This Week in SABR: March 30, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of March 30, 2012:

Special invitation to share your baseball memories

To all members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR),

On behalf of Major League Baseball and MLB Advanced Media, we would like to extend a special invitation for you to have first access to, a collaboration of MLB’s Origins Committee and Focusing on the intersection of personal history and baseball, initially will spotlight two aspects of the game’s history — the origins and evolution of baseball and fan-submitted memories and recollections.


Stemming from the MLB Origins Committee’s work, which began in March 2011, will publish content regarding the origins of the game. The first major feature, Early Baseball Milestones, will tell the story of major events across baseball’s historic timeline, dating as far back as 2500 B.C. The works are used, with permission, from Protoball’s Working Chronology of Early Ball Play and have been edited by Larry McCray and yours truly, John Thorn.

Baseball Memories

The broadest focus of’s mission will be to build a community in context with baseball’s history through its collection of memories and collaborative discussions. Fans will be able to share their personal reflections and photos, tagging them by favorite game, player, team, ballpark, and/or region, ultimately creating the most comprehensive portal housing baseball memories. We plan to extend the surrounding content for each submission to be tied to relevant boxscores, play by play, photos and videos, as applicable. Each fan’s submission (after review) will become a permanent exhibit on

What You Can Do

We are in the early stages of seeding memories for in advance of the forthcoming global release. Please share a memory of yours (or several) to test the platform and help record the first collections for

If you have any comments, questions or feedback, you can reach out to us at We look forward to your submissions and thank you for your participation.

John Thorn
Official Historian, MLB

2012 SABR Board of Directors election

SABR members, pay attention to the e-mail address that you have on file with SABR; you will receive a message on April 5, 2012, with a link to vote online in the 2012 SABR Board of Directors election. The poll will close at 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on Sunday, May 20.

The only way to vote online is through the link you will receive by e-mail. All e-mails will come from the address; if you wish to add it to a whitelist in your e-mail client, that may help ensure that you will receive the e-mails. You will receive at least two more voting emails between April 5 and May 20 with active voting links. If you have not received a voting email, you can contact Jacob Pomrenke at to send you a custom voting e-mail.

Members who do not have an e-mail address on file with SABR as of April 5, 2012, will receive a paper ballot in the mail. Please do not vote online and send in the paper ballot; if you do, the paper ballot will be discarded, and only the online vote will count.

If you would like to register your e-mail address on file with SABR so you can vote online (and also receive our “This Week in SABR” newsletter on Fridays), please contact Membership Director Deb Jayne at  

When you vote, you will find three items on the 2012 Board of Directors ballot: the election of the SABR Vice President, Secretary, and one Director. The candidates are:

For Vice President

  • Bill Nowlin (incumbent)
  • Chris Dial

For Secretary

  • Todd Lebowitz (incumbent)

For Director (open)

  • Bill Staples Jr.
  • Ty Waterman

You can read candidate biographies, along with full descriptions of the positions and responses the candidates made to a series of questions, in the 2012 SABR Election Guide below.

Download the 2012 SABR Election Guide here:

SABR Analytics Conference wrap-up

Couldn’t make it to Arizona for the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference? Check out for full coverage of the event that brought together more of the top minds of the baseball analytic community than ever before. Nineteen Major League Baseball teams sent representatives to the conference, which featured among its guest speakers Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, Arizona Diamondbacks President/CEO Derrick Hall and Cleveland Indians President Mark Shapiro.

You’ll feel like you’re wandering through the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa with stories and multimedia clips from the great panel discussions and research presentations on our schedule, photo galleries, and much more. Check it out at

Around the Web

Day 1: Thursday, March 15

Day 2: Friday, March 16

Day 3: Saturday, March 17

Check it all out at We hope to see you next year for the SABR Analytics Conference, which will be bigger and better than ever!

Stout’s “Fenway 1912” is winner of Larry Ritter Book Award

Glenn Stout’s Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway’s Remarkable First Year , published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has been named the 2012 winner of the Larry Ritter Book Award, given by SABR’s Deadball Era Research Committee for the best book related to the Deadball Era published in the previous year.

Three books — Stout’s Fenway 1912; Ted Leavengood’s Clark Griffith: The Old Fox of Washington Baseball (McFarland), and Dennis Pajot’s Baseball’s Heartland War, 1902-1903 (McFarland) — were chosen as finalists by the Ritter Award subcommittee from a field of 10 nominations. Stout’s was chosen as the clear winner, the committee finding it engagingly written, creatively conceived and organized, extensively researched and rife with fresh material.

The award will be presented during the Deadball Era Committee’s meeting at the SABR 42 convention, June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Ritter Award subcommittee consists of Al Blumkin, Jack Carlson, Mark Dugo, David Fleitz, Craig Lammers, John McMurray, Mark Pattison, Gail Rowe (chair), Tom Simon and Trey Strecker.

For more information on the Larry Ritter Award, including a list of previous winners, click here.

1947 Dodgers book: “Jackie Robinson’s first game”

Lyle Spatz, editor of The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, writes:

“Jackie Robinson’s major league debut was more than just the first step in righting an historical wrong. It was a crucial event in the history of the American civil rights movement, the importance of which went far beyond the insular world of baseball.

“The Dodgers signed Robinson to a major league contract just five days before the start of the 1947 season. Baseball people, especially those in Brooklyn, were still digesting the previous day’s news of manager Leo Durocher’s one-year suspension (for conduct detrimental to baseball), when the story broke of Robinson’s promotion from the Montreal Royals. He would be the first black American to play in the major leagues since catcher Fleetwood Walker played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association back in 1884.”

You can read the rest of Lyle’s essay, an excerpt from The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers — the first book in SABR’s “Memorable Teams in Baseball History” series with the University of Nebraska Press (April 1, 2012) — at

Then, order the 1947 Dodgers book for yourself! You can get it from the University of Nebraska Press website ( or from the SABR Bookstore (, powered by

The “Memorable Teams in Baseball History” series, written by SABR members as part of the Baseball Biography Project, will focus on iconic teams with an unquestionable legacy in baseball history. Each book will collect essays detailing the players, moments and games that define these teams. For a complete list of biographies included in the 1947 Dodgers book, click here.

Nine new biographies posted at the SABR BioProject

Nine new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,858 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 1970 Orioles book: Pitching, Defense, and Three-Run Homers: The 1970 Baltimore Orioles, edited by Mark Armour and Malcolm Allen, is the second book in SABR’s “Memorable Teams” series with University of Nebraska Press. It will be published May 1, 2012. To pre-order your copy from UNP, click here.

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!


Students: Apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 42

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to 10 scholarships to high school and college students who wish to attend the SABR 42 Annual Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 27-July 1, 2012. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging up to a total value of $1,000.

The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 1, 2012.

The objective of this scholarship fund is to encourage high school and college-level student engagement with baseball research and to engender an active interest in baseball and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR’s annual convention and to introduce them to fellow SABR members. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

Click here to download an application form for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend the 2012 SABR Convention.

Students must be currently enrolled in high school, college, or graduate program, and be under 30 years of age. To learn more, click here:

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.

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

  • Furman Bisher, 93, of Fayetteville, Georgia, passed away March 18, 2012, of a heart attack. The longtime writer, editor and columnist of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was a SABR member from 1980 to 2011 and he was a featured speaker in a panel discussion on Shoeless Joe Jackson at SABR 40 in Atlanta in August 2010. Bisher sat down with Jackson in 1949 in Greenville, South Carolina, for the final major interview of the banisher Black Sox star’s life; you can read his story “This Is The Truth!”, originally published in Sport Magazine, online at Bisher covered the Masters, Kentucky Derby and the Georgia-Georgia Tech football game more than 50 times each. Bisher spent 59 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before retiring in 2009; he wrote his final column on the same typewriter he used when he started in 1950 as a reporter for the Atlanta Constitution. James Furman Bisher, born Nov. 4, 1918 in Denton, N.C., contributed hundreds of articles for Sports Illustrated, the Saturday Evening Post, The Sporting News, and many other national magazines. He also wrote several books, including a biography of Hank Aaron. In addition to his writing, Bisher is credited with helping bring professional sports to Atlanta. He was a charter member of the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium Authority during a time when it wasn’t regarded as a conflict for a journalist to serve in such a capacity. Bisher’s honors include membership in the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, the International Golf Writers Hall of Fame, and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, as well as the Red Smith Award for contributions to journalism. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 31 at Northwest Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. Private graveside services are planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to Paul Anderson Youth Home, 1603 McIntosh St., Vidalia, Ga., 30474, or Eagle Ranch, 5500 Union Church Rd., Flowery Branch, Ga., 30542.

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

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

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Originally published: March 30, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.