Oklahoma Chapter/Society for American Baseball Research

SABRlogo-1200pxThe Oklahoma Chapter of SABR was formed in May 2011. The chapter meets 3 to 4 times per year to share baseball-related experiences, memories, and knowledge. SABR members, guests and interested non-members are welcome. Meanwhile, please feel free to explore our site. Meaningful comments are always appreciated.

Howard L. Johnson, Chapter President


SABR-OK/Chisolm Trail Museum Event 10-17-2015, 12:30 PM

The Chisholm Trail Museum in Kingfisher is joining with the SABR-OK chapter to host a special event on Saturday October 17 in connection with the museum’s special exhibit, “Carl Mays: From Kingfisher to the Big Leagues.” From 12:30pm – 3:30pm the museum will host author Mike Sowell, a SABR-OK member and recently retired Oklahoma State University professor.  Sowell is the author of “The Pitch That Killed,” a detailed account of the story behind the pitch that killed Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman in August 1920.  Sowell’s visit has special meaning this year for the Chisholm Trail Museum.  Since early June the museum has featured the Mays exhibit which traces his rise from “town team” player in Kingfisher County in the early 1900s to an outstanding major league career, one unfortunately most remembered for tragedy when, as a member of the New York Yankees in 1920, Mays delivered the pitch that killed Ray Chapman.
The general public is invited to attend this special SABR-OK meeting.  A period at the end of the meeting will include time for research from the membership and a brief business meeting.  Mark your calendars.  Special thanks go to Chisholm Trail Museum curator Adam Lynn and Professor Sowell for making this event possible.


The Chisolm Trail Museum in Kingfisher, OK has a new display that should be of interest to OK-SABR members. The exhibit, entitled “Carl Mays – from Kingfisher to the Big Leagues” tracks Mays’s career from his sandlot days in Kingfisher County, OK through his days in the Major Leagues. Artifacts related to Mays and to early-day town baseball in Kingfisher County are on display. The museum is located at 605 Zellers Drive in Kingfisher (turn west on Highway 81 at either Overstreet or Seay Avenue and follow the signs). Museum hours are 10AM-5PM, Tuesday-Saturday. The exhibit will be in place through the summer. Howard Johnson and Ken Fischer viewed the exhibit on June 6 and recommend it to our members.

********* Oklahoma Chapter Meeting  Review ****************

The Oklahoma Chapter met on January 24 at the Chandler Baseball Camp. Discussions were informal but included: Hank Coiner’s research on professional baseball in northeastern Oklahoma during the early 20th century, Butch Schoenhals’s research on the mechanics of hitting, the current state of professional baseball in Oklahoma and, of course, members’ expectations for the upcoming major league season. Attendees who had not previously visited the camp were led on a guided tour by Butch Schoenhals. Members also viewed a film provided by Ken Fischer from his collection. We extend our thanks to Mike Bay for allowing us to meet at the camp and to Butch Schoenhals for making arrangements and serving as host.

The Oklahoma Chapter met on August 16 at the McNellie’s Pub near ONEOK Field in Tulsa for dinner, baseball talk and a brief business meeting followed by a visit to the ballpark to watch a Texas League contest between the Tulsa Drillers and the Frisco Rough Riders. The history of minor league baseball in northeastern Oklahoma was the main topic of conversation as several of the attendees are researching that topic. Additionally, Howard Johnson and Ken Fischer reported on their experience at the recent SABR national meeting in Houston.  Our appreciation is extended to Kevin Johnson for arranging the event.

The next meeting is expected to be in the Oklahoma City area in conjunction with SABR day activities in late January.

********* Oklahoma Chapter Meeting  Review ****************

The new owner of the historic Chandler Baseball Camp, Mike Bay, hosted our May 17, 2014 SABR-OK meeting at the camp site in Chandler, OK. Butch Schoenhals showed a short, professionally-produced film, narrated by Bobby Richardson, made some years ago about the camp. Following the film, Fred Vint led the group on a walking tour of the grounds, showing the state of the on-going rehabilitation of the camp, providing some interesting tidbits about the camp’s history, and discussing the camp management’s plans for operations once the renovations are completed. After the tour, Howard Johnson reviewed some work he is doing to incorporate base-running data into his offensive production model. Productive discussion followed.

The group tentatively agreed to next meet  August 16, 2014 in Tulsa.

Many thanks to Mike, Butch, and Fred for their hospitality. We had a great time.

All SABR events are open to the public.

********* Oklahoma Chapter Meeting  Review ****************
A small group of us met on August 24 with invited guest Jim Bryan. Jim shared some of his experiences as the former radio play-by-play man and more currently as a datacaster and official scorer with the Oklahoma City Redhawks. The group then engaged in general baseball talk emphasizing the availability of detailed historical baseball data on the internet. Howard Johnson presented his analysis of individual base running since 1947 as drawn from the play-by-play data produced and made available by Retrosheet.org, thus encouraging further discussion.






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