One of my research passions when it comes to baseball happens to be the Negro Leagues.  I’ve always been fascinated by these players that did not get the recognition they deserved due to segregation.  It’s one of the reasons I started to investigate integration and the Negro Leagues in Cleveland, work that became my master’s thesis and later my book, Integrating Cleveland Baseball.  It’s also one of the reasons that I became involved with  SABR’s (Society for American Baseball Research) Negro Leagues Committee.  This committee is involved in a lot of events throughout the year; there is a conference to honor Negro League baseball each summer, and money is donated to pay for headstones on the unmarked graves of former players.  The committee also provides grants to school libraries to purchase books, and also hosts an essay competition each year for high school seniors.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share some information on this year’s essay contest – if you’re a high school senior who plans to attend a post-secondary institution next year, or you happen to know a high school senior that meets these requirements, this contest may be of interest to you.

To enter the competition, you will need a few items in addition to the completed essay.  You will also submit a completed application (attached at the bottom of this post), a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher, guidance counselor, or school administrator, lists of high school and community activities, and of course, your essay.

The essay should be 1,000 words or less, and will be written based upon one of two prompts:

1. What influence or impact did the Negro Leagues have on African American communities, past or present?

2. What is the legacy of Satchel Paige?

Pick one of those two prompts (the one with which you are more comfortable) and make sure cite all examples and references.  The essay should be typed in 12-point font, double spaced, and in Times New Roman font; you should use endnotes for your citations.  All applications must be postmarked no later than March 4, 2013.  The mailing address is listed on the attached application.

There are more details supplied on the attached application that should hopefully answer any questions.  If you have remaining questions, there are people to contact that should be able to help.  One of the questions I’ve frequently received is “do you have to be a high school senior?  Can you be a high school junior, or a college freshman?”  The answer is no.  You must be a current high school senior that plans to attend a post-secondary institution next year.

The prize is a $2,500 scholarship; there will be two of these prizes awarded.

Some words of advice:

- Thoroughly read the instructions on the attached application, and make sure to follow all directions.

- Put some effort into your essay, and make sure to properly cite your sources.

- Don’t plagiarize.  You may think people won’t catch you, but they will.

Here is the application and instructions.  Good luck!

SABR 2013scholarship


  • Jeremy C says:

    Stephanie could you talk a little bit about sabr because it sounds interesting. And i see your the president of your chapter so you might know a thing or two about it

  • Stephanie Liscio says:


    I’ll start with the local stuff – our local group has three meetings a year, one in late January/early February, one in late April/early May, and one in October. We also usually get together to take in a couple of minor league games together each summer. Our winter meeting (upcoming) is typically our largest. It’s in the media room in the basement of Progressive Field, and this year takes place on Saturday, February 9 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a break for lunch. That’s the typical format for our meetings, but there are some people that just come for a small part of the day rather than the whole thing. The schedule differs from meeting to meeting, but we usually have a mix of research or statistical presentations and special guests. Some of our past special guests include Assistant GM Mike Chernoff, and Sean Gibson, great-grandson of Negro League legend Josh Gibson (just as an example).

    I’m currently working to finalize the Feb. 9 schedule and will probably post something on here once everything is settled. It’s open to the public, you don’t have to be a member. It’s only $2 to attend, and that money just goes to buy pop and snacks for everyone. I always suggest to people that if you want to know more about the organization, yet are uncertain it’s for you, etc. to try out a local meeting and see what you think.

    As for the national group, there’s a membership discount if you’re under 30 (I think it’s $20 cheaper…regular membership is $65 a year). With that, there are several publications we get throughout the year, online access to back issues of the Sporting News, and you can also join many of SABR’s various sub-groups. There are a lot of them (there’s a full list here: but the idea is that you join things geared toward your interests. For example, I belong to the Negro League group, the women in baseball group, and the ballparks group, to name a few. Some are more active than others; many have very active online communities and message boards. I’ve also seen somewhere that we’re going to have access to a number of free ebooks this year; I know they recently had a free download of a book on the 1984 Tigers.

    There’s also a big SABR Convention each year (2013 is in Philly, it was in Cleveland in 2008). It moves to a new city each year, but it’s usually pretty cool. You can attend even if you’re not a member, but I think you get a discount as a member. Some of the subgroups have their own conferences; for example, I know the Negro League committee has one (like I mentioned) and I believe the 19th century committee also has one.

    Hopefully this helps some. If you (or anyone else reading) has any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  • Jeremy C says:

    Have any 15 year old members in the cleveland chapter?

  • Jeremy C says:

    I think i would be the youngest member

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I think you definitely would be the youngest local member…I don’t know of anyone younger than 20 at the moment. We occasionally have younger people at meetings, but I don’t think they’re official members – usually guests.

  • Jeremy C says:

    Well it sounds fantastic and im gonna seriously consider joining. Thanks for writing that all out!

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    No problem! Please let me know if you have more questions, and feel free to join us on February 9 at Progressive Field if you are free. Details forthcoming.

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