Skip to content
You are here: Home Chapter News Event recaps June 16, 2012 Meeting in Seattle
June 16, 2012 Meeting in Seattle
Written by Mark Brunke   

The Northwest Chapter of SABR held a meeting in the conference room of the Seattle Pacific University Library from 12 to 5 PM on Saturday, June 16, 2012.

The meeting was attended by 16 members of the Northwest chapter. We had five member presentations.

The meeting started with announcements of upcoming events. Dave Baldwin will be giving a talk titled "The Weird Science of Baseball" at an event called Triple Play in Yachats, Oregon. The event starts at noon on July 28. Our next meeting will be August 11 at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver, B.C. Details about both events can be found under the Upcoming Events banner on our Web site. Our next U.S. meeting will be November 3, also at the Seattle Pacific University Library. Past president Tim Herlich will be presenting “21,“ about Tom Cheney’s amazing 21-strikeout game, at the Hall of Fame. This presentation won the Doug Pappas Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2009 SABR National Convention.

The first presentation was by Steve Steinberg: The Day John McGraw Lost Control of His Team...and Quit. Steve’s presentation covered the events leading up to, during, and following a game played on October 3, 1916 between McGraw’s Giants and Brooklyn, which was led by his former teammate, business partner, and pitching coach Wilbert Robinson. Steve’s presentation covered issues, relationships, and characters surrounding McGraw’s behaviour during and after the game. He showed material published in the newspapers that failed to document the full story. Steve will be doing an abridged version of this presentation at the convention.

The second presentation was by John Henshell, titled Strength of Schedule: The Hidden Context Factor. John explained the history of the schedule and how it became progressively unbalanced. He noted that all-in-one formulas do not include strength of schedule, yet it is the most significant context factor for evaluating and comparing players and teams. As examples, John showed how strength of schedule benefitted recent award winners Josh Hamilton and Clayton Kershaw. As a sidebar, he documented that ballpark effect on performance is highly individual, and formulas that standardize it hide more truth than they reveal. John showed that the AL has dominated regular season, All-Star, and World Series interleague play in the past 20 years.

Mark Brunke‘presentation was about Leadoff Hitters. Mark presented a study of 189 leadoff hitters from 1919-2011, looking at their per-game averages and career production. He contrasted using Times on Base with Reaching on Error to OBP to find players who reach on error a signficant amount of time. Mark then presented a set of three formulas to show which leadoff hitters:

  • produced the most bases per game from total bases, walks, hit-by-pitch, reached-on-error, and stolen bases;
  • had the most extra bases per game; and
  • reached first base while not producing an out the most times per game.

Melissa Booker‘s presentation, “The Undefinable Satchel Paige,” objectively documented the many conflicting sources of factual information about Paige’s life and career. Melissa described the difficulty of evaluating Paige’s performance through statistics. For instance, he often left ballgames before the fifth inning once he acomplished what he wanted to prove. She discussed the sources of information and evaluated their credibility. Melissa will be reprising her presentation at the 15th annual Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Cleveland next month.

The final presentation was by Tip Wonhoff, entitled 40th Anniversary of Curt Flood v. Bowie Kuhn. Tip opened with a slide showing Marvin Miller speaking to players about Curt Flood. Tip then described the case, which was decided on June 19, 1972, and how its impact lead to arbitration and free agency. Tip also presented an overview of the legal decisions going back to the Federal League case (1922) and Toolson (1953), and looked at the substance of the Supreme Court’s decision, including Justice Harry Blackmun’s listing of 83 players he considered greats of the game, and that Blackmun always regretted not including Mel Ott on that list.

Last Updated on Saturday, 21 July 2012 09:49

Upcoming Events

No current events.

Chapter Officers

Bob Russon 
Portland, President

Tip Wonhoff
Tacoma, Vice President

Mark Brunke
Seattle, Secretary

Tim Herlich
Seattle, Treasurer