Monday, November 11, 2013
Congrats to all the BBTF members who contributed to the process!
Well, last year Rawlings announced that they would be using input from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) to help decide the winners of the Gold Glove awards going forward. At the time, there was quite a bit of healthy skepticism about the who, what and how of this new methodology, but then the 2013 Gold Gloves came out, and most sabermetrically-minded folks had precious little to complain about.*
* - Little to complain about is relative, especially on the internet. And we’ll get to this later. Promise.
At any rate, SABR and Rawlings invented not a true metric, but an index: the SABR Defensive Index (SDI). SDI was developed by the SABR Defensive Committee (good, smart folks), and takes into account most major defensive metrics and, well, you should probably just read a lot about it here. More importantly, this page also shows us how qualified players scored on the SDI. This is good. Transparency is very, very good. Take a minute and see where the actual winners and the SDI leaders intersect:
Here’s the full SABR SDI results.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
“Pete Palmer and John Thorn, two of the legendary figures in baseball research, explain why they joined SABR — and why you should, too.”
I joined pretty early; I think I was #27. If I had realized that Cooperstown was only a four-hour drive, I would have been at the kickoff meeting [on August 10, 1971].
Bob Davids was familiar with me since we both contributed to The Sporting News, and the fact that the editors decided to pretty much dispense with fan contributions encouraged Bob to start SABR in the first place. The three main reasons I have enjoyed SABR were meeting the guys, reading the publications and participating in research projects that would have been very difficult to do on my own.
This often involved particularly checking newspapers across the country. As a group, we collected research on 1927 AL caught stealing, 1912 NL sacrifice hits allowed, 1880s AA runs batted in and 1897-1908 batter hit by pitch. John Schwartz, Bob Bailey, Joe Ditmar, Ralph Horton, Bob Richardson, Walt Wilson, Herb Goldman, Joe Simenec, Lyle Spatz and others were very helpful. I worked with Bob McConnell straightening out [John] Tattersall’s home run log before it was computerized, and have corresponded with Frank Williams for over thirty years. Recently, I helped Jonathan Frankel collect batter strikeout data for 1897-1909.
I probably never would have met John Thorn.
I joined SABR thirty years ago, in part to cover that year’s convention in Toronto, on assignment for The Sporting News. Cliff Kachline — at that time the historian of the Baseball Hall of Fame, later SABR’s first executive director, and posthumously, not long ago, a recipient of the society’s Henry Chadwick Award — urged me to join. With my interests in baseball’s history and statistics, he assured me, I would feel instantly at home and would wonder why I had waited so long to join.
He was spectacularly right.
Posted: October 22, 2013 at 01:19 PM | 8 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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