Students: Apply to attend SABR conference

February 18th, 2021

What do you get when you put a research director, a TV analyst, a sports attorney and a couple biomechanists in a (Zoom) room?

One of the most prestigious baseball conferences, of course.

The 10th annual SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) Analytics Conference is fast approaching, and Major League Baseball is excited to sponsor a select group of qualifying students for the March 11-14 event.

The SABR Virtual Analytics Conference is a four-day event featuring an impressive array of guest speakers, panels and presentations on the impact of analytics on the game of baseball. Also on deck will be the Diamond Dollars case competition, a baseball-operations simulation that has seen many of its student participants graduate into roles within the baseball industry. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in a number of skill-development sessions and networking opportunities with employees from MLB's league office and the 30 clubs.

MLB is seeking qualified candidates from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds interested in careers in baseball operations, such as salary arbitration and economics, research and development, player development and scouting. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate, and those studying business, computer science, statistics or economics are strongly encouraged to apply.

"MLB's Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is glad to partner with SABR to provide an opportunity to students from underrepresented backgrounds, persons of color and women, to give them an opportunity to gain exposure to how data and analytics have a role within the game of baseball," said Tyrone Brooks, MLB's senior director of the Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program. "Over the past four years, we've had over 80 attendees to the conference through our sponsorship. Nearly a third of the attendees have had an opportunity to work either at the club level or within the Office of the Commissioner after attending.

"One of our notable attendees from several years back was Bianca Smith, who is now the first African American female baseball coach. We've also had individuals who have gone through our fellowship program, having a chance to put themselves in a position to be future leaders in our sport."

Those applying should include a current resume, as well as a personal essay of no more than 500 words.

The speaker lineup is as cerebral as it is experienced. A sample of those taking the virtual podium:

Brian Kenny: An MLB Network host who appears across studio programing, from "MLB Now" to "MLB Tonight." Recognized as one of the most forward-thinking analysts in the game, Kenny is also an author and brings with him a quarter-century of broadcast experience.

Mike McNally: A biomechanist with the Tampa Bay Rays since 2018, Dr. McNally has performed extensive research on sports medicine, physical therapy and health and rehabilitation practices.

Lonnie Murray: A pioneer, Murray is the first and (currently) only Black female player agent certified by the MLB Players Association, representing one of the very few women on the players' side of the negotiating table. With a roster of more than 30 amateur and pro players, Murray brings 16 years of experience advising and counseling players across all levels of baseball.

Jay Sartori: Now the senior director of baseball analytics and operations with the Tigers, Sartori has worn a variety of caps in the game, having previously served as an assistant GM for the Blue Jays (2010-13) and also having managed Apple's sports and entertainment categories in the App Store.

With the world more connected than ever digitally, the SABR conference's move online is certain to be seamless. Those looking to apply are encouraged to do so by Monday.