This Week in SABR: March 16, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of March 16, 2012:

Live coverage from the SABR Analytics Conference

Couldn’t make it to Arizona for the SABR Analytics Conference? We’re bringing you live, on-site coverage of the event at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa. Check every day for stories, multimedia clips, photo galleries and more. You can also follow along with us on Twitter by using the hashtag #SABRanalytics.

Never before have as many of the top minds of the baseball analytic community come under one roof to discuss, debate and share learnings of insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.

We’ve already posted some multimedia clips of the first day at

We’ll have a lot more coverage of the SABR Analytics Conference posted online soon!

Register now for SABR 42

We have a great convention coming up in 2012! From June 27-July 1, SABR’s 42nd annual convention will be held at the Marriott City Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR will be hosting the event and we’ve been busy for many years planning for a great event. A full schedule and speakers will be announced soon.


We’re offering two options for registration this year:

1) All-inclusive rate
Special for 2012: We’re offering an all-inclusive rate for SABR 42. From now until May 1, SABR members can pay $199 and nonmembers can pay $249 to receive:

  • Full registration to SABR 42 in Minneapolis (regular price: $129 for SABR members or $179 for nonmembers)
  • 1 ticket to the Awards Banquet (regular price: $45)
  • 1 Skyline Deck ticket to the Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, June 29 (regular price: $44)

Please note: Skyline Deck tickets are only available to the first 250 people who select the all-inclusive rate. Those who select the all-inclusive rate after Skyline Deck tickets are sold out will receive a Home Plate View ticket (regular price: $38) instead.

After May 1, the all-inclusive rate will be available at $219 for SABR members and $269 for non-members.

2) Regular rate
SABR members and non-members who wish to purchase registration, banquet tickets and game tickets separately can do so at the following rates:

includes access to all panel discussions, research presentations, committee meetings and other on-site events.

  • SABR members: $129
  • Non-members: $179

Awards Banquet on Friday, June 29

  • Awards Banquet: $45

Meal includes salad, chicken entree and dessert. (If you have special dietary considerations, please contact Deb Jayne at

Twins vs. Royals game on Friday, June 29
SABR has reserved a block of tickets in the Skyline Deck and Home Plate View sections. (The Skyline Deck section is normally available only to season-ticket holders and special groups.) Click here for a seating chart at 

  • Skyline Deck: $44
  • Home Plate View: $38

You will be able to redeem your game ticket at the registration desk using the chit system. If you do not care with whom you sit, you should turn your chit into your game ticket right away at the hotel. But if you want to sit with a friend, wait to turn in your chits at the registration desk at the same time, thereby getting tickets next to one another.

We hope you’ll join us in Minneapolis this summer!


Stout receives Seymour Medal presentation at NINE banquet

More than anything else, author Glenn Stout wanted to finally answer his own questions about Boston’s Fenway Park when he set out to write Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

“There was still so much I didn’t know. I didn’t know why it was built, how it was built, didn’t know anything about the architectural styles — basic questions that should have been answered for what is arguably the most famous sporting venue in the United States,” Stout said Saturday night at the NINE Conference banquet in Tempe, Arizona, as he received his 2012 SABR Seymour Medal, which honors the best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year. “I sort of assumed at some point someone else would come along and fill in the blanks. … But I had determined no one had answered these questions yet.”

In his research, Stout said, he never imagined he would stumble upon an obscure July 1912 engineering article that would, for the first time, reveal the inner architectural details of Fenway Park. His background working in construction — “That’s how I got through school: I poured concrete, I tied rebar, I cut steel” — helped him translate the technical jargon and explain how the ballpark’s unique dimensions affected the baseball played there. He said his outline for Fenway 1912 was “two paragraphs long”, but “you always have to follow the research.”

“That’s why we do this kind of research,” said the 53-year-old from Alburgh, Vermont. “It’s not to tell people about things we know; it’s to discover the things we don’t know through our research and then tell them to other people.”

Stout spoke in front of an audience of five former Seymour Medal winners at the NINE Conference: Lyle Spatz and Steve Steinberg (2011); Lee Lowenfish (2008); David Block (2006); and Charles Alexander (2003), along with the medal’s namesake, Dorothy Seymour Mills, and special guest Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter of Babe Ruth.

This was the first year the Seymour Medal was presented at the NINE Spring Training Conference. Hosted by NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, the NINE Conference promotes the study of all historical aspects of baseball and centers on the cultural implications of the game wherever in the world baseball is played.

Many SABR members presented their research during the 19th annual event, including Rob Fitts’ dramatic keynote speech during Saturday’s banquet on the 1934 major league tour of Japan. Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe’s daughter, is the only living survivor of the tour. Fitts is the author of Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination During the 1934 Tour of Japan. A full list of presentations can be found here.

Hot Springs Historical Baseball Trail to open March 29 

On March 29, a one-of-a-kind “baseball trail” in Arkansas documenting Hot Springs’ status as “The Birthplace of Spring Baseball” will open to the public. SABR member Bill Jenkinson, Don Duren, Mark Blaeuer and Mike Dugan helped organize the trail and the installation of plaques throughout the city.

“A series of 26 historical markers linked to the very latest digital technology will allow visitors to tour the city and visit places where America’s baseball legends came to play, train and visit during baseball’s golden age,” said Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs. “ More than 45 percent of the people in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., either played baseball or were in some way associated with baseball training in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.”

“One hundred thirty-four of the 295 members of the Hall of Fame can be associated with training, playing, visiting or otherwise being in Hot Springs, many from the late 19th Century,” Arrison said. “Five pre-eminent baseball historians have painstakingly documented the Hot Springs connection to what became known as the sport’s spring training.

Twenty-six cast-aluminum plaques have been installed all over the city at locations that range from the spot where Babe Ruth in 1918 smacked a home run that traveled 573 feet and landed in an alligator pit at the Arkansas Alligator Farm to the site of the hotel where Ruth flipped a coin with his manager to determine Ruth’s salary for the next year.

“Things really got rolling in the spring of 2011 when we were able to document that Ruth hit the first 500-foot-plus home run while playing spring baseball at Whittington Park,” Arrison said.

“Bill Jenkinson, one of the pre-eminent baseball historians in the world, came to Hot Springs and helped us authenticate Babe’s legendary 573-foot shot that zoomed over Whittington Park’s fence, across Whittington Avenue and into the Arkansas Alligator Farm.”

Jenkinson, Reid, Duren, Dugan and Blaeuer determined that A. G. Spalding and Cap Anson brought the Chicago White Stockings (AKA Colts; now called the Cubs) to train and play spring games in Hot Springs in 1886. The field where they played, known as The Hot Springs Baseball Field and The Hot Springs Baseball Grounds, was located on Ouachita Avenue behind the current site of the Garland County Courthouse.

To learn more about the Hot Springs Historical Baseball Trail and the locations of the plaques, visit

Download your free copy of the Emerald Guide to Baseball 2012

The Emerald Guide to Baseball 2012, edited by Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer with Rod Nelson and Ted Turocy, is the most comprehensive record of the 2012 baseball season.

Historically, the primary purpose of annual baseball guides has been the publication of the official league standings plus the official team and individual statistics for both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. Our new Emerald Guide follows faithfully in that tradition, containing the official batting, pitching, and fielding statistics for every team and every player in the Major Leagues plus extensive lists of league leaders.

The Emerald Guide to Baseball is our attempt to fill the gap in the historical record created by the recent demise of The Sporting News Baseball Guide. First published in 1942, The Sporting News Guide was truly the annual book of record for our National Pastime. It is our great privilege to document for posterity a slice of recent baseball history in our new book.

The 2012 edition of the Emerald Guide runs nearly 600 pages and covers the 2011 season; it also includes a 2012 directory of Major League Baseball. The Emerald Guide is available in both a printed version and in a downloadable PDF format.

A softcover print edition will be available for purchase soon.

Download the PDF: SABR members can download the Emerald Guide on the Research Resources page. All others can download it here.

Three new biographies posted at the SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,849 published biographies:

All new biographies can be found here:

We recently relaunched the BioProject at its new home page:  The new BioProject fully integrates its design with and upgrades the back-end platform, making it easier for us to post and edit new bios and eliminating some formatting problems with the original software. All of your old URLs should still work (and if you find one that doesn’t, please contact

The upgraded BioProject also gives you the ability to search the full text of any biography we’ve published. Use the search bar that appears atop every biography to find any name or phrase that appears in the BioProject. And just click the words “SABR Baseball Biography Project” in the search bar to get back to the home page.

Writing a biography for the BioProject is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by visiting our BioProject Resources page or reading the FAQs section.

  • Pre-order 1947 Dodgers book: The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, edited by Lyle Spatz, is the first book in SABR’s “Memorable Teams” series with University of Nebraska Press. It will be published April 1, 2012 (no fooling!). To pre-order your copy from UNP, click here.

Register for Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Conference

  • Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference, April 20-21, Cooperstown, New York: Registration is now open for the Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference at Conference registration is open to all SABR members and up to two non-SABR family members or friends (18 years or older). There are also “Welcoming Dinner”, “Luncheon Only” and “Post Conference Gathering” registration options. Registration will continue until April 10, 2012, or space is filled, whichever comes first. Click here to download a Registration Form in the Nineteenth Century Committee’s Winter 2012 newsletter. Registrations can be accepted by mail only. Research presentation abstracts were due by February 15, 2012. Conference attendees who are baseball authors will have an opportunity to submit their books when registering so that the Hall of Fame bookstore can stock their book for purchase and for signing.
  • Jerry Malloy Negro Leagues Conference, July 19-21, Cleveland, Ohio: Registration is now open for the 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference at The Malloy Conference, hosted by SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, promotes activities to enhance scholarly, educational, and literary objectives. For the past 14 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. Submit your research presentation abstracts by March 19, 2012. A complete information packet with schedule, mail-in registration form and program advertising opportunities can be downloaded here (PDF) or on the website.

In Memoriam

  • Joseph Patrick Murphy Jr., 89, of Santa Rosa, passed away March 11, 2012, in his home of 50-plus years. He was a member of SABR since 1982. He was born in 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois, to Joseph Patrick Murphy Sr. and Grace Murphy. From a young age he and his much-loved younger brother, John, and cousin Bill Cooney were avid baseball fans, reflecting a passion which would continue throughout his life. He was a graduate of Holy Cross University and the University of Michigan Law School. After his service as a Marine Corps Officer in World War II, he headed west and settled in Santa Rosa, California, when it was a town of just 17,000 people. It was here that he met his wife, Marian, at his home parish of St. Eugene’s and where he and Marian raised their large and exuberant family of eight children. He was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown as a Municipal Court Judge and then served as a Superior Court judge for 20 years in Sonoma County. Besides his love for baseball he was also passionate about reading, writing and spending time with family. Some of his special interests included the Gray Foundation, SABR, the American Bar Association and the Sonoma County Library. He served as Library Commissioner, was a recipient of the Career of Distinction Award and long ago was the Little League coach of “The Mighty Beavers”. He believed in the inherent goodness of people, the importance of public service, the value of our public libraries and worked tirelessly for the Democratic Party. He found great joy in his yearly trips with Marian to Spring Training in Arizona, a stack of good library books, his involvement with SABR and in his 19 grandchildren who loved him well, and affectionately knew him as “Papa Joe”. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marian; their eight children; their 19 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Services will be held Monday, March 19, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. at St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Santa Rosa. Donations may be made to Cardinal Newman High School, 50 Ursuline Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403; Memorial Hospital Hospice, 821 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA, 95401 or the Sonoma County Public Library Foundation, 3rd & E Streets, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. 

We send our condolences to his family and friends. 

All “In Memoriam” notices are posted in the SABR Bulletin group here: Please send notices to Jacob Pomrenke at

Research committee newsletters

Here are the SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting recaps

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

Upcoming SABR events:

Visit for details on all upcoming SABR events.

In other recent SABR news:

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 at

Are you following us on Twitter or Facebook? Get SABR updates every day at @SABR or by searching “SABR” on Facebook.

Replying to this e-mail goes to an undeliverable address. If you would like to contact the SABR office, please visit:

Originally published: March 14, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.