This Week in SABR: June 19, 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 19, 2015:

SABR 45: Chicago convention begins next week!

We hope you’ll join us for SABR 45 next week at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. We’ve got an exciting convention coming up. Visit for complete information.

Registration is no longer available online, but all baseball fans are welcome to register on-site at the Palmer House Hilton beginning Wednesday, June 24. Click here for more information on SABR 45 registration rates, all-inclusive packages, single-day rates, and optional sessions.

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.
  • ESPN presents: “1927: The Diary of Myles Thomas”: Panelists include Steve Wulf, a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine; John Thorn, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball; and Douglas Alden, the Myles Thomas project’s creator, head writer, and executive producer, and a multiple Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director. 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. 

For more information on SABR 45, visit

SABR 45: ESPN presents “1927: The Diary of Myles Thomas”

At SABR 45 in Chicago, we’re pleased to host a special presentation by SABR member Steve Wulf of ESPN, along with MLB Official Historian John Thorn, and Emmy Award-winning producer Douglas Alden.

“1927: The Diary of Myles Thomas”
10:00-11:00 a.m., Friday, June 26
Grand Ballroom, Palmer House Hilton

Expected speakers include:

  • Steve Wulf, a senior writer for and ESPN The Magazine
  • John Thorn, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball
  • Douglas Alden is the Myles Thomas project’s creator, head writer, and executive producer, and a multiple Emmy Award-winning writer/producer/director

The 1927 Yankees. Murderers Row. Winners of 110 games in the regular season. Sweepers of the Pirates in the World Series. Babe Ruth hit a record 60 homers, Lou Gehrig drove in a staggering 173 runs and Waite Hoyt won 22 games. Six of the Yankees would go on to the Hall of Fame, and all of them would go down as the greatest baseball team ever assembled.

Starting next spring, ESPN will relive that epic season through a work of historical fiction in the form of a diary of one of the ’27 Yankees, and letters by a Yankee beat writer.

ESPN’s project will explore the largely unexamined nexus of baseball, Jazz and Prohibition: What was it like living in the Jazz Age — a time when money and gin flowed endlessly, and the Babe, Charles Lindbergh, Barbara Stanwyck, Louis Armstrong, and Al Capone ran in the same circles?

On and off the field, this project is populated by a remarkable cast of Yankee characters: a pitcher who grew up in vaudeville and was studying to be a mortician, a second baseman with epilepsy, a catcher who played the sax and sat in with Jazz bands, a third baseman who had frequently abandoned his first major-league team, an infielder who was literally a butcher, and a manager who once practiced law and gave prescient financial investment advice to his players. Reading this deeply personal account, you will feel the anguish of an 18-game winner who had to sleep sitting up because of a heart condition, along with the true joy of just being around the Babe.

Off the field you will meet the gangster who financially backed Broadway shows, nightclubs and speakeasies, the girls who danced in all of them, and the Jazzmen who played in integrated jam sessions in Harlem, Chicago and Cleveland, every night from 2-5 a.m. (and from 3-7 p.m. were diehard baseball fans).

For more information on SABR 45, visit

SABR 45: Tickets will be available on-site 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 in the Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hilton.

Tickets for The Baseball Project at SABR 45 will be available for $60 on-site on Wednesday, June 24 or Thursday, June 25 during convention registration hours or at the door. Note: All baseball and music fans are welcome to attend; you do not have to be registered for the SABR convention to purchase a ticket for the concert.

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

For more information on SABR 45, visit

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 45: Committee meetings

You can find the updated schedule for research committee meetings at SABR 45 in Chicago by clicking on the link below:

Several research committees have scheduled guest speakers for their annual meeting at this year’s convention, highlighted by an appearance from Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese player in major-league history, at the Asian Baseball Research Committee meeting at 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 27. At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, June 26, Baseball and the Media Committee chair Chuck Hildebrandt will conduct a live “Working the Game” interview with Christina Kahrl, baseball editor at Also at the same time, the Black Sox Scandal Research Committee will have Peter Alter, Chicago History Museum archivist, speak at its meeting; while the Ballparks Committee meeting is expected to include Stan Meradith, a distinguished architect and former committee co-chair. Guest speakers for the Deadball Era Committee meeting (7:30 p.m. Friday, June 26) are Dr. Charles Alexander, acclaimed author and 2011 Henry Chadwick Award recipient; Nathaniel Grow and Chuck Kimberly, 2015 Larry Ritter Award winners.

In addition, the Negro Leagues committee and Women in Baseball committee will have guest speakers from their featured panels earlier in the day.

Please note: All speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

Register today to join us at SABR 45! All baseball fans are welcome to attend.

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: 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

SABR 45: Attendees list

SABR members can now find a list of all registered attendees for SABR 45 in the Members Only section.

Log in to to download a spreadsheet (.xls) with the SABR 45 attendees list.

We look forward to seeing you all in Chicago next week!

Visit the SABR 45 Digital Vendors Room

We want to offer a special thanks to all of our vendors at SABR 45 for their support. We invite you to visit our digital Vendors Room at and check out these groups, both online and at the convention in Chicago next week:

Please stop by the fourth-floor Exhibit Hall at SABR 45 — June 24-28, 2015, at the Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603 — and purchase an item to remind you of your experience at the 2015 SABR convention..

Visit for more information.

Bill Hickman wins 2015 George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award

The 2015 George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award, which was established by SABR’s Pictorial History Research Committee to honor significant contributions to the knowledge and understanding of historical baseball imagery, has been awarded to Bill Hickman, the longtime committee chair who lives in Rockville, Maryland.

The SABR Pictorial History Research Committee has released the following statement:

During Bill’s time as chairman, the following things happened:

  • The Player Image Index grew from 14,300 major leaguers to 17,399 major leaguers and the Player Image Index database grew from about 20,000 records to about 40,000 records. The Index now covers about 97% of the major league players.
  • The Manager Image Index was launched and it grew to the point where it now covers 97% of the major league managers.
  • The Ballpark Image Index was launched and now covers about half of the historical major league ballparks.
  • Coach and Umpire Image Indexes were launched.
  • Several thousand vintage baseball photos have been identified in SABR PHC sponsored group projects, including the Libray of Congress Bain and Ewing & Harris collections, and the Boston Public Library Leslie Jones collection.
  • The process of archiving and digitizing the collection of SABR photo negatives was started.

It should also be pointed out that PHC membership more than tripled in size during Bill’s tenure.

Bill knew how to define an important research objective and create an inclusive plan to achieve it. Most importantly, he knew how to inspire people to participate.

In all of this, Bill established a great example for future PHC chairpersons to follow.

To learn more about the George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award, click here.

Click here to download the Pictorial History Committee’s May 2015 newsletter.

— Mark Fimoff

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.

13 new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Thirteen new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which  brings us to a total of 3,262 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

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 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

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:

The SABR Baseball Games Project was launched in 2014 to research and write articles on major-league and Negro League regular, postseason, and All-Star Games. These game accounts will complement Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference box scores as well as BioProject essays on the players involved.

The articles are not intended to be mere play-by-play summaries, nor should they be first-person narratives. Rather the goal is to put each game in historical context — whether that history is of a particular player, team, season, or something even broader.

Visit the Games Project website at

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.

2015 SABR Annual Report has been posted online

Our 2015 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 office at SABR, Cronkite School at ASU, 555 N. Central Ave. #416, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

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.

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

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Jennifer Allen Tucson, AZ     Jim Inhelder Foxfield, CO
Elmer Baacke Milwaukee, WI     Brian Macdonald Charlottetown, PEI
Barry Bozeman Tempe, AZ     Fernando Martinez Houston, TX
Matt Dahlgren Irvine, CA     Steven Myers Montreal, QC
Chris Fackler Beaumont, TX     Erik Shelstad Montevideo, MN
Paul Gough Canonsburg, PA     Allan Simpson Durham, NC


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:

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 19, 2015. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.