This Week in SABR: November 27, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of November 27, 2013:

More speakers added for 2014 SABR Analytics Conference

We’re excited to announce more of the speakers, panelists and moderators for the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Stay tuned as more featured speakers will be announced soon!

  • Jim Callis, Senior Writer, Jim Callis is a senior writer for, a division of that specializes in prospects and the draft. Prior to joining in September 2013, he worked 23 years in two stints at Baseball America. He served as the magazine’s managing editor from 1993-97 before moving to suburban Chicago with his family and spending three years as a senior editor at STATS, Inc. Upon returning to Baseball America in May 2000 as executive editor, his main focuses were evaluating prospects (including editing BA’s annual Prospect Handbook) and covering the amateur draft (including broadcast work with ESPN and MLB Network.) He began covering baseball in 1987 while at the University of Georgia.
  • Jonathan Mayo, Senior Writer, Jonathan is a senior writer for He joined Major League Baseball’s official website in April 1999 and has covered every facet of the game. He’s been to three World Series and seven All-Star Games, as well as Opening Series in Japan and Puerto Rico. In his time with, he’s also covered the Caribbean World Series in Mazatlan, Mexico and the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. For several years, he hosted a variety of shows on MLB Radio,’s internet radio network, including Around the Minors, a daily show devoted to baseball prospects. Mayo has also done extensive video work ranging from studio analysis and in-game color commentary to sideline reporting at various special events.
  • Buster Olney, Senior Writer, Buster is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, reporter for ESPN’s exclusive Sunday Night Baseball telecast and an analyst for Baseball Tonight. He joined ESPN in June 2003 to cover baseball for all ESPN entities, including ESPN Radio, ESPNEWS, and SportsCenter. He writes a daily column for and and also hosts a popular Baseball Tonight podcast. Buster began covering baseball in 1989 for the Nashville Banner and later for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Baltimore Sun and New York Times. He is also the author of The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness.
  • Bernie Pleskoff, Columnist,, Rotowire: Bernie spent nine years as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners after graduating from the Major League Scouting Bureau. Since 2009, he has written regularly about baseball prospects and scouting at and Previously, he was a Dean of Campus Life at Loyola University in Chicago following a long career in higher education. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.

They will join Aaron Boone of ESPN, Dr. Glenn Fleisig of the American Sports Medicine Institute, Brian Kenny of MLB Network, Jon Sciambi of ESPN and SABR President Vince Gennaro as featured speakers at the 2014 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 third annual:

SABR Analytics Conference
March 13-15, 2014
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
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.

  • Early registration rates:
      — SABR members: $395 early rate; $595 full rate.
      — Non-SABR members: $495 early rate; $695 full rate. If you are not a SABR member, click here to join.
      — Students: $350; includes one-year membership to SABR. Must be a currently enrolled high school or college student. Please e-mail Deb Jayne with a photocopy of your student ID to receive the registration promo code.
    Please note: Lunch is included with your registration on Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15. The mixer/welcome reception is included with your registration on Thursday, March 13. Specify any special dietary needs when you register.
  • Hotel: The 2014 SABR Analytics Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 122 N. 2nd St., Phoenix, AZ 85004. Click here to book your hotel room at the special SABR group rate of $169/night (plus tax.) Or call (602) 252-1234 and mention that you’re with the SABR Analytics Conference.

    Complimentary wireless Internet is available in all rooms booked under the SABR block. The cutoff date to book your room is February 18, 2014. The SABR group rate is only available for the nights of March 10 to March 18, 2014, based on availability. Book your room today! 

Some of the topics we are planning to cover include:

  • General Managers Panel on how analytics shapes front-office decisions
  • Player Panel – how major league players take advantage of analytics
  • Biometrics/Injury Prevention Panel  NEW!
  • International Baseball Panel  NEW!
  • Baseball Scouting Panel  NEW!

Check back soon at as we announce more featured speakers, panels and presentations!

For complete coverage of the 2013 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

Register now for 2014 Diamond Dollars Case Competition

The Diamond Dollars Case Competition is back at the SABR Analytics Conference on March 13, 2014.

The popular Case Competition provides student teams from undergraduate and graduate and professional programs from around the country to compete against each other to solve a case that encompasses the real-world decisions facing a baseball front office.

Students will compete against each other by preparing an analysis and presentation of a real baseball operations decision–the type of decision a team’s GM and his staff is faced with over the course of a season. Five-person teams of students are asked to evaluate proposed player transactions, apply statistical analysis of player performance and assess the financial impact of the team’s proposed moves. Students will have 3 to 4 days to apply their critical thinking skills to address the questions posed in the case, followed by the opportunity to present their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges, which will include MLB front office executives, at the Phoenix event.

The case will be authored and led by SABR President Vince Gennaro, a consultant to MLB teams, someone who’s been in the front office helping teams analyze key baseball operations decisions. Vince is the author of Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball and a regular contributor to MLB Network’s Clubhouse Confidential, the first show of its kind focused on baseball analytics.

  • For more information on registering for the 2014 Diamond Dollars Case Competition, along with rules and entry requirements, click here.

Ultimately, winning teams will be selected by the judges in each of the undergraduate and graduate/professional school categories.

The undergraduate winners at the past two SABR Analytics Conferences were NYU-Tisch School (2013) and Yale University (2012). The past winners in the graduate/professional school division were Pepperdine University School of Law/Graziadio School of Business (2013) and University of Chicago-Booth (2012).

Six alumni from the 2012 and 2013 Diamond Dollars Case Competitions have secured internships or permanent positions within Major League Baseball.

Registration to participate in the Case Competition will include admission to the SABR Analytics Conference. Also in its third year, the Analytics Conference is a unique gathering which brings together the top minds of the baseball analytic community to discuss, debate and share insightful ways to analyze and examine the great game of baseball.

The third annual SABR Analytics Conference is March 13-15, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, Arizona, with a schedule that includes a combination of guest speakers, panels, and research presentations.

To learn more about the 2014 SABR Analytics Conference, visit

The SABR Bookshelf: Fall 2013

Periodically throughout the year, publishes listings of new books that are received at the SABR office. This feature is called The SABR Bookshelf, continuing a popular section from the old SABR Bulletin.

Here are The SABR Bookshelf listings for Fall 2013:

Click the link above for more detailed information on each of these books:

  • The Fenway Project, edited by Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan
  • Dollar Sign on the Muscle, by Kevin Kerrane
  • The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, by Ben Bradlee Jr.
  • Bushers: Ballplayers Drawn from Left Field, by Ed Attanasio and Eric Gouldsberry 
  • New York Yankees Home Runs: A Comprehensive Factbook, 1903–2012, by Mitchell S. Soivenski 
  • The Stars Are Back: The St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, and Player Unrest in 1946, by Jerome M. Mileur  
  • The 50 Greatest Players in St. Louis Cardinals History, by Robert W. Cohen
  • Baseball Beyond Borders: From Distant Lands to the Major Leagues, by Frank P. Jozsa Jr.
  • Before Jackie: The Negro Leagues, Civil Rights and the American Dream, by Mary E. Corey and Mark Harnischfeger 
  • The Groundbreakers! There Is a First Time for Everything: 1,804 Answers to First Time Happenings in Major League Baseball That You Were Curious to Know, by Richard L. Chilton 
  • Double Play, by Art Voellinger
  • Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency, by Daniel A. Gilbert 
  • Keepers of the Game: When the Baseball Beat was the Best Job on the Paper, by Dennis D’Agostino
  • Wrigley Field: The Centennial: 100 Years at the Friendly Confines, by Les Krantz 
  • Baseball: A Casual Fan’s Guide, by John Yates Britt
  • I Love The Work, But I Hate the Business, by Mel Proctor 
  • Spitballing: The Baseball Days of Long Bob Ewing, by Mike Lackey 
  • Barnstormin’ Across America: The Bustin’ Babes and Larrupin’ Lous, by Rick Cabral 
  • Hub Perdue: Clown Prince of the Mound, by John A. Simpson
  • George Altman: My Baseball Journey from the Negro Leagues to the Majors and Beyond, by George Altman with Lew Freedman
  • Baseball GPA: A New Statistical Approach to Performance and Strategy, by David P. Gerard
  • .721: A History of the 1954 Cleveland Indians, by Gary Webster 
  • Big Dan Brouthers: Baseball’s First Great Slugger, by Roy Kerr

To get your NEW book listed on The SABR Bookshelf, make sure a review copy is sent to: The SABR Bookshelf, Society for American Baseball Research, 4455 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018. An e-book file will also suffice; please send the e-book in PDF, EPUB or Kindle/MOBI format to

To ensure a listing in The Baseball Index — SABR’s online catalog of baseball research materials at — make sure a review copy is sent to The Baseball Index, 4025 Beechwood Pl., Riverside, CA 92506.

Bolded names indicates that the author(s) is a SABR member. Click here for a list of publishers found in the SABR Bookshelf, along with their contact information.

All new SABR Bookshelf listings can be purchased at the SABR Bookstore, powered by In addition, check out new books published by SABR at (free for SABR members!)

To see previous listings in the SABR Bookshelf, click here.

Vote for the 2013 GIBBY Award winners

SABR members will help get to decide who had the best performances of the 2013 baseball season in the 12th annual Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards.

SABR members will have the opportunity to play a key role in selecting the winners of the GIBBYs. The votes from SABR members will be equal to each of the other four categories.

  • SABR members (20%)
  • fans (20%)
  • Front office personnel (20%)
  • Retired players (20%)
  • Media (20%)

To cast your vote in the 2013 GIBBYs, click here:

Major League Baseball’s A-listers will take home 2013 GIBBY trophies — the ultimate honors of the industry’s awards season — based on votes by media, front-office personnel, MLB alumni, fans at and SABR.

This year’s GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 22 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB MVP, in addition to the year’s best Starting Pitcher, Hitter, Closer, Setup Man, Rookie, Breakout Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Comeback Player, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive and Postseason Performer.

GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year’s top Play, Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-off, Cut4 Topic, Regular-Season Moment and Postseason Moment, with video available via’s Must C highlight reels.

All 30 clubs are represented among the award candidates. In fact, every team has multiple nominees in 2013 — a testament to the parity of talent around the game.

The winners will be announced at a reception at the annual Baseball Winter Meetings, which will be held December 9-12, 2013, in Orlando, Florida.

Save the date: SABR Day is January 25, 2014

The fifth annual SABR Day is coming up sooner than you think: January 25, 2014. We’re starting to compile details now on 2014 SABR Day chapter meetings around the country. We’ll post them as soon as we get them at Chapter leaders, please send your SABR Day plans to Jacob Pomrenke 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.

Special renewal offer: 5-year, digital-only membership for $249

SABR is now offering a special opportunity for renewing members in 2014: By opting to receive the digital Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime, you can renew your SABR membership for 5 years at a special rate of $249, a discount of nearly 25% off a 1-year annual membership rate of $65.

Choosing this new 5-year, digital-only membership plan — which is only available to current SABR members who renew — means you will receive two e-book editions of the BRJ, one e-book edition of TNP, “This Week in SABR” every Friday, all SABR Digital Library e-books, committee newsletters, and lots of other member benefits.

To renew your SABR membership for 5 years at the digital-only rate:

Click here to visit the SABR Store and select the “DIGITAL-ONLY BRJ/TNP – 5-yr renewal — $249.00” option when you renew.

You can also still 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.

We’re excited about the upcoming year ahead of us and we hope you’ll take advantage of all the great membership benefits offered to SABR members in 2014 and beyond.

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

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

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 2,590 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject 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, 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

A proposal to improve baseball’s pace

In a new article published this week at, Mark Antonacci and Jim Rygelski write:

From roughly the 1870s until the late 1950s, major league baseball was the most popular sport in the country and was truly the national pastime. Unfortunately, baseball has steadily declined in popularity since then. Sports with more frequent and overall action than baseball have clearly surpassed it in popularity.

The authors believe this is because baseball is perceived as a slow-moving game, whose pace lags not only behind that of other sports but the general pace of modern life. While a variety of changes have occurred within other games such as football and basketball that have added to their growing popularity by ostensibly making them faster games, surprisingly few changes have occurred in baseball in that regard since the 1920s.

In an attempt to improve the rhythm within baseball and put the ball in play more often, the authors propose a series of modifications to its present rules. These would be tested in various combinations during professional spring exhibition or fall training league games. The authors also propose that umpires start consistently enforcing current rules.

All of these recommendations are designed to allow more action to take place within baseball without changing its fundamental nature while enhancing its traditional appeal.

To read the full article, click here:

This article has been expanded from a presentation by the authors at a Bob Broeg SABR Chapter meeting in St. Louis in November 2012.

Watch “Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH” on MLB Network

The 40-year history of baseball’s designated hitter is examined in “Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH,” a one-hour show narrated by Bob Costas and produced for MLB Network by MLB Productions, which premiered at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, November 25.

The show is scheduled to re-air at 2:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, November 27; and 1:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, November 30.

The ratification of the DH in 1973, more than eight decades after it was first proposed within baseball in 1891, became one of the most pivotal changes to shape the game, and to this day it fuels debates between those who oppose it and those who embrace it. In looking at the position’s origins and those who rose to prominence or extended their playing careers because of the position, Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH features 25 new interviews with Hall of Famers, writers and historians as well as current and former DHs, including Harold Baines, Billy Butler, Edgar Martinez, David Ortiz,  Frank Thomas and Jim Thome, among others.

SABR members Sean Forman of, Rob Neyer of SB Nation, Bill Petti of FanGraphs and MLB’s official historian, John Thorn, also analyze the statistical impact the DH has had on run scoring in the American League and National League.

For more information on “Behind the Seams: Decoding the DH,” visit

30% discount on baseball books from Scarecrow Press

To celebrate the upcoming holidays, Rowman & Littlefield and Scarecrow Press would like to offer all SABR members a special 30% discount on their baseball books through January 31, 2014.

Many of their books feature SABR authors, including the recently published Baseball’s Most Notorious Personalities by Jonathan Weeks, The Forgotten Marlins by Sam Zygner, Baseball’s Iconic 1-0 Games by Warren Wilbert, The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball by Dan Levitt, Baseball Myths by Bill Deane, and Baseball Beyond Borders by Frank P. Jozsa Jr., as well as the forthcoming The Bilko Athletic Club by Gaylon H. White.

Orders can be made online at or by calling (800) 462-6420. Use the code 7W30SABR to apply the 30% discount to your order.

Students: Apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend 2014 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 2014 SABR Analytics Conference on March 13-15, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona. This scholarship will pay for registration, air 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.

To apply, submit an essay of 750 words or less answering the following questions: “How does attending this conference help you in analytics and/or baseball research? Why would this conference be beneficial for you to attend?” Style guidelines are available on the application form.

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. Some form of age verification (photocopy of driver’s license, passport, etc.) must be attached to your application.

Submissions must include a brief letter of recommendation from a current high school/college teacher, guidance counselor or a school administrator. All applications must be postmarked or e-mailed to Jeff Schatzki at no later than December 31, 2013.

For full details on how to apply, click here.

Call for SABR award nominations

  • Larry Ritter Award, due 12/31/2013: Each year, SABR’s Deadball Era Committee presents the Larry Ritter Book Award to recognize the best new book primarily set in the Deadball Era that was published during the previous calendar year. The award is presented during the committee’s meeting at the annual SABR convention. If you have a book to nominate with a 2013 publication date, contact Gail Rowe at by December 31, 2013.
  • SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards, due 1/15/2014: The SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards recognizes baseball researchers who have completed the best work of original analysis or commentary during the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Contemporary Baseball Analysis, Contemporary Baseball Commentary, or Historical Baseball Analysis/Commentary. Results are announced and presented at the annual SABR Analytics Conference. Please send all nominations via e-mail to this address: Include author, title, date of publication and a URL link (if applicable).
  • SABR Baseball Research Award, due 1/31/2014: The SABR Baseball Research Award (formerly the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award) honors those whose outstanding research projects completed during the preceding calendar year have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball. To submit a nomination for the 2013 awards, please contact Bill Felber at
  • McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award, due 2/15/2014: The McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award honors the authors of the best articles on baseball history or biography completed or published during the preceding calendar year. To submit a nomination for the 2013 awards, please contact Len Levin at

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
Gregory Ackerman Roslyn, NY     Nicholas Hussong Chicago, IL
Neil Bhaerman Pittsburgh, PA     Joshua Kesel St. Louis, MO
Nikki Brown Fort Worth, TX     Joshua Murray Moncton, NB
Steven Coleman Belleville, IL     Jack Norman Davis, CA
Joseph Dell Indiana, PA     Stephanie Sheldon Golden, CO
John Eyes Sheffield, ENG     Jesse Woodiel Reno, NV
Will Flaherty New York, NY        


Research committee news

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

 Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting 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, and sent out to all SABR members on Fridays. 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

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:

Originally published: November 27, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.