This Week in SABR: October 10, 2014

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of October 10, 2014:

SABR Digital Library: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players

Add a musical new book to your baseball collection with the newest title from the SABR Digital Library:

Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players
Edited by Bill Nowlin
Associate Editors: James Forr and Len Levin
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-933599-76-2
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-933599-77-9

Just as 1930s and 1940s Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants pitcher Van Lingle Mungo was surprised that Dave Frishberg wrote a song around his name back in 1969, so he might have been surprised to come across this book in the year 2014. Frishberg’s song “Van Lingle Mungo” listed 37 ballplayers in the lyrics. A different version contained three different names. That’s a total of 40, and all 40 are represented with biographies in this book.

Dave Frishberg himself has been a member of SABR since 1984. This book, largely comprised of biographies of all the players mentioned in the song, is the product of the hard work and dedication of 31 other SABR members.

SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research, a group of over 6,000 enthusiasts about the game of baseball whose research interests range from the game’s history to statistical analysis, records, cultural impact, and more. The BioProject is a SABR effort to research, write, and publish biographies of every player — and every person — ever connected with organized baseball. Anyone with a love of baseball can join SABR and become a part of these efforts.

With contributions by Mark Armour, Lawrence Baldassaro, Ralph Berger, Alan Cohen, Warren Corbett, Rob Edelman, Dave Eskenazi, David Fleitz, James Forr, Jerry Grillo, Eric Hanauer, Mark Hodermarsky, Joanne Hulbert, Bill Johnson, James W. Johnson, Greg King, Norm King, Tara Krieger, Len Levin, Bill Nowlin, Armand Peterson, C. Paul Rogers III, Steve Rudman, Jim Sargent, Rick Swaine, Jim Sweetman, Stew Thornley, Joseph Wancho, Charlie Weatherby, and Gregory H. Wolf.

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 all Digital Library e-books for free, and significant discounts on paperback versions. You can find all of our SABR Digital Library publications at

Stay tuned throughout the year for new (and old!) titles that we’ll be adding to the SABR Digital Library!

Single-event rates now available for 2014 SABR Arizona Fall League Conference

Can’t make it to the entire 2014 SABR Arizona Fall League Conference? You can now register for individual sessions during the sixth annual AFL Conference, which will be held October 30-November 1, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Single-event rates are available for the following sessions:

  • Thursday, October 30: AFL game ticket/ballpark dinner at Salt River, $30 per person
  • Friday, October 31: Dinner at Don and Charlie’s with AZ Major League Alumni, $40 per person
  • Saturday, November 1: Game ticket to AFL Fall Stars Game at Salt River, $7 per person

To register online, click here.

The full registration fee of $195 includes all game tickets; an AFL Media Guide; dinner at Don and Charlie’s; a special evening with Arizona Major League Alumni; and transportation to and from all events. Hotel registration includes breakfast and complimentary happy hour each day.

  • Host hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Old Town Scottsdale, 3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Visit or call (480) 675-7665. The deadline to book your room at the SABR group rate of $99/night (plus tax) was Monday, September 29. You can still book your room at the regular rate by visiting the hotel website or making a reservation by phone.
  • Questions: Contact Rodney Johnson at

The conference will now feature four AFL games, including one at new Cubs Park in Mesa, as the Fall League has added a night game on Thursday, October 30 to the schedule. On Thursday afternoon, we’ll take a special tour of Cubs Park and see a game there, then in the evening we’ll have a ballpark dinner and guest speaker at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick before the Salt River Rafters-Surprise Saguaros game. In addition, we’ll also have dinner at Don and Charlie’s in Scottsdale, home to one of the great sports memorabilia collections you will ever see, and a special evening with members of the Arizona Major League Alumni.

On Saturday morning, attendees will join members of SABR’s Flame Delhi (Arizona) Chapter for their regional fall meeting. Saturday night is always a highlight of the conference as the top prospects from every organization participate in the AFL Fall Stars game at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. All of this, including transportation, is included in one low registration price.

The full — and updated! — conference schedule is now available at

Donate to SABR and support the future of baseball research

In my 31 years as a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, I have seen SABR evolve greatly as an organization, offering unparalleled opportunities and benefits for members and commanding respect throughout the baseball community. And I have seen that first-hand: In 1983, I attended my first SABR Convention in my hometown of Milwaukee, where I was thrilled to meet some of the organization’s founders. This past year, I attended both the 2014 Analytics Conference and the 44th annual convention in Houston — and I’m equally thrilled for SABR’s future after getting to know the staff and volunteer leadership now in place.

To continue to grow as an organization, and to seize the great opportunities now within reach, SABR is in need of charitable gifts. Many members have already become donors, and you can join them right now by making your gift online at

SABR is a 501(c)3 organization, which means your donation is tax deductible in the U.S. to the fullest extent of the law.

While the incentives are attractive, the real benefit is the satisfaction received from contributing to the continuing knowledge and appreciation of our national pastime.

Please join me in supporting SABR and send your donation by check to SABR Donor Program, 4455 E. Camelback Road, Ste. D-140, Phoenix, AZ 85018 — or by visiting and pressing the convenient DONATE button at the top of the page. By doing so you help SABR fulfill its mission and increase the impact of our baseball analysis and historical study.

Many companies offer matching gift programs to encourage employees to contribute to charitable organizations. Please check with your company to see if it offers a matching gift program that will match your gift or volunteer hours to the Society for American Baseball Research. If you have questions regarding your gift, e-mail me at

— Phillip Bolda, Chair, SABR Fundraising and Development Committee

Submit your presentation abstract for 2015 SABR Analytics Conference

The SABR Analytics Conference brings together the leading minds in baseball analytics to discuss and debate topics relevant to the quantitative analysis of the game of baseball, including aspects of innovation and technology. Past conferences have been attended by representatives from 27 MLB teams.

We are now accepting abstracts for oral presentations for the fourth annual SABR Analytics Conference Conference, scheduled for March 12-14, 2015, at the Hyatt Phoenix Downtown.

Abstracts of proposed research presentations should be no more than 500 words in length, and must include the abstract’s title, review of previous work on the subject, a summary of the research methodology and anticipated results, and the expected contribution to the field of baseball analytics offered by this work. Please send all abstracts to this e-mail address:

The submission deadline for 2015 SABR Analytics Conference presentation abstracts is 11:59 p.m. PST, Wednesday, December 31, 2014. Please note: If your presentation abstract is accepted, you will be required to register for the conference in order to qualify for a presentation slot.

When submitting an abstract, the author should describe anticipated audio-visual needs if the abstract is accepted as an oral presentation. For oral presentations at the convention site, SABR will provide laptops and computer-connected projection systems. If your work will need another type of AV equipment, please let us know.

For questions, contact Vince Gennaro. For more information on the conference, visit

Register now for 2014 NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium

Both baseball and non-baseball historians of the 19th century will present a day-long NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 15, 2014, at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (524 W. 59th Street in New York). This interdisciplinary symposium, co-hosted by SABR’s Nineteenth Century and Origins Committees, is intended to illuminate New York City’s indelible contributions to the origins, growth, spread, and institutionalization of the game as we know it today, and how, in turn New York baseball of the era, impacted the lives of 19th-century New Yorkers and Americans beyond.

To help derive a greater understanding of what is known and what is not known about 19th-century baseball in and around New York City, SABR’s Nineteenth Century and Origins Committees have established the inaugural NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium on Saturday, November 15, 2014, to bring together a rare assembly of both leading baseball historians and experts on 19th-century New York City and 19th-century life.

The all-day program of panel discussions and research presentations will cover the last six decades of the 19th century, which will be divided between baseball’s Pre-Professional Era (1840s-1870) in the morning and its Professional Era (1871-1900) in the afternoon. The $95.00 registration fee ($45.00 for students with currently valid College IDs) will include a comprehensive packet of symposium handout materials, a continental breakfast service, and a full hot buffet luncheon with a keynote address by NYC historian, author, and curator, Steven H. Jaffe (see below).

There will also be an optional post-symposium gathering immediately following the day’s program at a nearby restaurant (food and beverage are individual pay).

The interdisciplinary program will feature baseball historians, authors and researchers, including: Major League Baseball Official Historian John Thorn; William Ryczek; Tom Gilbert; George Thompson; Robert Bailey; David Dyte; William Lamb; David Nemec; Donald Jensen; Ralph Carhart; and David Krell, among others.

An exclusive “interview” by Gary O’Maxfield of NYC baseball pioneer Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams (1814-1899) will be provided by his great-granddaughter and “Doc” Adams historian, Marjorie Adams.

Three dedicated and highly regarded non-baseball historians, whose devotion to their respective studies go well beyond the letters following their names, will be joining this program as guest faculty. They are:

  • Keynote Speaker Dr. Steven H. Jaffe, historian, author and curator, currently the guest curator of the exhibition “Activist New York” at the Museum of the City of New York and author of New York at War: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham (Basic Books, 2012) and Who Were the Founding Fathers? Two Hundred Years of Reinventing American History (Henry Holt, 1996).
  • Dr. Ann Fabian, who will present on “Gambling in 19th Century America”. Dr. Fabian is Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the author of Card Sharps, Dream Books & Bucket Shops: Gambling in Nineteenth-Century America (Cornell University Press, 1991; paperback, Routledge, 1999).
  • Dr. David Hochfelder will present on “How the Telegraph Helped Make Baseball the National Pastime”. Dr. Hochfelder is Associate Professor of History at University of Albany and author of The Telegraph in America: A History (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 2012).

The symposium is open to both SABR members and to the general public. See the Registration Form for fees and payment information. To download the application for your passport to 19th-century New York City and a front-row seat to baseball being played there, please click here to download the registration form and information packet (PDF). Registration will continue until November 1, 2014 or until registration is announced “closed” due to space constraints. For questions, please contact Peter Mancuso or John Zinn.

From the SABR archives: Judge Landis dismisses 1915 Federal League lawsuit

Among the many fascinating documents included in SABR’s digital archive of case files from the 1915 Federal League lawsuit against Organized Baseball is Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ final dismissal of the case that challenged the authority of the major leagues during the World War I era.

The Landis dismissal is published online here for the first time:

The Federal League case represents the first major test of how federal antitrust laws applied to the game of professional baseball. While no judgment was rendered by Landis, it provided the impetus for future federal cases that ultimately led to the famous 1922 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court exempting major league baseball from federal antitrust laws.

The Federal League attorneys pressed the point that organized baseball was a monopoly controlling all aspects of the professional game with legally questionable practices. Organized Baseball denied such charges, emphasizing that baseball was not subject to federal antitrust law and strongly accusing the Federal League of coming into the courtroom with “unclean hands,” a result of allegedly persuading players to break existing contracts.

Judge Landis issued his closing remarks on February 7, 1916, months after the Federal League ended its second and final season. Landis acknowledged that the Federal League had a convincing argument, but he simply could not be the person responsible for altering the professional game he loved so much. Four years later, Landis was hired by the owners to be the first commissioner of baseball.

The full archive of 1915 Federal League case files, which was made available online last year by SABR’s Business of Baseball Research Committee, can be viewed at The scanned documents represent more than 2,000 pages of affidavits, contracts, exhibits, petitions, notices, complaints, and memorandums involving many of the leading baseball figures of the day, such as Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss, star players like Joe Tinker and Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, Philadelphia A’s manager Connie Mack, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets, and Chicago Cubs owner Charles Weeghman.

A comprehensive new finding aid is also available for download; click here to view the PDF (116 pages). It was prepared by Tom Pardo, with generous assistance from Steve Weingarden of SABR’s Business of Baseball Committee, along with Eve Mangurten, Kyle McCafferty, Glenn Longacre, and Scott Forsyth.

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 2,934 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

SABR “author” pages updated with Games Project, journal articles

If you’ve written an article for the SABR BioProject, you have an author page on the SABR website with links to all of the biographies you’ve completed or that are in progress.

With the launch of the new Games Project website this year, we’ve now updated the author pages to include all published Games Project articles and also all recent articles from the Baseball Research Journal or The National Pastime going back to 2010.

Find your author page here:

Haven’t written for SABR yet? It’s a great way to get involved! If you’d like to contribute to the SABR BioProject, Games Project, or an upcoming research journal, visit our BioProject Resources page or Games Project FAQs page, or click here for our Publications guidelines.

Older journal articles will be added to the website as soon as possible; PDFs or printed copies of most BRJs and TNPs are available for download or purchase now by visiting the journal archives at If you would like to volunteer to help format and input past BRJ/TNP articles to the website and you have some basic HTML knowledge, please contact Jacob Pomrenke. updates Negro Leagues Database with 1936 Negro National League stats

We’re pleased to pass along this update from SABR member Gary Ashwill at

This week we add the 1936 Negro National League to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database. The season started with a major defection: the Chicago American Giants, founding members of the league back in 1933, and the oldest continuously existing professional club in black baseball (dating back to 1911), decided to go independent in 1936. Most of their best players jumped ship and signed with league teams: Turkey Stearnes, Larry Brown, and Jack Marshall went to the Philadelphia Stars, Willie Wells and Mule Suttles to the Newark Eagles, Alex Radcliff to the New York Cubans. To take their place, the American Giants brought in a number of younger players, including a 19-year-old Ted Strong. Along with the Kansas City Monarchs (still stubbornly independent), the Cincinnati Tigers, and a new version of the St. Louis Stars, the American Giants were laying the foundations for a new western league, one that would get started in 1937.

Meanwhile, back east the Negro National League suffered from even more instability, though it may have come out stronger in the end. The cellar-dwelling Newark Dodgers of 1935 folded, and the franchise was bought up by Abe Manley of the Brooklyn Eagles. He merged the two teams and created the Newark Eagles, which would become one of the best-known franchises of the later Negro leagues. The Elite Giants left Columbus for Washington, D. C ., their third home in three years. And in mid-season the Black Yankees, who had successfully resisted the lure of league play for five years, finally joined the Negro National League.

Read the full update here:

To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit

Related links:

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
Elisabeth Aikins Petaluma, CA     Talin Louder North Logan, UT
Daniel Bennett Denver, CO     Jacob Morris Thornhill, ON
Benjamin Follman Hinsdale, IL     Patrick Shrake Chicago, IL
Jerry Gerhardt Alameda, CA     Matthew Shrake Chicago, IL
Michael Glicken Chicago, IL     Gina Thorsen Ironwood, MI
Solomon Grover Studio City, CA     Scott Valentin Ingleside, IL
Gary Kaschak Berlin, NJ     William Van Ornum Poughkeepsie, NY


Research Committee news

There were no new SABR research committee newsletters published this week.

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

There were no new regional chapter updates 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: October 10, 2014. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.