This Week in SABR: October 2, 2015

Welcome to “This Week in SABR!” Click here to view this week’s newsletter on the web. Here’s what we’ve been up to as of October 2, 2015:

Last call: Early registration ends this weekend for 2015 SABR Arizona Fall League Experience

Registration is now open for the seventh annual SABR Arizona Fall League Experience — a new name, but same great experience — on November 5-7, 2015, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

  • Click here to register for the 2015 AFL Experience. Please note: The early registration rate of $175 will expire on October 4, 2015. Registration is $195 after October 4.
  • Schedule: The full conference schedule is now available at
  • Host hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Old Town Scottsdale, 3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Visit to book your room online or call the hotel at (480) 675-7665 and mention the “SABR Fall League Experience” to get the special group rate of $109/night (plus tax). Reservations must be booked by October 4, 2015, to get the SABR group rate.

The event will feature four AFL games showcasing baseball’s top prospects, including games at Scottsdale Stadium and Camelback Ranch, our first trip to Glendale. 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 ballpark dinner at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick with a special guest speaker.

On Saturday, November 7, attendees will join members of SABR’s Flame Delhi Chapter for their regional fall meeting, with research presentations and guest speakers. The conference will conclude with the nationally televised Fall Stars Game on Saturday evening at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

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

Learn more about Arizona baseball history by downloading Mining Towns to Major Leagues: A History of Arizona Baseball, SABR’s 1999 convention journal that was recently republished as an e-book at the Flame Delhi Chapter’s website,

All baseball fans are welcome to attend, so join us in November for the SABR Arizona Fall League Experience!

Deadline extended: Get the Fall 2015 Baseball Research Journal delivered straight to your inbox

Once again, SABR is offering its members the opportunity to opt out of receiving the printed version of the Fall 2015 Baseball Research Journal. We’ll deliver the e-book version of the Fall 2015 BRJ in the format of your choice (EPUB, MOBI/Kindle or PDF) straight to your inbox in early November. Click here to learn more about receiving the e-book edition of the BRJ.

Opt out of receiving the printed edition by Monday, October 5 in order to get early access to all the great content in the BRJ in e-book format and online at

  • To opt out of receiving the printed version of the Baseball Research Journal: Click here to edit your membership profile. Scroll to the bottom and select “Receive publications electronically.” Then save your changes.

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

If you’ve never read a Baseball Research Journal in e-book form, click here to try it out with the Spring 2014 edition. The Baseball Research Journal, and all SABR e-books, are available in EPUB, MOBI/Kindle or PDF formats.

To read articles from the BRJ archives, click here.

Call for papers: 2016 The National Pastime convention journal

The 46th annual SABR national convention will take place July 27-31, 2016, in Miami, Florida.

To coincide with the convention, the summer 2016 issue of The National Pastime will focus on Florida and particularly Miami-area baseball. Florida has had a long relationship with Major League Baseball as the home of the Grapefruit League spring training, as well as various minor leagues, college baseball powerhouses, and two current major-league expansion franchises.

There’s plenty to explore and, ideally, we’d like a mix of topics that could encompass everything from fan studies to Little League. Research 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, 2015, and will make assignments no later than December 1. First drafts of articles will be due no later than March 1, 2016, and rewrites (if needed) will be due by April 15.

Queries should be one to two paragraphs with a 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 amount of your research is original. Please include an estimate of the article’s length, as well. Typical articles tend to run 2,000 to 5,000 words — the size of a midterm paper, not a Master’s thesis. The absolute upper limit on papers for the TNP is around 6,500 words. 

To query, send an e-mail to with the subject line “TNP Query” and a key word or two on your subject. (For example: “TNP Query: Jeffrey Loria in Historical Perspective.”) Some suggested topics could be:

  • Florida Marlins World Series teams of 1997 and 2003
  • University of Miami baseball
  • The influence of Cuban and Latin-American baseball
  • Notable players from South Florida, including Alex Rodriguez, Steve Carlton, Andre Dawson
  • Grapefruit League spring training
  • Florida State League, Florida International League, minor-league Miami Marlins, etc.
  • The short-lived Senior Professional Baseball Association

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.

Click here to learn more about SABR’s Publications Guidelines.

Note also that the TNP will have both a print edition (given out to SABR 46 convention attendees) and an expanded e-book version that will be sent to all SABR members. Some, but not all, of the articles will be selected to appear in the print edition, while more will appear in the electronic edition.

Oakland A’s hire first female coach, SABR member Justine Siegal, to be guest instructor

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday that SABR member Justine Siegal would become the first female coach employed by a major-league team. The Oakland A’s are hiring her to be a guest instructor for their Instructional League club next month in Arizona:

“It’s a dream come true,” Siegal said by phone. “The A’s are a first-class organization and it will be an honor to wear their uniform.”

Siegal, who became the first woman to coach men professionally in 2009 when she was the first-base coach for the independent league Brockton Rox, will work with A’s minor-leaguers from Oct. 4 through Oct. 17.

“We feel like Justine has a lot to offer and that (the Instructional League) is a great place to get her feet wet,” A’s assistant general manager David Forst said. “She’ll be doing a little bit of everything.”

According to Forst, Siegal will work with infielders, hit fungos and throw batting practice, among other duties. Plus, Siegal, 40, has a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology. Forst said that director of player development Keith Lieppman and director of minor-league operations Ted Polakowski are looking forward to having Siegal lead classroom presentations about the mental side of the game.

Read the full article here:

SABR Digital Library: Mustaches and Mayhem: 1972-74 Oakland A’s

Add a dynastic new book from the SABR Digital Library to your baseball collection:

Mustaches and Mayhem:
Charlie O’s Three-Time Champions

The Oakland Athletics: 1972-74

Edited by Chip Greene
Associate Editors: Greg Erion, Len Levin, and Bill Nowlin
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-943816-07-1, $29.95
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-943816-06-4, $9.99

540 pages

In modern baseball history, only one team not named the New York Yankees has ever won three consecutive World Series. That team was the Oakland Athletics, who captured major league baseball’s crown each year from 1972 through 1974.

Led by such superstars as future Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter and Rollie Fingers, in the final years before free agency and the movement of players from one team to another forever changed the game, the Athletics were a largely homegrown aggregate of players who joined the organization when the team called Kansas City its home, developed as teammates in the minor leagues, and came of age together in Oakland.

But it was the way in which they did it that immortalized those teams. For if the story of the Oakland Athletics’ championships is that of one of baseball’s greatest teams, it’s also the story of enigmatic owner Charles O. Finley and how those players succeeded in spite of Finley’s larger-than-life persona and meddlesome ways. Indeed, before the Yankees’ George Steinbrenner, there was Charles Oscar Finley, of the Athletics.

Featuring the contributions of 46 members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Mustaches and Mayhem: Charlie O’s Three-Time Champions shares the stories of each of the roster players on each of the A’s championship teams, in addition to the managers, coaches, Finley himself, the team’s radio announcer, and even Charlie O, the mule, Finley’s legendary mascot. Summaries of each spring training and World Series, too, will complete the tale of one of baseball’s most colorful and successful teams.

Contributors include: Alan Cohen, Andy Sturgill, Austin Gisriel, Bill Nowlin, Charlie O’Reilly, Chip Greene, Clayton Trutor, Clifford Corn, Curt Smith, Dale Voiss, Eric Aron, Francisco Rodriguez Lozano, Geoffrey Dunn, Greg Erion, Gregory H. Wolf, J.G. Preston, Jeff English, Jimmy Keenan, Joanne Hulbert, Joe Wancho, John Cizik, John Henshell, John Vorperian, Joseph Gerard, Keith Scherer, Leonte Landino, Loretta Donovan, Marc Z Aaron, Mark Armour, Matt Bohn, Matthew Silverman, Maxwell Kates, Mike Epstein, Neal Poloncarz, Norm King, Paul Hofmann, Richard J. Puerzer, Rick Schabowski, Rory Costello, Royse Parr, Saul Wisnia, Scott Ferkovich, Ted Leavengood, Thomas Ayers, Tim Herlich, Tom Hawthorn, and Wynn Montgomery.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. To download all past releases, visit

  • 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.

Call for papers: 2016 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference

All SABR members are invited and encouraged to submit a Research Presentation Proposal Abstract for the 2016 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference.

The eighth annual 19th Century Conference will be held April 15-16, 2016, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Abstracts of 200-500 words are being accepted through October 31, 2015, for a 20- to 25-minute oral research presentation on any topic about 19th-century baseball. Please include title and contact information. Proposals must be part of an e-mail or in the form of a Word or PDF document sent to Peter Mancuso at

Details on conference registration will be available at in early 2016.

To view coverage of the 2015 Ivor-Campbell 19th Century conference, click here.

Check out final in-season update of SABR Defensive Index rankings

Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier continues to hold a strong lead in the AL and San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford has retained the NL’s top spot in the SABR Defensive Index™ rankings through games of September 13, 2015.

The SABR Defensive Index is used to help select the winners of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award® and Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™, presented by SABR. This is the final in-season update of the SDI rankings and includes all 2015 qualifiers who will appear on the Rawlings Gold Glove Award ballot sent to managers and coaches.

The SABR Defensive Index draws on and aggregates two types of existing defensive metrics: those derived from batted ball location-based data and those collected from play-by-play accounts. The three metrics representing batted ball data include Defensive Runs Saved from Baseball Info Solutions, Ultimate Zone Rating developed by noted sabermetrician Mitchel Lichtman, and Runs Effectively Defended based on STATS Zone Rating and built by SABR Defensive Committee member Chris Dial. The two metrics included in the SDI originating from play-by-play data are Defensive Regression Analysis, created by committee member Michael Humphreys, and Total Zone Rating.

The SABR Defensive Index accounts for approximately 25 percent of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process that was added to the votes from the managers and coaches.

Kiermaier’s SDI of 26.7 is the best in the game among all qualified defenders, ahead of Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado (12.4), Toronto center fielder Kevin Pillar (10.8), Detroit left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (9.9 — AL numbers only), and Kansas City center fielder Leonys Martin (9.2).

Crawford’s SDI of 16.8 through September 13 is the top figure in the NL, ahead of Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado (13.2), Miami shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11.6), San Francisco first baseman Brandon Belt (11.1), and St. Louis right fielder Jason Heyward (10.2).

The SDI results were released on September 18 by the Society for American Baseball Research.

The final SDI results will be released following the conclusion of the 2015 regular season at The SDI is compiled by the SABR Defensive Committee, which includes SABR President Vince Gennaro, Sean Forman of, Ben Jedlovec of Baseball Info Solutions, SABR Director F.X. Flinn, author and defensive metrics expert Chris Dial, and author Michael Humphreys.

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on hiatus for postseason

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro on MLB Network Radio, is taking a hiatus during the MLB postseason. The show will return in November.

Subscribers can still listen to any recent episodes of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style in the “on-demand” section of the SiriusXM app or website.

Baseball SABR Style focuses on examining and interpreting the statistical analysis that plays a critical role in baseball today. It airs weekly on Sunday nights throughout the year on MLB Network Radio, available to subscribers nationwide on XM channel 89, Sirius channel 209, and on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

For more information, click here. updates Negro Leagues Database with 1937 Negro National League stats

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

Today we’re used to complaining that too much of the sports news takes place off the field of play—strikes, business deals, scandals, crimes. We may not realize it, but this is nothing new. The story of the 1937 Negro National League, the newest addition to the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, is a prime example.  The course of that season was largely determined by the political ambitions of a New York City special prosecutor, the underworld dealings of two owners, and the reelection campaign of a Caribbean strongman.

1) Gus Greenlee of the Pittsburgh Crawfords had been running short of cash the past couple of years as authorities in Pittsburgh put pressure on his numbers business (illegal lotteries, also known as the policy rocket). In 1938 he was finally forced to trade the best position player in black baseball, Josh Gibson, along with Judy Johnson to the Homestead Grays for Henry Spearman, Pepper Bassett, and $2500. Reportedly hurt by the Crawfords’ determination to get rid of him, Judy Johnson retired rather than report to the Grays. For their part, Cumberland Posey and the Grays found themselves able to afford Gibson because they had obtained funding from Rufus “Sonnyman” Jackson, another policy banker. Thus the transfer of baseball power from the Pittsburgh Crawfords to the Homestead Grays depended largely on the vagaries of underworld business deals.

2) Alexander Pompez, owner of the New York Cubans, like Greenlee and Jackson a numbers king, had been forced to flee the country as a result of an investigation by New York City Special Prosecutor Thomas Dewey (later of “Dewey Defeats Truman” fame), who was running for District Attorney in Manhattan. Pompez was eventually tracked down in Mexico City, where he spent the summer fighting extradition back to the U.S. In his absence, the Cubans were forced to dissolve. The Black Yankees took the Cubans’ place as the home team at Harlem’s Dyckman Oval—the first time they landed a permanent home field within the bounds of New York City.

Read the full update here:

To view the award-winning Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, click here.

3 new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 3,412 published biographies. Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

You can find the SABR BioProject at

Help us write 2016 Hall of Fame biographies: SABR Director Emily Hawks has launched a new BioProject initiative for biographies of players who are likely to be on the 2016 Hall of Fame ballot later this year, and a few players still need biographers. If you are interested in writing a SABR biography for one of these players, please contact Emily Hawks at Mark McGwire, Larry Walker, Jeff Kent, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Kendall, Jim Edmonds.

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

August 16 Board minutes posted

Minutes from the Board of Directors conference call on August 16, 2015, have now been posted on the SABR website.

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

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

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.

You can find contact information for any SABR member in the online membership directory (

Name Hometown     Name Hometown
Derek Bain Bloomsbury, NJ     McKinley Kempf Omaha, NE
Michael Blair Kitchener, ON     Michael Leeman Phoenix, AZ
Skylar Browning Missoula, MT     Matt Madej Owensboro, KY
Alexis Cardenas Mexicali, MEX     Thomas Miller Glendale, CA
Gary Cousins Flint, MI     Evans Paull Baltimore, MD
David Crispens Bel Air, MD     Eric Peters Studio City, CA
Seth Daugherty St. Charles, MO     Richard Riegler East Brunswick, NJ
Jack Ferry Chicago, IL     Michael Rinehart Menifee, CA
Tom Geer Round Rock, TX     Brett Smith Fullerton, CA
Thomas Jennings Greenacres, FL     Louis Verardo Centerport, NY
Jerry Karwowski Indianapolis, IN        


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee updates this week:

  • Baseball and the Media: SABR’s Baseball and the Media Committee is undertaking the formation of a new database: a comprehensive listing of historical baseball writers. The goal is to catalog the baseball writers for every team as far back as we can possibly manage. This is an important first step toward the creation of the Committee’s first publication, in conjunction with the SABR BioProject Committee, featuring the history of major-league baseball writing through the years, as well as biographies of the great baseball writers in big-league history. But first things first: We need your help in putting together the database itself. Thanks to several generous SABR members, we have obtained access to every Baseball Blue Book from 1910 through the mid-2000s, all of which feature lists of baseball writers by city and team through the years. We have digitized these Blue Books into PDF form and we will make these available to any SABR member who is interested in helping us flesh out the database. Click here for complete details.
  • Baseball Records: October 2015 newsletter

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates 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 2, 2015. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.