2019 Conference Program

Welcome to the 2019 Nine Baseball Conference. As you can see from the presentations listed below, this year’s conference promises to be as lively and dynamic as ever. Former White Sox organist Nancy Faust will join us for our kickoff session; Nancy will play her “greatest hits” and talk about her career with the White Sox. Our Saturday night banquet will feature our keynote speaker, Curt Smith, whose latest book The Presidents and the Pastime was published last year. Curt will discuss, among other topics, the state of the game. Furthermore, two voting members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Barry Bloom and Tony DeMarco, will join us for an evening discussion on the history and future of the Hall. We are also pleased to announce that Jane Leavy will join us to accept the 2019 Seymour Medal. We look forward to seeing familiar faces–and many new ones–for what promises to be a memorable four days of baseball talk in the Valley of the Sun.


4:30-7:15 p.m.            Registration

6:00-7:15 p.m.            Cash Bar on the Galleria Patio

7:15-7:30 p.m.            Welcome Emcee Steve Gietschier, Lindenwood University

7:30-9:00 p.m.             THE CY SEYMOUR LEAD-OFF SESSION

            An Evening with Nancy Faust

For 40 years, Nancy Faust entertained White Sox fans, as the organist at Comiskey Park (both old and new, later known as US Cellular Field). Faust popularized the use of contemporary music, particularly “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” when opposing pitchers left the game. Faust worked closely with Bill Veeck and Harry Caray, and she has earned a number of accolades and honors. Sports Illustrated described her as baseball’s “Most Valuable Organist.” In 2018, she was inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals by the Baseball Reliquary.

9:00 p.m.                    This evening, and every evening, informal baseball discussions continue in the hotel’s Kachina Lounge


8:00-8:20 a.m.             Coffee

8:20-8:30 a.m.             Opening: Steve Gietschier

8:30-9:50 a.m.             THE ERNEST LAWRENCE THAYER SESSION

                                    Chair:   Gary Gershman

Allison R. Levin, “A Glimpse Inside?: The Rhetoric of Player-Selected Walk-up Music”

Jim Gates, “Cardboard Culture: On the Origins of the Great American Baseball Card”

Roberta Newman, “ ‘From the Land of the Sky-blue Waters’: A Bear, Beer, and Baseball”

9:50-10:00 a.m.           Coffee

10:00-11:50 a.m.         THE PAT JORDAN SESSION

                                    Chair:   Jean Ardell

Mitchell J. Nathanson, “From ‘Tell-Some’ to ‘Tell-All’: How We Went from Brosnan to Bouton”

Daniel Anderson, “ ‘The way it should be’: Re-examining Hemingway and Baseball, Modernism and Sports

David Block, “Jane Austen’s Baseball Dynasty”

Ron Briley, “Philip Roth, Trick E. Dixon, and Curt Flood: Baseball as Satire in the Tradition of Jonathan Swift”

1:10 p.m.       Field Research:  Cleveland Indians vs. Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields  at Talking Stick

Dinner – On Your Own

7:30-9:00 p.m.            THE HAROLD BAINES SESSION

                                    Chair:  Willie Steele

Lindsay Bell, “Baffling Ballots: The Perplexing First Ten Yeats of Hall of Fame Voting”

Respondents—Steve Gietschier, Lindenwood University, former BBWAA voter; Barry Bloom, BBWAA voter since 1992; Tony DeMarco, BBWAA voter since 1998


8:30-9:50 a.m.             THE MOSES FLEETWOOD WALKER SESSION

                                     Chair:   Allison Levin

Taylor Braun, “Sliding Safely into Home: Father and Son Relationships in Baseball Films from 1984-1994”

Shlomo Weinish, “From Facilitators to Leaders: The Next Stage of Latino Ball Players”

John Harney, “East Asian Baseball Culture in Historical Context”

9:50-10:10 a.m.        Coffee

10:10-11:30 a.m.         THE MANNY SANGUILLEN SESSION

                                    Chair:   Mitchell Nathanson

Steve Treder, “1946: Major League Baseball’s 1491”

Steve Gietschier, “Let’s Play Fantasy Baseball, World War II Style: The War Bond League of 1943”

George Skornickel, “Blue, Gray and Baseball”

12-2:00 p.m.   Lunch: On Your Own or join Jean Ardell at noon on the Milagros patio for a Dutch-treat lunch and conversation about the projects we are working on. Everyone at the conference—presenters and their friends, partners, spouses, and relatives – is welcome to attend

2:00-3:20 p.m.              THE MEL ALLEN SESSION

                                      Chair: Taylor Braun

Dan Levitt, “They Deserved Each Other: The Tempestuous New York Giants Ownership of Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, and Frank McQuade”

Jason Cannon, “ ‘In Blaze of Glory’: Charles Webb Murphy’s Redemptive Legacy

Robert F. Garratt, “Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”

3:20-3:35 p.m.              Break

3:35–5:25 p.m.             THE EFFA MANLEY SESSION

                                      Chair: Lisa Alexander

Al Piacente, “Yippee! I didn’t choke!: What Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblauch, Mackey Sasser, et al, tell us about sport performance”

Robert V. Bellamy and James R. Walker, “Enjoy Your Beer & Kettle Corn: It’s Spring Training and the Games Don’t Matter, Right?”

Tyler Fleming, “Who/What Were the Zulu Cannibal Giants?: Minstrelsy, Clowning, and the Use of Stereotypes of Africa within Negro Leagues Baseball”

Ed Edmonds, “Roy Face’s Incredible 1959 Season”

Dinner – On Your own

Optional activity: Marcia Huhn is organizing a dinner at the Café of the Desert Botanical Gardens.  Please contact her at 614 296-6340 or mdhuhn@insight.rr.com if you would like to join us.   Sign-up sheet is at the Registration Table—Seating maximum is 20.


8:30-9:50 a.m.             THE EDDIE GAEDEL SESSION

                                     Chair:  Paul Hensler

Lee Lowenfish, “Major League Baseball and College Summer Leagues: Jack Horenberger, Bill Enos, and Two Tales of Pro-Amateur Cooperation from the 1960s and the 1980s”

Stephanie Liscio, “ ‘The Finest Site for a Stadium in this Country’: The Braves Leave Milwaukee for Atlanta”

Lee C. Kluck, “ ‘What About Harry Dalton?: The Role of Harry Dalton in the Success of the Baltimore Orioles 1960-1971”

9:50–10:00 a.m.             Coffee

10:00-11:50 a.m.           THE TONI STONE SESSION

                                       Chair: Ed Edmonds

Lynn R. Miller , “Your Success Story: An Innovative Scaling of Major and Minor League Baseball Community Involvement to Enhance Public Perception and Positively Impact Youth”

Judith R. Hiltner and James R. Walker, “Red Barber: Voice of a Century”

Kevin A. Johnson and Jennifer J. Asenas, “The First Amendment and Baseball”

Scott D. Peterson, “Lardner’s Other Bushers: The Probelmatic Bildungs Quests of Speed Perkins, Skull Scoville, and ‘The Yellow Kid’”

1:05 p.m.            Field Research:  Milwaukee Brewers vs. Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Park

5:00 p.m.            THE BILL KIRWIN SESSION  

5:00-6:00 p.m.            Cash Bar on the Galleria Patio (Bar will remain open until 7:00 p.m.)

6:15 p.m.        Banquet in Galleria Ballroom         

 The 2019 Society for American Baseball Research’s Seymour Medal Award Presentation to Jane Leavy, for The Big Fella


Keynote Speaker: Curt Smith

Curt Smith is the author of seventeen books, including Voices of The Game, a history of baseball broadcasting, Pull Up a Chair: The Vin Scully Story, and Mercy! A Celebration of Fenway Park’s Centennial.  His latest book, titled The Presidents and the Pastime, was released in 2018. Smith served as speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush and is now a senior lecturer of English at the University of Rochester.

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