if you want a room at the Marriott for the SABR convention, you should book your room now. (Don’t forget to register for the convention, too!) If and when our room block sells out, we’ll set up an overflow hotel nearby and post more information at

SABR has secured an exclusive group rate of $139/night (plus tax) at the Marriott for SABR 43. This is a very low rate for a major hotel in downtown Philadelphia during that time of year. The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown is at 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, just blocks from City Hall , Independence Hall and many other Philadelphia landmarks.

Click here to book your room online or call (877) 212-5752. The hotel’s website is Please note that our block of rooms is only available for the nights of July 30 to August 4, 2013.

For more information on SABR 43 or to register, visit

SABR 43 Historical Ballparks Tour is sold out

As we noted last week, the optional Philadelphia Historical Ballparks Bus Tour, scheduled for Sunday, August 4, is now sold out.

If you wish to be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail Deb Jayne at by Monday, July 15. If we have enough people on the waiting list to secure a second bus, we will contact you with details.

For more information on SABR 43, visit

David Block discovers earliest reference to baseball — played by British royalty in 1749

A prominent member of the British royal family played baseball more than 250 years ago. This is according to the latest discovery of SABR member and author David Block, who specializes in the study of baseball’s origins.

Combing through an obscure 1749 newspaper, Block spotted the following news item:

“On Tuesday last, his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and Lord Middlesex, played at Bass-Ball (sic), at Walton in Surry (sic); notwithstanding the Weather was extreme (sic) bad, they continued playing several Hours.”

Though Block and other baseball historians have long been aware that the game originated in Britain before migrating to the North American colonies, this discovery overturns their assumption that it was played only by children and young adults. Frederick, the Prince of Wales, and his playing partner Charles Sackville, (1711-1769), Earl of Middlesex were not only members of the aristocracy, but also men entering their early middle age.

Surrey County Council’s archivists at Surrey History Centre have identified the area where the game was played in Walton-on-Thames as Ashley Park. Sackville’s wife, Grace Boyle, had inherited the property from her parents in 1740 and the park, described by Owen Manning and William Bray in their History and Antiquities of Surrey as ‘a capital mansion with a park of 136 acres’ is shown in some detail on a John Rocque’s 1762 map of Surrey, held at Surrey History Centre. William Bray was himself no stranger to baseball. His reference to playing the game in his diary entry for Easter Monday, 1755, remains the earliest known manuscript reference to the game.

Block uncovered this latest baseball reference in The Whitehall Evening Post for 19 September 1749. Curiously, it is not the first time Frederick’s name has been associated with the game. The Prince may have played it on 13 November 1748 together with his 10-year-old son George, who 12 years later would be crowned George III of England. Lady Hervey, a well-known 18th-century courtier, is believed to have described it in a letter. However, the letter is not known to have survived in its original form.

David Block announced his discovery at the Surrey History Centre, where John Rocques’ 1762 map of Surrey and an early watercolor of Ashley Park in Walton on Thames will be on display.

To learn more and to view a video interview with Block announcing the discovery, click here:

Related links:

16th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference begins

The 16th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference opened Thursday at the Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel in Newark, New Jersey. Get complete details on the Malloy Conference schedule at (On-site registration is also still available, for those of you in the Newark area.)

To view early photos from the conference, courtesy of Marc Appleman, Nick Diunte, Leslie Heaphy and Suzanne Joblonski, click here:

The Malloy Conference, hosted by SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, promotes activities to enhance scholarly, educational, and literary objectives. For the past 15 years, the event has been the only symposium dedicated exclusively to the examination and promotion of black baseball history. The conference is open to baseball and history fans of all ages. Each year, monies are targeted to donate books to schools or libraries; raise funds for the Grave Marker Project; and award scholarships to high school seniors in a nationwide essay contest and a nationwide art contest. A complete information packet can be downloaded here (PDF) or on the website at

The 2013 Malloy Conference theme is “Pop, Max, Effa and Black Ball in the Garden State.”

Vote to select SABR’s 2013 Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend

Hello all SABR members! It is time to hold our annual vote for the Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend award. Each year, SABR’s Nineteenth Century Research Committee selects its Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend — a 19th century player, manager, executive or other baseball personality not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

In the past, only members of the committee voted for this award. Last summer, the project committee leaders decided that all SABR members should join in the fun.

Past winners of the award are Pete Browning (2009), Hall of Fame electee Deacon White (2010), Harry Stovey (2011) and Bill Dahlen (2012).

The voting is simple:

  1. Before voting, please review the ballot to learn more about the 10 finalists who are not yet in the Hall of Fame: Doc Adams, Ross Barnes, Bob Caruthers, Jim Creighton, Jack Glasscock, Paul Hines, Dummy Hoy, Bobby Mathews, Tony Mullane and Al Reach. Click here to download a PDF with bios for the 10 finalists
  2. Go online to vote in the election:
  3. Rank your top 5.

Here’s the fine print:

  • All ballots must be cast by 12:00 a.m. PT on June 24, 2013.
  • You may only vote once.
  • You MUST vote for five candidates or your ballot will not count.

Results will be announced on Thursday, August 1, 2013 during the annual business meeting of the Nineteenth Century Committee to be held during SABR 43 in Philadelphia, PA.

Thank you for participating!

— The Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legends Project Committee
Joe Williams, Chair; Adam Darowski; Charles Faber; Bob Gregory; Ralph Peluso

7 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Seven new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,453 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

1970 Baltimore Orioles bios now online: The second book published in our “Memorable Teams in Baseball History” series with University of Nebraska Press was Pitching, Defense and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, edited by Malcolm Allen and Mark Armour. The SABR BioProject biographies that appeared in the book — from Frank Robinson to Brooks Robinson, from Mike Cuellar to Dave McNally, from Johnny Oates to Terry Crowley — can now be read online 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 new 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

Cubs prospect Javier Baez hits four home runs in minor league game

On Monday night, Chicago Cubs infield prospect Javier Baez hit four home runs for the Class A Daytona Cubs against the Fort Myers Miracle in a 9-6 win at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida. Baez hit a two-run homer in the 1st inning, a solo homer in the 3rd, a three-run homer in the 5th, and another solo shot in the 7th. He finished 4-for-4 with four homers and seven RBI.

It was the second time in Florida State League history that a player has hit four home runs in a game. Ryan Harvey of Daytona turned the trick in 2006 at the same ballpark.

You can view our list of all professional players to hit four home runs in a game here:

This list was first published by SABR founding member Bob McConnell in The Minor League Research Journal, Vol. 2 in 1997.

Last May, Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers became the 16th major league player to hit four home runs in a game at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

In Memoriam

  • Ira J. Fischbein, 64, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed away on June 4, 2013. He was a SABR member since 1988 and an active member of the Connie Mack Chapter. He is survived by brother Albert (Bridget) Fischbein. Relatives and friends are invited to Graveside Services at 10 a.m. Monday, June 17 at Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to a charity of the donors choice.

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
Azar Attura Arlington, VA     Barry Johnson Fort Worth, TX
Harold Birnbaum New York, NY     Joseph Kargol E. Stroudsburg, PA
Christopher Costabile Brandon, FL     Drew Kennedy Denver, CO
Dan Douglass Verona, PA     Thomas Klein Ballwin, MO
Skip Evans Kingwood, TX     Jason Mitchell E. Norriton, PA
Jack Fitzpatrick Topeka, KS     Alex B. Taylor Allison Park, PA
Cecil Good Cold Spring, KY     Kyle West Morgantown, WV
Timothy Greble Philadelphia, PA     Matthew Williams Stockbridge, GA
Dale Hardester Folsom, 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:

  • Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap (June 10; Houston, TX)
  • Rogers Hornsby Chapter meeting recap (June 13; Austin, TX)
  • Arizona’s Flame Delhi Chapter went live with a new chapter website on Saturday. The site celebrates our state’s first big leaguer for whom the chapter is named and is distinctly Arizona in its design. Features include photo galleries, an event page to keep you up-to-date with chapter activities, the Arizona leaderboard with records for Arizona-born players, recommended links and more. There are plans to add more features and grow the site in the near-future. Please visit the new site at

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: June 14, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.