This Week in SABR: September 28, 2012

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of September 28, 2012:

SABR Digital Library: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s

Check out the next addition to the SABR Digital Library:

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

E-book price: $9.99
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-933599-34-2
Paperback price: $19.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-933599-24-3
8.5″ x 11″, 376 pages

Americans in the 1950s found new ways of enjoying themselves, from the rapid proliferation of television sets into every home, to the dawn of a new age of popular music, rock and roll, symbolized by a charismatic crooner named Elvis Presley. Baseball’s place in American culture was still paramount, though the competition was gaining.

In Boston, the baseball landscape changed dramatically in 1953 when the Braves moved to Milwaukee. Despite having the city to themselves, the Red Sox steadily lost attendance throughout the decade, due mainly to a series of teams that failed to contend. But because of television, fans of the region were able to “watch” Red Sox baseball for the first time without setting foot in Fenway Park.  With its lagging fortunes of the team on the field, the club retained its hold on the hearts of the region throughout this period.

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. Depicted here are 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). 

Thanks to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), you can read the stories of 46 of these men, including all of of the aforementioned and one of the greatest announcers ever, Curt Gowdy. But along with many of the people you might remember, there are still plenty of lesser-known players that you can discover for the first time. All of these men made it the major leagues and played well enough to stick around for at least a few years. We think all of them are worth learning about, and hope you enjoy doing so.

SABR members get a 50% discount! Here’s how:

Register 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!

New “Spouses” category added to the SABR BioProject

Some baseball spouses are more accomplished in their chosen professions than their major league significant others. Aldona Leszczynski Appleton (1900-1997), wife of 14-year MLB veteran pitcher Pete Appleton, was a pioneering attorney and judge in the New Jersey legal system, and she is the subject of our newest SABR biography written by Bill Lamb (a retired New Jersey prosecutor himself.)

Many of us have researched a ballplayer’s life outside of baseball and found their spouses’ lives to be equally compelling. Their stories deserve to be told, too. So in addition to Broadcasters, Executives, Managers, Scouts, etc., we’ve now added a new Spouses category to the BioProject website. You can browse all of these categories, and more, at So if you’ve ever thought, “Hey, that ballplayer’s wife should get the full BioProject treatment herself” — write the story and we’ll publish it!

Five new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, which brings us to a total of 2,077 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

Roberto Clemente 3,000th hit anniversary celebration planned by SABR’s Puerto Rico chapter

SABR’s Orlando Cepeda Chapter in Puerto Rico is teaming up with the Carolina Municipality, birthplace of Hall of Fame Roberto Clemente, to hold a 40th anniversary celebration of Roberto Clemente’s 3,000th hit in the Major Leagues.

The celebration will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, 2012, in the Fortunato Vizcarrondo Theater located in the Carolina Historic Archives Building in Carolina Urban Center Main Square in Puerto Rico. 

Several SABR Puerto Rico Chapter members and guests will be speaking and making presentations during the event.

For more information, please contact chapter president Jorge F. Lopez or Angel Colon.

Sesquicentennial memorial event for James Creighton is Oct. 18 in Brooklyn

James Creighton, according to MLB Official Historian and SABR member John Thorn, was “the most famous pitcher of his day.” He virtually defined the position of pitcher with “his unprecedented combination of speed, spin and command” for the champion Excelsiors of Brooklyn from 1860 to 1862. As Thorn wrote, “In life he was a star performer, but it was his startling death [at age 21 on October 18, 1862] that transformed his life into legend.” His fatal injury from an epic swing in his final at-bat (a double, not a home run) calls to mind the story of Roy Hobbs. You can read Creighton’s SABR biography here:

A sesquicentennial memorial event for James Creighton will take place on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. at the gravesite of James Creighton in Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232-1755.

After parking their vehicles, a shuttle trolley will take our guests to the Creighton gravesite for welcoming remarks by Jeff Richman, Erick Miklich and Mickey Tangel. There will also be a  placement of a wreath and the recitation of an original Creighton poem written by Robert L. Harrison, author of Green Fields and White Lines. At about 11:30 a.m. the trolley will shuttle us to the Green-Wood Chapel for two presentations by Eric Miklich and Mickey Tangel. We will then go outside the chapel and witness a demonstration of the pitching style of Creighton as well as a hands-on “show and tell” of base ball artifacts supplied by umpire Ed Elmore and player Bob Johnson.

For more information, contact Mickey “The Lip” Tangel.

Not Exactly Cooperstown DVD now available at Baseball Reliquary

The Baseball Reliquary, run by SABR member Terry Cannon, is pleased to announce that the DVD of Jon Leonoudakis’s 2012 documentary, Not Exactly Cooperstown, is now available for purchase through the organization. Leonoudakis’s 69-minute film, described as “an unorthodox look at baseball’s most orthodox game” and “a star-spangled journey into the heart and soul of baseball,” recently received its world premiere in Pasadena, California, followed by several screenings in the San Francisco Bay Area. The film has also been entered in a number of film festivals. Not Exactly Cooperstown is the story of how the film’s producer/director rediscovered his love for the national pastime through the Baseball Reliquary, an eclectic, fan-based think tank founded in 1996.

The Not Exactly Cooperstown DVD is available for $20.00 plus $3.00 shipping and handling through the Baseball Reliquary. Ordering information is available at

For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at You may also visit the Not Exactly Cooperstown website at

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

Save the date! SABR 43 is July 31-August 4, 2013 in Philadelphia

In case you missed it: SABR 43 will be held July 31-August 4, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hotel and registration information will be available soon at

Our 43rd annual convention will be highlighted by a Phillies home game at Citizens Bank Park. The San Francisco Giants are in town from July 30-August 1 and the Atlanta Braves will be in Philly for the weekend series on August 2-4.

The SABR Board of Directors awarded the 2013 national convention to Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Chapter during the 2011 annual business meeting at SABR 41. If you’d like to get involved with planning and organizing for the 2013 Philadelphia convention, please contact Seamus Kearney.

A call for papers for the 2013 issue of The National Pastime, our Philadelphia convention journal, can be found here.

The 2013 convention will be SABR’s 43rd annual gathering; the organization’s founding in Cooperstown in 1971 is counted as the first. SABR last held its national convention in Philadelphia in 1974 — our fourth annual meeting. Legendary sports writer Fred Lieb, one of the earliest SABR members, was the featured speaker. Other guest speakers included Phillies and Reds announcer Gene Kelley and former Negro Leagues player Ted Page.

For a multimedia history of all 42 past SABR conventions, including complete coverage of SABR 42 this summer in Minneapolis, click here.

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

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     Name Hometown
Tobias Blake Mishawaka, IN     Dan McHale Stuyvesant, NY
John Bowden Parksley, VA     Eugene Mullaney Watervliet, NY
Beau Chisholm Moscow, ID     Bernie Pleskoff Cave Creek, AZ
Daniel Dinardo Narberth, PA     Scott Ringold Carmel, IN
Joseph Evancich Philadelphia, PA     Ethan Schneider Medford, MA
Evan Ferber Medford, MA     Joseph Seawell Springfield, VA
Jack Friebe Bloomington, MN     Mark Simon Doylestown, PA
Michael Gries Chicago, IL     Dan Twetten Boulder, CO
Eleanor Hofstedt Medford, MA     Wiley Whitten Fort Worth, TX
Benuel Hostetter Lynchburg, VA     Evan Winter Medford, MA
Paul Kayman Chicago, IL     Bob Wyrick Crossville, TN
Richard Maniglia Paoli, PA     Derek Zahka Medford, MA


In Memoriam: Dean Coughenour

Dean Coughenour, 83, of Manhattan, Kansas, died at his residence on September 22, 2012.

Dean, a SABR member since 1973, was “a vital force in SABR”, according to John Thorn, and his Manhattan-based Ag Press was the first printer of SABR’s The National Pastime from its premiere issue in 1982 to 1989. The Ag Press also printed the Baseball Research Journal from 1984 to 1989.

Dean was considered an expert on turn-of-the-century minor leagues, and he had an extensive database which he maintained by hand for decades.

Born June 9, 1929, in McPherson, Kansas, the son of Glenn R. and Sarah (Freeburg) Coughenour, Dean graduated from McPherson High School in 1947 and studied History and English at McPherson College, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1951. While in high school and college, Dean enjoyed playing basketball and baseball.

He married the former Verlla Marie Hummer on August 24, 1951, in Waka, Texas, and they moved to Oberlin, Kansas, where Dean taught English at Oberlin High School and helped officiate basketball games. He then went to work as the managing editor of the Oberlin Herald newspaper for the next two years.

In 1958, they moved to Manhattan, where Dean became a partner in the Manhattan Tribune News & Grass and Grain, which later became known as Ag Press. Dean was active as owner and manager, retiring from the day-to-day operation in 1986.

Dean served the Manhattan community as a City Commissioner from 1973 until 1977, and as Mayor in 1977.

An avid sports fan, Dean especially loved playing tennis. He played daily for more than 40 years at the Manhattan Country Club and later at the Racquet Club. He was an avid reader, and he and Verlla enjoyed traveling.

He is survived by his wife, Verlla; three children, Tim Coughenour, Susan Lundstrom and husband Greg, and Evan Coughenour; two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Also surviving is his brother, Bob Coughenour, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Dean’s Life was held Thursday, September 27 at the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army, Manhattan, KS; McPherson College, McPherson, KS; or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502.

Research committee newsletters

  • There were no committee newsletters published this week.

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

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Originally published: September 27, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.