This Week in SABR: November 2, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of November 2, 2012:

Fourth annual SABR AFL Conference kicks off

The Hot Stove League kicked off in fine fashion on Thursday, November 1 with the start of the fourth annual SABR Arizona Fall League Conference.

About 30 conference guests attended an AFL game between the Peoria Javelinas and Mesa Solar Sox on Thursday afternoon at Hohokam Park in Mesa, then had dinner at the legendary baseball hangout Don and Charlie’s in Scottsdale with special guest and longtime SABR member Roland Hemond — founder of the Arizona Fall League.

The conference runs through Saturday, November 3 and will feature four AFL games, each at a different ballpark. Attendees will see all six AFL teams, showcasing every major league team’s top prospects. 

The AFL Conference continued Friday with two AFL games, first at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in the afternoon and then a pregame ballpark dinner at Scottsdale Stadium with former All-Star third baseman Matt Williams as the featured speaker.

On Saturday, the Flame Delhi Chapter will host guest speaker Bernie Pleskoff of at 10 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Express on Scottsdale Road.

For more details and a complete schedule, visit

The Arizona Fall League ( is baseball’s premier player development league. In the first three years of the conference, attendees were treated to sneak peeks at Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Buster Posey, Starlin Castro and Stephen Strasburg before they hit the big leagues.

Check out some early photos from the SABR AFL Conference here: /latest/fourth-annual-sabr-arizona-fall-league-conference-opens

SABR honors baseball broadcaster Bob Costas at ASU Cronkite luncheon

SABR President Vince Gennaro and Executive Director Marc Appleman presented longtime baseball broadcaster and author Bob Costas with a gift in appreciation of his dedicated service to the national pastime during Arizona State University’s 29th annual Cronkite Award Luncheon on Tuesday, October 30 at the Sheraton Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.

Costas, an award-winning announcer and host for MLB Network and NBC Sports, was in town to receive the prestigious 2012 Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The gift from SABR was a plaque commemorating the first baseball game Costas ever attended, on September 26, 1959, at Yankee Stadium in New York. Costas’ beloved Yankees lost to the Baltimore Orioles that day, 7-2. Included on the plaque are a late-1950s photo of Tony Kubek and Casey Stengel, a reprinted box score from the New York Times, and a quote from author Roger Kahn: “You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat.”

A wide-eyed Costas gushed over forgotten details from the box score in front of hundreds of ASU students, faculty and guests, noting that his friend and longtime broadcast partner Kubek played center field instead of shortstop. He recalled exiting after the game with his father by walking around the Yankee Stadium warning track, the usual custom in those days, and observing the monuments of Yankee greats Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins on the field.

“I thought he was absolutely terrific,” Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan told the Downtown Devil afterward. “He’ll draw in the audience with some funny stories and then weaves in some significant, powerful and important messages.”

More photos of the presentation can be viewed here, courtesy of Molly Smith at Arizona State University:


Video of the event will be posted soon.

Rocky Mountain Chapter banquet to welcome Roland Hemond, Maury Wills, Jonah Keri

We hope you’ll join us on Friday, November 9 for the Rocky Mountain Chapter’s 15th annual banquet at the Denver Athletic Club, 1324 Glenarm Place in Denver, Colorado.

Our Keynote Speaker this year is Roland Hemond, award-winning MLB executive, recipient of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a fellow SABR member! (We hear he was awesome to listen to at SABR 42.)

The Featured Speaker will be Maury Wills, 1962 NL MVP and breaker of Ty Cobb’s long-standing stolen base record.

Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2% and editor of Baseball Between the Numbers, will serve as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

For more information, visit

Scouts on screen: An interview with Trouble With The Curve screenwriter Randy Brown

This week, we published a new story by SABR member Rob Edelman:

Trouble With the Curve is not a movie for sabermetricians. While it underscores the essential role that scouting plays in the process of sniffing out and evaluating wannabe professional ballplayers, it is unambiguously old-school in its portrayal of its central character: a veteran scout who spurns stat sheets and computers as replacements for eyes, ears, and instincts.

Released in September 2012, exactly one year after the screen version of Moneyball, the film features 82-year-old Clint Eastwood as Gus Lobel, an aged — rather than aging — scout who toils for the Atlanta Braves and treks from small town ballpark to small town ballpark in search of baseball talent. Gus is described as “one of the best scouts baseball has ever seen,” and he understands that “good scouts are the heart of the game.” He is crotchety, to be sure, as a number of other recent Eastwood characters have been, but his mind remains sharp even as his eyesight is failing.

Edelman, the author of Great Baseball Films and a frequent contributor to John Thorn’s Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, tracked down Randy Brown, the screenwriter of Trouble With the Curve for an interview a couple weeks after the film’s premiere.

To read Edelman’s Q&A with Randy Brown, which first appeared in the SABR Scouts Committee’s October 2012 newsletter, click here: /latest/scouts-screen-interview-trouble-curve-screenwriter-randy-brown

“Eyes Versus Stats,” Edelman’s sidebar article, can also be read in the SABR Scouts Committee’s October 2012 newsletter here.

10 finalists named for Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2013 Pre-Integration Era ballot

From the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 1:

Six former major league players, three executives and one umpire comprise the 10-candidate Pre-Integration Era ballot to be reviewed and voted upon at Baseball’s Winter Meetings for consideration for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum announced today. 

Samuel Breadon, Bill Dahlen, Wes Ferrell, Marty Marion, Tony Mullane, Hank O’Day, Alfred Reach, Jacob Ruppert, Bucky Walters and Deacon White are the candidates for Pre-Integration Era Committee consideration for election for the Hall of Fame Class of 2013. All candidates will be considered based on the totality of their careers in the game, though Breadon, Reach and Ruppert are included for their contributions as executives, and O’Day is included for his contributions as an umpire. The other six candidates are inclusions primarily for their on-field careers as players. All 10 candidates are deceased. 

Candidates who receive votes on 75 percent of the ballots cast by the 16-member Pre-Integration Era Committee will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 28, 2013, along with any electees who emerge from the 2013 Baseball Writers’ Association of America election, to be announced on Jan. 9.

Bill Dahlen was selected as the SABR Nineteenth Century Committe’s Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend earlier this summer at SABR 42. Deacon White was selected as the Overlooked Legend in 2010.

The Pre-Integration Era ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: SABR members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); and Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); along with Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Claire Smith (ESPN); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).

The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Pre-Integration Era ballot includes SABR members Pat Gillick, Roland Hemond, Steve Hirdt, Peter Morris and Tom Simon; along with Bert Blyleven, Phil Niekro, Don Sutton, Bill DeWitt, Gary Hughes, Bob Watson, Jim Henneman, Phil Pepe, Claire Smith, T.R. Sullivan and Whicker.

For more information, visit

Save the date: SABR Day is January 26, 2013

In case you missed it, the fourth annual SABR Day will be held January 26, 2013. We’re starting to compile details now on 2013 SABR Day chapter meetings around the country. We’ll post them as soon as we get them at  

Regional SABR meetings are open to all baseball fans and are usually free to attend, so bring a friend! Guest speakers often include current and former baseball players, managers, umpires, executives, scouts, writers and authors.

Check back soon at for more information on a SABR Day meeting close to you.

4 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Four new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,105 published biographies.

Here are the new bios:

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

You can find the SABR BioProject at its new home page:

Bios on more than just ballplayers: Many of us have researched a ballplayer’s life outside of baseball and found their spouses’ lives to be equally compelling. Their stories deserve to be told, too. So in addition to Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, etc., we’ve now added a new Spouses category to the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories, and more, at /bioproj/browse. So if you’ve ever thought, “Hey, that ballplayer’s wife should get the full BioProject treatment herself” — 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

Almost time to renew your SABR membership

As you probably know by now, we switched to the “rolling calendar” membership system last year. Anyone who joined SABR before then — which is most of you — should renew your SABR membership before December 31 as you’ve done in the past. Thanks again for all your support.

You can renew your membership for 1 year or 3 years online at the SABR Store; by phone at (602) 343-6450; or by mailing this downloadable PDF form and your payment to the SABR office at 4455 E. Camelback Road, Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018.

Dues are the same as they have been in recent years: for this, you get three high-quality research publications (two issues of the Baseball Research Journal and one issue of The National Pastime); deep discounts to all publications in the SABR Digital Library; access to research resources such as Paper of Record (with complete archives of The Sporting News); discounts to SABR conferences such as the national convention (Philadelphia 2013), the SABR Analytics Conference, the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference, and the Arizona Fall League Conference; access to a growing network of SABR baseball community, including our 27 research committees and 60+ regional chapters.

We believe SABR has something for everyone, from the active researcher to someone passionate about baseball. We hope you’ll invite your friends, colleagues and family members to join at

Registration open for 2013 SABR Analytics Conference

SABR has a long and storied history with baseball statistical analysis, evidenced by the link between our name and sabermetrics. While SABR is a multi-faceted organization involved in virtually every aspect of baseball, we have taken a major step to re-connect with our beginnings by producing and hosting the second annual

SABR Analytics Conference
presented by Major League Baseball and Bloomberg Sports
March 7-9, 2013
Phoenix, Arizona

Once again, we’re bringing together the top minds of the baseball analytic community under one roof to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.

The schedule will consist of a combination of Guest Speakers, Panels and Research Presentations — plus the unique Diamond Dollars Case Competition, in which undergraduate, graduate and law school students from across the country analyze and present a real baseball operations decision.

Conference registration is available now at the SABR Store. Click here to register. The conference is open to all baseball fans.

The 2013 SABR Analytics Conference will be held Thursday, March 7 through Saturday, March 9, 2013, in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The World Baseball Classic will also be in Phoenix that weekend, with first-round games scheduled at Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, and we plan to talk more about global baseball issues at the second annual Analytics Conference.

Featured speakers for the 2013 conference are expected to include Stan Kasten, President/CEO of the Los Angeles Dodgers; Derrick Hall, President/CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Brian Kenny, MLB Network host; and many others. More speakers will be announced soon!

Some of the topics we are planning to cover include:

  • General Managers Panel on how analytics shapes front-office decisions
  • Measuring Player Performance
  • New innovations in baseball analytics
  • Player Agents — their view of analytics
  • Advances in medical information and its impact on decisions
  • New applications of PITCHf/x data
  • The use of analytics in scouting
  • Player panel — the impact of data and information on performance
  • The International Game — the next hot spot for talent development

Sportvision is also pleased to announce that it is collaborating with SABR to integrate its fifth PITCHf/x Summit into the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference. Integrating these two popular gatherings of influential baseball analysts and thought leaders will further enhance this event as the premier baseball analytics conference. Sportvision will manage a series of presentations specifically related to f/x data much like the PITCHf/x Summit. The presentations will be integrated with other SABR Analytics talks throughout the course of the event.

SABR’s long history in this area of baseball research, coupled with our mission of advancing the understanding and knowledge of baseball, makes us the perfect choice to coordinate and host this ground-breaking event.

The inaugural SABR Analytics Conference in 2012 was an enormous success. For complete coverage of the 2012 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Students, apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend 2013 SABR Analytics Conference

With generous funding from The Anthony A. Yoseloff Foundation, Inc., SABR will award up to four scholarships to college students who wish to attend the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 7-9, 2013. 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 student engagement with baseball analytics, and to engender an active interest in baseball research and SABR. The Yoseloff scholarship is to assist young researchers who want to attend SABR’s Analytics Conference and to introduce them to fellow SABR members and professionals within the baseball community. Through this fund, SABR hopes to inspire future baseball research, expose students to high-quality research and build the research capability of interested students.

For details on the scholarship requirements or to download an application form, click here. 

Please note: Participants in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition are not eligible for the Yoseloff scholarship.

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.

Donate to SABR and support the future of baseball research

Unlike many nonprofit organizations that hold monthly donation pledge drives and continually solicit donations, SABR has never been proactive about asking for donations. However, like all other nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations, SABR relies heavily on generous donations to supplement its membership dues and help the organization survive and prosper. We appreciate those members who have given in the past and continue to donate to SABR. As SABR continues to serve its members and move forward with exciting new member opportunities, we are going to become more proactive by asking our passionate and knowledgeable members to support their very special organization.

All donations to SABR are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. We thank you for supporting SABR and baseball research in all its forms.

To make a donation to support SABR, visit

— Marc Appleman, SABR Executive Director

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
Jim Bastian New Ulm, MN     Tom. Niczay St. Clair Shores, MI
Samuel Hough Cranston, RI     Andre Rochon Royal Oak, MI
Janna Jahn Signal Mountain, TN     John Soroka Arlington, VA
Clay Kempf Watsonville, CA     Larry State St. Ann, MO
Gabriel Molton Boulder, CO     Jesse Stutzman Las Vegas, NV
Jim Myerberg Chevy Chase, MD     Dennis Tomlinson Columbus, OH
Dave Newman Naperville, IL     Kevin Warneke Omaha, NE


Research committee newsletters

Here are the SABR research committee newsletters published this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting recaps

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

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: /about/contact-sabr

Originally published: November 1, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.