SABR and baseball news included below:
Regional Meeting Recap
Baseball Research Award
coming up on Saturday, February 23rd
From the Sultan’s
Baseball Research at the Library of Congress
Talking Fanning Bees
Special Events Coordinator for the Department of Energy, 1977-1981, and
founder of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) in 1971, passed
away in his sleep on the morning of February 10, 2002, in Washington, D.C.
Born on a farm
near Kanawha, Iowa, March 19, 1926, he served in the Army Air Force, 1944-46,
with overseas service on Okinawa. He received a bachelor of Journalism degree
from the University of Missouri in 1949, a Masters of Arts in History from
the same institution in 1951, and a PhD in International Relations from
Georgetown University in 1961.
Dr. Davids began
his Federal civilian service career in Washington with the Department of
Defense in 1951. From 1952 to 1958 he was assistant editor and then editor of
the Navy Civil Engineer Corps Bulletin.
In that capacity he served in April 1953 as the Navy information officer for Operation Hardtop, a Navy Seebee
experiment to snowpack an airfield runway on the icecap of Northern
Greenland. (This snowpacking technique was used later in Operation Deepfreeze in the Antarctic). While in the Arctic, he
journeyed with the Thule Air Base Commander and Danish Governor of North
Greenland to an Eskimo village a few miles north of the Air Base to present a
gift on behalf of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps to Ootah, who accompanied
Civil Engineer Robert E. Peary, Matthew Henson, and three other Eskimos on
the 1909 North Polar expedition. A pictorial interview was conducted. Ootah
died two years later, the last survivor of the expedition.
transferred to the Atomic Energy Commission in 1958 and served sequentially
as a technical reports officer and a long-range planning officer. In 1964 he
was on special assignment compiling Presidential documents on nuclear energy
for the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library. In late 1968 he received a Congressional
Fellowship, spending the next year working in the offices of Sen. Mark
Hatfield and Rep. Robert Taft, Jr., where he wrote speeches and helped
prepare legislation. While working in Rep. Taft’s office in July 1969, he
traveled with the Ohio Congressman and North Carolina’s Rep. Wilmer Mizell to
Cincinnati, home of the 1869 Red Stockings, to participate in the ceremonies
marking the 100th anniversary of professional baseball. Returning to AEC
later in 1969, he prepared the Weekly Report to the White House. He also
served as speech writer for AEC chairman Glenn T. Seaborg, and later, Dixie
Lee Ray, who served until the agency was dissolved in January 1975.
Mr. Davids then
joined one of the AEC successor agencies, the Energy Research and Development
Administration, as Chief of the Special Projects Branch. In April-May 1977,
he headed the U.S. secretariat at the International Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Conference in Salzburg, Austria. Later that year he became Special Events
Coordinator for the newly-formed Department of Energy. This work involved
setting up Government dedications of various energy facilities and
demonstrations of energy conservation measures. When the Reagan
administration took over in 1981, there were policy changes and Mr. Davids
retired from Federal Service at age 55.
writer/historian, he had published many articles on Congressional history in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill
publication, between 1960 and 1975. Similarly, he wrote many byline articles
on baseball for The Sporting News,
published in Saint Louis, between 1951 and 1965. When the latter publication
reduced its coverage of baseball to report more fully on other sports, he had
no outlet for his statistical and historical articles.
In April 1971,
he started a monthly newsletter called Baseball
Briefs. Encouraged by the early response, he invited subscribers to an
organization meeting in Cooperstown, New York, August 10, 1971. Sixteen
baseball historians and fans came and adopted the constitution for the
Society for American Baseball Research. What was expected to be a cozy
research group with its own publications operated out of Davids’ Northwest
Washington home for ten years as he prepared and mailed The SABR Bulletin and Baseball
Research Journal. Substantial growth took place and by 1986 there were
more than 6,000 members around the world, annual conventions were attended by
up to 600 members, and baseball book publishing flourished. The Bob Davids
Award, the Society’s highest honor, became an annual award in 1985, and the
Baltimore-Washington Chapter was named for him in 1986.
period Mr. Davids was actively involved in numerous community activities. He
was commissioner of the Washington-area Church Fellowship Softball League
from 1967 to 1987. He donated 9 ½ gallons of blood to the Red Cross prior to
heart bypass surgery in 1982. He prepared and served meals at Shepard’s Table
in Silver Spring 1988-2002. He was an active member of the Washington
Christian Reformed Church, 1953-1969, and helped to organize its daughter
church in Silver Spring in the latter year. There he served as a deacon and
head usher, 1969-2002.
Yvonne Revier, a Pentagon administrative assistant, in 1953. They had one
daughter, Roberta Davids-Hagen, of Cabin John, MD and two grandsons.
On February 2nd
we held our chapter’s annual Super Bowl Saturday regional meeting at the San
Diego Hall of Champions. Bill
Swank, author of the book “Echoes from Lane Field,” started things off
with a presentation covering the career of early 20th century home
run leader Gavy Cravath who was born and raised in the Escondido area. A surprise highlight was the attendance of
Cravath’s granddaughter, Ginger McMillan.
Ginger brought along with her a replica of her grandfather’s plague from
the Phillies Hall of Fame.
Next up, Autumn (Durst) Keltner, daughter of major
and minor league player and manager, Cedric Durst, provided a first hand
summary of her father’s career.
Interesting were her personal memories of many ballplayers including
Babe Ruth. She also displayed numerous
photos, programs, correspondence and other memorabilia. Perhaps topping everything was Autumn’s
story about finding an old cigar box in her home with 35mm color slides that
turned out to be of Ted Williams dating from a Lane Field December 1941 series
in San Diego.
Our chapter was again fortunate to have Andy
McCue give his annual review on the roster of new baseball books on the
market. As usual, Andy saves many of us
a lot of money on book purchases with his wise advice!
Bill Adams, former Padres executive and President
of the Hall of Champions, gave members an update on the Hall’s expansive new
baseball exhibit due to be ready by April 15th.
Closing out the meeting, Dan Boyle was the winner
Naiman’s trivia quiz.
Do you know of
some high school students with an interest in baseball? Perhaps you have a high school student in
A few weeks ago we
mentioned that our Chapter has initiated a new award for baseball research for
high school students. The announcements
are out…pass the word around! Details
are below, or contact A. Newton, email@example.com, for further information.
Baseball Research Award was established in honor of one of our Chapter’s
members and a researcher, Bob Boynton.
The Award is to recognize academic research on the subject of baseball,
accomplished by San Diego county high school students (9th through
12th grades). The award will
be a cash honorarium and granted annually in two amounts for First prize ($200)
and Second prize ($100).
The research may cover any topic on the subject of
baseball using a wide variety of research methods, for example:
Biographical, episodes in the life of a baseball person
Historical, discussion of a time period of a baseball
strategy, theory or
analysis of how the game is played
analysis of specific measures of players and/or team performance
of view, discussing a
theme or topic in baseball
criteria for awarding First and Second prizes will be:
adequate defense of idea(s) or statistic(s)
contribution to the body of knowledge about
It is suggested
that a high school teacher or administrator supervise the research. The prize winners will be invited to present
their research at a meeting of the San Diego Ted Williams Society for American
Baseball Research chapter.
research shall be completed and the report submitted to the Award Committee by March 15, 2002.
The report should be 1,500 to 3,000 words, excluding notes and
bibliography. It must be submitted in
hard copy, double-spaced in 12 point font on 8 1/2 X 11 plain white paper. The report should also be submitted on a 3.5
disk using MicroSoft Word.
What: Pacific Coast League (PCL)
Historical Society Annual Reunion
Where: San Diego
Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
February 23, 2002 -- 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
former players, family members of former players all will be on hand for this
reunion. There also will be memorabilia for sale. At 12 noon there will be a
luncheon led by SABR member and PCL Historical Society's President, Dick
Beverage (the luncheon costs $18...send a check payable to PCLHS, c/o 420
Robinson Circle, Placentia, CA 92870).
After lunch there
will be several panels:
one that will
cover "The First Padres" from 1936 by several Ted Williams Chapter
playing in San Diego's Lane Field by former players; and
a third about
San Diego's Westgate Park by former sportswriters.
“The Squibber” is
a bimonthly newsletter is produced by the Bob Davids Chapter of SABR, which
serves members in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and parts of
Pennsylvania and Delaware. Check out
the Chapter's website at: http://www.sabrdc.org/. Larry McCray, editor, graciously allowed us
to use some of their material.
Ripken Museum can be found off Exit 85 of Interstate 95 near Aberdeen, about 40
miles north of Baltimore. [New construction on the West side of I-95, at
milepost 85.3, is the new Ripken Stadium and Academy.]
newspaper reporter once asked a clever rhetorical question about the compact
museum -- "Is it worth a short stop?" The answer is yes, especially
if a young admirer of Cal is in the car with you. The museum is a well-signed
five-minute drive from the I-95 off-ramp, the entrance fee is only $3 for
adults, and you won't spend a whole afternoon lingering there. The big catch is
that you may find it closed, depending on the season; the volunteer-staffed
Museum advises that you call ahead to 410-273-2525 to confirm when the doors
Museum is dedicated to the whole ball-playing Ripken clan [six of them played
pretty serious hardball], not just to Cal. It occupies a part of a former bank
building, and will eventually triple in size. For an online taste of what's
there, visit Cal's official site at http://cbs.sportsline.com/u/fans/celebrity/ripken/museum/tour.html,
or maybe go to the plainer official museum site at http://www.ripkenmuseum.com/. There's a
good range of game-used artifacts on display, ranging from youth league
uniforms to the game ball from the very dawning of The Streak to the lineup
card for Cal Senior's first MLB game as manager of two sons.
you're in Aberdeen, take five minutes to do two other things. First, glimpse
the statue of Cal out on the nearby lawn, and ponder a moment why they
immortalize an Iron Man in bronze. Then, walk a few steps up Howard Street to
#18, where there is a tiny but charming exhibit devoted to Les German, another
major leaguer from Aberdeen. German, a pitcher/3B, played with Washington's NL
club in 1896-7, enduring a 2-20 record in 1896 but sporting a career BA of
.260. He later turned up as a sharpshooter in Annie Oakley's tour. [Meanwhile,
across the way there, grampa Ahrend Ripken -- a local lumber yard worker -- was
launching a long streak of family baseball talent.]
[Note: A longer version of this Ripken
Museum review, and the full set of 9 past "Around the Horn" reviews,
is at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~mccrayl/ATH.htm.]
longball results for the 2001 season, provided by the Sultan of Swat Stats
Busts Ralph's Record . . . Ted's, Too --Barry Bonds set a new single-season home run record in 2001
with 73. He hit 71 of them as the left
fielder, breaking Ralph Kiner's 52-year old record of 54 in LF. (This year
Luis Gonzalez hit 57 in LF to top Kiner as well.) Bonds also passed Ted
Williams for the career lead in LF with 539; Teddy Ballgame hit 477 when
tending the northern pasture.
Slump Spares Ferrell's Mark -- Mike Hampton hit 7 homers as a pitcher this year, which is the second highest total for moundsmen;
Wes Ferrell hit 9 in 1931 and 6 other pitchers have socked 7 through the years.
Hampton's last homer came on August 9th.
Klobbers-- Bret Boone set a new AL home run mark for second basemen with 36, topping Joe Gordon's 1948 record of 32.
Alex Rodriguez became the first shortstop
to hit 50 homers as he slammed 52 in 2001, thus breaking Ernie Banks' record 47
Power -- Craig Wilson hit 7 pinch
homers this year to tie Dave Hansen's record from 2000. Both David Dellucci and
Erubiel Durazo hit 5 pinch homers for the Diamondbacks in 2001.
to check your knowledge of the all-time leaders at each position? Take a look
[Note: The Library of Congress'
Dave Kelly is well known to eminent baseball writers and researchers for his
helpfulness and his fascination with all elements of the game of baseball. Note 2: The following squib is
based on a very rich, helpful and complete document to be found at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~mccrayl/LOC.htm
-- go there!]
Getting Started at the LOC
Library of Congress is on Capitol Hill and comprises three buildings (Jefferson
["LJ"], Adams ["LA"], and Madison ["LM"])
connected by tunnels; initial access should be made at the front door of any of
the buildings. The Library of Congress is a closed stack library. Except for
reference materials on open shelves in the various reading rooms, material must
be requested using call slips available in the individual reading rooms. The
time it takes to deliver material that has been requested varies by reading room
and collection. Some reading rooms can retrieve materials in as little as 15
minutes; books and bound periodicals generally take from one to one and a half
Library-issued user card is required to request materials from the stacks. User
cards are free and must be renewed every 2 years. They are issued by Reader
Registration (Madison Building LM 140). A picture ID with current address is
necessary to obtain a user card. Some reading rooms (Manuscript, Prints and
Photographs) require additional registration. Additionally, some reading rooms
(Main, Manuscript, Prints and Photographs, Rare Book) restrict materials that
may be brought in. If this is a concern it may be advisable to contact the
specific reading room before coming to the Library. More detailed information
can be found in the publication Information for Researchers. A copy may
be requested by or by email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
will want to select from among the following reading rooms [Dave's full
document shows the hours, and typical baseball holdings, for each: Ed.] Main
Reading Room -- LJ 100, Microform Reading Room -- LJ 139B, Manuscript Reading
Room -- LM 101, Prints and Photographs Reading Room -- LM 339, Newspaper and
Current Periodicals Reading Room -- LM 133, Geography and Map Reading Room --
LM B01, Performing Arts Reading Room -- LM 113, Motion Picture and Broadcasting
Reading Room -- LM 336.
The General Collections
Library's book and bound periodical collections published after 1800 are
referred to as the "general collections." Material in the general
collections can be requested either in the Main Reading Room in the Jefferson
Building or the Science, Technology and Business Reading Room on the 5th
floor of the Adams Building. Almost all of the Library's baseball books have
call numbers beginning with the letters GV and are shelved in the Adams
Building. It is always much faster to request books in the building in which
they are located, avoiding having them sent to a different building.
Indexes and Abstracts
Library subscribes to numerous electronic indexes, although in many cases
coverage is limited to the last twenty years. The Main Reading Room maintains
paper copies of these indexes both retrospectively and for the years covered
electronically. Unlike the computer catalog for book holdings, these indexes
must be searched on-site. Since indexes are available commercially, they are
also available at many public and academic libraries.
paper here lists 12 of the most useful search indexes. Ed]
For Dave's six-page guide, Baseball
Research at the Library of Congress, go to http://members.bellatlantic.net/~mccrayl/LOC.htm.
Interested in the
history of the American Association?
Rex Hamann publishes a newsletter entitled “The American Association
Almanac” at a rate of $8.00 per year.
The February 2002 issue deals with “Workhouse Catchers.” If you want to subscribe contact Rex at:
We were contacted
by Thomas Barthel who has written a book called Walkie-Talkie Fanning Bees.
It tells the story of many patriotic Americans who happened to be
baseball men during the Second World War. Asked to entertain in present and
former combat areas all over the world, six groups comprising 26 players,
managers, umpires and writers answered the call. (Six of the men would be
elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.) Answering the call meant
risking death and terrible diseases, and travel from the Aleutians to New
Guinea, but it gave the baseball men the chance to contribute to the war
scheduled to publish a book on Joe Medwick in the spring with Scarecrow Press
and a book on Pepper Martin with McFarland.
For more information and ordering details, go to the book's web site
found at http://us.geocities.com/tombart0/index.html.
Checks will be accepted (the cost is $18 for first class shipping):