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Every year, the day after the All Star Game in the host city, there takes place an event which is, in my ever so humble opinion, quite a bit more interesting that the game itself. The Annual Symposium on Statistics in Sports is just what it sounds like- a gathering of some of the biggest nerds you've ever seen in your life, all eager to teach the secrets of the universe - or at least why VORP is overrated - to anyone and everyone willing to listen.
The Symposium will take place on the campus of the University of Missouri St. Louis on the 15th of July, from 10 am to 2 pm. You can get all the pertinent information from the UMSL website. Not only is attendance free, they'll even send you a parking pass for the event.
Among the speakers are John Vuch, Minor League Director for the Cardinals, Gilbert Fellingham, professor of statistics at Brigham Young University, and, with all due respect to the other speakers, the man I'm most interested to hear from, Paul Bessire, quantitative analyst for WhatIfSports.com. You may have heard of What If Sports recently; Fox Sports Midwest is currently holding a simulated tournament of Cardinal championship teams using their software. However, as is usually the case, what is now being done by the mainstream guys was already done - and much better, I might add - before, only without quite so much useless fanfare.
Larry Borowsky of Viva El Birdos and Dan Shoptaw of C70 at the bat held their own Tournament of Champions last year, with help from a bunch of the other VEB members, using that same software from What If Sports. I found the idea fascinating at the time, and still do; what would teams, and players, from vastly different eras look like facing each other?
Anyhow, I recommend you get yourself a parking pass and an invite, and go get your nerd on properly.