This Week in SABR: May 30, 2014

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of May 30, 2014:

SABR 44: Roger Clemens scheduled to speak on College Baseball Panel

SABR is pleased to announce that Roger Clemens will be a featured panelist on the SABR 44 College Baseball Panel on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston.

Clemens was a star pitcher at Houston’s Spring Woods High School before going on to a record-setting college career at San Jacinto College and the University of Texas. While at UT-Austin, Clemens went 25-7, threw a then-record 35 consecutive scoreless innings, and was on the Longhorns’ 1983 national championship team. The national college baseball pitcher of the year award is named in his honor. “The Rocket” then starred for the Red Sox, Blue Jays, Yankees and Astros, winning 354 games in the major leagues, a record seven Cy Young Awards, and the 1986 American League MVP.

More information on speakers and panelists will be announced soon. Please note: All speakers are subject to change depending on availability.

To register for SABR 44 or for more information on the national convention in Houston, visit

SABR 44: Deadline for discounted all-inclusive rate is next Friday

Good news! Thanks to the generosity of the Houston Astros, the discounted all-inclusive package for SABR 44 in Houston has been extended until Monday, June 9. But our hotel room block at the Royal Sonesta Houston and our Astros ticket block are filling up fast, so hurry up and register to join us July 30-August 3, 2014, for a full week of baseball fun at SABR 44.

Register today for the SABR 44 all-inclusive package which includes full registration to SABR 44, 1 ticket to the Astros vs. Blue Jays game (including access to our exclusive SABR 44 ballpark session at Minute Maid Park), and 1 ticket to the SABR 44 Awards Luncheon.

Click here for more information on SABR 44 registration rates, all-inclusive packages and optional sessions.

For the all-inclusive rate of $214 (with Mezzanine ticket) or $234 (with Field Box ticket), you will receive:

  • Full registration to SABR 44 in Houston (regular rate: $169 for SABR members or $219 for nonmembers)
  • 1 ticket to the Awards Banquet ($50)
  • Choose: 1 Field Box ticket to the Astros vs. Blue Jays game on Saturday, August 2 ($45)

    1 Mezzanine Level ticket ($25)


Our block of Astros game tickets will also be unavailable after Monday, June 9; please keep in mind that you must register for the convention AND purchase a ticket to the Astros game (through our ticket block or on your own) in order to attend the exclusive ballpark session at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, August 2.

  • Hotel room block going fast: Our SABR 44 hotel room block at the Royal Sonesta is going fast, so book your room today. Click here to book your room at the Royal Sonesta online. The deadline to book your room at the special SABR group rate of $129/night (plus tax) is Monday, July 14, 2014, or until our block is full. The Royal Sonesta is at 2222 W Loop S Fwy., Houston, TX 77027, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park. If you have any questions about your reservation, please call the hotel at (713) 627-7600.

Visit for more information on all the great panels, presentations and speakers we have in store for SABR 44 in Houston.

SABR 44: Research presentation abstracts, poster presentations now available

We’ve got an exciting lineup of research presentations for SABR 44 in Houston this summer. We hope you’ll join us July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston for a full week of baseball fun.

Here is the schedule of research presentations for the Houston convention. Presenter bios and abstracts can now be found on that page.

Here is the list of poster presentations that will be on display all week at the Royal Sonesta during SABR 44:

  • P1: Value Points: A Statistical Analysis of Evaluating Baseball Players, by Evan Wessman
  • P2: Building From Within or Acquiring from Without: An Analysis of Roster Construction for Post-Season MLB Teams from 2009-2013, by Jimmy Sanderson and Matthew Crownover
  • P3: Nineteenth Century Major League Home Runs: 1893-1900, by Ron Selter
  • P4: The Gulf States/Lone Star League, by Steven Glassman
  • P5: Interactive Visualizations in Professional Baseball: Houston 1980-2013, by Thomas Ciszek

Visit for more information or to register for SABR 44 in Houston.

SABR 44: Transportation tips

SABR 44 will be held July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Houston, in the heart of the Galleria, just minutes from downtown and Minute Maid Park.

We hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a spectacular SABR 44 convention in the summer of 2014.

Members of the host Larry Dierker Chapter have compiled a list of transportation tips to help visitors and convention attendees enjoy their stay in the Bayou City, including directions to the hotel from both of Houston’s major airports (IAH and Hobby), along with a special SABR 44 SuperShuttle discount.

If you have any questions during your stay, please don’t hesitate to ask a friendly SABR 44 volunteer for assistance.

To view the SABR 44 Transportation Tips page, click here.

SABR 44: Convention schedule coming soon

We’ve got a lot of exciting events in store for SABR 44 that you won’t want to miss. Stay tuned for “This Week in SABR” next week as we announce more details about the full convention schedule in Houston.

Here’s some of what we’ve got planned for SABR 44, July 30-August 3 at the Royal Sonesta in Houston:

  • All-Star lineup of guest speakers: Guest speakers at SABR 44 are expected to include: Reid Ryan, the Astros’ President of Business Operations; Roger Clemens, seven-time Cy Young Award winner and College Baseball Hall of Famer; Jeff Luhnow, General Manager for the Houston Astros; Tal Smith, former Astros President and former SABR Director; Jimmy Wynn, original Colt .45 and Astros legend; Larry Dierker, longtime Astros player, broadcaster and manager; Bill Brown, Astros TV broadcaster; Pam Gardner, former Astros President of Business Operations; Dr. Bobby Brown, former American League President; Buck Martinez, former player and current Toronto Blue Jays broadcaster; Bob Watson, former player and general manager for the Astros; Eddie Robinson, longtime player, general manager and baseball executive; Bob Aspromonte, original Colt .45 and former Brooklyn Dodger; Mickey Herskowitz, noted baseball author and sportswriter; Marie “Red” Mahoney, alumnus of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League; Jim Gilligan, Lamar University baseball coach with more than 1,000 career wins; and many more!
  • Exclusive ballpark session at Minute Maid Park: A special treat is in store for SABR 44 attendees this summer. On Saturday, August 2, SABR convention attendees will have the opportunity to visit Minute Maid Park for an exclusive ballpark session with Houston Astros executives and players. That’s also the night of  Before the Astros’ 6:05 p.m. game against the Toronto Blue Jays, two SABR 44 panel discussions will take place inside the ballpark’s Champions Pavilion, just above center field on the Mezzanine Level at Minute Maid Park. Guest speakers and more details will be announced soon. Please note: You must be registered for the convention AND purchase an Astros game ticket in order to attend the ballpark session at Minute Maid Park.
  • Complimentary Houston baseball book and The National Pastime: All SABR 44 convention attendees will also receive complimentary copies of Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961, edited by Mike Vance and produced by SABR’s Larry Dierker Chapter; and The National Pastime, our annual convention journal focusing on baseball in the Houston area.
  • Sugar Land Skeeters game: We’ll visit brand-new Constellation Park, home of the Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, about 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston for a game between the Skeeters and the Bridgeport Bluefish. Before the game, former Houston Astros president and SABR member Tal Smith will welcome SABR 44 attendees before the game, and an optional all-you-can-eat buffet will be served. And hey, you might even get to see former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady pitch for the Skeeters, too.
  • Historical Ballparks Site Tour: Our tour will include stops at the sites of the three minor league and two former major league ballparks that hosted professional baseball in Houston from the 1870s until 1999. There will also be drive-bys of a few semi-pro baseball locations where former major leaguers stayed in the game after their days in the majors had ended. The tour culminates with a visit to the Astrodome, the most architecturally significant stadium in America.
  • Houston City History Walking Tour: Get a taste of Bayou City history. Tour guide Mike Vance, a SABR member and Executive Director of Houston Arts and Media, is one of the top historians and storytellers in Houston. He will have dozens of stories to share along the walk. Participants will see the site of an early capitol of the Republic of Texas, now a historic hotel where JFK stayed the day before he was assassinated. There will be stops to see stellar art deco architecture and gleaming modern skyscrapers mixed in with tales of dueling, Civil War murder and oil barons. Please note: The tour, limited to 56 people, is now sold out. To be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail
  • Research presentations, committee meetings, and the SABR Trivia Contest: No SABR Convention is complete without a full slate of groundbreaking baseball research and a chance to talk baseball all week with the most passionate international community of fans around.

Sign up for SABR 44 today! You can register online for SABR 44 at or by phone at (602) 343-6450. Contact Deb Jayne at if you have any questions.

  • And don’t forget to donate! Did you know that anyone who donates $100 or more to SABR gets admitted to a special Donors Breakfast at the annual convention? Membership dues allow SABR to survive; it is donations from people like you that help us thrive. (A donation of $200 or more entitles the donor to one additional ticket.)

We look forward to seeing you in Houston this summer!

SABR 44: Houston City History Tour and Historical Ballparks Site Tour sold out

We’ve had a fantastic response for the SABR 44 Houston City History Tour on Wednesday, July 30 and the Historical Ballparks Site Tour on Sunday, August 3.

Please note: Both of those tours are now sold out. To be placed on a waiting list in case a spot opens up, please e-mail

On Wednesday, the combination bus/walking City History Tour will leave from the Royal Sonesta and head to Minute Maid Park, where we’ll walk around Downtown Houston and give tour-goers a taste of Bayou City history. Tour guide Mike Vance, a SABR member and Executive Director of Houston Arts and Media, is one of the top historians and storytellers in Houston. He will have dozens of stories to share along the walk. Participants will see the site of an early capitol of the Republic of Texas, now a historic hotel where JFK stayed the day before he was assassinated. There will be stops to see stellar art deco architecture and gleaming modern skyscrapers mixed in with tales of dueling, Civil War murder and oil barons.

On Sunday, the Historical Ballparks Site bus tour will include stops at the sites of the three minor league and two former major league ballparks that hosted professional baseball in Houston from the 1870s until 1999. There will also be drive-bys of a few semi-pro baseball locations where former major leaguers stayed in the game after their days in the majors had ended. The tour culminates with a visit to the Astrodome, the most architecturally significant stadium in America.

For more information on SABR 44, visit

Students: One week left to apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 44 in Houston

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to high school or college students to attend SABR 44 on July 30-August 3, 2014, in Houston, Texas. This scholarship will pay for registration, transportation and lodging up to a total value of $1,250.

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.

Students must be currently enrolled in a high school, college undergraduate or graduate program, and be between 18 and 29 years of age at the time of the conference. All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at no later than June 6, 2014.

For more information on the SABR 44 Yoseloff Scholarships, along with eligibility requirements, click here.

McMurray: An interview with Rob Neyer on the Deadball Era

Editor’s note: This article by John McMurray first appeared in the SABR Deadball Era Research Committee’s “The Inside Game” newsletter in June 2014. To learn more about the Deadball Era Research Committee, click here.

A SABR member since 1984, Rob Neyer has written six books on baseball and was a prominent baseball columnist for for almost 15 years, leaving in early 2011 for In 2014, he joined as their Senior Baseball Editor.

Neyer, who began his career while working with Bill James, has been a prominent advocate of using sabermetrics to evaluate player performance and has written several articles discussing candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

He offered his perspective to The Inside Game on several topics relating to the Deadball Era. You can read the full Q&A here:

— John McMurray

Register now for 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference

The 2014 Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will be held August 14-16, 2014, at the Marriott Courtyard Downtown (333 E. Jefferson Avenue) in Detroit, Michigan. The conference is open to all baseball, history and sports fans of all ages.

The conference theme is “Turkey Stearnes and Black Baseball in Michigan.” Black baseball has a long history in Michigan, especially centered in the Motor City. Among the original entrants to the Negro National League in 1920 was Tenny Blount’s Detroit Stars, managed by Pete Hill and anchored by Big Bill Gatewood on the mound. The Detroit Wolves and Motor City Giants also played in Mack Park and Hamtramck stadium. In addition to the well-known Turkey Stearnes other star players included catcher Bruce Petway, the speedy Jimmie Lyons and the powerful Edgar Wesley.

The 17th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference will celebrate this rich baseball history. In addition to two days of research presentations and player/author panels, attendees will also enjoy special presentations about local parks as well as a Tigers game against the Seattle Mariners.

To learn more, visit

SABR’s Luis Castro Chapter offers baseball scoring and sabermetrics workshop in Venezuela

  • What: SABR Luis Castro Chapter “Baseball Scoring and Sabermetrics” workshop
  • Where: Club Tiramuto. Tinaco, Cojedes state, Venezuela
  • When: May 30 to June 1, 2014
  • Time: Friday, May 30: 4 to 7 pm; Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1: 9 to 5 pm.

Description: SABR’s Luis Castro/Latin American Chapter continues to expand on activities in Latin American countries in Spanish Language. This event will be the first SABR event and the first workshop sponsored by the chapter in the lowlands region of Venezuela, where the practice of softball is one of the most popular local activities.

The Scoring and Sabermetrics workshop will embrace participants into the techniques and official baseball rules of scorekeeping and provide and detailed explanation and examples of advanced stats.  In addition, participants will be immersed into debates of ruling cases of analysis and the role of the scorekeeper in official pro baseball games.  This course is intended to help the Cojedes community professionals in the areas of baseball, softball and kickball.

The workshop will be guided by instructor Gil Reyes, Director for Venezuela for SABR’s Luis Castro Latin American Chapter.  Reyes is a head official scorer for the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League and a former president of the Federation of Venezuelan Sports Scorekeepers.  His experience includes 40 seasons in Venezuela, Caribbean Series, World Baseball Classis and MLB International Exhibition Games.

For more information contact Gil Reyes in Venezuela at or @gilanotador on Twitter.  You can also contact the Luis Castro Chapter at

Last call for papers: Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award

Students, the deadline to submit research papers for the Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award is June 1, 2014.

The Kavanagh Award may be presented each year for either a research presentation given at the SABR National Convention (papers must accompany any oral presentation), or for a research paper that is submitted to the awards committee no later than June 1 by a researcher in grades 6-8 (middle school category), grades 9-12 (high school category), or undergraduates 22 and under (college category.)

The winner will receive a plaque honoring their achievement and the following:

  • College ($200 prize and one-year membership)
  • High School ($200 prize and one-year membership)
  • Middle School ($100 prize and two-year membership)

Additionally, the winning entry shall be published on the SABR website and may be published in either The National Pastime or the Baseball Research Journal. All finalists (3) shall receive one-year SABR memberships.

The Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award was established in 1999 in recognition of Kavanagh’s writing and research achievements and his contributions to SABR. The Award was presented for the first time at the 2000 SABR National Convention in West Palm Beach, Florida.

For details on submission guidelines and eligibility requirements, click here. For questions, please contact Leslie Heaphy at

3 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,827 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

1964 St. Louis Cardinals bios now online: By 1964, the storied St. Louis Cardinals had gone 17 years without so much as a pennant. Things began to turn around in 1953, when August A. Busch Jr. bought the team and famously asked where all the black players were. Under the leadership of men like Bing Devine and Johnny Keane, the Cardinals began signing talented players regardless of color, and slowly their star started to rise again. Drama and Pride in the Gateway City: The 1964 St. Louis Cardinals, edited by John Harry Stahl and Bill Nowlin and published as part of SABR’s “Memorable Teams” series with the University of Nebraska Press, commemorates the team that Devine built, the 1964 team that prevailed in one of the tightest three-way pennant races of all time and then went on to win the World Series, beating the New York Yankees in the full seven games. All the players, executives, coaches, and broadcasters from that special Redbirds team come alive in these pages — from Bob Gibson to Curt Flood, from Lou Brock to Ernie Broglio, from Harry Caray to Bob Uecker — along with the dramatic events that made the 1964 Cardinals such a memorable club in a memorable year. The SABR BioProject biographies that appeared in that book can now be read online at:

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, Games, 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!

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

April 26-27 Board minutes posted

Minutes from the Board of Directors spring meeting on April 26-27, 2014, have now been posted on the SABR website.

You can view all past minutes of SABR Board meetings by going to the page below:

Or you can go to the Members’ Info page and click on “Org. files”, then “Board Minutes” to view the minutes.

In Memoriam: Wayne Williams

We are saddened to report that longtime SABR member Wayne Williams died on Sunday, May 18, 2014, at his home in Denver, Colorado. Williams was a member of SABR since 2003, an original Colorado Rockies season-ticket holder, and active in the Rocky Mountain Chapter along with the Biographical Research and Pictorial History committees. He had battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma for more than 14 years, in the care of the Anschutz Cancer Center.

Cecil Wayne Williams was born June 10, 1935, in Lawrence, Kansas, to Cecil E. and Myrtle Williams, and was raised chiefly in Marysville, Kansas, by his grandmother, Verna May Dodson, who was the long-time manager of the country club. It was there he taught himself to play golf, a passion he enjoyed throughout his life, both as a player and a fan. His name is on the golf championship plaques at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Hickam AFB, Army-Navy Country Club, and Pole Creek Golf Course, among others.

He married Martha “Marty” Ellen Ormsby Williams in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 2, 1960, and loved to re-tell the story of their elopement, which was considered quite risqué in those days. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1960 to 1981, retiring as Chief of Civil Litigation. His Judge Advocate duties took him to Hawaii and Bitburg, Germany, as well as many years in Washington, D.C. He went on to enjoy a law practice for 10 years in Fraser, Colorado, before serving as the County Court Judge for Grand County for 10 years.

To read more about his life, 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:

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.

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Fred Arnold Houston, TX     Bill McBride Louisville, OH
Sean Beireis Olympia, WA     Don Norwalk Orlando, FL
Barry Bloyd Edmond, OK     Dan Orr Las Vegas, NV
Thomas Carfagno Flemington, NJ     Matt Roberts Indianapolis, IN
Gregory Collins Allentown, PA     Bill Sproule Houghton, MI
Tom Cuggino Wheaton, IL     Jason Watson Salt Lake City, UT
Howard Dorfman West Orange, NJ     Kurt West Arlington, VA
Randy Fletcher Springfield, TN     Kevin Whitaker Cambridge, MA
Jake Hopper Houston, TX        


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new 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

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

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Originally published: May 30, 2014. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.