Image credit: Jacob Pomerenke/SABR

As many of you are aware, the SABR Analytics Conference was held this past weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. If you’re not familiar with the conference or the organization, SABR, then you’ll probably at least remember that every year we ask you to read and vote for the nominees for the SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards.

While we always hope to a) have someone(s) eligible and b) that you’ll vote for BP authors, the important part is voting at all—these are great pieces of research, analysis, and commentary, and they deserve (y)our attention. Voting takes place in early February, and the winners are announced at the conference. So while the Oscars took place last night, perhaps the more prestigious announcements were made on Saturday, and we have some good news…lots of it, in fact!

Four SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards

There are only four categories, which means it was a sweep! We are always proud of the work we do here at Baseball Prospectus, but it is an incredible honor and quite validating to see Ginny Searle, Robert Orr, Rob Mains, and Patrick Dubuque honored for their contributions. Especially in light of the high bar set by the other short-list nominees (and well beyond, quite frankly). The four winners join Russell A. Carleton as SABR Research Award-winning writers who are regular contributors[1] for BP. [Oscars Announcer Voice] It is the ninth overall SABR Research Award for Baseball Prospectus.

There was also serendipity afoot, as the four award-winners were all able to make the conference and accept their awards in person, on the same day that the Baseball Prospectus founders panel was taking place, and that founder Gary Huckabay was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

BP Founders Panel at SABR: (From left to right: Gary Huckabay, Christina Karl, Rany Jazayerli, Joe Sheehan, and Clay Davenport)
(From left to right: Gary Huckabay, Christina Karl, Rany Jazayerli, Joe Sheehan, and Clay Davenport)

A brief dispatch from Patrick Dubuque: For an hour, led by Will Carroll, Huckabay, Davenport, Kahrl, Sheehan, and Jazayerli held court, discussing the company’s origins (BP was nearly BO, if it hadn’t been the Baseball Farmer’s Almanac first), reviewed the obstacles and helpers as analytics gradually broke into the mainstream, and considered how much had changed since 1996, as well as how much stayed the same. The acerbic wit that was a hallmark of BP’s early days was untouched by time and distance, as the crew fired away at targets like certain former commissioners and bloodless modern applications of their original tools. It was a delightful reunion, and if SABR posts video footage of the event, make sure to watch.

Fortunately, the fine folks at SABR were smart enough (and convincing enough) to get a quick shot of Baseball Prospectus past and present together for one shot:

BP Past & Present: (Left to right: Keith Woolner, <span class=
(Left to right: Keith Woolner, James Click, Searle, Carroll, Dubuque, Dave Pease, Davenport, Jazayerli, Huckabay, Kahrl, Orr, Sheehan, Mains)

Huckabay’s honor is beyond deserved, and it was special to be able to celebrate the current staff’s awards alongside the founders and alumni of the company, and vice versa.

We’ll close with another hearty congratulations to all our honorees, and if you’ve not read their award-winning work, we’ve provided the chance to do so below:

Contemporary Baseball Analysis Award:

Quantifying the Corey Seager Approach, Robert Orr

Contemporary Baseball Commentary Award:

The Wrong Lessons Learned, Ginny Searle

Historical Baseball Analysis/Commentary Award:

The Other Aging Curve, Patrick Dubuque

John Dewan Defensive Analytics Award:

Fielding, It Turns Out, Does Slump, Rob Mains

If you’re not familiar with the work we do here at BP, we hope that these awards serve as a reason to take notice; as top-tier entree into our style of thinking, writing, and researching. If you are familiar, we encourage you to let your friends know about us. We’re always looking to expand our audience and engage with new readers, and these free articles are a great place to start. An annual subscription runs cheaper than most individual newsletters, and we publish more than 2,000 articles a year. Some of them are pretty good. Pick up a subscription here.

[1] Wayne Boyle, Sean O’Rourke, Jeff Long, and Harry Pavlidis won in 2019 for Robo Strike Zone: It’s Not as Simple as You Think,

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Jon Crate
Congrats to everyone here. There's a reason you guys are the only website I have a subscription to.
alex chidester
Congrats, that's a wonderful achievement.
Congrats to all, well deserved! Each of these pieces was truly excellent - both in the moment and upon reflection - and highlight the worth of a BP subscription.

I love the lyrical, less-analytical essays (similar to Ginny and Patrick's winning work noted above). Jeffrey also has written a few excellent pieces in this category from his minor league scouting dispatches. The high-quality analytical approaches to writing will always be BP's bread and butter but count me as a vote for more of the long-form pieces with less structure. I'm only an n of 1 but there's really nowhere else to get that type of baseball-adjacent writing on the internet these days.
Craig Goldstein
Thank you, Dev, for these very kind words. We absolutely want to be a home for writing of all kinds, from the analytical breakdowns to the essay qualities you describe. It means so much to us that it means something to you.

And thank you to everyone for the kind comments on this post. We really appreciate it.
Shaun P.
Congratulations and thank you for sharing those photos! Please do let us know if/when SABR posts the founder's panel video online. I am sure I'm not the only one who would like to see it.
Wow! Super cool you guys! BP is by far the best subscription I have.