The SABR Convention is often held in June or early July. My guess is the majority of members prefers it that way, as opposed to this time around in late July. But the timing is working out in that some of the parlor talk has centered around news of the trades.
I got to the hotel around 9 am. Took in the State of SABR meeting, the Vendors room and looked at the poster presentations. Sat down for several research presentations, which are the meat and potatoes for the convention. The one I enjoyed the most was Eric Weiss who looked at Babe Ruth versus Walter Johnson. His presentation included historical footage, a nice touch. I think Weiss said that in one game, Ruth pitched, batted clean up and went five for five.
The highlight of the day and biggest crowd was for Christina Kahrl who gave an excellent talk on sabermetrics in front of a crowded main ballroom. She said sabermetricians need to keep asking the right questions, and not necessarily try and come up with The Great Stat. She answered questions, one of which was what would be the five books to read to get smart on sabermetrics. Her answers were Weaver on Strategy, Baseball Prospectus Between the Numbers, The Hidden Game of Baseball, Alan Schwarz’s The Numbers Game and Bill James Historical Abstract.
Best part of the convention is meeting people. Among those who gave me their card, I met Diane Firstman who writes for Bronx Banter, and Steve Elsberry, who is the man wearing the A’s/Giants hat.
The convention is going quite well, a lot of out front leadership from Bruce Brown and the chapter staff. Great fun again today and the best line of the day goes to outgoing President Dick Beverage. During the State of SABR meeting, someone asked if SABR could provide some basic computer training to those members who need it.
Dick said, “Do you have a grandson?”