This Week in SABR: September 30, 2016

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 30, 2016:

Last chance! Get the Fall 2016 Baseball Research Journal delivered straight to your inbox

Once again, SABR is offering members the opportunity to opt out of receiving the printed version of the Fall 2016 Baseball Research Journal. We’ll deliver the e-book version of the Fall 2016 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 Saturday, October 1 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 2015 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.

Please complete the SABR Diversity and Inclusion Committee survey

SABR’s new Diversity and Inclusion Committee is dedicated to promoting outreach into traditionally underrepresented communities in our membership base. We would greatly appreciate the participation of all SABR members in a quick survey to help us ensure that future SABR events and activities provide a welcoming environment to individuals of all backgrounds.  

Click the link below to fill out the survey:

For questions, please contact Emily Hawks at Thanks for your help!

Early registration ends next week for 2016 SABR Arizona Fall League Experience

We hope you’ll join us for the eighth annual SABR Arizona Fall League Experience, which will be held Thursday, November 3 to Saturday, November 5, 2016. All baseball fans are welcome to attend.

The event will feature four AFL games — at four different ballparks — showcasing baseball’s top prospects. We’ll also have a ballpark dinner at Scottsdale Stadium with a special guest speaker and the Arizona Major League Alumni auction on Friday evening.

On Saturday, November 5, attendees will join members of SABR’s Flame Delhi Chapter for their regional fall meeting, with research presentations and guest speakers. We’ll conclude the conference with the nationally televised Fall Stars Game on Saturday evening at Surprise Stadium. All of this, including transportation, is included in one low registration price.

  • Register now by clicking here! Registration is $175 for all SABR members and guests before October 7, 2016; $195 afterward.
  • Host hotel: SABR’s recommended hotel is the Holiday Inn Express & Suites (3131 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251) in Old Town Scottsdale. Click here to book your room online or call the hotel at (480) 675-7665 and mention “SABR” to book your room at our special group rate of $116/night (plus tax).

Your registration fee includes all game tickets; an AFL Media Guide; a special evening with Arizona Major League Alumni; and transportation to and from all events.

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

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

Black baseball pioneer Weldy Walker finally receives a grave marker

The second African-American to play major-league baseball now has a proper grave marker, thanks to the efforts of SABR member Craig Brown and the Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project.

Weldy Walker played four games for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884, along with his brother Moses Fleetwood Walker, in the American Association. They were the first two African-Americans to play in the majors during the years before a ban was placed on players of color in baseball.

Brown spearheaded the fundraising effort to raise about $1,400 to purchase the grave marker at Union Cemetery in Steubenville, Ohio, where several members of the Walker family are buried.

“It would be one thing if they were just baseball players, but Weldy and his brother were extraordinary people at the same time,” Brown told the Toledo Blade. “They are some of the earliest civil rights pioneers post-Civil War. They were both very active.”

Click here to learn more about Weldy Walker’s life and career.

Since the Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project was formed in 2003, it has raised funds to mark the final resting places of dozens of black baseball greats like Hall of Famer Frank Grant, historian Sol White, pitcher John Donaldson, and others.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the SABR Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project, click here.

SABR members, cast your vote in the 2016 Esurance MLB Awards

SABR members once again have the opportunity to play a key role in selecting the winners of the 2016 Esurance MLB Awards. The votes from SABR members will be equal to each of the other four categories.

  • SABR members (20%)
  • fans (20%)
  • Front office personnel (20%)
  • Retired players (20%)
  • Media (20%)

This year’s Esurance MLB Awards will feature nominees in 20 suspenseful categories. Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer, Best Hitter, Best Pitcher, Best Rookie, Best Defensive Player, Best Social Media Personality, Best Play-Offense, Best Play-Defense, Best Moment, Best Performance, Best Social Media Post, Best Fan Catch, Best MLB Interview, Best Call, TV/Radio, Best Player-Fan Interaction, Best Trending Topic, Best Manager, and Best Executive.

Plus, check out the top MLB Fans of the Year presented by Esurance, including SABR member Emma X. Amaya, who was voted as the Los Angeles Dodgers Fan of the Year.

To cast your SABR vote in the 2016 Esurance MLB Awards, click here. Voting will remain open through November 11, 2016.

Visit to learn more. Winners will be announced live on MLB Network and on November 18, 2016.

SABR Digital Library: Boston’s First Nine: The 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings

The newest publication from the SABR Digital Library focuses on the first great dynasty in professional baseball:

Boston’s First Nine: The 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings
Edited by Bob LeMoine and Bill Nowlin
Associate editor: Len Levin

397 pages, 8.5″ x 11″
ISBN (ebook): 978-1-9438-1628-6, $9.99
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-9438-1629-3, $19.95

Before the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Braves, there were the Boston Red Stockings. They were “Boston’s First Nine” and 1871 through 1875, they won four consecutive pennants in the old National Association, considered by many to be baseball’s first major league. In this five-year period, the team only fielded 22 players — but, then again, these were the days of the “one-man rotation.” Who needed two pitchers, when one would do? And if that pitcher was Al Spalding, who won more than 50 games in back-to-back seasons of 1874 and 1875, that one pitcher was pretty good. Of the 22 players on the team, five of them are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

These were different days. The game was played a little differently from today — but not that differently. Take some time and enjoy the work of 38 SABR members. Several are among our leading 19th-century baseball experts; others became enthralled digging into the early days of professional baseball in Boston. There are fascinating stories of the men who played the game, the games, the seasons, the tours of Canada and even England and Ireland, where they took on some of the better cricket players of the British Isles, and beat them, too. 

Take a trip back to those glorious days of yesteryear, and see if you don’t become captivated as we were in learning about stories of baseball and life from more than 140 years ago. The book includes recaps of each season, 1871-75, informative articles about the team and front office, and player biographies.

Contributors include: Matt Albertson, David Arcidiacono, Andrew Arends, Charlie Bevis, Christopher J. Devine, Paul E. Doutrich, Brian Engelhardt, Charles F. Faber, Scott Fiesthumel, Terry D. Gottschall, Gerry Goulet, Donna L. Halper, Richard Hershberger, Joanne Hulbert, Jay Hurd, Bill Lamb, Bob LeMoine, Len Levin, Michael R. McAvoy, David McDonald, William McMahon, Eric Miklich, Peter Morris, David Nemec, Bill Nowlin, Mark Pestana, Mike Richard, Bob Ruzzo, William J. Ryczek, Mark Souder, David C. Southwick, Mark S. Sternman, John Thorn, Richard “Dixie” Tourangeau, Joe Williams, Jim Wohlenhaus, Gregory H. Wolf, and John Zinn.

SABR members, get this e-book for FREE!

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.

SABR members will get discounted rates for all Digital Library publications, including many for free. To find more SABR Digital Library books, visit

Register now for the 2016 SABR Philadelphia 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium

Join us for the Philadelphia 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium, co-hosted by SABR’s Nineteenth Century Research Committee and the Connie Mack/Philadelphia Chapter, will take place from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2016, at Maggiano’s Restaurant, 1201 Filbert St. in the Center City of Philadelphia.

We’ll have a full day of programming that will include a Welcoming Address by Major League Baseball’s Official Historian John Thorn; a Luncheon Keynote presentation by veteran Philadelphia newspaper reporters and editors Daniel R. Biddle and Murray Dubin, co-authors of Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America; a panel discussion on Philadelphia’s 19th Century Baseball’s Movers & Shakers, moderated by Dick Rosen; four other Research Presentations devoted to seldom addressed aspects of 19th-century baseball by such experts as Jerrold Casway, Ralph Carhart, Richard Hershberger, John Shiffert, and Matt Albertson.

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today!

For more information, please contact Peter Mancuso at

In Memoriam: José Fernández

José Fernández’s thousand-watt smile lit up every room he was in. No one could ever forget that joyful smile.

It didn’t matter if the Miami Marlins ace was standing on the mound in a crucial situation or in a nearly-empty ballpark hours before gametime. During this summer’s SABR 46 convention in Miami, we were treated to a glimpse of Fernández’s magnetism near the end of our special ballpark session at Marlins Park. Despite not being scheduled to play that day, Fernández grabbed a bat and proceeded to hit several long home runs in batting practice as our group of SABR convention attendees watched with delight. He gave a big smile as he exited the cage and signed autographs near the dugout afterward. It was a moment we’ll remember for a long time.

The baseball world was heartbroken to wake up Sunday morning and hear the news that Fernández, 24, had died in an overnight boating accident off the coast of Miami Beach. The charismatic Cuban pitcher, in just his fourth major-league season, was already a superstar, electrifying fans with his passion for the game and his tremendous talent. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and would have been a Cy Young Award contender this year and for many to come.

Fernández’s death in the prime of his career brought to mind other in-season baseball tragedies like Thurman Munson, Lyman Bostock, and Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty. But as SABR member Jay Jaffe writes in a recap of Fernandez’s career at Sports Illustrated, no player of Fernández’s caliber has died at such a young age since perhaps Jim Creighton, the 21-year-old Civil War-era pitching star.

With heavy hearts, the Marlins picked up their season on Monday in a somber return to the field against the New York Mets. Every player wore Fernandez’s No. 16, which the team announced would be retired afterward. In his first at-bat, Dee Gordon paid tribute to his teammate by batting right-handed to lead off the game and then improbably blasting a towering home run to right field, an emotional moment that touched the hearts of everyone around the sport. The magnitude of the occasion brought tears to Gordon’s eyes before he even crossed home plate.

We join the baseball world in mourning the death of José Fernández, who radiated joy and had so much greatness ahead of him.

Related links:

Nuclear Powered Baseball biographies now posted online

In SABR’s Nuclear Powered Baseball: Articles Inspired by The Simpsons Episode “Homer At the Bat,” edited by Emily Hawks and Bill Nowlin and published by SABR in 2016, we paid tribute to an iconic episode of the long-running animated show’s that featured the National Pastime.

The series has a long history with baseball and, in Season Three, the episode “Homer at the Bat” aired on February 20, 1992. Co-editor Emily Hawks writes in her Introduction, “To see so many of the biggest MLB stars of the day in Simpsonian animated form — Ken Griffey Jr., Ozzie Smith, and Jose Canseco, just to name a few — seemed the most exciting thing in the world to this ’90s kid. And the fact that they all lent their own voices to the parts seemed even cooler. It may have also been one of my first glimpses into baseball’s early days. As a kid, I had no idea that Mr. Burns’ dream squad — comprised of colorful names like Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pie Traynor, and Napoleon Lajoie — actually referenced real players. Those seemed like decidedly fabricated names to me!”

They weren’t. They were real ballplayers. And in Nuclear Powered Baseball, we wrote about them all, telling the stories of each player — past and present — featured in the classic Simpsons episode. The biographies compiled here take the players well beyond their two-dimensional caricatures, and present a well-rounded view of their lives in baseball. Even Homer Jay Simpson gets his own biography, too.

The SABR BioProject biographies that appeared in Nuclear Powered Baseball can now be read online at: /category/completed-book-projects/nuclear-powered-baseball

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

5 new stories published by the SABR Games Project

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

All new Games Project stories can be found here: /gamesproject/recent

  • Get involved: 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.
  • Still seeking a Chief Editor: For those of you who have reached out offering to edit or fact-check games over the past few weeks: Thank you! Thanks to numerous responses, we are now sufficiently staffed in this area to more quickly process game articles toward publication. However, we are still seeking a Chief Editor to help coordinate the editing for all Games Project stories. This is a crucial role that is necessary to keep the project running smoothly. If you are interested, please contact Greg Erion or Bruce Slutsky for more information.
  • Waiting for your story to appear? Due to changes in the editing team, it may be possible that Games Project stories submitted in the past few months for editing have been lost prior to their being vetted and published. If you have submitted an article and not heard back from an editor or seen your article published yet, please resubmit your article(s) to Len Levin at We are working hard to post all back stories that were submitted and we apologize for any inconvenience this development may have caused.

Listen to archives of Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM

Behind the Numbers: Baseball SABR Style on SiriusXM, a radio show hosted by SABR President Vince Gennaro, will be on hiatus during the MLB postseason. After the World Series ends, the show will air again at its regular time, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET on Sundays, on MLB Network Radio. But you can still listen to archives of recent episodes on-demand on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App.

You can also 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: /content/this-week-in-sabr-archives.

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
Todd Boothe Fairfield, OH     Edwin Hauryski Bath, NY
Nicolette Cavallaroi Lakewood, CO     Jason Katzman Astoria, NY
Chad Corey Wilmington, NC     Lawrence Knorr Mechanicsburg, PA
Gerard Demarest Edgewood, NM     Harry Lesser Jr. Herndon, VA
Isaac Ellowitz Plantation, FL     Robert Muncrief III Cleveland, OH
Jeff Fields Fairfax, VA     Philip Rosenzweig Sedbergh, ENG
Ralph Gibbs Timonium, MD     Rivi Schiff San Diego, CA
Fred Grandchamp Marquette, MI     Jeff Shoemaker Menasha, WI
Jay Haber Houston, TX     William Steinman Lexington, KY
Nathan Hattersley Tucson, AZ     Ross Taylor Chicago, IL


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:

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: September 30, 2016. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.