Live from SABR 48 in Pittsburgh, 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 22, 2018:
Larry McCray, one of the foremost historians of baseball’s early origins, was announced as the winner of the Bob Davids Award during the SABR 48 Awards Reception on Friday, June 22, 2018, in Pittsburgh.
The award — which is the Society’s highest honor — honors SABR members whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice of the founder and past president of SABR, L. Robert “Bob” Davids.
“Thank you very much. I couldn’t be more surprised, nor more (humbled),” said McCray, who was a recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award in 2017.
McCray created the vast and invaluable Protoball Project, to help researchers and writers locate and refine primary data on the evolution and spread of ball play from ancient times to up to 1870, just before the first professional baseball league began. Enlisting the efforts of 100 other “diggers,” as they are termed on the site, McCray is the man most responsible for the new public understanding of baseball’s predecessor games. He served as Guest Editor of the special Protoball issue of Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, featuring more than thirty articles on this long neglected and little understood area.
McCray was named to MLB’s Special Origins Committee in 2011 and he also chaired SABR’s Origins Research Committee for many years, attracting new diggers as well as interested readers in the subject of baseball’s earliest days.
His life outside of baseball is also exemplary. After graduating from Union College with a BA and BEE (1965) and being awarded a Fulbright scholarship for 1967–68 in India, he received his Ph.D from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974. His dissertation, “The Politics of Regulation,” was awarded the APSA’s E.E. Schattschneider Prize as the best dissertation in American government and politics for 1974. He now helps teach a graduate course in science policy at MIT.
Previous Bob Davids Award winners in attendance Friday at the SABR 48 Awards Luncheon were: Len Levin (1997), Lyle Spatz (2000), Larry Gerlach (2001), David W. Smith (2005), John Thorn (2006), Andy McCue (2007), Mark Armour (2008), Tom Ruane (2009), Bill Nowlin (2011), Jan Finkel (2012), Leslie Heaphy (2014), Dan Levitt (2015), and Larry Lester (2017).
The Bob Davids Award was established by the Board of Directors in 1985, and is awarded each year at the annual convention. Click here to view previous winners.
For the third year in a row and fourth time in five years, SABR will present “A Day at the Ballpark” before the Pittsburgh Pirates game on Friday, June 22 at PNC Park. Full registration and single-day rates are available for purchase on-site at SABR 48 and all baseball fans are welcome to attend.
The pregame ballpark session will be held from 2:30-4:30 p.m. this afternoon at PNC Park, followed by the game that night between the Pirates and the Diamondbacks. Our guest speakers are expected to include:
- Neal Huntington, Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Dan Fox, Senior Director of Baseball Informatics of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Joe Block, Pittsburgh Pirates play-by-play announcer
- Thomas E. Kennedy, former project executive, Sports & Exhibition Authority of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County
Purchase of SABR 48 conference registration (full or single-day rates) AND a game ticket will be required to attend this special session. Guests and spouses can get in the ballpark early with purchase of a special SABR 48 Ballpark Session pass ($25) and a Pirates game ticket. Click here for more details.
For more coverage of SABR 48, visit SABR.org/convention.
Our SABR 48 panel discussion, The Great One: The Life and Legacy of Roberto Clemente, on Thursday, June 21 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown, focused on the life and legacy of Puerto Rican and Pittsburgh Pirates icon Roberto Clemente.
Our panelists included Duane Rieder, Executive Director and Curator of the Roberto Clemente Museum; Danny Torres, LatinoSports.com and LaVidaBaseball.com writer; and moderator Adrian Burgos Jr., Editor-in-Chief of La Vida Baseball and author of Playing America’s Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line.
Perry Barber, a longtime professional umpire, author, and promoter of women in baseball, was honored at SABR 48 on Thursday, June 21 with the inaugural Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Women in Baseball committee meeting in Pittsburgh.
Continuing a tradition of female umpires that stretches back to Amanda Clement in the early 1900s, Barber has umpired around the world at every level of the game. No matter where she is, she is a constant champion of women and their participation in America’s National Pastime.
SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee established the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award — “The Dorothy” — named in honor of Dorothy Seymour Mills and her lifetime of contributions to promoting women’s baseball.
- Read more: Click here to read Dorothy Seymour Mills’s prepared remarks about the 2018 award winner, Perry Barber
Here are a few late schedule updates for SABR 48 this weekend in Pittsburgh:
- Due to an illness, Dick Groat will not be able to attend the Branch Rickey: The Pittsburgh Pirates Years panel at 1:00 p.m. Saturday. Three-time All-Star outfielder Frank Thomas, who played for the Pirates from 1951-58, has graciously agreed to pinch-hit for Groat on the panel. Learn more about Thomas in his SABR biography by Bob Hurte.
- At the Oral History committee meeting (2:30 p.m. Saturday), Tom Hufford will be interviewed by chairman John McMurray about his experience as a founding member of SABR and on the Board of Directors. Anne Keene, author of The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team That Helped Win World War II, will also talk about her new book.
- At the Science and Baseball committee meeting (5:30 p.m. Saturday), Alan Nathan will talk about the recent MLB-commissioned report on the surge in home runs.
- At the Deadball Era committee meeting (5:30 p.m. Saturday), Steve Steinberg will talk about the new SABR book by St. Johann Press, The World Series in the Deadball Era: A History in the Words and Pictures of the Writers and Photographers, and authors Dennis and Jeanne Burke DeValeria will talk about their book Honus Wagner: A Biography.
For more information on SABR 48, visit SABR.org/convention.
We steadfastly maintain that there is nothing trivial about baseball trivia. The world-famous SABR Trivia Contest finals will be taking place Saturday night at SABR 48 in Pittsburgh, and it’s always an entertaining and competitive battle to crown the individual and team champions.
We invite you to follow along with us live on Twitter beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 23 by visiting Twitter.com and searching for the hashtag #SABR48. We’ll be live-tweeting questions (and answers if everyone gets stumped!), and you’ll have your chance to test your knowledge online with other SABR members and friends.
The SABR Trivia Contest is moderated by D. Bruce Brown, co-chair of Horsehide Trivia with T. Scott Brandon and president of the Baltimore Babe Ruth Chapter. The questions are written and edited by Brown and Brandon, who also assembles the game boards, illustration and animation of the semifinal and final rounds.
The questions are presented in ascending difficulty. The early-round questions will be at a relatively easy starting point, while the late-round questions, though more difficult, will still interest casual fans.
You can view all past Trivia Contest winners by clicking here.
For more coverage of SABR 48, visit SABR.org/convention.
Single-day registration for SABR 48 can still be purchased on-site at the Wyndham Grand hotel in downtown Pittsburgh during convention registration hours this weekend.
The single-day rate of $149 — which is available for Saturday, June 23 — includes admission to all convention panels, research presentations, and committee meetings at the Wyndham Grand hotel. It can be purchased on-site via cash, check, or credit card (sorry, no American Express accepted.)
Please note: Admission to the Donors Breakfast on Saturday is not included.
Click here for complete details on SABR 48 registration rates.
Can’t make it to Pittsburgh for SABR 48? Check out more early coverage from the 2018 convention festivities by visiting SABR.org/convention.
- Listen to highlights from the Roberto Clemente Panel with Adrian Burgos Jr., Danny Torres, and Duane Rieder (audio)
- Perry Barber receives 2018 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award
- Follow along live on Twitter with SABR 48 Trivia Contest on Saturday night
- View photo galleries from the first two days of the SABR 48 convention
- View a photo gallery from our tour of the Roberto Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh
- Chris Adamski: Presidents, baseball, and stats as SABR convention begins in Pittsburgh (Associated Press)
- Rick Thorp: SABR convention opens in Pittsburgh (Martins Ferry Times Leader)
Stay tuned for more coverage next week from SABR 48 at the Wyndham Grand hotel in downtown Pittsburgh!
SABR member Bill Humber, Canada’s premier baseball historian, was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame last weekend along with former Montreal Expos superstar Pedro Martinez and Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Lloyd Moseby. A ceremony was held on Saturday, June 16 at the Hall of Fame grounds in St. Marys, Ontario.
“Each of this year’s inductees has had a tremendous influence on baseball in this country,” said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations. “Pedro Martinez and Lloyd Moseby are two of the most successful and beloved stars to have played for major league teams in Canada and Bill Humber’s commitment to promoting the history of the game in this country has been unparalleled.”
SABR is pleased to announce the winner of the Lee Allen History of Baseball Award for 2018.
Connor Albert of North Yarmouth, Maine, won the Lee Allen History of Baseball Award for his paper, “To Enrich the Future, Not to Avenge the Past: How Jackie Robinson’s Compromise With Branch Rickey in Major League Baseball Led to Robinson Joining the Conflict of the Civil Rights Movement.”
Since 1996, SABR has honored the best baseball research project at the National History Day competition, an annual event in which students compete on a regional basis, followed by state competition, and then national finals at the University of Maryland.
The award is named in honor of Lee Allen, the historian at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum from 1950 to 1969. To view a list of past winners, click here.
For more information on National History Day, visit http://www.nhd.org/SpecialPrizeinfo.htm.
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″
This book is available for purchase from Amazon.com, your local bookstore, or directly from the publisher at St. Johann Press.
- SABR 48 discount: Attendees at the SABR 48 convention in Pittsburgh will have the opportunity to save $5 off the purchase of this book, plus free shipping, when you order in the SABR 48 Vendors Room. Check out Steve Steinberg’s table in the Vendors Room during the convention at the Wyndham Grand hotel.
Buy the book:
- Amazon.com: Purchase the hardcover edition on Amazon.com
- St. Johann Press: Purchase the book from the publisher at StJohannPress.com
SABR Digital Library: Major League Baseball A Mile High: The First Quarter Century of the Colorado Rockies
Take a seat in the “purple row” and add this new baseball book from the SABR Digital Library to your collection:
Major League Baseball A Mile High: The First Quarter Century of the Colorado Rockies
Edited by Bill Nowlin and Paul T. Parker
Associate Editors: Len Levin and Carl Riechers
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-9438-1677-4, $19.95
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-9438-1676-7, $9.99
8.5″ x 11″, 265 pages
SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!
- E-book: Click here to download the e-book version of Major League Baseball A Mile High for FREE from the SABR Store. Available in PDF, Kindle/MOBI and EPUB formats.
- Paperback: Get a 50% discount on Major League Baseball A Mile High paperback edition from the SABR Store ($15.99 includes shipping/tax; delivery via Createspace can take up to 4-6 weeks. For quicker delivery, please order at Amazon.com.)
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 members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. Visit SABR.org/ebooks for information on all SABR Digital Library books.
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.”
All applications must be e-mailed or postmarked by August 13, 2018, and sent to Dr. Leslie Heaphy at Lheaphy@kent.edu.
Two new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 4,570 published biographies. Here are the new bios published this week:
All new biographies can be found here: SABR.org/bioproj/recent
- Search for any SABR biography: You can now visit sabr.org/bioproj_search 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: sabr.org/bioproj/browse.
- 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.
Two new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:
- July 23, 1936: Saved by the radio: Red Sox win in Cleveland rain, by Chad Osborne
- October 3, 1980: Joe Ferguson keeps Dodgers alive in NL West race, by Cosme Vivanco
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.
I am very happy to announce the semiannual update to the Retrosheet.org website. We have many additions to our site and I am proud of out accomplishments since last November.
Box scores for the 1907 season have been completed and proofed. Tom Ruane led this effort as usual along with help from Jonathan Frankel and Dave Lamoureaux. Thanks to the efforts of this crew, we now have full box scores for the last 111 seasons.
The “deduction project” in which we construct play-by-play accounts of missing games by careful use of newspapers, especially the detailed games stories that were once so common. This time we release 1939 and 1940, adding to the front of our contiguous block of play by play as usual so that we now have full play by play of every game for the last 79 seasons.
We have also completed the proofing of play-by-play files from 1923, 1924, and the 1921 AL (the NL was done previously). Although these seasons are still missing some games which will eventually be deduced, I think it is valuable to get the information we have available as soon as possible. These new releases cover over 80% of the games back through 1921. We now provide play-by-play data for the last 97 seasons.
Thanks to the many visitors to our site who have submitted suggestions for changes and corrections. The Retrocommunity is a dedicated group which makes all of our work possible.
— David W. Smith
We are pleased to pass along the following update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at Seamheads.com on June 18:
We’re pleased to announce the addition of the 1947 Negro leagues to the DB. In that year history continued to bear down on the NNL & NAL. Josh Gibson tragically died in January. Jackie Robinson debuted for the Dodgers in April, and by mid-season other big league clubs were sniffing around the Negro leagues for more bargains. The two defending league champions, the Kansas City Monarchs and Newark Eagles, were the most inviting targets.
In July the Cleveland Indians signed Newark’s best player, Larry Doby. Then the St. Louis Browns followed by taking Willard Brown and Hank Thompson from the Monarchs. The latter two were back in Kansas City within a month, as the St. Louis Browns, at this point a pretty awful organization, offered them little support in the face of hostility from their teammates. Both the Monarchs and the Eagles wound up in second place.
In the NAL it was the Cleveland Buckeyes who finished on top, winning their second pennant in three years due to the sterling work of center fielder Sam Jethroe, veteran pitchers Doc Bracken and Chet Brewer, and player-manager Quincy Trouppe, in addition to a pair of teenagers—the shortstop Al Smith and Panamanian southpaw Vibert Clarke.
To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit http://www.seamheads.com/NegroLgs/index.php
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 show features SABR member Eno Sarris of 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.
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:
- SABR accepting applications for Chief Executive Officer position
- Read all articles from the Spring 2018 Baseball Research Journal online
- New SABR Oral History Collection website is now available
- 2018 SABR Annual Report has been posted online
- Check out new articles at the SABR Games and Simulations Committee website
- Heaphy, Lebowitz re-elected to Board; Armour elected as SABR Director
- Seamheads.com updates Negro Leagues Database with 1938 stats
- In Memoriam: Red Schoendienst
- SABR Digital Library: Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- Submit nominations for the 2019 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award
- Check out highlights and photos from the 2018 SABR Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference
- Check out highlights and photos from the 2018 SABR Analytics Conference
- SABR announces 2018 Henry Chadwick Award recipients
- Check out new articles from the SABR Team Ownership Histories Project
- Listen to a new episode from the SABR Media Committee’s Baseball Buffet podcast
- Save the date! 2018 SABR Cleveland 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium
- SABR Digital Library: From Spring Training to Screen Test: Baseball Players Turned Actors
- Help contribute to SABR Baseball Cards Committee encyclopedia project
- Get a gift for baseball fan in your life with the new SABR Store @ CafePress
- Educators, sign up your class for a discounted SABR Student Group Affiliate Membership
- Help support SABR’s 19th Century Baseball Grave Marker Project
- All e-books in SABR Digital Library available for free to members
All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: /content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.
For more information, click here.
You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (SABR.org/directory).
|Mac Ambler||Williamsburg, VA||Michael McVerry||Vienna, VA|
|Brady Banse||La Crosse, WI||James McVerry||Vienna, VA|
|Christopher Coffey||New York, NY||Tom Melecki||Austin, TX|
|Amado Daylo||Bellevue, WA||Matt Polka||N. Versailles, PA|
|Anthony Escobedo||Springfield, VA||Steve Rorabaugh||Loveland, CO|
|Jon Ferlise||Phoenix, AZ||Ron Rossie||Saratoga, CA|
|Steve Fugaro||Mill Valley, CA||Kishore Warrier||Shaker Hts, OH|
|Ed Lynch||Scottsdale, AZ|
Here are the new research committee updates this week:
- SABR 48 committee meetings: Find the full schedule for SABR 48 committee meetings here
- Ballparks: June 2018 newsletter
Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.
Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:
- Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter: June 19 meeting recap (St. Louis, MO)
- Larry Dierker Chapter: June 16 meeting recap (Houston, TX)
- Rogers Hornsby Chapter: June 16 meeting recap (Austin, TX)
Visit SABR.org/chapters for more information on SABR regional chapters.
Here is a list of upcoming events on the SABR calendar:
- June 22-24: SABR 48 convention (Pittsburgh, PA)
- June 27: Magnolia Chapter “Fourth Wednesday” meeting (Tucker, GA)
- June 27: Baltimore Babe Ruth Chapter “Called Shot” monthly lunch (Baltimore, MD)
- June 27: Rocky Mountain Chapter monthly luncheon (Denver, CO)
- June 28: Juan Marichal Chapter monthly meeting (Santo Domingo, DOM)
- June 30: Jim Leeke: “Caseys at Bat: Major League Knights ‘Over There’ in World War I” (New Haven, CT)
- June 30: Hemond-Delhi Arizona Chapter monthly lunch meeting (Phoenix, AZ)
- July 1: “Boys of Summer” cemetery baseball tour (Atlanta, GA)
- July 3: Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter “First Wednesday” meeting (St. Louis, MO)
- July 7: Halsey Hall Chapter Hot Stove Saturday Morning (Minneapolis, MN)
- July 7: Pee Wee Reese Chapter “Night at the Bats” game (Louisville, KY)
- July 7: Talkin’ Baseball: Ken Mars (Columbia, MD)
- July 8: Gardner-Waterman Vermont Chapter meeting/ballgame (Burlington, VT)
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 SABR.org/events.
Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:
- Aaron Gleeman: PECOTA predictions beyond the 90th percentile (Baseball Prospectus)
- Bill Shaikin: Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ed Roebuck dies at 86 (Los Angeles Times)
- Umpire Emma Charlesworth-Seiler says minor leagues are ‘willing to have whoever is most qualified’ (KVAL)
- Josh Jackson: Rich PCL history lives in Sacramento (MiLB.com)
- Paul Lukas: An exclusive look at some umpires’ ejection reports (Uni-Watch)
- Russell Carleton: The surprising evolution of the bullpen (Baseball Prospectus)
- Eno Sarris: On the return of the bullpen fireman (The Athletic)
- Mary Craig: The best championship game you’ve never heard of, Mutuals vs. White Stockings, 1870 (Baseball Prospectus)
- Zann Nelson: Buried truth: Pete Hill’s family roots run long and deep in Virginia soil (Orange County Review)
- Charles Hallman: Much of Toni Stone’s story remains untold (Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder)
- Vincent Lara-Cinisomo: Cesar breaks Texas League hitting streak record that stood for nearly 50 years (MiLB.com)
- Beth Bragg: 150 years ago, St. Paul Island baseball team became Alaska’s first (Anchorage Daily News)
- Mike Bates/Bill Parker: The Midnight Sun Game (This Week in Baseball History podcast)
Read these articles and more at SABR.org/latest.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Originally published: June 22, 2018. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.