The first Baseball Research Journal, the cornerstone of SABR publications, was published in 1972. The objective, described by Bob Davids, was to publish an annual review of articles written and compiled by Society members. The articles would cover baseball research material previously unpublished or would deal with historical data from a different perspective.
Further reading: Click here to read more from the Baseball Research Journal archives
The 1973 Baseball Research Journal contained twenty attributed and three unattributed articles and two surveys. The Society, by asking a price of $3 by mail and $2.50 over the counter, received $375 in revenues. Five-hundred and twenty-five copies of the 1974 Baseball Research Journal were printed at a total cost of $630. Early sales and public relations efforts were under way and ads were placed regarding the Baseball Research Journal in The Sporting News and Baseball Digest.
Davids was the Journal's editor from its inception through 1983. Cliff Kachline edited the 1984-1986 editions, Jim Kaplan handled the job from 1987 through 1990, and John Holway in 1991. Mark Alvarez has been the editor since 1992. The standard size of The Baseball Research Journal was 6 by 9 inches until 1983. In 1984 it was changed to the current 8-1/2 by 11-inch magazine-style publication.
In 1981 the Historical Review, a collection of articles from the first three Baseball Research Journals, was published, and in 1983 1,000 copies of the 1975-78 Baseball Research Journals were reprinted. Phil Bergen indexed the first nine Baseball Research Journals in 1981 and updated it in 1987. Joe Murphy continued a complete index of all SABR publications through 2006, which can be accessed on the Research Resources page.
In 2009, SABR began offering the Baseball Research Journal as a bi-annual publication and converted The National Pastime from a literary journal to the national convention publication. In the early 2010s, SABR began making the journals available in PDF format and soon in other e-book formats, as well.
With the launching of SABR's digital publishing program in 2011, SABR also began offering members the opportunity to "opt out" of receiving the print edition of the BRJ and receiving it electronically as an e-book edition instead. To date, more than 1,000 members have taken advantage of this opportunity.
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