- The final full day of the 42nd annual SABR convention was highlighted by a player panel, a session with Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Roland Hemond, and an exciting and historic Trivia Contest.
Turns out there were a lot of major league players at our hotel in Minneapolis — former players Frank Quilici, Bill Davis and Bob "Rocky" Johnson were on hand for our traditional convention Player Panel, but the Kansas City Royals (who we saw Friday night against the Twins) were staying at the Marriott City Center, too.
That led to quite a few interesting encounters throughout the weekend.
- The Player Panel was originally scheduled to include ex-Twins and current broadcasters Ron Coomer and Roy Smalley III, as well, but an early-season rainout forced the Twins and Royals to play a doubleheader on Saturday, and the pair had to work the morning game and miss the panel.
But we got a surprise guest instead: Tim Laudner, former Twins catcher turned announcer. He only stayed a few minutes before he had to head over to Target Field for the doubleheader opener, but he was the life of the party.
- There was a lot going on Saturday during SABR 42, including a tour of historic Twin Cities ballpark sites and Steve Krevisky and Ty Waterman's Strat-o-Matic game in the lobby. Steve was calling out play-by-play to interested passers-by.
- Speaking of Strat ...
- One of the highlights of any SABR convention is the chance to purchase hard-to-find books and baseball memorabilia from a variety of vendors. The SABR 42 Vendors Room offered a great view on the 6th floor, and was very busy throughout the week.
- Later in the morning, a student team from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business gave an encore of their winning presentation from the Case Competition at the 2012 SABR Analytics Conference. They were given a real-life baseball operations decision, just like a GM has to make over the course of a season, and had to analyze and present their case in front of major league executives who judged the competition. These are the future stars of baseball front offices, and we were glad to have them. (To learn more, visit SABR.org/analytics.)
- All of SABR's 26 research committees hold their annual meetings at the convention, and it's always fun to hear updates on the exciting research they've been working on over the past year.
- A real treat for us was having Roland Hemond hanging around SABR 42 all week. The three-time MLB Executive of the Year has worked with just about everyone in the game. His one-on-one session was handled masterfully by interviewer extraordinaire David Laurila of FanGraphs.