This Week in SABR: September 14, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of September 14, 2012:

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

Registration open for the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference!

Join us for the fourth annual SABR Arizona Fall League Conference, November 1-3, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Registration is now open at

The conference will feature four AFL games, each at a different ballpark. Guests will see all six AFL teams, showcasing every major league team’s top prospects. The final game on Saturday night is the Rising Stars Game at Talking Stick at Salt River, the crown jewel of Arizona’s Cactus League parks.

After taking in a game on Thursday afternoon, guests will also be treated to dinner 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 Scottsdale Stadium, 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 Rising Stars game. All of this, including transportation, is included in one low registration price.

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

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

  • Host hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Old Town Scottsdale, 3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251. The conference rate is $99/night + tax. Book your room online at or call the hotel at (480) 675-7665 and mention the “SABR AFL Conference.”
  • Registration: $160. To register for the conference online, click here. Your registration fee includes one ticket to all four games; an AFL Media Guide; dinner at Don and Charlie’s on Thursday night; ballpark cookout at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday night; and transportation to and from all events. 
  • Schedule: A detailed schedule can be found at
  • Information: Please contact Rodney Johnson at

If you like to watch no-frills, high-quality baseball with future major league stars, the Arizona Fall League Conference is for you. We hope to see you in November!

Knuckleball! documentary to premiere next week

If you were in Minneapolis with us for SABR 42 this summer, you had the chance to enjoy an exclusive private viewing of Knuckleball!, a new film following Tim Wakefield and R.A. Dickey in the 2011 season. The film got rave reviews from our SABR audience and was one of the highlights of the convention.

Next week, the documentary gets released to a wider audience beginning with showings in Boston, New York City and Austin, then other theaters around the country. The film will also be available for purchase on iTunes and other video-on-demand platforms beginning Tuesday, September 18. We encourage you to check it out if you haven’t yet seen it. 

Knuckleball!, produced and directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg, is the story of a few good men, a handful of pitchers in the entire history of baseball forced to resort to the lowest rung on the credibility ladder in their sport: throwing a ball so slow and unpredictable that no one wants anything to do with it. The film follows the major leagues’ only knuckleballers in 2011, Boston Red Sox Tim Wakefield and New York Met R.A. Dickey, as they pursue a mercurial art form in a world that values speed, accuracy, and numerical accountability. With extraordinary access from the players and Major League Baseball, the film follows their personal quests with behind-the-scenes moments at the ballpark, on the road, and at home with family. Knuckleball! shines a light on the matchless journey shared by a small brotherhood of men, and the undervalued pursuits of honor, craftsmanship, and survival.

For more information on the film, please visit

A note about Baseball Digest archives on Google News

Many of you noticed that the Baseball Digest archives, which have been available since 2006 on Google News, disappeared without warning a few weeks ago.

We contacted representatives at Baseball Digest about the missing archives, and publisher Norman Jacobs posted this message on the Baseball Digest Facebook page this week:

On advice of counsel, Baseball Digest was removed from the Google Books project. We are currently negotiating with Google to obtain the digitalized collection for our readers.

Baseball Digest also said it was working to make this a temporary hiatus and hoping to have the archives available to readers again soon.

We will keep you posted if and when we hear any more updates.

Seamheads Negro Leagues Database updates with 1907 stats

Here’s an update from SABR member Kevin Johnson at the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database:

Contrary to popular belief, blackball teams playing in a ‘real’ league did not begin in 1920.  In 1886, there was an attempt to start a 10 team “Southern Colored Base Ballist” league.  In 1887, the National Colored Baseball League managed to play 13 league games before folding.  The 1906 “ILIP League” (International League of Independent Professional Clubs) probably wouldn’t qualify as an actual league under a strict definition, but was more a loose assocation of teams like subsequent “Negro Leagues” in the 1908-1919 time period, plus it included two white teams.  But in 1907, the National Association of Colored Professional Clubs of the United States and Cuba was a REAL league, and most likely can claim being the first real Negro Baseball League.  It played a full, although short, season, crowned a champion, and probably contained the country’s four best Negro League teams (the Cuban X-Giants having folded after the 1906 season).

The league was won by the Philadelphia Giants, who had also been the best team in 1906. Philadelphia was an offensive powerhouse led by 21 year old C Bruce Petway, Hall of Fame LF Pete Hill, and left-handed P/CF Danny McClellan. In addition, Hall of Famer John Henry Lloyd played SS.

Other notable items:

We get the end of careers for both Hall of Famer Frank Grant and for Sol White.

We get 19 year old pitcher Johnny Bright, who in addition to being notable for having the same name as his team’s owner (John M. Bright), becomes notable in a tragic way the next year when, having returned to Cleveland to play for the Star-Light Champs team, he is killed in a factory accident.

Finally, we get another in a long line of excellent seasons from Home Run Johnson, plus a great season from Cuban Hall of Famer Luis Bustamante.

To view the Seamheads Negro Leagues Database, visit

Call for papers: 2013 NINE Spring Training Conference

The 20th annual NINE Spring Training Conference invites original, unpublished papers that study all aspects of baseball, with particular emphasis on history and social policy implications. Abstracts only, not to exceed 300 words, should be submitted by December 3, 2012, to

Authors will be notified as quickly as possible whether their papers have been accepted. Authors are required to register for the conference and present their work in person.

The 20th annual NINE Spring Training Conference on the Historical and Sociological Impact of Baseball will be held Wednesday, March 13-Saturday, March 16, 2013, at the Fiesta Resort Conference Center, 2100 South Priest Drive, Tempe, Arizona.

The keynote speaker is Chris Lamb, author of six books, including Conspiracy of Silence: Sportswriters and the Campaign to Desegregate Baseball (McFarland, 2012).

The 2013 SABR Seymour Medal will also be awarded at the NINE Conference.

Conference registration forms are available online on the NINE website at

Call for papers 2013 The National Pastime

The 2013 issue of The National Pastime, our annual convention journal, will be published at SABR 43 in Philadelphia next summer.

Our theme will be baseball in the Philadelphia area (the Tri-State area of Southeast Pennsylvania, South Jersey and Delaware.) We are looking for submissions dealing with various levels of baseball from Little League and sandlot ball to all levels of professional leagues. Philly has a rich tradition of baseball from its early beginnings in the 1830s, to the National League and American Association Athletics, to Connie Mack’s A’s, the Hilldale Daisies, the Philadelphia Bobbies, the Philadelphia Stars and, of course, the Phillies. We are looking to provide a broad perspective of Philadelphia baseball from its early years to the present day.

If you are interested in submitting an article, please send an abstract to Morris Levin. Please include not only your topic, but why it interests you, and how you are qualified to research it. What sources do you plan to use? A typical article in The National Pastime runs 2,000 to 5,000 words. Upon receipt of your abstract, we will forward a copy of the SABR guidelines for submission of papers.

All interested authors should make sure their SABR membership is up to date. It is longstanding SABR policy that only the work of SABR members is published in our journals. You can renew your membership online at before you submit your paper.

  • To read articles from this year’s The National Pastime, focusing on baseball in Minnesota, click here. The TNP archives can be found here.

9 new biographies published by the SABR BioProject

Nine new biographies were posted as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,062 published biographies.

Here are the new bios:

All new biographies can be found here:

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

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

Welcome, new members!

We’d like to welcome all of our new SABR members who have joined this week. You can find all Members-Only resources at and the New Member Handbook can be downloaded here. 

Please give these new members a warm welcome and help them make the most of their membership by giving them the opportunity to get involved in their local chapter or a research committee.

Here is a list of new members:

Name Hometown
Bill Andreason Pocatello, ID
Drew Balen Edmonton, AB
Jack Berk Bethlehem, PA
Mike Boone San Marcos, TX
Catey Boyle Medford, MA
Robin Brecker Philadelphia, PA
Billy Collins Medford, MA
Elliott McIver Davis Medford, MA
Daniel Han San Francisco, CA
Phillip H. Livingston Newark, DE
Robert McKendrick Philadelphia, PA
Robert R. Miller Libertyville, IL
Phillip W. Miller Afton, MN
Monty B. Miller Joshua, TX
Michael J. Neely Evans, GA
William Dodge Rutherford Medford, MA
Matthew J. Slossberg New York, NY
Ethan Sturm Medford, MA


Research committee newsletters

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Chapter meeting recaps

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming SABR events:

All SABR meetings and events are open to the public. Feel free to bring a baseball-loving friend … and make many new ones! Check out the SABR Events Calendar at

Around the Web

Here are some recent articles published by and about SABR members:

Read these articles and more at

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here: If you would like us to include an upcoming event, article or any other information in “This Week in SABR”, e-mail Jacob Pomrenke at

Find exclusive Members’ Only resources and information here:

Did you know you can renew your membership at any time? 1- and 3-year SABR memberships are available by clicking “Renew” at Please also consider a donation to SABR to support baseball research at

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Originally published: September 14, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.