This Week in SABR: June 20, 2014

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of June 20, 2014:

SABR 44: There’s still time to register for Houston convention!

We hope you’ll join us for SABR 44 on July 30-August 3 at the Royal Sonesta Houston. We have an All-Star lineup of guest speakers, panelists and presentations, so register today for a full week of baseball fun.

SABR 44: Media Panel

We’re pleased to introduce the featured panelists for the SABR 44 Media Panel, which is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Friday, August 1 at the Royal Sonesta Houston. This panel will discuss media coverage of the Houston Astros and other on-field and off-field issues that affect the game.

Visit for a complete schedule of panels, research presentations, and committee meetings, as well as registration information and details.

Please note that all speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

Here are the panelists for the SABR 44 Media Panel:

  • Bill Brown: Bill is in his 28th season as the television voice of the Houston Astros, and has more than 30 years of experience broadcasting MLB games. Earlier this year, he was named the Texas Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. In 2004, he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas. In addition, he was recognized on the Astros’ Media Wall of Honor at Minute Maid Park in 2011 and was the recipient of the Fred Hartman Excellence in Sportswriting Award from the Texas Press Association in 2012.
  • Evan Drellich: Evan covers the Houston Astros for the Houston Chronicle. Previously, he covered the Boston Red Sox for the Springfield Republican/ and, and was also a part of’s national desk, covering spring training, the All-Star Game, and the postseason on location. He has also worked for Newsday in New York City and the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from State University of New York at Binghamton. 
  • Alyson Footer: Alyson is a national correspondent for and formerly was the social media director for the Houston Astros. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, she covered the Astros during their playoff runs in 2001, 2004, and 2005, the year the Astros were in the World Series. In her role as social media director, she helped connect Astros players and fans through social media platforms and helped provide greater access to various Astros fan and blog sites. She continues to be active on Twitter, Facebook, and on her MLB blog, Alyson’s Footnotes at
  • Buck Martinez: Buck has spent 45 years in baseball — 20 years as a professional catcher with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Toronto Blue Jays, and 25 years as a broadcaster. During his 12 years with the Toronto Blue Jays, he has served as field manager in 2000-01, a TV color commentator and his current role as a play-by-play announcer. Buck also managed Team USA in the initial World Baseball Classic in 2006. He has worked as an analyst for the Baltimore Orioles and ESPN, where he earned a Sports Emmy for his coverage of Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game in 1995. He has also done color commentary on the Sunday Game of the Week on TBS.
  • Moderator: Brett Dolan: Brett has nearly 20 years of professional baseball play-by-play experience, including seven years on the Houston Astros radio broadcast team. He can be heard on ESPN3, ESPNU, CSN Houston, TD Radio and CBS Sports Radio 610. He has also been a broadcaster with MLB Network and Fox Sports Southwest. A graduate of the University of Iowa, Dolan lives in Sugar Land with his spouse, Betsy, and children, Will and Kate. He marks witnessing Craig Biggio’s 3,000th MLB hit as one of his favorite sports experiences.

For more information on SABR 44 or to register, visit

SABR 44: Women in Baseball Panel

We’re pleased to introduce the featured panelists for the SABR 44 Women in Baseball Panel, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 1 at the Royal Sonesta Houston.

Women have played our national pastime as children and adults probably as long as their male counterparts. The development of softball has largely obscured the rich history and current involvement of women in the hardball world. This discussion will bring into focus the role of women in baseball, past and present, through the real life, and varied experiences of our panel members.

Here are the panelists for the SABR 44 Media Panel:

  • Alyson Footer: Alyson is a national correspondent for and formerly was the social media director for the Houston Astros. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, she covered the Astros during their playoff runs in 2001, 2004, and 2005, the year the Astros were in the World Series. In her role as social media director, she helped connect Astros players and fans through social media platforms and helped provide greater access to various Astros fan and blog sites. She continues to be active on Twitter, Facebook, and on her MLB blog, Alyson’s Footnotes at
  • Pam Gardner: Pam worked for the Houston Astros for 24 years, working her way from Director of Communications to President of Business Operations. She held the latter post for 11 years. During her tenure, when she was often the highest-ranking female in baseball involved in day-to-day operations, she spearheaded the building and opening of Minute Maid Park as the club set attendance records. Since leaving the Astros, she has been CEO of a consulting firm and also has served on the board for the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority.
  • Marie “Red” Mahoney: Red is the only native Houstonian to have played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  During World War II, she worked at Gray Tool Company while playing fast-pitch softball for a local team. In 1947, she was recruited to play for the AAGPBL, first with the South Bend Blue Sox and then in 1948 with the Fort Wayne Daisies. As in her amateur years, Red’s speed made her a desirable outfielder.  Returning to Houston, Red was employed by Kodak and her baseball career was largely forgotten until the 1992 release of “A League of Their Own.” In 2006, Red was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.  A dedicated fan of the game, Red is an enthusiastic member of the Larry Dierker Chapter.
  • Moderator: Leslie Heaphy: Leslie has been a member of SABR since 1989 and chair of the Women in Baseball Research Committee since 1995. She was elected to the SABR Board of Directors in 2010 and serves as the Board liaison to research committee chairs. She is an Associate Professor of History at Kent State University at Stark and publishes in the area of the Negro Leagues and women’s baseball. In 2008, she became the founding editor of the journal Black Ball, published by McFarland. 

For more information on SABR 44 or to register, visit

Visit the SABR 44 Digital Vendors Room

We want to offer a special thanks to all of our vendors at SABR 44 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 Houston this summer:

Please stop by the first-floor Founders Ballroom at SABR 44 — July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston, 2222 W Loop S Fwy., Houston, TX 77027 — and purchase an item to remind you of your experience at the 2014 SABR convention.

If you would like to reserve a table in the Vendors Room at SABR 44, please contact Jeff Schatzki. Space is limited.

Visit for more information.

SABR 44: Transportation tips

SABR 44 will be held July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park.

We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a spectacular SABR 44 convention in the summer of 2014.

Members of the host Larry Dierker Chapter have compiled a list of transportation tips to help visitors and convention attendees enjoy their stay in the Bayou City, including directions to the hotel from both of Houston’s major airports (IAH and Hobby), along with a special SABR 44 SuperShuttle discount.

If you have any questions during your stay, please don’t hesitate to ask a friendly SABR 44 volunteer for assistance.

To view the SABR 44 Transportation Tips page, click here.

SABR 44: Sugar Land Skeeters game, Houston City History Tour & Historical Ballparks Site Tour now sold out

Three of the optional off-site events scheduled for SABR 44 are now sold out.

If you wish to be placed on a waiting list for the Sugar Land Skeeters ballgame, the Houston City History Tour, or the Historical Ballparks Site Tour, please please e-mail Requests will be handled on a first-come, first-serve basis if a spot opens up for any of these events.

  • On Wednesday, the combination bus/walking City History Tour will leave from the Royal Sonesta and head to Minute Maid Park, where we’ll walk around Downtown Houston and give tour-goers a taste of Bayou City history. Tour guide Mike Vance, a SABR member and Executive Director of Houston Arts and Media, is one of the top historians and storytellers in Houston. He will have dozens of stories to share along the walk. Participants will see the site of an early capitol of the Republic of Texas, now a historic hotel where JFK stayed the day before he was assassinated. There will be stops to see stellar art deco architecture and gleaming modern skyscrapers mixed in with tales of dueling, Civil War murder and oil barons.
  • On Thursday, we’ll visit Constellation Park, home of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, about 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston for a game between the Skeeters and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Before the game, former Houston Astros president and SABR member Tal Smith, a special advisor to the president of the Skeeters, will welcome SABR 44 attendees, along with Ira Liebman, voice of the Skeeters and also a SABR member. An optional all-you-can-eat buffet also will be served. Buses will leave the hotel beginning promptly at 4:00 p.m. The game begins at 7:05 p.m.
  • On Sunday, the Historical Ballparks Site bus tour will include stops at the sites of the three minor league and two former major league ballparks that hosted professional baseball in Houston from the 1870s until 1999. There will also be drive-bys of a few semi-pro baseball locations where former major leaguers stayed in the game after their days in the majors had ended. The tour culminates with a visit to the Astrodome, the most architecturally significant stadium in America.

For more information on SABR 44, visit

SABR Digital Library: Baseball: The Fan’s Game, by Mickey Cochrane

Add a classic baseball book to your collection with the newest title in the SABR Digital Library:

Baseball: The Fans’ Game
By Gordon S. (Mickey) Cochrane
$5.99 e-book

ISBN (e-book): 978-1-933599-57-1
244 pages

In 1939, John Kieran, a famous sportswriter for The New York Times, said of Baseball: The Fans’ Game: “Frankly, this is the best book on baseball that I ever read.” It remains one of the best and the SABR is proud to have made it available. SABR first published a paperback replica of the original Funk & Wagnalls 1939 edition in 1992, adding an introduction by Mark Alvarez at that time. Now, an e-book edition has been made available for for all in digital formats. 

Cochrane’s book is wonderful for two reasons. First, its tone is real, a true rarity among player-written tomes. Although it’s not an autobiography, you’ll get a real sense of Mickey Cochrane’s personality here, with remarkably little piffle. Second, it’s full of nuggets that any baseball fan will treasure.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library. SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications. If you’re not a member, click here to join SABR.

To view all books in the SABR Digital Library, visit

  • 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.

Last call: Vote to select SABR’s 2014 Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legend

Each year, SABR’s Nineteenth Century Research Committee selects its Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball 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), Bill Dahlen (2012), and Ross Barnes (2013).

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, Bob Caruthers, Jim Creighton, Jack Glasscock, Paul Hines, Dummy Hoy, Bobby Mathews, Tony Mullane, Al Reach, and George Van Haltren. 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 11:59 p.m. PDT on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (Deadline extended!)
  • You may only vote once.
  • You MUST vote for five candidates or your ballot will not count.

Results will be announced on Thursday, July 31, 2014 during the annual business meeting of the Nineteenth Century Committee to be held during SABR 44 in Houston, Texas.

Thank you for participating!

The Overlooked 19th Century Base Ball Legends Project Committee consists of: Joe Williams, Chair; Adam Darowski; Charles Faber; Bob Gregory; and Ralph Peluso.

8 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Eight new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,844 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, Games, 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

Join SABR Deadball Era Committee members at 2014 Christy Mathewson Days festival

The 19th annual celebration of Christy Mathewson Days will take place in the Hall of Fame pitcher’s hometown of Factoryville, Pennsylvania, on August 8-9, 2014.

Scheduled events include an exhibition of Christy Mathewson artifacts and the sale of tickets to the nearby Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railroaders vs. Columbus Clippers game on Friday, August 8; and a parade followed by celebration at Christy Mathewson Park on Saturday, August 9.

Factoryville is located in northeast Pennsylvania, about 15 miles north of Scranton. Further information about the festivities can be viewed at

If you would like to join other SABR Deadball Era Committee members there, please contact Mark Dugo.

To learn more about SABR’s Deadball Era Committee, click here.

SABR Connecticut chapter presents “Base Ball in Mark Twain’s Time” on September 17

Save the date! Please mark the evening of Wednesday, September 17, 2014 with an exclamation point. The Connecticut Smoky Joe Wood SABR Chapter will present a panel discussion about Base Ball in Mark Twain’s Time at the Mark Twain House, 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT 06105.

Our panel will include SABR members:

  • David Arcidiacono, author of Major League Baseball in Gilded Age Connecticut
  • Gary O’Maxfield, commissioner of The Friends of Vintage Base Ball
  • Bill Ryczek, author of Blackguards and Red Stockings: A History of Baseball’s National Association, 1871 to 1875
  • John Thorn, Official Historian, Major League Baseball
  • Joe Williams, contributing researcher for SABR’s Nineteenth Century Committee

More information will be available soon. For questions, contact Karl Cicitto.

Register now for 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference

The 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 14-16, 2014, at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown (333 E. Jefferson Avenue) in Detroit, Michigan. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages.

The conference theme is “Turkey Stearnes and Black Baseball in Michigan.” Black baseball has a long history in Michigan, especially centered in the Motor City. Among the original entrants to the Negro National League in 1920 was Tenny Blount’s Detroit Stars, managed by Pete Hill and anchored by Big Bill Gatewood on the mound. The Detroit Wolves and Motor City Giants also played in Mack Park and Hamtramck stadium. In addition to the well-known Turkey Stearnes other star players included catcher Bruce Petway, the speedy Jimmie Lyons and the powerful Edgar Wesley.

The 17th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will celebrate this rich baseball history. In addition to two days of research presentations and player/author panels, attendees will also enjoy special presentations about local parks as well as a Tigers game against the Seattle Mariners.

To learn more, visit

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
Zachary Baker Royal Oak, MI     Tyler Jones Calgary, AB
Patrick Bibby Miami, FL     Leonard Keegan Port St. Lucie, FL
Walter Boone Houston, TX     Maury Klein Saunderstown, RI
Denis Boyle Bronx, NY     Ashley Norwood Huntsville, TX
Eric Chesterton Westmont, NJ     Cathy Ratzenberger Milford, CT
Scott Fillmer Auburn, AL     Frank Sitarski Plainville, MA
Leland Grant Hilton, NY     Carey Wintersen-stock Denver, CO
Russell Hill Libertyville, IL     Sonny Yates Defuniak Springs, FL


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee newsletters published 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 20, 2014. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.