SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference

2020 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference

The second annual Women in Baseball Conference, sponsored by SABR and the International Women’s Baseball Center, and hosted by Rockford University, was held on September 11-13, 2020.

This year’s conference was a virtual event centered around the theme “Celebrating African American Women in Baseball.”

In addition to learning about topics such as the Dolly Vardens, Maud Nelson, Tillie Ford, the Hagerstown Mollys, and much more, there was a celebration of the Negro Leagues Centennial on Saturday night, with a special design unveiling for a memorial pylon in Rockford. The celebration was followed by the announcement of Effa Manley as the 2020 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award winner.

Our keynote speaker on Friday night was Lauren Meyer, Emmy Award-nominated director of The Other Boys of Summer.

Saturday was highlighted by a Player Panel that included MLB’s Elizabeth Benn, Rachel Folden of the Chicago Cubs, Team Canada’s Marika Lyszczyk, Bianca Smith from Carroll University, and Madison Femia.

Sunday’s events included a panel discussion on working as a Black woman in baseball with agent Lonnie Murray, Maacah Scott of the Chicago White Sox, and Jacara Ware of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Attendees could also participate in the SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Raffle. Prizes included autographed baseballs, caps, and books from IWBC authors, SPoRT Makeup kits, Rockford Peaches apparel, and the grand prize — a personal phone call from AAGPBL legend and IWBC founder Maybelle Blair.

Click on a link below to find the full presentation schedule and watch video highlights from each day.

Click play to watch highlights from Day 1 of the 2020 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference on Friday, September 11.

(Link: YouTube)

The video above includes the following sessions (use the timestamps to skip ahead):

  • (0:01) Welcome Remarks and Conference Overview: Dr. Kat Williams, President, IWBC; Scott Bush, CEO, SABR; Dr. Eric Fulcomer, President, Rockford University
  • (15:56) Allison R. Levin, “What Does 6-4-3 Mean? The Role of Non-CIS Males in Baseball Fandom”
  • (50:25) Dr. Kat Williams, “Isabel ‘Lefty’ Alvarez”
  • (1:23:23) Dr. Rebecca Herman, “An Analysis of MLB’s 15-Year Gender Report Card”

(Link: YouTube)

The video above includes the following sessions (use the timestamps to skip ahead):

  • (25:05) Ethan Bryan, “A Year of Playing Catch”
  • (50:35) Dr. Kat Williams, “Preview of new IWBC Exhibit”
  • (1:08:23) Keynote Speaker: Lauren Meyer, Director, “The Other Boys of Summer”
  • (1:58:11) Paul Spyhalski, “Tillie Ford, Early African American Baseball Pioneer”

Click play to watch highlights from Day 2 of the 2020 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference on Saturday, September 12.

(Link: YouTube)

The video above includes the following sessions (use the timestamps to skip ahead):

  • (0:01) Player Panel: Rachel Folden, Chicago Cubs; Marika Lyszczyk, Team Canada; Elizabeth Benn, MLB; Madison Femia; Bianca Smith
  • (1:14:39) Keith Spalding Robbins, “Harriet Goodwill Spalding”
  • (1:46:50) Tavi Kodiak, “Rewriting the Baseball Rules”
  • (2:17:49) Bridget Mulcahy, “A Great Day For Baseball”
  • (3:00:49) Karen Holleran, “Dolly Vardens: 1st African American Women’s Baseball Team”
  • (3:29:38) Dr. Milbert O. Brown Jr., “Put That Sister on the Field”
  • (4:01:46) Kate Haines, “Community Archives and the Black Female Baseball Player”
  • (4:31:12) Kristi Fane, “Digital Collection Management Resource”

(Link: YouTube)

The video above includes the Negro Leagues Centennial Celebration and Pylon Unveil, moderated by Dr. Kat Williams and Leslie Heaphy, followed by the announcement of the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Perry Barber.

Click here to learn more about the IWBC memorial pylon in Rockford, Illinois.

Click play to watch highlights from Day 3 of the 2020 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference on Sunday, September 14.

(Link: YouTube)

The video above includes the following sessions (use the timestamps to skip ahead):

  • (0:01) Panel Discussion: Being a Black Woman is my Superpower, with Lonnie Murray, Maacah Scott, and Jacara Ware
  • (48:14) Leslie C. Morey, “Breaking the Rules: The Statistical Impact of Rule Changes in the AAGPBL”
  • (1:29:29) Perry Barber, “The (Maud) Nelson Effect”
  • (1:56:33) Callie Batts Maddox, “ ‘No Tagging Unless You Have the Ball!’: The Depiction of Women in Baseball Digest Cartoons”
  • (2:24:53) Luisa Gauci, “Physical Disparities between Elite Male and Female Ball Players”
  • (2:57:02) Jennifer Madison, “MLB Could Do Better”

Here is the schedule of events for the 2020 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference. Click here to view full presenter bios and abstracts.

Note: All times listed are in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).

Friday, September 11

  • 2:00-2:30 p.m.: Welcome Remarks and Conference Overview
    Dr. Kat Williams, President, IWBC
    Scott Bush, CEO, SABR
    Dr. Eric Fulcomer, President, Rockford University
  • 2:30-3:00 p.m.: What Does 6-4-3 Mean? The Role of Non-CIS Males in Baseball Fandom, Allison R. Levin
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m.: “Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez, Dr. Kat Williams
  • 3:30-4:00 p.m.: An Analysis of MLB’s 15-Year Gender Report Card, Rebecca Herman
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Break
  • 5:00-5:45 p.m.: Social hour/talking women’s baseball/ book reading by Ethan Bryan, A Year of Playing Catch
  • 5:45-6:00 p.m.: Preview of new IWBC Exhibit, Dr. Kat Williams, IWBC President
  • 6:00-6:45 p.m.: Keynote Speaker: Lauren Meyer, Director, The Other Boys of Summer
  • 6:45-7:15 p.m.: Tillie Ford, Early African American Baseball Pioneer, Paul Spyhalski

Saturday, September 12

  • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Player Panel: Madison Femia, Geneva (IL) High School; Rachel Folden, Chicago Cubs, Marika Lyszczyk, Team Canada; Bianca Smith, Carroll (WI) University; Elizabeth Benn, MLB
  • 12:00-12:15 p.m.: Break
  • 12:15-12:45 p.m.: Harriet Goodwill Spalding, Keith Robbins
  • 12:45-1:15 p.m.: A Great Day For Baseball, Bridget Mulcahy
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m.: Rewriting the Baseball Rules, Tavi Kodiak
  • 1:45-2:00 p.m.: Break
  • 2:00-2:30 p.m.: Dolly Vardens: 1st African American Women’s Baseball Team, Karen Holleran
  • 2:30-3:00 p.m.: Put That Sister on the Field, Dr. Milbert O. Brown Jr.
  • 3:00-3:30 p.m.: Community Archives and the Black Female Baseball Player, Kate Haines
  • 3:30-4:00 p.m.: Digital Collection Management Resource, Kristi Fane
  • 4:00-5:00 p.m.: Break
  • 5:00-6:00 p.m. Negro Leagues Centennial Celebration and Pylon Unveil, followed by Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award winner announcement.
  • 6:30-7:15 p.m.: Doing Women’s Baseball Research discussion, moderated by Leslie Heaphy

Sunday, September 13

  • 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.: Being a Black Woman is my Superpower, Lonnie Murray, Maacah Scott, and Jacara Ware
  • 12:00-12:30 p.m.: Breaking the Rules: The Statistical Impact of Rule Changes in the AAGPBL, Leslie C. Morey
  • 12:30-1:00 p.m.: Break
  • 1:00-1:30 p.m.: The Nelson Effect, Perry Barber
  • 1:30-2:00 p.m.: “No Tagging Unless You Have the Ball!”: The Depiction of Women in Baseball Digest Cartoons, Callie Batts Maddox
  • 2:00-2:30 p.m.: Physical Disparities between Elite Male and Female Ball Players, Luisa Gauci
  • 2:30-3:00 p.m. MLB Could Do Better, by Jennifer Madison
  • Past coverage: Click here for highlights and photos from the 2019 SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference, held in conjunction with the Arizona Fall League

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