This Week in SABR: September 9, 2011

Here’s what we’ve been up to as of September 9, 2011:

Register now for SABR Arizona Fall League Conference

As we announced last week, we hope you’ll join us for the third annual SABR Arizona Fall League Conference on November 3-5, 2011, at the Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa.

The schedule is expected to include:

  • Four AFL games, including the premier Rising Stars Game on November 5 in Surprise and games at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and Hohokam Park in Mesa.
  • Major League Alumni Awards Dinner: Roland Hemond will receive the AZMLA Legacy Award
  • A tour of the “Play Ball: The Cactus League Experience” museum exhibit at the Arizona Historical Society in Tempe
  • A tour of Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Research presentations and guest speakers

Two of baseball’s top prospects, Bryce Harper of the Nationals and Mike Trout of the Angels, reportedly will play in the same outfield for the 2011 Scottsdale Scorpions.

Registration for the conference is available now at the SABR Store: $125 for SABR members and guests, or $159 for nonmembers. The conference is open to all baseball fans.

The Hilton Phoenix East/Mesa is at 1011 West Holmes Avenue, Mesa, AZ 85210. SABR has reserved a block of rooms for $99/night (plus tax) for the nights of November 3-5. Click here to book your room online or call (800) 544-5866 and tell them you’re registering for the SABR Arizona Fall League Conference. Conference attendees will receive complimentary parking, complimentary breakfast buffet (for up to two people per room) and complimentary wireless high-speed Internet in guest rooms. Please book your room by October 18 to guarantee a spot.

Three new biographies posted at SABR BioProject

Three new biographies were posted this week as part of the SABR Baseball Biography Project, bringing us to a total of 1,663 published biographies:

All new biographies can be found here:

Liddi makes history as first Italian-born-and-raised major leaguer

On Wednesday, Seattle Mariners infielder Alex Liddi became just the seventh Italian-born player in major league history and the first graduate of MLB’s European Academy to make the big leagues. He’s also the first Italian player who was raised primarily in that country, not in North America. Did you know you can look up every major leaguer born in a particular U.S. state or country at, using data compiled largely by members of SABR’s Biographical Research Committee? Here’s the link:

The first Italian-born major leaguer was Lou Polli, who made 24 appearances for the St. Louis Browns (1932) and New York Giants (1944), but won 262 games in the minors. You can read his SABR biography here:

Tom Simon’s biography of Polli first appeared in Green Mountain Boys of Summer: Vermonters in the Major Leagues 1882-1993 (New England Press, 2000), which is one of many titles you can now purchase at the SABR Bookstore.

Special SABR discount: You can contact Tom Simon at to order an individually numbered hardcover Collector’s Edition of Green Mountain Boys of Summer (retail: $50) for a special SABR discount of $15 (plus $5 postage). The offer will end when the books are gone, so order yours from Tom today.

Curt Walker: The greatest Reds player you’ve never heard of

In its research on the 100 greatest Cincinnati Reds players, The Cincinnati Enquirer stumbled upon the obscure story of hard-hitting 1920s outfielder Curt Walker.

SABR member Greg Rhodes offers perspective on this All-Star-caliber player who recorded double digits in triples in every season he spent at Crosley Field:

“His statistics are very similar to Ken Griffey Sr. Would Griffey still be remembered by Reds fans if he had played in the 1920s instead of with the Big Red Machine? Probably not. And that isn’t a knock on Griffey, just when you come along, and who you play with.”

Would you be interested in writing Curt Walker’s SABR biography? Walker is one of many players and figures in baseball who are currently unassigned in the Baseball Biography Project. Get started by visiting our BioProject Resources page or reading the FAQs section.

Upcoming SABR events:

In other recent SABR news:

All previous editions of This Week in SABR can be found here.

Find more information about SABR and at the Members’ Info page here:

Originally published: September 9, 2011. Last Updated: April 3, 2020.