This Week in SABR: October 11, 2013

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Here’s what we’ve been up to as of October 11, 2013:

Single-event registration now open for 2013 SABR Arizona Fall League Conference

Can’t make it to all three days of the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference, October 31-November 2 in Phoenix? Single-event registration is now available online for the Thursday night dinner at Don & Charlie’s, the Friday night cookout and ballgame at Talking Stick at Salt River, and the Fall Stars Game on Saturday night at Surprise Stadium.

To register for any of the single events, 

The fifth annual SABR AFL Conference will feature four AFL games at three different ballparks. Guests will see all six AFL teams, showcasing every major league team’s top prospects. The final game on Saturday night is the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium.

Please note: The deadline for early registration ($165) has been extended until 9 a.m. MST Monday, October 7. After that time, the registration fee will go up to $175.

All baseball fans are welcome to attend, so join us next month for the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference!

Hotel: The host hotel is the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Old Town Scottsdale (3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251) and the SABR group rate is $104/night plus tax. Call (480) 675-7665 to book your room and be sure to mention the “SABR AFL Conference.” The hotel’s website is (sorry, no discount code is available online.) Reservations must be booked by October 4, 2013 (that’s tonight!) to get the SABR group rate.

There is a free airport shuttle which also is available from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for rides anywhere within a three-mile radius of the hotel.

Schedule: After taking in a game on Thursday afternoon, guests will also be treated to dinner at Don and Charlie’s, home to one of the great sports memorabilia collections you will ever see. Friday’s schedule includes two AFL games and a pregame ballpark dinner at Talking Stick at Salt River, along with a special guest speaker to go along with your meal.

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. All of this, including transportation, is included in one low registration price.

Registration: Your registration fee of $165 (before October 7; $175 afterward) includes all game tickets; an AFL Media Guide; dinner at Don and Charlie’s; ballpark dinner at Talking Stick at Salt River; and transportation to and from all events. Hotel registration includes breakfast and complementary happy hour each day. Register for the 2013 SABR AFL Conference by clicking here. Questions: Please Contact Rodney Johnson at

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

A detailed schedule and more information can be found at

Save the date: SABR Day is January 25, 2014

Just a reminder to all that the fifth annual SABR Day will be held Saturday, 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  

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.

For a complete recap of 2013 SABR Day activities, visit

Call for Papers: 2014 The National Pastime

The 2014 SABR national convention will take place July 30-August 3, 2014, at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas.

To coincide with the convention, the summer 2014 issue of The National Pastime will focus on Houston-area baseball. In particular, we will be focusing on 1962-present to avoid overlap with the special book on pre-Astros baseball that the Houston chapter is concurrently producing. We expect most of the articles will center on the Astros, but we are open to other topics that fit the time frame (Women’s baseball? Little league? Fan studies? College baseball? You tell us.) Articles may be historical, biographical, or analytical, but please avoid personal narrative.

This issue of The National Pastime will be edited by publications director Cecilia Tan. She will be taking queries and abstracts until November 15, 2013, and will make assignments no later than December 1. First drafts of articles will be due by March 1, 2014, and rewrites (if needed) will be due by April 15.

Queries should include 1-2 paragraphs of brief but detailed encapsulation of the article idea, as well as a description of why you are interested in it or qualified to research it. Be specific about the sources you plan to use and what of your research is original. If you can estimate the length of the finished article, that is good, too. Typical articles tend to run 2,000 to 5,000 words — the size of a midterm paper, not a masters thesis. The upper limit on papers for the TNP is around 6,500 words. 

To query, email to with the subject line “TNP Query:” and a key word or two on your subject. For example: “TNP Query: Bagwell/Biggio Comparison.”

Some possible subjects that could be included:

  • invention of Astroturf/uniqueness of the Astrodome
  • the April 15, 1968 marathon 24-inning game
  • 1963 all-rookie game
  • Colt Stadium’s contribution to the establishment of Sunday night baseball
  • the lone game in Astrodome history that was rained out
  • Leo Durocher’s over-the-hill misfit time as Houston’s manager;
  • analysis of the blockbuster trade of 1971
  • the so-called Astrodome Indian Burial Grounds Curse
  • Astros pitchers dying young (Don Wilson, Jim Umbricht, possibly Darryl Kyle)
  • 1986 All Star Game
  • Astros postseason performance analysis
  • The Killer Bs

Remember that every article must include proper citation of sources and present a clear thesis, and to be published in a SABR journal your SABR membership must be current. For full writers guidelines, submit a query to and you will receive the full guidelines in reply.

For more information on the SABR 44 convention in Houston, visit

SABR members, get your Fall 2013 Baseball Research Journal electronically

In a world where legendary magazines such as Newsweek and The Sporting News have gone totally digital, SABR is bridging both worlds.

As an organization that prides itself on maintaining the best of its past, but also constantly striving to move forward and take advantage of exciting new opportunities and technologies, SABR is offering its members the opportunity to opt out of receiving the printed version of the Baseball Research Journal.

Click here to learn how to receive your Fall 2013 Baseball Research Journal in e-book format.

For those who sign up before October 15, 2013, we’ll be offering the Fall 2013 Baseball Research Journal in e-book format for those who are enjoying reading on their Kindles, Nooks, iPads or other devices. (Did you know that the Spring 2013 BRJ is already available in e-book form? Try it out now by clicking here to download your copy in EPUB, MOBI/Kindle or PDF format.)

You can opt out at any time. If you opt out between now and October 15, you’ll receive the Fall 2013 edition and future Baseball Research Journals in e-book format.

Please note: If you do nothing, you will continue to receive two print editions of the Baseball Research Journal every year by mail.

Many SABR members are heavy readers, who have accumulated many books and periodicals over the years. Some members, whose bookshelves are near capacity, have asked us if they could still receive our stimulating content without the burden of a hard copy. By offering this totally voluntary option of receiving only an electronic version of the BRJ, we are keeping in step with the changing marketplace for printed publications, while accommodating any members who wish to have more “portability” of the written material our members produce. Furthermore, by not printing and mailing more than 6,000 copies each month, SABR would use the money it saves through printing and mailing costs and apply it to new research opportunities; this move also helps us to be more environmentally friendly.

Related links:

SABR member Justine Siegal honored by espnW as Everyday Hero

SABR member Justine Siegal, who in 2011 became the first woman to throw batting practice to a major league team, was honored this week by espnW as an Everyday Hero for her work promoting baseball opportunities for girls and women.

The Everyday Heroes program, which honors women who are working to promote and grow sports for girls and women in their local communities, was launched in earnest during a special presentation during the fourth annual Summit in Dana Point, California.

Siegal is co-chair of SABR’s Women in Baseball Research Committee and is the founder of Baseball For All, a nonprofit dedicated to providing meaningful instruction and opportunities for girls in the sport at all levels.

In 2011, Siegal made history by throwing batting practice to the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s and Tampa Bay Rays during spring training. She is believed to be the first woman ever to do so. Previously, she became the first woman to serve as an on-field coach for a men’s professional team when she was hired by the Brockton (Massachusetts) Rox of the independent Can-Am League in 2009.

The other 2013 Everyday Hero recipients are Barb Lazarus, who has dedicated the past eight years to creating opportunities for girls in Chicago through her Game On! Foundation, and Mobolaji Akiode, a former Fordham basketball standout who created the Hope 4 Girls foundation, which has opened its doors to girls from Ghana and Benin Republic and helped girls secure student athletic scholarships.

For more information on the espnW Everyday Heroes program, click here.

Take a private tour of early baseball graves on October 18 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn

His death at 21 shocked the baseball world. He never signed a contract. He is not a member of the baseball Hall of Fame.

But in the early 1860s, Jim Creighton revolutionized the game of baseball. He threw the first fastball, making the pitcher a weapon and transforming the game itself from a hitting contest into today’s sublime battle for control of the strike zone. His baseball-themed grave monument was from its earliest days — and still is — a place of pilgrimage for ballplayers and lovers of the game.

Today, Jim needs us. Over the years, the marble pedestal and “lemon peel” baseball that once crowned Creighton’s grave have disappeared. Green-Wood Cemetery has established a fund to recarve this missing piece and restore the monument to its original state. To date, enough money has been raised that we are optimistic that with a little help from SABR’s Casey Stengel Chapter in New York City and friends, we can reach our goal of completing the work – and inviting donors back for the unveiling — in 2014.

On October 18, 2013, exactly a century and a year after Jim Creighton’s death, Green-Wood will offer a unique tour for SABR members and their friends.

  • To reserve your place on the tour and to donate to the Jim Creighton Monument Restoration Fund, click here.

Green-Wood historian Jeff Richman and author Tom Gilbert will lead a tour of the graves of Creighton, Henry Chadwick, James Whyte Davis, Charles Ebbets and other early baseball heroes. They will give graveside talks on topics such as the “Mystery of Jim Creighton’s Demise,” “Baseball’s Baffling Paternity Case,” and “What Happened at Charles Ebbets’s Funeral That May Have Doomed the Brooklyn Dodgers.”

Guests will also be treated to a rare look inside Green-Wood’s archives, including a letter on early Dodgers stationery signed by Charles Ebbets, and a note signed by President Theodore Roosevelt, who dubbed Henry Chadwick “The Father of Baseball,” as well as other signatures of early baseball greats.

The tour is limited to 60 participants.

Guests will ride in comfort in Green-Wood’s trolley. The tour will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, 2013. Along with a bit of baseball time travel, guests will enjoy stunning fall foliage, breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, and the sunset over New York Harbor. Afterward, please join us for — what else? — beer and hot dogs (the inventor of the hot dog is at Green-Wood!) in the cemetery’s Historic Chapel.

Tickets to the tour are $125, of which all but $25 is tax-deductible. Additional contributions are gratefully accepted.

To reserve your place on the tour and to donate to the Jim Creighton Monument Restoration Fund, click here.

Cast your vote for the retroactive 1919 All-Star teams

The Boys Are Back From The Front And Are Ready To Play! Cast Your Vote For The 1919 All-Stars!

The Voice of the Fan — YOU — will be heard in the Retroactive All-Star Game Project!

After a long 19 months away from their families and their sweethearts, our fighting boys have put an end to the tyranny of The Hun and have returned to do battle with each other on the base ball diamond where they belong.

And now, the very best Base Ball has to offer are getting ready to show off all the skills they can muster at once in the 1919 All-Star Game at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass., home of the World’s Champion Red Sox.

The Great War robbed us of our beloved All-Star contest in 1918, and robbed YOU of the opportunity to vote, as we marshaled every last resource of our Democracy to defeat the evil Kaiser and his wretched band of nefarious Heinies. But Freedom has won out, and now the All-Star Game and the VOTE are available to you once more!

Voting is taking place RIGHT NOW. The 1919 starting players at each position, plus three pitchers, will be selected by YOU, The Fan.

The games will be played using Out of the Park 14, and the game account and box score will be posted over at

Vote for the 1919 All-Star starters and pitchers here:

Voting will be open until 3:00 a.m. EDT on October 25, 2013. At that time, we will count up the votes, put together the rosters, and sim the game.

To learn more about the Retroactive All-Star Project, or to view results from previous games played, visit

SABR Origins, Nineteenth Century committees to co-host 2014 baseball symposium in New York

SABR’s Nineteenth Century and Origins research committees will co-host the 2014 NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium.

The 2014 NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium, a joint effort between the Origins and Nineteenth Century committees, is tentatively scheduled for November 15, 2014 at John Jay College in Manhattan.

The symposium will cover more than six decades of 19th-century New York City baseball history (“Greater NYC”, including what is now its five Boroughs and nearby New Jersey) with the additional participation of local and regional historians, academicians and other 19th-century experts to enlarge and enhance our collective understanding of the 19th-century game in NYC and its particular place in 19th-century New York City life.

Over the approximate six-decade span, circa 1840 to 1900, there is a near-equal split between the pre-professional era (three-plus decades prior to 1871) and the openly professional era (three decades from 1871 to 1900.) 

Symposium planning committee members from both SABR research committees are in general agreement that this historical chronological partition offers a natural opportunity to organize the symposium program in a way that will likely benefit its planners, participants and audience alike.

The 2014 NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium Planning Committee currently includes the following members from the Nineteenth Century and/or Origins Committees: Bob Bailey; David Dyte; Irvin Goldfarb; Donald Jensen; Bill Johnson, Chair-Origins; Peter Mancuso, Chair-Nineteenth Century; Larry McCray, Founding & Emeritus Chair-Origins; George Thompson; John Thorn and John Zinn.

To join in the active planning or to be an observer member, contact Bill Johnson or Peter Mancuso.

Related link:, the hub of much of the research in our field, is constantly evolving. In the last month alone, diggers like Bruce Allardice have been contributing large chunks of data, and the result is a dynamic intellectual resource that can only help those interested in any slice of the Origins arena. If you haven’t checked it out lately, please stop by the website.

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 2,568 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

Van Lingle Mungo book project seeks biographers: The Van Lingle Mungo SABR book project still needs four biographers.  Everyone else is being written up. We need members to write biographies of John Antonelli (the infielder, not the pitcher), Augie Bergamo, Johnny Gee, and umpire Art Passarella. If you would like to be considered, please contact editor Bill Nowlin at: or (617) 492-3799.

1950s Boston Red Sox biographies now posted online: The 1950s Red Sox were teeming with huge stories. You might know about Ted Williams, of course, but consider his teammates: Harry Agganis, a legendary local athlete whose tragic death is remembered by millions in the region; or Jimmy Piersall, whose illness and breakdown led to a book and two movies; or Jackie Jensen, a famous collegiate football star who forged a great career with the Red Sox. The Red Sox are famous for failing to integrate until 1959, the last team to do so. The people mostly blamed for this oversight (Tom Yawkey, Joe Cronin, and Mike Higgins), as well as the man who finally broke the color line (Pumpsie Green), were all profiled in our 2012 book Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, edited by Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, with Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin. The SABR BioProject biographies from that book can now be read online at: The e-book is available for free to all SABR members; SABR members also get 50% off the paperback version. Click here for details.

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

In Memoriam: John C. Ferguson Jr.

We are sad to note the death of John C. Ferguson Jr., 75, a SABR member since 1980 and an active member of the Pittsburgh/Forbes Field Chapter. John passed away suddenly on October 7, 2013 in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

Born April 25, 1938, John was the beloved husband of Carol (Skarada) Ferguson, his wife of 46 years; the loving father of Elizabeth, Courtney, John (Serena), and Andrew (Jodie); and adoring grandfather to Michael, Jason and Samuel Hartman, George and Bruce Ferguson, Milo Hamon Ferguson, and Jordan and Bailey Cabana. He also leaves behind siblings Penelope Hunt, Judy Ferguson, and David (Gail) Ferguson; sister-in-law Carol Cartwright Ferguson; as well as many nieces and nephews and extended family.

John was a graduate of Shadyside Academy and the University of Virginia and a proud member of their soccer teams. John worked as a Business Technical Analyst at Highmark Blue Cross, retiring after 42 years of service. He served Mt. Lebanon as the Treasurer for 28 years. He was very active in politics; he was a member of the Mt. Lebanon Republican Committee and served as a state committeeman. He was a lifelong member of Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church where he served as a Deacon and an Elder, and he was active in numerous Missions activities and served as Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Pittsburgh Region International Student Ministries.

In addition to being active in work and church, John was passionate about baseball, he was a dedicated fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a proud member of the Society for American Baseball Research. John also was an avid reader and history buff, a crossword puzzle aficionado, and a coach and supporter of youth and adult soccer. He enjoyed being with his family, going to the opera with his wife, and attending functions at Chartiers Country Club where he was a member. His family and friends will miss his hearty laugh, ready jokes, and quick wit.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jane Kennedy and John Charles Ferguson, and his brother, Edward.

Friends are invited to a Memorial Service on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at 1 p.m. in Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church, 1207 Washington Road, Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, 444 Liberty Ave., Suite 1300, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-1207 or Beverly Heights Presbyterian Church Missions Fund.

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
Scott Colby Ballwin, MO     Tom Ludwig Paynesville, MN
Andrew Distler New York, NY     Joseph Mitchell Elkton, MD
Richard Enoch Bronx, NY     Zachary Prochera Averill Park, NY
Glenn Exton Highland, IL     Sean Roberts Wauwatosa, WI
Paul Hamm Spring, TX     John Schultz Sioux City, IA
Josh Hansen Splendora, TX     Jennifer Steen Phoenix, AZ
Su-Ming Hsu Sunnyvale, CA     Susan Thompson Splendora, TX
Alex Jenkinson Doylestown, PA     Mike Vranesevic Irwin, PA


Research committee newsletters

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

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting news

There were no 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

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Replying to this e-mail goes to an undeliverable address. If you would like to contact the SABR office, please visit:

Originally published: October 11, 2013. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.