This Week in SABR: March 22, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of March 22, 2013:

Help us add baseball-related attractions to our new locator app

SABR has begun working with Arizona State University’s New Media Innovation Lab to develop a location-based mobile app. The purpose of this SABR app is to help fans in the 30 Major League cities find nearby baseball-related attractions, including ballparks, research centers/libraries, museums and restaurants.

The app, which is being developed using the Google Maps API, will include attractions in the 30 Major League cities, with the possibility of adding minor league cities and other locations in the future. SABR members, this is where we need your help! Would you like to contribute your knowledge and expertise of local baseball-related attractions in the 30 Major League cities to help populate this app?

We’ve already added all the Major League stadiums, along with a few other locations, to get it started. Here are some suggestions:

  • Any professional ballpark within the metropolitan area
  • Any major college ballpark within the metropolitan area
  • Historic ballpark sites, especially if there is a plaque or monument at the site. For instance, the Polo Grounds Towers in New York or Tiger Stadium in Detroit. Please list the closest current street address you can find.
  • Restaurants where fans of a particular team meet up
  • Regular SABR chapter meeting locations
  • Sports museums with permanent baseball exhibits or historical societies with baseball artifacts
  • Municipal libraries, university libraries or independent research centers with extensive baseball collections
  • Any other interesting baseball-related attractions you have discovered in your travels

Now, a little fine print:

The spreadsheet is divided into sheets for each Major League city. There are four categories: Ballparks, Restaurants, Attractions/Museums and Libraries/Research Centers. (We may add more categories later, but please use one of these four for now.) Please add baseball-related attractions in the format provided; all fields must be filled out. Use the tabs for each city at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Keep descriptions very brief, one sentence at most. Locations must be within a 50-mile radius of the major league ballpark. We hope to add more categories and cities in the future, but please keep locations within the metropolitan area for now. This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of every baseball-related attraction in the world. When in doubt, use the best available listing on Google Maps.

Please take the next two weeks to check out the spreadsheet and add any locations you feel are worth visiting in each city. If you have any questions, please contact

Rob Fitts receives 2013 SABR Seymour Medal at NINE Conference banquet

Author Rob Fitts accepted his 2013 Dr. Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal for Banzai Babe Ruth: Baseball, Espionage, and Assassination during the 1934 Tour of Japan on Saturday at the NINE Conference banquet in Tempe, Arizona.

“It’s a dream come true,” Fitts said. The resident of Bronx, New York, also authored the award-winning Wally Yonamine: The Man Who Changed Japanese Baseball and Remembering Japanese Baseball: An Oral History of the Game. In 2012, Fitts won the Doug Pappas Award for top SABR 42 presentation based on the same subject, “Murderers, Spies, and Ballplayers: The Untold Story of the 1934 All American Tour of Asia.” You can listen to audio of his presentation from SABR’s Minneapolis convention here.

“For just about all baseball book writers, the Seymour Medal is something you strive for,” he said. “Especially because it’s from the Society for American Baseball Research, and being associated with Dorothy and her husband, people who understand research and appreciate research.”

Fitts expressed special thanks to Yoichi Nagata, a SABR member in the Tokyo Chapter and the “foremost expert on Japanese-American baseball relations”; Robert Whiting, author of the groundbreaking You Gotta Have Wa; and Rob Taylor, sports editor at University of Nebraska Press; and his wife Sarah, whose job was transferred to Japan in 1993 and gave Fitts a chance to focus his research on Japanese baseball.

At the SABR Asian Baseball Committee’s first meeting, Fitts said, he wanted to focus a group project on Japanese baseball in the post-war era but he was outvoted 8-1 in favor of the 1934 All-American tour. “Don’t we already know everything about Babe Ruth?” he thought. Not quite, as he soon learned.

Fitts said his goal for Banzai Babe Ruth was to educate American baseball fans on the Japanese game and “simply to entertain, to tell a good story.”

“It’s a great story,” he said. “You have Babe Ruth going over there being a diplomat. You have Moe Berg going over there pretending to be a spy. You have the origins of professional baseball in Japan. … And when I came across one sentence that said in November 1934, some army officers tried to overthrow the Japanese government … the light bulb went off in my head. For me it was like a strobe light. Babe Ruth in Tokyo at the same time these officers are planning to overthrow the government? I’ve got a book.”

Hosted by NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture, the NINE Spring Training 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.

A highlight of the 20th annual NINE Conference was a Thursday night session with Bob Motley, 90, the last living Negro Leagues umpire and a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal. Research presentations at the NINE Conference included “Who Exempted Baseball, Anyway? The Curious Development of the Antitrust Exemption That Never Was” by Mitchell Nathanson; “Hardball: The Fight Over Professional Baseball in Salt Lake City” by Larry Gerlach; “Chasing the Pennant” by Stephanie Liscio; “Graphic Novels and the Visual Literacy of Baseball” by David M. Pegram, and more.

At Saturday night’s banquet, SABR member Chris Lamb delivered a powerful keynote speech, “Let Them Play! The Cannon Street All-Stars and the 1955 Little League World Series,” on a team of all-black youths from Charleston, South Carolina, who were barred entry from the Little League World Series.

Check out more photos of the NINE Conference here:

SABR welcomes new research committee: Baseball and the Media

SABR’s Board of Directors approved the organization’s 28th research committee in a conference call last week.

The new Baseball and the Media Research Committee will focus on analyzing and researching the coverage of baseball as news by the media.

Chuck Hildebrandt was appointed as the committee chair and the vice-chair is John McMurray.

To sign up for email announcements from the Baseball and the Media Committee, click here, then click the “Join Group” () button.

All SABR members are eligible to sign up for announcements from any committee. To view a list of all SABR Research Committees and for more information on each, click here.

More SABR Analytics Conference highlights added

Couldn’t make it to Arizona for the second annual SABR Analytics Conference? Visit for full coverage of this exciting event that brings together the top minds in the baseball analytics community in 2013. You’ll feel like you were wandering through the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown and ASU Cronkite School with stories and multimedia clips from the great panel discussions and research presentations on our schedule, photo galleries, and much more.

  • During the conference, you could follow along on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #SABRanalytics or by reading tweets from our account (@SABR) and from other conference attendees.
  • View our photo galleries from each day of the conference at

Once again, we brought together the top minds of the baseball analytic community under one roof to discuss, debate and share learnings of insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball. Here are some highlights we added this week:

Complete coverage of the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference can be found at

3 candidates running for SABR Board of Directors

Voting for the 2013 SABR Board of Directors election will begin on Monday, April 1, and three candidates have announced their intentions to run for three open positions on the Board.

SABR members will vote for President and two Director positions this year, along with three proposed amendment changes to the By-Laws. Details on the By-Laws changes and candidate statements can be found in the 2013 Election Guide, which will be available online beginning next week at

Incumbent Vince Gennaro of Purchase, New York, is seeking his second term as President; he was first elected in 2011 and is running unopposed.

Incumbent Leslie Heaphy of Kent, Ohio, is seeking her second term as Director; she was first elected in 2010. Fred Worth of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, is seeking his first term as Director. The top two vote-getters for Director will be elected to the Board at the conclusion of the SABR 43 Annual Business Meeting at this summer’s annual convention in Philadelphia.

Tom Hufford, a founding member of SABR who was elected in 2004, announced last month that he is stepping down from the Board at the conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting.

Seamheads Ballparks Database adds 2012 season updates

Our friends at are proud to announce another update of the Ballparks Database, created by SABR members Kevin Johnson and Dan Hirsch.

The database includes the following updates through the 2012 season:

  • Descriptive data that includes location, date of first and last game (if applicable), number of seasons and games played, seating capacity, field dimensions, wall heights, playing surfaces, area of fair and foul ground, distance from the plate to the backstop, latitude, longitude, altitude, comments about structural or rules changes and current and historic aerial views.
  • Runs ballpark factors for every year since 1871.
  • Home run splits for every year since 1876.
  • Full ballpark factors and splits for home runs, hits, singles, doubles, triples, walks and strikeouts for every year since 1919.
  • Partial ballpark factors for years prior to 1919.

To view the Seamheads Ballparks Database, visit

6 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Six new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,350 published biographies.

Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

Scouts book bios now online: In December 2011, we published the first book in the SABR Digital Library, Can He Play? A Look At Baseball Scouts and Their Profession, edited by Bill Nowlin and the late Jim Sandoval. The biographies from that book have now been posted at the SABR BioProject; you can read them online by clicking here. To order the e-book or paperback from the SABR Bookstore or to learn more about the book, click here.

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

Get 25% discount on a new MLB.TV subscription for entire 2013 season

SABR members, you have the opportunity to take advantage of a special offer from MLB Advanced Media for the 2013 season:

This 25% discount is valid for each month of the 2013 season.

If you already have an account, please sign in on the next page. If you do not, you will create a new account as you purchase.

Watch every 2013 Regular Season out-of-market game LIVE or on-demand in HD Quality. Choose home or away broadcasts. MLB.TV is on your favorite devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation and more. Watch up to four games at once with Mosaic. DVR functionality lets you pause or rewind live games. PLUS watch select 2013 Spring Training games LIVE online.

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.

Here is a list of new members:

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Landon Bell Sharonville, OH     Ray Petras Scottsdale, AZ
Charlie Braun Sugar Land, TX     Jonathan Popovich Pompton Lakes, NJ
Michael Clyburn Morrison, OK     Hank Reed Cincinnati, OH
Jim Collins Palo Alto, CA     Anthony Rinaldi Pittsburgh, PA
Paul Constantine Fairport, NY     Marianne Ryan Evanston, IL
Bo Cutter New York, NY     Charles Slavik South Elgin, IL
Seth Herz Annandale, VA     Mark Souder Fort Wayne, IN
Larry D. Jones Seabrook, TX     Mark Stein Larchmont, NY
Jay Liversage Highlands Ranch, CO     Chuck Thurmond Jasper, TN
Paul Lopreiato Rockville, MD     Matthew Walsh Royersford, PA
Jon Oaks Clinton Township, MI     David Washburn Marietta, GA
Michael Pearson Arlington, VA     Howard Wasserman Miami, FL


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 chapter meeting recaps published 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

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: March 22, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.