This Week in SABR: September 15, 2017

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 September 15, 2017:

Del Unser, Steve Cobb, Barry Bloom to speak at 2017 SABR Arizona Fall League Experience

We’re excited to announce some of our featured speakers for the ninth annual SABR Arizona Fall League Experience, which will be held Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Our featured speakers are expected to include:

  • Del Unser, a 15-year major-league veteran who helped the Philadelphia Phillies win the 1980 World Series and has spent more than three decades in the organization as a hitting coach, farm director, and scout
  • Steve Cobb, Executive Director of the Arizona Fall League since 1993
  • Barry Bloom, national columnist and president of the Hemond-Delhi Arizona SABR Chapter

The 2017 SABR Arizona Fall League Experience will feature three AFL games showcasing baseball’s top prospects. We’ll also have a ballpark dinner at Scottsdale Stadium with guest speakers Unser and Cobb on Thursday evening. On Friday night, we’ll have a special dinner at Don and Charlie’s, home of one of the best baseball memorabilia collections you’ll ever seen. On Saturday, attendees will join members of SABR’s Hemond-Delhi Arizona Chapter for their regional fall meeting led by Bloom, with research presentations and guest speakers.

We’ll conclude the conference with the nationally televised Fall Stars Game on Saturday evening at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. All of this, including transportation, is included in one low registration price.

Your registration fee includes all game tickets; an AFL Media Guide; dinner at the ballpark (Scottsdale Stadium) on Thursday and Don and Charlie’s on Friday; and transportation to and from all events.

You can find the full schedule online at See you soon in Arizona!

Note: Local or visiting SABR members can purchase extra or optional tickets to the Thursday evening ballpark dinner and game ($35) at Scottsdale Stadium, the Friday afternoon game at Scottsdale Stadium ($7), the Friday night dinner at Don and Charlie’s ($60), or the Fall Stars Game ($7) on Saturday night at Salt River Fields. Extra AFL Media Guides ($12) are also available for purchase while supplies last. Please contact Deb Jayne at for details.

Related links:

It’s official! SABR 48 will be held in Pittsburgh in 2018

Save the date! SABR will be returning to the Steel City for our 48th national convention on June 20-24, 2018, at the Wyndham Grand in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Registration information will be available at in early 2018.

The Pirates are scheduled to play at home against the Arizona Diamondbacks that weekend, according to the MLB schedule that was released on Tuesday.

The Wyndham Grand is conveniently located within walking distance from PNC Park and a light rail station, many downtown cultural amenities, and right across the street from the picturesque 36-acre Point State Park where the three rivers converge.

SABR 48 will be our second convention held in Pittsburgh and first since 1995. Our 25th annual convention that year featured a keynote speech from former Pirates manager Chuck Tanner and panel discussions commemorating the 1960 and 1971 World Series champions. Learn more about SABR’s convention history by clicking here.

SABR’s 2018 national convention will be our 48th annual gathering; the organization’s founding in Cooperstown in 1971 is counted as the first.

For more information on the SABR convention, visit

SABR Digital Library: 20-Game Losers

Be a winner, and add this new baseball book from the SABR Digital Library to your collection:

20-Game Losers
Edited by Bill Nowlin and Emmet R. Nowlin
Associate Editors: Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, and Carl Riechers
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-943816-58-3, $9.99
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-943816-59-0, $21.95
8.5″ x 11″, 486 pages

You have to be a very good pitcher to lose 20 games in one season. Why would a manager keep putting you out there to pitch, time after time, if you didn’t have a chance to win the game? More than 25 percent of the pitchers in the National Baseball Hall of Fame are pitchers who lost 20 or more games in a single season. One of them even lost 20 or more games for 10 years in a row!

The names in this book are often well-known names. Cy Young lost more than 20 games in three different seasons. Other 20-game losers were Steve Carlton, Walter Johnson, Phil Niekro, Robin Roberts, and Red Ruffing, to name a few.

We’ve included here every one of the 23 Hall of Famers who are 20-game losers, as well as some lesser-known names, over sixty biographies in all. Mike Maroth and Brian Kingman, the two most recent pitchers to lose 20 games, are here. So is Jack Nabors thanks to his 1-20 season. You will find Guy Hecker, whose record of 52-20 constituted the best winning percentage of any 20-game loser. And we feature one woebegone pitching staff which had four 20-game losers in the same season.

By our count 499 major-league pitchers have had seasons in which they lost 20 or more games. Only two of them had ERAs over 6.00. This take on pitching records offers plenty of quirks to explore. 53 members of SABR combined their efforts to create this truly fascinating book.

Contributors include: Niall Adler, Will Anderson, Bob Bailey, Charlie Bevis, Dennis Bingham, Chuck Carey, Alan Cohen, Warren Corbett, Paul E. Doutrich, Don Doxsie, Alex Drude, Jeff English, Charles F. Faber, Jeff Findley, Jan Finkel, David Fleitz, Eric Frost, Charles Hausberg, Paul Hofmann, Tom Hufford, Bill Lamb, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Dan Levitt, Mike Lynch, Barb Mantegani, Wayne McElreavy, Brian McKenna, Justin Mckinney, Barry Mednick, Chad Moody, Skip Nipper, Bill Nowlin, Emmet R. Nowlin, Armand Peterson, David Raglin, Chris Rainey, Stephen V. Rice, Carl Riechers, Joel Rippel, C. Paul Rogers III, Stuart Schimler, Steven D. Schmitt, Joe Schuster, David E. Skelton, David C. Southwick, Glen Sparks, Mark S. Sternman, John Struth, Cosme Vivanco, Joe Wancho, Phil Williams, and Gregory H. Wolf.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. Visit to find all previously published books.

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.

Cleveland Indians’ 22-game winning streak sets AL record; 1916 Giants within reach

The Cleveland Indians sure picked the right time for their most exciting victory in a record-setting run — which has become the biggest story in baseball over the last three weeks.

Entering play today, the Indians are riding an American League record 22-game winning streak after late-game heroics from Francisco Lindor and Jay Bruce on Thursday night. The Tribe was one strike away from losing to the Kansas City Royals and suffering their first loss since August 23. But they prevailed 3-2 in 10 innings — the only extra-inning win in Cleveland’s long, dominant streak, which is now the second-longest in major-league history.

The 1916 New York Giants, led by Hall of Fame manager John McGraw, hold the all-time record with their run of 26 consecutive games without a loss from September 7 to September 30 that year. As Max Blue wrote in 2014 for the SABR Baseball Research Journal, “For three magical weeks in the fall of 1916 they were unbeatable, achieving the longest unbeaten streak in baseball history. … McGraw was no stranger to winning streaks; his Giants won 18 straight in 1904, 17 in 1907, and 16 in 1912. On a road trip in May of [1916], his team had run off 17 wins in a row. McGraw knew what it took to keep a streak going.”

However, the Giants’ streak was interrupted by two rainouts — including one game halted after eight innings in a 1-1 tie before it was made up the next day — and some confusion about MLB’s century-old rules for tie games and makeups has generated a whirlwind of discussion from baseball fans and writers who have questioned the legitimacy of New York’s run. But after 101 years, the Giants still hold the MLB record and, as of today, the Indians are just four wins away from reaching that historic mark.

Earlier this week, the Indians’ winning streak surpassed storied teams such as the 1947 New York Yankees (19 games), the 2002 Oakland A’s (20 games), and the 1935 Chicago Cubs (21 games), and the Tribe now stands alone with the American League’s longest winning streak at 22 wins in a row, a run no other team has reached since the Deadball Era.

Related links:

Check out photos from Andy Leonard grave marker dedication ceremony

SABR’s 19th Century Baseball Grave Marker Project held a dedication ceremony honoring Andy Leonard of early Cincinnati and Boston baseball fame on Saturday, September 9 at New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan, Massachusetts.

Leonard was a star left fielder of the undefeated Cincinnati Red Stockings, he subsequently joined Boston’s first league “dynasty” champions of the 1870s. Ireland’s National Baseball League crowns its seasonal best player with the Andy Leonard Most Valuable Player Award developed to honor this Irish-born athlete.

Click here to view a photo gallery from last weekend’s ceremony.

Call for papers: 2018 SABR Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference

All SABR members are invited and encouraged to submit a Research Presentation Proposal Abstract on any topic of 19th-century baseball for the 2018 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The 10th annual Ivor-Campbell Conference is scheduled for April 20-21, 2018.

The deadline for proposal Abstracts is October 31, 2017. Your abstract must be between 200-500 words for a 20- to 25-minute presentation. Please include name, title, and contact information and send your proposal as a Microsoft Word or PDF attachment to Peter Mancuso at

Click here to learn more.

Educators, sign up your class for a discounted SABR Student Group Affiliate Membership

A Student Group Affiliate Membership will provide students with access to many of the electronic benefits that SABR members enjoy, including “This Week in SABR,” e-book editions of the Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime, free SABR e-books, and access to the members-only section of This membership will not include any printed publications or voting rights.

In order to make the Student Group Affiliate Membership affordable for groups to join, here are the options we offer:

  • College/University groups/classes: For an annual fee of $250, a group of up to 25 students can receive a one-year electronic SABR affiliate membership.
  • High School/Middle School groups/classes: For an annual fee of $100, a group of up to 20 students can receive a one-year electronic SABR affiliate membership.

Any educational class or student group at the middle school, high school or college/university level is eligible for a SABR affiliate membership, as long as a faculty member, teacher, or advisor is an active SABR member (or registers to join.) The teacher/advisor will be listed as the group contact on the SABR website.

The teacher/advisor will be asked to collect the money, names and e-mail addresses for all students wishing to join, and submit those to the SABR office at one time. In addition, the advisor/instructor must be an active SABR member or sign up for a regular SABR membership; annual dues are $65, with discounts available for adults under the age of 30 or over 65.

To sign up for a Student Group Affiliate Membership, or if you have any questions about how it might work for your group or class, please contact Blane Ferguson at

Registration now open for SABR Rocky Mountain Chapter banquet

The SABR Rocky Mountain Chapter is pleased to announce that our 20th Annual Chapter Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2017. For the third consecutive year it will be held at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. The banquet is open to all SABR members and baseball fans.

Rocky Mountain SABR welcomes several special guests to this year’s event, including Keynote Speaker Patrick Saunders, Rockies beat writer for the Denver Post and current president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA); Featured Speaker Ryan Spilborghs, former Rockies player and Emmy Award-winning commentator for ROOT Sports, Rockies Vice President of Scouting Bill Schmidt, former Rockies GM Bob Gebhard, SABR Director Bill Nowlin, columnist Barry Bloom, and our Master of Ceremonies for the evening, former Rockies pitcher Jason Hirsh.

As usual, we will conduct our Silent Auction of baseball memorabilia and artifacts. We will reprise last year’s popular book sale and feature a special sale of Rockies baseball cards. Tickets for the banquet are $65 per person and can be purchased online by visiting You may also mail a check to RMSABR Banquet, 5803 Orchard Creek Lane, Boulder, CO 80301. Please make checks payable to “Rocky Mountain SABR.”

For more information, visit

4 new SABR biographies published

Four new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 4,193 published biographies. Here are the new bios published this week:

All new biographies can be found here:

1979 Pittsburgh Pirates biographies now posted online

In SABR’s When Pops Led the Family: The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates, edited by Bill Nowlin and Gregory H. Wolf and published in 2016, we focused on a memorable team that helped define an era in baseball history. 

When Pops Led the Family celebrates this World Series championship team and its cast of characters, including Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, Dave Parker, John Candelaria, and Kent Tekulve. Essays on Three Rivers Stadium, manager Chuck Tanner’s use of his bullpen, and the “We Are Family” song help round out the volume. 

The SABR BioProject biographies that appeared in When Pops Led the Family can now be read online at:

You can also download the e-book for free or purchase the paperback edition at 50% off by clicking here. SABR members can download all SABR Digital Library e-books for free at

8 new stories published by the SABR Games Project

Eight new game stories were posted this week as part of the SABR Games Project. Here are the new game stories:

Most of the articles above appeared in Au jeu/Play Ball: The 50 Greatest Games in the History of the Montreal Expos (SABR, 2016), edited by Norm King. To read more articles from this book, click here.

New Games Project stories can be found at Find all published Games Project articles at

If you have any questions about the Games Project, please contact Greg Erion. If you want to know if a game is available to write about, please contact Bruce Slutsky. After the article has been completed in accordance with our Authors’ Guidelines, please submit it to Len Levin, who will initiate the editing process and get your story started toward publication.

  • Get involved: Have memories of a game you attended? Or a game you watched that caught your interest? Write about it! Writing for the Games Project is an easy way to get involved as a SABR member. Find out how by reading the Games Project FAQs section or checking out the Authors’ Guidelines. We have editors and fact checkers who are willing to help you write your first article.
  • Seeking volunteers to help enhance Games Project articles on website: Any volunteer who is willing to assist with linking player biographies in previously published Games Project stories on the SABR website, please contact Jacob Pomrenke. No experience necessary. Must be comfortable working in Drupal, WordPress or other standard content management systems.

1967 Red Sox essays now published at

On the 50th anniversary of a pennant-winning season, more articles from The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: Pandemonium on the Field (SABR, 2017), edited by Bill Nowlin and Dan Desrochers, were published last week at These essays include:

Click here to read all player biographies that appeared in The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox at the SABR BioProject.

To download the e-book version of The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox for free or to get 50% off the paperback edition, click here.

Listen to Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Sunday night

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro will air at its regular time from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET this Sunday on MLB Network Radio.

This week’s guests are SABR member Ben Jedlovec of Baseball Info Solutions and Neil Paine of FiveThirtyEight.

You can also listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App, and you can watch video highlights of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM on Click here to watch more video highlights of Baseball SABR Style from

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM focuses on examining and interpreting the statistical analysis that plays a critical role in baseball today. It airs weekly 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.

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:

For more information, click 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 Membership 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
Brian Browne Kew Gardens, NY     Noah Opitz Mamaroneck, NY
Edward Joseph Conklin Mooresville, NC     Patrick Sellas Fullerton, CA
Tom Engle Beaverton, OR     Lonnie Shalton Kansas City, MO
JyhHow Huang Kaohsiung, TWN     Michael Sparks Sarasota, FL
Richard Kee Monrovia, CA     Richard Tierney Marshfield, WI
Tim Luca San Mateo, CA     Steve VanSky Aurora, CO
Steve Napolitano Montclair, NJ        


Research Committee news

Here are the new SABR research committee updates this week:

Find all SABR research committee newsletters at

Regional Chapter news

Here are the new regional chapter updates this week:

  • Emil Rothe/Chicago Chapter: September 2 meeting recap (Lisle, IL)
  • Rocky Mountain Chapter: Registration is now open for the chapter’s 20th annual banquet on November 11, 2017, at Coors Field in Denver. Visit for complete information and details.
  • Rogers Hornsby Chapter: September 10 meeting recap and Opening Day for BasebALZ Season 7 (Austin, TX)
  • Hanlan’s Point Chapter: Our SABR chapter based in Toronto, Ontario, has relaunched its Facebook page at Feel free to “like” the page, and post research requests, suggestions for chapter activities, and any other baseball-related items you think may be of interest to the chapter. For a list of other chapter and committee Facebook pages, click here.
  • Best Practices handbook: Chapter leaders, you can download the updated Chapter Leaders Best Practices Handbook on the Admin Tools page at The handbook offers suggestions and guidelines for meetings, speakers, revitalizing a chapter, and getting publicity for SABR and chapter events.

Visit for more information on SABR regional chapters.

SABR Events Calendar

Here is a list of upcoming events on the SABR calendar:

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: September 15, 2017. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.