This Week in SABR: May 22, 2015

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Click here to view this week’s newsletter on the web. Please note: The SABR office will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 25.

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of May 22, 2015:


SABR 45: Full convention schedule now posted online

It’s not too late to register for SABR 45 and join us June 24-28, 2015, at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Click here for complete information on SABR 45 registration rates, all-inclusive packages, and optional sessions. Or click here to register for SABR 45.

Click the link below to find the full convention schedule online:

/convention/sabr45-schedule

SABR 45 will include top featured speakers from around the baseball world — front office executives, players, managers, scouts, writers, and analysts — plus innovative panel discussions on the Cubs, White Sox, the Negro Leagues, women in baseball, baseball broadcasting, and more. See below for details on our featured panels:

  • White Sox Players Panel: Panelists include former White Sox outfielders Carlos May (1968-76) and Mike Huff (1991-93), and moderator Dan Migala. Click here for more details.
  • Broadcasters Panel: Panelists include Chicago Cubs announcers Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies, and Ron Coomer, and moderator Curt Smith. Click here for more details. 
  • Negro Leagues Panel: Panelists include former Negro Leagues pitchers Al Spearman and Ernie Westfield, and moderator Larry Lester. Click here for more details.
  • Women in Baseball Panel: Panelists include Cubs executive Caroline Phillips, White Sox executive and author Martha Jo Black, author and historian John Kovach, and South Bend Blue Sox player Christie Spisak, along with moderator Leslie Heaphy, SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee co-chair. Click here for more details.
  • More panels to be announced soon!

Here are some more highlights and information about SABR 45 in Chicago:

All SABR 45 attendees will also receive a souvenir print edition of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, focusing on baseball teams, players and events in the Chicago area. All SABR members, whether you attend the convention or not, will receive the expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime in their inboxes later this summer. Click here to register for SABR 45.

For more information on SABR 45, visit SABR.org/convention.


SABR 45: White Sox Players Panel

We are pleased to announce one of our featured panels at the upcoming SABR 45 convention in Chicago.

The SABR 45 White Sox Players Panel is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 27, 2015, at the Palmer House Hilton. Visit SABR.org/convention for complete information on SABR 45 registration rates, all-inclusive packages, and optional sessions. Or click here to register for SABR 45.

The White Sox Players Panel is expected to include:

  • Carlos May, a two-time American League All-Star outfielder who played parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues from 1968-77 with the White Sox, Yankees, and Angels. 
  • Mike Huff, who played parts of seven seasons in MLB as an outfielder from 1989-96 and spent three years with the Chicago White Sox, including on their 1993 AL West Division championship team.   
  • Moderator: Dan Migala, founding partner of Property Consulting Group.

Click here for more details.

Please note: All speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

To register for SABR 45, or for more information, visit SABR.org/convention.


SABR 45: Donate to SABR and go on the field at Wrigley

We are excited to announce a special SABR donation package that will be offered for SABR 45 in Chicago.

Thanks to the generosity of the Chicago Cubs, anyone who makes a donation of $1,500 or more to the SABR General Fund between May 1 and June 15, 2015, will have the opportunity to go on the field before or after the Cubs-Dodgers game on Thursday, June 25 during SABR 45.

This special opportunity is only available to eight SABR donors — four people before the game and four after the game. Donors will be able to go on to the field and take photographs during batting practice before the game or walk the field and take photographs after the game. Each one-time donation is good for one on-field ticket. Choice of before/after the game is first-come, first-serve (please contact Marc Appleman to express preference.)

In addition to the on-field opportunity at Wrigley Field, the SABR 45 donation package also includes four tickets to the SABR 45 Baseball Project concert at the Palmer House Hilton, two tickets to the SABR 45 Donors Breakfast, a special SABR 45 glass commemorative baseball, and a one-year membership to SABR.

SABR is a 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

  • If you are interested in the SABR 45 donation package, please contact Executive Director Marc Appleman at mappleman@sabr.org.

SABR 45: Get your tickets now for The Baseball Project concert

Attendees at the SABR 45 convention this summer in Chicago will have a special opportunity to see The Baseball Project in concert on Thursday, June 25, 2015, in the Grand Ballroom at the Palmer House Hilton.

Advance tickets for The Baseball Project at SABR 45 are now available for $40 when you register for the SABR convention online at SABR.org/convention. Tickets will be $60 on-site during the convention until the concert venue reaches capacity.

Formed in 2007 by Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Gutterball), The Baseball Project began as a way for a couple of fans to pay musical tribute to our national pastime. But The Baseball Project has since blossomed into a full-fledged, much-loved band in its own right, one which includes drummer Linda Pitmon (Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Zuzu’s Petals), and Peter Buck and Mike Mills, founding members of R.E.M., one of the best-selling alternative rock bands of all time.

To learn more about The Baseball Project, visit their website at thebaseballproject.net or their YouTube channel at youtube.com/thebaseballproject.

(Note: For those interested, The Baseball Project concert will not conflict with the SABR 45 Trivia Contest preliminaries on the schedule.)

Registration for SABR 45 is now available at SABR.org/convention.


SABR Digital Library: Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present

Add a special book on baseball broadcasters from the SABR Digital Library to your collection:

Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present
By Stuart Shea
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-933599-40-3, $24.95
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-933599-41-0, $9.99
414 pages; 8.5″ x 11″
Foreword by Pat Hughes; Afterword by Jacques Doucet

Calling the Game: Baseball Broadcasting from 1920 to the Present is an exhaustive, meticulously researched history of bringing the national pastime out of the ballparks and into living rooms via the airwaves.

Every play-by-play announcer, color commentator, and ex-ballplayer who has presented a Major League Baseball game to the public is included here. So is every broadcast deal, radio station, and TV network. In addition to chapters for each of the game’s thirty franchises, a history of national broadcasting and a look at some of the game’s most memorable national broadcast moments are included, as are a foreword by “Voice of the Chicago Cubs” Pat Hughes, and an afterword by Jacques Doucet, the “Voice of the Montreal Expos, 1972-2004.” 

Each team chapter presents a chronological look from how and when the team began broadcasting (since all of the original sixteen major-league franchises predate radio) through the 2014 season. Author Stuart Shea details the history and strategies that shaped each club’s broadcast crews, including the highlights and scandals, the hirings and firings, the sponsorships and corporate maneuverings. From the leap to Brooklyn from the radio booth of the Atlanta Crackers by young Ernie Harwell, to the dismissal of Mel Allen by the Yankees, from the tutelage of the now-legendary Vin Scully under the wing of the already legendary Red Barber, to the ascendance of the great Jack Buck to the number one chair in St. Louis upon the ouster of Harry Caray, the stories of the personalities who connect us to the game are all here. 

Calling the Game is a groundbreaking and illuminating look at the people and the story behind the soundtrack of summer for millions of baseball fans.

About the Author: Stuart Shea has been writing professionally about baseball for more than 20 years and has authored or co-authored nine books about the game, including Wrigley Field: The Long Life and Contentious Times of the Friendly Confines (University of Chicago Press). He served as editor of Fantasy Baseball Index for four years, worked as an MLB.com game reporter for a decade, and co-created the successful FAQ series of music and entertainment titles for Backbeat Books. A proud SABR member, he lives in Chicago.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

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. Learn more at SABR.org/ebooks.


Last call: Vote now for SABR Overlooked 19th Century Legend of the year

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.

You *MUST* select five candidates — ranking them from first choice to fifth choice — from among the 11 candidates presented. You are only allowed to vote once. You are on the honor system to submit only one ballot. ALL BALLOTS MUST BE CAST PRIOR TO 11:59 p.m. PDT on Monday, May 25. For bios of the finalists, click here to download an informational PDF. The winner will be announced at the Nineteenth Century Committee’s annual meeting at SABR 45 in Chicago.

For more information on the Overlooked Legends project, click here.


Register now for 2015 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Pittsburgh

The 18th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 6-8, 2015, at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages.

  • Register today! Click here to register online at the SABR Store. Or click here to download a registration form (PDF); please mail your check or money order before July 31 to SABR Malloy Conference, Cronkite School at ASU, 555 N. Central Ave. #416, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

    Regular registration is $175 for an adult rate (includes all activities) or $125 for a student rate. Single-day registration for Friday or Saturday is $100. The rate for the Thursday education forum only is $20. Optional sessions are also available.

The 2015 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will celebrate the rich history of black baseball in Pittsburgh. We welcome proposals for oral and poster presentations from all research fields. Previous presenters have included college faculty, public school teachers, graduate students, and independent scholars. Presentations may focus on any topic related to the theme, “Baseball’s Best: the Grays and the Crawfords,” or other Negro Leagues issues. Some possibilities include: Josh Gibson, Pittsburgh Crawfords, Gus Greenlee, Cum Posey, Vic Harris, Cool Papa Bell, the Crawford Grill, and many others.

Visit SABR.org/malloy for information on the 2015 Call for Papers, Essay Contest, Art Contest, and Library Grant Program.


Paul Rogers: Tales from interviewing the 1950 ‘Whiz Kids’ Phillies

This article first appeared in the SABR Oral History Committee’s Spring 2015 newsletter. To learn more about the Oral History Committee or for a list of interviews in the SABR Oral History Collection, click here.

When I approached Robin Roberts in 1992 about writing a book on the famous Whiz Kids team that won the 1950 pennant on the last day of the season, he was immediately all in. Since I’d never written a baseball book (although heaven knows I’d read enough of them), I felt a little like the dog who chases a car and catches it. What do I do now? Since Robin had been my boyhood hero and now I had the chance to write a book with him, I particularly felt the pressure.

My thought was to work intensively with Robin about his memories of that epic season, but also to interview as many of the living Whiz Kids as possible. Robin liked that idea a lot since to him that team represented an ultimate team accomplishment and he didn’t want the book to be just about himself. In addition, he was curious about how his teammates viewed that 1950 season with forty-some years of hindsight. One thing Robin and I quickly learned along those lines was how people involved in the same event can perceive it very differently. Not only do their memories differ of, for example, key games, but also do their perceptions of those games. I set about interviewing as many Whiz Kids in person as I could over the next three or so years and ended up with some very memorable experiences.

Click here to read the full article at SABR.org.

— C. Paul Rogers III


Working the Game: An interview with Boston Globe beat writer Pete Abraham

Chuck Hildebrandt, chair of SABR’s Baseball and the Media Committee, recently launched a new series at SABRMedia.org called “Working the Game,” which features interviews with some of the broadcasting and journalism professionals who work every day in baseball. Loosely based on the Slate podcast “Working,” these interviews attempt to reveal what it is like to work as a baseball media professional on a day to day basis. Here’s an excerpt from his latest segment with Boston Globe beat writer Pete Abraham:

Is there anything about working every day in Fenway that makes it unique among ballparks to work in?

Fenway is not an especially good place to work beyond the vista once you sit down to watch the game. The clubhouses are small and crowded and access to the clubhouses post-game is going against the flow of the crowd. The press box at Fenway is pretty high, too. You don’t get the same view as you would at places like Camden Yards.

How many stories are you responsible for submitting on a daily basis, or perhaps in the course of a week?

Daily it’s usually three things. A game preview for our web site then a game story and a notebook. The game story usually has two versions and the notebook as many as three or four. With the web, the updating never ends. So for a week I night do 18-25 stories, each updated several times.

Click here to read the full article at SABRMedia.org.


5 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Five new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 3,194 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here: /bioproj/recent

You can find the SABR BioProject at SABR.org/BioProject.

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 /bioproj/browse. 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 markarmour04@gmail.com or jpomrenke@sabr.org.


2 new stories published by the SABR Games Project

Two new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:

The SABR Baseball Games Project was launched in January 2014 to research and write articles on major-league and Negro League regular, postseason, and All-Star Games. These game accounts will complement Retrosheet and Baseball-Reference box scores as well as BioProject essays on the players involved.

The articles are not intended to be mere play-by-play summaries, nor should they be first-person narratives. Rather the goal is to put each game in historical context — whether that history is of a particular player, team, season, or something even broader.

Visit the new Games Project website at SABR.org/gamesproject.


Listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM

We invite you to listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a new radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, on Sunday nights on MLB Network Radio.

Baseball SABR Style focuses on examining and interpreting the statistical analysis that plays a critical role in baseball today. It will air 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. (Recent shows are available afterward in the “on-demand” section of the SiriusXM app or website.)

For more information, click here.


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: /content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.


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 members.sabr.org 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.

You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (SABR.org/directory).

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Mike Berger Macungie, PA     James Patrick Yuma, AZ
Gregory Blake San Diego, CA     Nick Pluenneke Newport Beach, CA
Mike DeMazza Falls Village, CT     Mendy Rappoport Brooklyn, NY
Donovan Dicken Ankeny, IA     Dennis Rose Brecksville, OH
Nathan Eccles Fort Gratiot, MI     Robert Senkbeil Redford, MI
Steve Keeney Kettering, OH     Jennifer Simmons Houston, TX
Mike Klatzkin Columbia, MD     Lee Van Scyoc Oshkosh, WI
Christopher Kubak Chadds Ford, PA     Roger Weber Cle Elum, WA
Ben Matheson Mercer Island, WA     Darrell Zielke White Rock, BC

 


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee updates for this week:

  • Deadball Era Committee: The Deadball Era Committee is pleased to welcome Doug Skipper as the new chair of the Larry Ritter Book Award selection committee. Doug has been on the award subcommittee since 2007 and he takes over for Gail Rowe as the chair. For more information on the Larry Ritter Book Award, click here.
  • Oral History Committee: Spring 2015 newsletter 
  • Women in Baseball Committee: Spring 2015 newsletter

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at SABR.org/research.


Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates for this week:

  • Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap (May 18; Sugar Land, TX)
  • Bob Davids Chapter: Get your tickets now for Bob Davids Chapter Day with the Washington Nationals and special guest George F. Will on Saturday, June 6, 2015, at Nationals Park. Every odd-numbered year since 2005, we have met to watch the Nationals; we would love to include you. Cost: $65 (includes program, tickets to the game, and buffet lunch). Register before May 31. The room we will be meeting in is limited to 70 dedicated fans. Click here for more details. 
  • Joe Quinn Australian Chapter founding members: Click here to learn more about the founding members of the Joe Quinn Australian Chapter and their baseball interests and experiences: Ryan Broad, Dr. Rochelle Nichols, Dr. Gerry Myerson, Rian Crowther, and Scott Levens.

Visit SABR.org/chapters 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 SABR.org/events.


Around the Web

Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:

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 jpomrenke@sabr.org.

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Originally published: May 22, 2015. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.