SABR Convention History
Never been to a SABR convention before? You're missing out! Here are some highlights from our previous gatherings:
- In a meeting organized by L. Robert Davids, 16 interested "statistorians" gathered to form the Society for American Baseball Research on the second floor of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library one day after the Induction Ceremony was held for Satchel Paige, the first Negro Leaguer elected, and eight other Veterans Committee selections, along with the Hall of Fame Game between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.
- Learn more: Profiles of SABR's founding members, "The Cooperstown 16", including audio and video interviews
- Thirty-three members attended SABR's second annual meeting — including four of the founders: Bob Davids, Paul Frisz, Cliff Kachline and Bob McConnell — despite massive flooding that weekend because of Hurricane Agnes. Recently retired MLB outfielder Chuck Hinton spoke about his job as Howard University baseball coach and hitting a home run off knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm. Films on the 1971 World Series and relief pitchers were also shown.
SABR 3: Chicago, Illinois
June 22-24, 1973
Featured speakers: Bob Elson, Dave Malarcher
Ballgame: A's 14, White Sox 3
- Twenty-six members attended the third annual meeting at the Sheraton-Chicago Hotel on Michigan Avenue. Featured speakers were Bob Elson, longtime broadcaster who later received the Hall of Fame's Ford C. Frick Award; and Negro Leaguer Dave Malarcher, who managed the Chicago American Giants to five pennants. Ballgame at Comiskey Park on Saturday night included "Welcome SABR members" message on the scoreboard.
- Forty members and guests attended the fourth meeting. Guest speakers included Phillies/Reds announcer Gene Kelley, Negro Leaguer Ted Page, and sports writer Fred Lieb — who founder Bob Davids often credited with legitimizing the Society in baseball circles. The Negro Leagues Committee also organized a meeting at the hotel with a dozen former players, including Hall of Famer Judy Johnson. Dick Cramer, who helped organize the convention, and Pete Palmer formed a new research committee on statistical analysis that would revolutionize the game.
- Sixty-four members attended the fifth convention, organized by SABR's first Treasurer, Eric Simonsen. Guest speaker was Jumpin' Joe Dugan, who regaled the audience with stories of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lefty Grove and former Boston Braves owner Judge Emil Fuchs. SABR members were guests of the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday night, as Luis Tiant subdued the Rangers despite two rain delays. SABR established a permanent address for the first time in Cooperstown, New York.
SABR 6: Chicago, Illinois
June 25-27, 1976
Howard Johnson Motor Lodge
Keynote speaker: Lew Fonseca
Ballgame: Mets 10, Cubs 2
- Forty-five members attended the sixth convention — the second held in the Windy City — at the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge on Lake Shore Drive. Guest speaker was Lew Fonseca, the 1929 American League batting champion and former White Sox manager. Chicago Sun-Times sports writer Eddie Gold showed old highlight films of the Cubs and sports writer Jim Enright spoke at the Friday session. Former Pirates and White Sox infielder Tony Piet also spoke. John Milner's grand slam off Bill Bonham keyed a six-run fourth inning as Jerry Koosman and the Mets cruised to a victory on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field. Free tickets were provided to SABR members, courtesy of the Arthur Meyerhoff Associates advertising agency.
SABR 7: Columbus, Ohio
June 24-26, 1977
Holiday Inn Downtown
Featured speaker: Johnny Bucha
Ballgame: Columbus Clippers def. Tidewater Tides
- The first convention held in a minor league city, which coincided with the 100th anniversary of Columbus' first entry in the professional ranks with the Buckeyes of the International Association, was attended by 74 SABR members. Guest speaker at the Friday night "welcoming social" was former Cardinals/Tigers catcher Johnny Bucha, who was a mink farmer in Pennsylvania at the time. Future SABR President Kit Cressey organized a reunion that drew 24 former players — including Johnny Lipon, George Sisler Jr., Jim Fridley, Dick Hoover and Roy Hughes. Some of them later participated in an old-timers' game umpired by SABR members Al Payson, Troy Soos and Tom Zamorski at the newly refurbished Franklin County Stadium, the first minor league park to have Astroturf.
- The eighth annual convention, attended by 81 members, was highlighted by the release of SABR's groundbreaking Minor League Baseball Stars, the first major compilation of seasonal and career records for players, teams and leagues at that level. Bob Hoie and Ray Nemec spearheaded the effort to get the book ready for publication. Guest speaker was Tony Lupien, the longtime Dartmouth College coach who played with the Red Sox and Phillies during World War II; he gave a "scholarly discourse on player organizations, personnel management and the pension plan." Kit Cressey organized another players panel, which included Jack Martin, Hinkey Haines, Charlie Hargreaves and Russ Van Atta. An old-timers' game, narrated by Mel Allen, preceded the Saturday afternoon game at Yankee Stadium. But, as Bob Davids reported, "DiMaggio, Mantle, Maris, Ford and Berra all took a back seat when (the recently fired) Billy Martin came on the field to the announcement that he would be back as Manager in 1980."
- For the first time, more than one hundred attendees — 115 to be exact, including 78 members — showed up for the annual convention, thanks in part to the promotion of off-site activities around the city for spouses and children of SABR members. Former Cardinals World Series hero Mike Shannon, already a seven-year veteran of their broadcast team, was the keynote speaker at the banquet. Negro Leagues great James "Cool Papa" Bell became the first of many Hall of Fame inductees to speak at a SABR convention. Former players Andy High of the "Gas House Gang" Cardinals and Buddy Blattner also spoke, along with longtime SABR member Bob Broeg, a St. Louis sports writing legend. At Busch Stadium, SABR members saw Del Unser hit a dramatic game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth as the Phillies won in extra innings.
- Attendance for the 10th annual convention, the first one held on the West Coast, was 85, with 62 of them being active SABR members. Former National League shortstop Roy Smalley Jr. fielded questions about his son, All-Star infielder Roy Smalley III, and his brother-in-law, longtime manager Gene Mauch. A Friday players panel included 1930 Braves rookie sensation Wally Berger; Negro Leagues catcher Quincy Trouppe; Bert Shepard, who lost a leg in World War II and returned to pitch; and American League umpire Joseph Rue. SABR members saw another old-timers' game, this time at the "Big A" in Anaheim, marking the Angels' 20th season in the American League. Eleven research presentations were delivered, including one on statistical support in broadcasting by longtime Dodgers statistican Allan Roth, later to be namesake of SABR's Los Angeles chapter. Meanwhile that summer, in Lawrence, Kansas, Bill James coined the phrase "sabermetrics" to describe the study of statistical analysis in baseball.
- Read more: A look back at SABR 10 in Los Angeles
SABR 11: Toronto, Ontario
July 24-26, 1981
University of Toronto, Erindale campus
Keynote speaker: None (panel presentation)
Ballgame: None (MLB labor dispute)
- The first convention held outside the United States drew another record attendance of 147, including 97 members. Preparations for the convention were hampered by the MLB players' strike and the Canada Post labor dispute, but organizers Bill Humber and Dave Crichton were still able to mail all correspondence to SABR members during business trips to New York. Hall of Famer Early Wynn, then a Blue Jays broadcaster, also canceled his scheduled banquet appearance at the last minute, so the keynote speech became a panel discussion that included former major leaguers Goody Rosen, Phil Marchildon, Roy Hughes and Reno Bertoia. Former Negro Leaguers Gene Benson, Buddy Burbage, Jeep McLain and Sy Morton were joined by novelist John Craig for another panel. Convention attendees were saddened by the May 29 death of SABR member John Tattersall, "the national authority on home runs hit in the majors." Tattersall's research on home runs was continued by Bob McConnell and, later, David Vincent. SABR's Tattersall-McConnell Home Run Encyclopedia has been licensed to Baseball-Reference.com and is publicly available there.
- Read more: John Thorn explains why he became a SABR member at the 1981 convention — and why you should be, too.
- Related link: Read John Thorn's review of SABR 11 in The Sporting News (August 8, 1981)
- A lively convention saw another explosion in attendance, this time to 227 (including 151 members), "by far the biggest event the Society has participated in during its 11 years," as Bob Davids reported. Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell delivered the invocation at the Saturday banquet and then introduced the main speaker, manager Sparky Anderson, who offered "a testimonial of his ... good fortune of going from a .218 hitter to a World Champion manager." Rex Barney, former Dodgers pitcher and longtime Orioles public-address announcer, also spoke; Dick Beverage, Bob Bluthardt, Dutch Doyle, Cappy Gagnon and Ron Liebman delivered impromptu presentations, while Bill James held a Q&A session. The Friday night panel included former Rangers manager Billy Hunter, SABR member Roy Hughes and Towson State star Al Rubeling. The Orioles generously provided 200 free tickets to Saturday night's game — No. 24 in Cal Ripken Jr.'s record-setting streak.
SABR 13: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
July 15-17, 1983
Mashuda Hall, Marquette University
Keynote speaker: Hal Goodenough
Ballgame: Brewers 5, Twins 0
- Hal Goodenough, a boyhood teammate of Mickey Cochrane and former member of the Braves' front office, was the guest speaker for the 13th annual convention, which set another record with 262 attendees (including 205 members). It was the third straight convention held on a college campus facility. The players panel consisted of Ken Keltner (also a SABR member), Andy Pafko, Mike Hegan, Fabian Gaffke, umpire Stan Landes and Negro Leaguers Lester Lockett and Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe. A "traditional Milwaukee" tailgate party was held before the Saturday night game, which featured a Moose Haas three-hit shutout over the Twins.
- The 14th convention, which drew another record crowd of 350 (including 230-plus members), was held in Providence to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1884 World Series between the Providence Grays and the New York Metropolitans. A symposium on that season was led by Joe Lawler, Dick Waldbauer, Fred Ivor-Campbell, John Husman (great-grandson of John Lee Richmond) and Fred Stinson. Lou Gorman, a Providence native then in his first year as general manager of the Boston Red Sox, was the banquet speaker. The player panel consisted of Clem Labine, Dave Stenhouse, Tony Lupien and Pawtucket Red Sox owner Ben Mondor, who generously offered McCoy Stadium as the venue for SABR's re-enactment of the 1884 World Series between games of an International League doubleheader. A workshop on writing and publishing was led by Linda Levin and James A. Peterson. The 1884 "vintage game" (right), featuring replica uniforms produced by the Textiles Department at the University of Rhode Island, was delayed by rain and the five innings had to be split up (three innings before the first PawSox game and two-and-a-half before the second PawSox game). The SABR "Mets" got revenge on their real-life World Series defeat by beating the SABR "Grays", 4-3. But, as Rich "Dixie" Tourangeau recalled, "with all the greatest SABR minds either in the stands or on the field, not one had thought to record a box score of the game ... an unforgettable oversight."
- Read more: Rich "Dixie" Tourangeau shares his memories of SABR 14 vintage game
- Photo gallery: View photos from the SABR 14 vintage game (courtesy of James D. Smith III)
SABR 15: Oakland, California
July 11-14, 1985
Keynote speaker: Roy Eisenhardt
Ballgame: A's 11, Brewers 2
- SABR's return to the West Coast saw an attendance of 293 for the 15th annual convention. Oakland A's president Roy Eisenhardt was the featured speaker at the banquet. The Friday player panel consisted of Philadelphia A's all-star Sam Chapman, ex-major leaguer Earl Robinson and longtime Oakland Oaks catcher Bill Raimondi. A Saturday presentation by sports writer Leonard Koppett was followed by a sabermetrics panel discussion with Bill James, Allan Roth and Pete Palmer. On Sunday, members saw the A's defeat the Brewers with SABR providing trivia questions for the Oakland Coliseum scoreboard. Bob McConnell, one of SABR's 16 founding members, won the inaugural Bob Davids Award, SABR's highest honor.
- Read more: Learn more about SABR 15 in this Sports Illustrated article by Austin Murphy from April 28, 1986
SABR 16: Chicago, Illinois
July 17-20, 1986
Loyola University, Lakeshore campus
Keynote speaker: Bill Gleason
Ballgame: Cubs 11, Giants 6
- The SABR convention's popularity continued to grow, as a record 479 members and guests attended SABR 16 in Chicago. It was the last national convention held at a college campus using dormitory rooms and cafeteria dining. Bill Gleason, the longtime Chicago Sun-Times columnist, was the banquet speaker on Saturday night following a sweltering ballgame at Wrigley Field in 96-degree heat. Rich Topp reports: "Roland Hemond was willing to give us 500 free tickets to the White Sox game, but a survey of the membership wanted to see the Cubs. So we took a tour of Comiskey Park and Roland gave us 500 free batting helmets instead. The Cubs wouldn't do tours. So we got 'em back by taking our helmets to the Cubs game. When Harry Caray led the singing in the seventh inning, the TV camera scanned the area of SABR members and we all wore helmets with 'SOX' on them." Chico Carrasquel, John Klippstein, Rich Nye, Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe (right, shown with Mark Kanter), Marv Rotblatt and Nelson Potter made up the player panel. Local chapter members also put out a 56-page special publication called Baseball in Chicago, with articles celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Cubs-White Sox World Series of 1906. Joe Simenic, another one of the "Cooperstown 16", won the second Bob Davids Award.
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 16 courtesy of Mark Kanter
SABR 17: Washington, D.C.
June 26-29, 1987
Crystal City Marriott (Arlington, Virginia)
Keynote speaker: John Steadman
Ballgame: National Old-Timers' Baseball Classic, RFK Stadium
- The 17th annual convention set an attendance record of 631 that wouldn't be topped for 15 years. The convention featured more than 15 hours of research presentations, a player panel headlined by Milt Pappas, tours of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium (the Orioles were out of town) and the Babe Ruth birthplace. The premiere of Eddie Frierson's award-winning one-man show Matty, written and performed by the longtime SABR member from California (right), was delivered at SABR 17. Longtime Baltimore sports writer John Steadman delivered the banquet speech. SABR members also got front-row seats for the sixth annual old-timers' game, which featured the newest members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams. Frierson, dressed as Christy Mathewson, pitched batting practice to Joe DiMaggio and Hank Aaron, among others.
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 17 courtesy of Mark Kanter
SABR 18: Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 7-10, 1988
Holiday Inn Metrodome
Keynote speaker: Andy MacPhail
Ballgame: Brewers 5, Twins 4
- Andy MacPhail, the young general manager of the Twins, delivered the keynote address to a crowd of 340 members and guests in Minneapolis. Minor league home run legend Joe Hauser was a special guest speaker. Actor Peter Thoemke performed "Casey at the Bat" at the convention opening, while the players panel consisted of former AL Rookie of the Year John Castino, original Twin Julio Becquer, two-sport star Howie Schultz and Negro Leaguer Collins Jones. More than 30 research presentations were given, including "The Ebbets Field Diamond Jubilee" by Ron Gabriel, "The 30-30 Club" by Cappy Gagnon and "The Great Minneapolis-St. Paul Baseball Rivalry" by Stew Thornley.
- Read more: A look back at SABR 18 in Minneapolis
SABR 19: Albany, New York
June 23-26, 1989
Keynote speaker: Bobby Brown
Ballgame: Eastern League All-Star Game
- SABR's most tumultous national convention welcomed 524 members and guests. Dr. Bobby Brown, the former Yankees "bonus baby" infielder and the sixth president of the American League, was the banquet speaker. 1950 AL MVP Phil Rizzuto, who would be elected to the Hall of Fame five years later, was also a guest speaker. A group trip was made to the Hall of Fame in nearby Cooperstown and members took in the Eastern League All-Star Game. A political crisis erupted when, during Eight Men Out author Eliot Asinof's presentation on the Black Sox, member John Holway handed out "8 Men Out" buttons to protest the Board's recent ousting of Lloyd Johnson after four years as Executive Director. At a wild business meeting, Holway motioned to unseat the entire board (it failed) and withdrew his name as a candidate for president. Rich Topp, nominated from the floor, was elected in a close vote.
- SABR's 20th convention saw 481 members and guests, as 1960 Indians fireballer "Sudden" Sam McDowell was the awards banquet speaker and Hall of Famer Bob Feller headlined a player panel during his first convention in Cleveland. Bob Buege won the inaugural Cox Award — now called the Doug Pappas Award — as the best research presentation, for his "Milwaukee Braves: A Baseball Eulogy". A Negro Leagues panel with Dr. Larry Hogan and authors Robert Peterson, Donn Rogosin, James Riley and John Holway was one of the highlights. Members also took a tour of Cleveland Stadium on Saturday and an Indians-Yankees doubleheader on Sunday afternoon.
- SABR's 21st convention, and its first in the heart of the Big Apple, attracted 405 members and guests. Longtime Yankees announcer Mel Allen (right) was the keynote speaker. Singer Terry Cashman performed a rendition of "Talkin' Baseball" and the famous Brooklyn Dodgers Sym-phony also performed. SABR members took in a game at Shea Stadium. Later that summer, founding members Bob Davids, Dan Dischley, Tom Hufford, Cliff Kachline, Pat McDonough, John Pardon and Joe Simenic gathered at the Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown to celebrate the organization's 20th anniversary.
- SABR's 22nd convention, which drew 485 members and guests, was a celebration of the 1942 Cardinals and Sportsman's Park. Former players Stan Musial, Terry Moore and Red Schoendienst took part in players panels, along with Marty Marion, Ted Savage, Joe Cunningham and Tom Poholsky and St. Louis Browns players Ned Garver, Don Lenhardt, Jim Delsing, Ed Mickelson and Babe Martin. (The Cardinals panel was moderated by longtime SABR member and sports writer Bob Broeg, namesake of the St. Louis chapter.) Members took part in a tour of The Sporting News and attended a Cardinals-Mets game at Busch Stadium. Former Cardinals general manager Bing Devine was the keynote speaker.
- The Ted Williams Chapter played host to 350 members and guests for SABR's 23rd convention, back on the West Coast for the third time. A panel of players from the 1984 Padres included Kurt Bevacqua, Bruce Bochy and Garry Templeton. The manager of that team, Dick Williams (right, with Bevacqua at the mic), was the keynote speaker after the Saturday night banquet. Two other player panels included former major leaguers Joe Nuxhall, Pete Coscarart and Irv Noren, and minor leaguers Earl Keller, Rod Graber, Al Olsen and Tony Criscola. A non-players panel included former American League umpire Ed Runge, longtime executive Buzzie Bavasi and announcer Marty Brennaman. Many attendees and their families also took a trip to the San Diego Zoo.
- Read more: Convention organizer Joe Naiman reflects on SABR 23
- SABR's 24th convention drew 405 members and guests to the Metroplex for a packed schedule that included four panels, plus speeches by Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan at the Friday luncheon and Robin Roberts (right) at the Saturday banquet. The players panel included Roberts, Bobby Bragan, Frank Lucchesi, Jim Kern, Ray Burris, Rich Hand and Randy Hundley; the executives' panel, moderated by longtime Astros boss and SABR member Tal Smith, included Eddie Robinson, Sandy Johnson, Dick Butler and Stan McIlvaine; and the writers panel included Jeff Guinn, Tim Kurkjian, Phil Rogers, Jim Reeves, Mike Sowell and John Thorn. In addition, Thorn and Buck O'Neil participated in a special talk called "Old Time Baseball." Many members also took a trip to the Six Flags amuseument park nearby and a tour of The Ballpark in Arlington.
- Chuck Tanner, manager of the 1979 World Series champion Pirates, delivered the keynote address to 451 attendees at SABR's 25th annual convention in Pittsburgh. The convention opened Thursday with an afternoon of softball at the Bill Mazeroski Field, adjacent to old Forbes Field in Oakland. Some forty men played ball that afternoon. The evening included a lengthy panel discussion involving former Pirates living in the Pittsburgh area who were part of the 1960 World Series championship team, including Mazeroski, Elroy Face and Bob Friend. On Friday, the convention gang went to Three Rivers Stadium to see the Pirates play San Diego. The pre-game party included a “tailgate” picnic at the Stadium. On Saturday, members of the 1971 championship Pirates participated in a panel discussion that took care of the morning. There was an afternoon bus tour of historical baseball sites in the city; the sites included two old downtown ball park locations and grave sites of several Pirates immortals. The awards banquet was held Saturday night. The master of ceremonies was Nellie King, former Pirates pitcher and radio broadcaster. The guest speaker was Chuck Tanner. Sunday morning featured another panel of baseball greats from the Pittsburgh area; the chief spokesman for that group was Frank Thomas.
SABR 26: Kansas City, Missouri
June 6-9, 1996
Kansas City Marriott
Keynote speaker: Steve Fehr
Ballgame: Royals 9, Mariners 5
- SABR's 26th convention attracted 431 members and guests to Kanas City. Steve Fehr, longtime outside counsel to the Major League Baseball Players Association, was the keynote speaker. The player panel consisted of Hall of Famer Bob Feller, back for his second appearance at a SABR convention, along with Bob Usher and Clarence Marshall. The first Seymour Medal, for the best book on baseball history or biography published in the preceding year, was awarded in 1996 to David Zang for Fleet Walker's Divided Heart.
- Related audio: Listen to Buck O'Neil's speech at the SABR 26 luncheon on June 7, 1996
SABR 27: Louisville, Kentucky
June 20-23, 1997
Hyatt Regency Louisville
Keynote speaker: Jim Bunning
Ballgame: Iowa Cubs def. Louisville Redbirds
- A total of 440 members and guests attended SABR's 27th convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Hall of Fame pitcher and Kentucky Congressman Jim Bunning (right) delivered the keynote address. Pee Wee Reese, a Louisville native, highlighted a player panel that also featured Carl Erskine, Don Lund, Ed Stevens and Tot Presnell. Another panel included then-current Louisville Redbirds Gaylen Pitts, Kevin Koslofski and Brian Maxcy. Branch Rickey III and Redbirds general manager Dale Owens also spoke. Members took a tour of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Bat Factor and attended an American Association game between the Redbirds and Iowa Cubs. Cubs pitcher Miguel Batista tossed a two-hit shutout.
- Related audio: Listen to Jim Bunning's keynote speech from SABR 27 (with introduction by former major league pitcher Ned Garver)
- A Giants player panel and a Pacific Coast League player panel highlighted the 28th annual SABR convention in Northern California, which drew 437 members and guests. Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda headlined the former discussion, which also included Hank Sauer, Eddie Bressoud and Mike McCormick. The PCL panel included Larry Jansen, Gino Cimoli, Dino Restelli, Bud Watkins and Ernie Broglio. Bill Rigney, the Giants' first manager after their move to San Francisco, was the keynote speaker. Longtime Orioles, Giants and ESPN broadcaster Jon Miller also spoke.
- Read more: Download a PDF of Baseball in Northern California, the SABR 28 convention publication
- Related audio: Listen to longtime Giants announcer Jon Miller's speech at SABR 28
- Four hundred members and guests attended SABR's 29th convention, hosted by the Flame Delhi Chapter, which was highlighted by Jose Jimenez's thrilling no-hitter (outpitching Randy Johnson, no less) at the traditional convention ballgame on Friday night. Many community activities were on the schedule: SABR Day at Scottsdale Stadium included a cookout, a clinic with members of the MLB Players Alumni Association and a "vintage" game; also a SABR/MLBPAA golf tournament and a tour of Cactus League spring training parks. The Yankees' "Old Reliable," Tommy Henrich, was the keynote speaker. The panels included a baseball fiction discussion with authors Mark Harris and Andy McCue.
- Read more: SABR members share their memories of the Jose Jimenez no-hitter at SABR 29
- Photo gallery: View photos from SABR 29 at SABRAZ.org
- SABR's 30th convention, which drew 302 members and guests, focused on baseball in Florida and the Caribbean, with panels highlighted by Hall of Famers Tony Perez and Monte Irvin. Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Elden Auker was the keynote speaker and a bus trip to Pro Player Stadium in Miami was taken for a Marlins game. General manager Dave Dombrowski (right, with Perez) was also a featured speaker. Articles in the convention publication From McGillicuddy to McGwire focused on the 1997 Marlins, spring training ballparks, and the Caribbean Baseball Series. Doug Pappas won the research presentation award now named for him with "111 Years of Major League Ejections."
- Commissioner Bud Selig was the keynote speaker in his hometown for SABR's 31st annual convention, which had an attendance of 574 members and guests. There were four informative panel discussions: an All-American Girls Professional Baseball League panel that included Vivian Sheriffs Anderson, Annastasia Batikis, Jackie Mattson Baumgart, Betty Moczynski, Mary O'Hara and Joyce Hill Westerman; a panel of former Negro Leaguers with Dennis Biddle, Sherwood (Woody) Brewer and Carl Long; Milwaukee authors Tom Flaherty, Jim Ksicinski and Gregg Hoffmann; and finally, the traditional players panel with former Milwaukee Brewers and Braves Johnny Logan, Felix Mantilla, Andy Pafko and Bert Thiel. Members had the chance to attend a game at new Miller Park, along with a trip to nearby Chicago for another game at Wrigley Field.
- Read more: Maxwell Kates tells of his first SABR convention — and reaching the Trivia Contest finals
- Read more: Read John Zajc's recap of the player panels from SABR 31
SABR 32: Boston, Massachusetts
June 26-30, 2002
Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Keynote speaker: Talkin' Ted Williams Forum
Ballgame: Braves 4, Red Sox 2
- Because everyone who sees a game inevitably sees it differently, the record-high total of 712 members and guests attending SABR 32 in Boston were asked to contribute their observations of the Braves-Red Sox game at Fenway Park — this idea culminated in the 2004 publication of The Fenway Project, edited by Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan. (It was reissued as an e-book in 2013.) Before the game, SABR's first female president, Claudia Perry, threw out the first pitch. Other convention highlights included the showing of the oldest existing broadcast of a regular-season major league game (the next-to-last game of the 1967 season between the Twins and Red Sox); a "Lively Ball Colloquium" with two New England academic research teams; and a "Baseball as America" session organized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Panel discussions included a scouts panel with Bill Clark, Paul Snyder, Ray Fagnant and Galen Carr; a media panel with Nowlin, Joe Castiglione, Gordon Edes, Rob Neyer and Pete Van Wieren; a Boston Braves panel with Sibbi Sisti, Art Johnson, Joe Morgan and Ralph Evans; a Latino baseball panel with Anthony Salazar, Dr. Carlos Munoz, Eduardo Valero, Bruce Markusen and Luis Tiant; and the Talkin' Ted Williams Forum led by former teammates Dominic DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky.
- Download the e-book for free! Get your copy of The Fenway Project by clicking here
SABR 33: Denver, Colorado
July 10-13, 2003
Marriott City Center
Keynote speaker: Jim Evans
Ballgame: Rockies 7, Dodgers 6
- The 33rd SABR convention brought 494 attendees to the Mile High City. The keynote speaker was longtime major league umpire Jim Evans. A "future of baseball" panel included economist Andrew Zimbalist, Project Scoresheet founder Gary Gillette and former National Labor Relations Board chair William Gould. A panel on baseball simulation games included STATS Inc. founder John Dewan, Diamond Mind creator Tom Tippett, publisher Glenn Guzzo and longtime SABR member Bill James. A panel on publicly funded stadiums included SABR member Doug Pappas, Zimbalist, Tom Gleason and Karle Seydel. A "Baseball at Altitude" panel included Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd, Rany Jazayerli of Baseball Prospectus and author Dr. Robert Adair. Members attended a Rockies game and ballpark tour at Coors Field (right) and a minor league game in Colorado Springs.
SABR 34: Cincinnati, Ohio
July 15-18, 2004
Westin Hotel Cincinnati
Keynote speaker: Marvin Miller
Ballgame: Cardinals 7, Reds 5
- The 34th SABR convention attracted 644 members and guests to Cincinnati. The featured speaker was Marvin Miller, longtime head of the Major League Baseball Players Association. The 1919 World Series panel included authors Jim Sandoval, Alan Nathan, David Fleitz, Gene Carney and Alan Schwarz. A panel on the Crosley Field-era Reds included Joe Nuxhall, Jim O'Toole, Lee May and sports writer Lonnie Wheeler. A local players panel consisted of Cincinnati high school products Todd Benzinger, coach Mike Cameron, Glenn Sample, Pat Tabler and Chris Welch. A panel on agents included Theodore High, Richard Katz, Brian Goldberg and Joe Bick. A panel on baseball relatives featured Joyce Dolle (wife of Gus Bell, mother of Buddy Bell), Eleanor Kluszewski (wife of Ted), Susan Dellinger (granddaughter of Edd Roush), Charles Dautel (grandson of Cy Rigler) and Paul Sallee (cousin of Slim). A panel on baseball collecting included Dick Hinds, Greg Rudd, Bill Daniels, Tim Turner and Stuart Hodesh. Members also took a tour of historic Cincinnati ballpark sites, including Crosley Field (right).
- Read more: Download a PDF of Baseball in the Buckeye State, the SABR 34 convention publication
- Photo gallery: Check out a collection of photos from SABR 34 in Cincinnati (courtesy of Rick Schabowski)
SABR 35: Toronto, Ontario
August 4-7, 2005
Holiday Inn on King
Keynote speaker: Paul Godfrey
Ballgame: Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2
- The SABR convention traveled north of the 49th parallel for the second time as 461 members and guests converged on Toronto. Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey was the featured speaker at the awards banquet, emceed by longtime Montreal Expos announcer Jacques Doucet. A panel on the Canadian business of baseball included former MLB chief operating officer Paul Beeston, Tom Valcke and Gary Gillette. The "Domed or Doomed Stadiums" panel included sports writers Richard Griffin and Lou Cauz, architect Greg Alexander and Buffalo Bisons GM Mike Buczkowski. A panel on Canadian baseball literature included Martin Levin, George Bowering, Steven Hayward and David McGimpsey. The tradtional players panel included Paul Spoljaric, Warren Sawkiw and Bill Humber. A Toronto media panel included Neil MacCarl, Larry Millson, Bob Elliott, Spencer Fordin and SABR member John Matthew IV. The close of the convention was highlighted by a maple pancake breakfast at Windows Restaurant at Rogers Centre with Sam Bat manufacturer Bill MacKenzie.
- Photo gallery: Check out a collection of photos from SABR 35 in Toronto (courtesy of Rick Schabowski)
- A gathering of former Seattle Pilots players, including "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton, was one of the highlights for 539 attendees at SABR's largest convention held west of the Mississippi. Bouton and former teammates Steve Hovley, Mike Marshall and Jim Pagliaroni convened with moderator Jim Caple of ESPN.com for an entertaining session (which you can listen to here.) Bouton kept busy with a book signing and his keynote speech at the awards banquet; he also participated in a vintage game (right) at nearby Bobby Morris Field during the convention and sung an a cappella rendition of the infamous song "Proud to be an Astro". Dave Eskenazi's amazing photo collection of Pacific Northwest athletes was on display all week. SABR celebrated its 35th anniversary with a panel that included founding members Tom Hufford, Bill Gustafson and Bob McConnell and longtime members Tom Zocco and Pete Palmer. A Pacific Coast League panel included Eddie Basinski, Dick Fitzgerald, Wes Stock and Edo Vanni, moderated by PCL Historical Society president (and past SABR president) Dick Beverage. A collective bargaining panel included Marshall, Dick Moss, Andrew Zimbalist and Rob Neyer.
- Related audio: Listen to the Seattle Pilots player panel from SABR 36
- Read more: Download a PDF of Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, the SABR 36 convention publication
SABR 37: St. Louis, Missouri
July 26-29, 2007
Adam's Mark Hotel
Keynote speaker : Joe Garagiola
Ballgame: Brewers 12, Cardinals 2
- SABR returned to St. Louis for the third time and set a convention attendance record with 726 members and guests. Former catcher and longtime announcer Joe Garagiola was the keynote speaker at the awards luncheon. A special vintage baseball game was played on the grounds of the Gateway Arch, with permission from the National Park Service. A St. Louis Browns panel of Bill Jennings, Don Lenhardt, Bud Thomas, Ed Mickelson and Roy Sievers shared entertaining stories of Satchel Paige and Bill Veeck, while the Cardinals panel included Al Hrabosky, Ricky Horton, Ted Savage and George Altman, moderated by Bob Broeg Chapter president Norm Richards. A panel on women in baseball included Jean Hastings Ardell, Erma Bergmann, Sara Blasingame, Dorothy Seymour Mills, Cecilia Tan, Judith Testa, Melody Yount. 1974 NL Cy Young Award winner Mike Marshall led an hour-long session on pitching — and then continued talking with SABR members for nearly two hours afterward! An umpire's panel was highlighted by Larry Gerlach and Bill Haller. HOK Sport's Jim Chibnall gave a presentation on the design of the new Busch Stadium. Ben "Cooter" Jones (right, with Damian Begley) performed a one-man play as "Ol' Diz". After the Trivia Contest finals on Sunday, many members gathered together to watch the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies live on television.
- Related video: Watch highlights of the SABR 37 vintage game on YouTube
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 37 (courtesy of Rick Schabowski)
SABR 38: Cleveland, Ohio
June 26-29, 2008
Renaissance Cleveland Hotel
Keynote speaker: Ron Shapiro
Ballgame: Indians 6, Reds 0
- Speaking for the third time at a SABR convention, Hall of Famer Bob Feller (right) welcomed 632 attendees to Cleveland, where the organization had been headquartered for nearly two decades. Ron Shapiro, agent to five Hall of Fame players and father of Indians general manager Mark Shapiro, was the keynote speaker. Mark Shapiro continued the baseball discussion after the awards banquet in a session with minor league executive Mike Veeck, son of Bill Veeck, that was moderated by former SABR Executive Director Morris Eckhouse. A player panel of former Indians, moderated by Rick Bradley, included Len Barker, Dave Burba, Joe Charboneau, Vern Fuller and Kevin Rhomberg. Rob Neyer, Charles Alexander and Tom Swift participated in an authors' roundtable. An origins panel with David Block, Larry McCray, Sam Marchiano and Tom Shieber followed the world premiere of the documentary Base Ball Discovered. A media panel was led by Indians vice-president of public relations Bob DiBiasio, announcers Tom Hamilton and Rick Manning, and sports writer Russ Schneider; afterward, author Curt Smith played host to a special session on the state of broadcasting. Convention attendees saw an interleague game, for the second time in three years, at Progressive Field. A trip was also taken to University Circle for a picnic on Wade Oval and a tour of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Attendees also saw a minor league game at Akron's Canal Park.
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 38 (courtesy of Austin MacDonald)
SABR 39: Washington, D.C.
July 30-August 2, 2009
Keynote speaker: Josh Alkin
Ballgame: Red Sox 6, Orioles 5
- SABR's third convention in the nation's capital drew 664 members and guests. Major League Baseball lobbyist Josh Alkin was the keynote speaker at the awards banquet (replacing Stan Kasten at the last minute.) A major league player panel, moderated by TV personality George Michael, featured 1983 World Series MVP Rick Dempsey and former Washington Senators slugger Frank Howard. A Negro Leagues player panel included Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, Rev. Henry "Pistol" Mason and Pedro Pastor Sierra y Quintano. Baseball Prospectus co-founder Christina Kahrl and Baseball Weekly founding editor Paul White spoke in separate special sessions. Members took a tour of Nationals Park in Washington (and heard a talk from local historian Phil Wood) and attended a game at Camden Yards (right) in Baltimore. Some also took a trip to Woodbridge, Virginia, for a Carolina League game and Waldorf, Maryland, for an independent Atlantic League game. Sessions on using the Library of Congress for baseball research were led by SABR member David Kelly and Librarian Thomas Mann.
- Read more: Download a PDF of The National Pastime: Monumental Baseball, the SABR 39 convention publication
- Related audio: Click here for audio recordings of the SABR 39 research presentations
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 39 (courtesy of Rick Schabowski)
- SABR's first trip to the Peach State saw 435 members and guests at the convention. Longtime Braves general manager John Schuerholz was the keynote speaker at the awards banquet (click here to watch the video), where recently fired Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was spotted taking in the festivities — and, later, joining SABR himself. Gonzalez was named to succeed Bobby Cox as Braves manager soon afterward. A standing-room-only crowd showed up to hear Cox, Mark Lemke, Ron Gant, Phil Niekro and emcee Pete Van Wieren discuss the Braves' rise from "worst to first" in the 1980s and '90s. A panel on Shoeless Joe Jackson and new developments in the Black Sox Scandal, moderated by Jacob Pomrenke, included Furman Bisher, David Fleitz, Mike Nola, Paul Duffy and Dan Voelker. Alan Nathan led a panel on new technologies in baseball with Dave Allen, Josh Kalk, Greg Moore and Rob Ristagno. Side trips were taken by members to the Ty Cobb Museum in Royston, Georgia; the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, South Carolina; and Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. The Braves game was highlighted by Tom Glavine's number retirement ceremony (right) despite a two-hour rain delay before the start.
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: Baseball in the Peach State, the SABR 40 convention publication
- Slide shows: Check out slide shows from the SABR 40 research presentations
- Photo gallery: View a collection of photos from SABR 40 (courtesy of Peter Garver and Jacob Pomrenke)
- SABR's first visit to the Los Angeles area since 1980, which drew 421 members and guests, was a jam-packed event that celebrated the organization's upcoming 40th anniversary. Super-agent Scott Boras (right) belied his reputation with a personable keynote speech before the annual business meeting. Five panel discussions were held: a panel on sports medicine, moderated by Will Carroll, with Ned Bergert, Neal ElAttrache and Kevin Wilk; a panel on the future of baseball media consumption, moderated by SABR President Andy McCue, with Dave Cameron, Sean Forman, Bill Squadron and Russ Stanton; a panel on the evolution of baseball over SABR's 40 years, moderated by SABR founding member Tom Hufford, with John Dewan, Dennis Gilbert, Roland Hemond, Wes Parker and John Thorn; a general managers panel, moderated by Rob Neyer, with Fred Claire, Dan Evans and Jed Hoyer; and the traditional player panel with Willie Davis and Al Ferrara that was moderated by Barry Mednick. For the first time in 10 years, two major league games were part of the convention schedule with trips to Chavez Ravine and Anaheim. Members filled two buses for a tour of historical Southern California ballpark sites such as Wrigley Field and the Coliseum. Throughout the convention, baseball films of all stripes were shown during the weeklong Film Festival with discussion by filmmakers, authors and producers.
- Complete coverage: For more coverage from SABR 41, visit SABR.org/convention/2011
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: Endless Seasons, the SABR 41 convention publication
- Related audio: Listen to each of the five panel discussions from SABR 41
- Related video: Former Dodgers star Wes Parker held court with SABR 41 attendees after the SABR Era panel
- Photo galleries: View photo galleries from each day of SABR 41
- SABR headed to the North Star State and beautiful Target Field in the summer of 2012. Four hundred forty-eight SABR members and guests heard Minnesota Twins president Dave St. Peter deliver the opening remarks and longtime Twins general manager Terry Ryan speak candidly about life as a major league executive in the 21st century. The SABR 42 keynote speaker was John Thorn, Major League Baseball's Official Historian, who encouraged us to "Stay nerdy, my friends" . The Business of Baseball and Ballparks committees teamed up for an interesting panel on the development and financing of Target Field, while our Official Scorers Panel with Stew Thornley, David Vincent and Gregg Wong brought down the house with their amusing takes on scoring decisions and rules interpretations. The Players Panel with Tim Laudner, Bill Davis, Frank Quilici and Bob "Rocky" Johnson entertained the crowd with stories from their lives in baseball. Roland Hemond's one-on-one interview with David Laurila (right) was a delight, as was the Women in Baseball Panel with Dorothy Seymour Mills, Leslie Heaphy, Laura Day and Cecilia Tan. In the SABR Trivia Contest, Mike Caragliano pulled off a historic double victory in the Individual and Team competitions as baseball fans followed along live on Twitter.
- Complete coverage: For more coverage from SABR 42, visit SABR.org/convention/2012
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: Baseball in the North Star State, the SABR 42 convention publication
- Related audio: Listen to our SABR 42 featured panel discussions here
- Related audio: Listen to select SABR 42 research presentations and view the presentation slides here
- Related video: Watch highlights from baseball executive Roland Hemond's one-on-one session with David Laurila
- Photo galleries: View photo galleries from each day at SABR 42
- We came back to the City of Brotherly Love for the first time in nearly four decades, and 709 SABR members and guests took advantage of the opportunity to see a star-studded event with many Phillies greats. Phillies CEO David Montgomery spoke about the great moments he's seen in Philly baseball history, while Philadelphia mainstay Larry Bowa — who graciously filled in as keynote speaker for MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred at the last minute — spoke about his four decades in the game with MLB.com's Barry M. Bloom. The Phillies Player Panel was spectacular, with postseason heroes Brad Lidge, Dickie Noles and Gary "Sarge" Matthews talking October baseball with the energetic "voice" of the Phillies, PA announcer Dan Baker. Other panels included a Women in Baseball Panel highlighted by AAGPBL alumnus Sarah "Salty" Ferguson; the colorful "Imagining Baseball" Panel moderated by John Thorn; a Baseball Scouting Panel with Tom Tippett of the Red Sox, Ian Levin of the Mets and Roland Hemond of the Diamondbacks; a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Eight Men Out with a special appearance by Patricia Anderson, the niece and surrogate daughter of Buck Weaver (attended by Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and radio broadcaster Jim Powell); a wide-ranging Media Panel discussion led by Alan Schwarz of the New York Times; a Statistical Analysis Panel with a surprise host, MLB Network's Brian Kenny; and a Philadelphia Baseball History Panel with authors Norman Macht, Jerry Casway, Richard Hershberger, Rich Westcott and David Jordan. Film producer Aviva Kempner also hosted an exclusive screening of film extras from her award-winning documentary The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg. Mike Caragliano made history again at the SABR Trivia Contest, always an entertaining spectacle. We also had a special tour of historic Philadelphia ballpark sites, a vintage 1860s-style base ball game, and a special video presentation by ESPN's Steve Wulf on Phillies great Johnny Callison.
- Complete coverage: For full coverage from SABR 43, visit SABR.org/convention/2013
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: From Swampoodle to South Philly, the SABR 43 convention publication
- Related video: Watch select videos from SABR 43 featured panels on YouTube
- Related audio: Listen to our SABR 43 featured panel discussions here
- Related audio: Listen to select SABR 43 research presentations here
- Photo galleries: View photo galleries from each day at SABR 43
- The host Larry Dierker Chapter pulled out all the stops for the 540 attendees and guests at our 44th annual convention, including the chapter's namesake himself, the Houston Astros icon and longtime SABR member Dierker who delivered the keynote speech at the SABR 44 Awards Luncheon. Astros president Reid Ryan spoke about growing up as the son of a Hall of Famer and his career in baseball, while Roger Clemens made a rare public appearance for the College Baseball Panel with Mike Gustafson, Jim Gilligan, and Mike Vance. The highlight of the conference was our visit to Minute Maid Park on Saturday for a special ballpark session in the historic and beautiful Union Station atrium. Thanks to the Astros' hospitality, we held two panel discussions before the game on Andy Pettitte Jersey Night, including an Astros Player Panel with Art Howe, Alan Ashby, and Dierker, followed by the Decision Sciences Panel led by GM Jeff Luhnow. Afterward, the Astros and Blue Jays put on a tremendous show in a game that featured an inside-the-park homer, a homer off the train tracks, Jose Altuve running wild, and two over-the-wall defensive gems. Other panels included a Houston Colt .45s Panel with Jimmy Wynn and other early Houston stars; the 1980 Houston Astros Panel with Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell, coach Deacon Jones, and former GM Tal Smith; the Media Panel with Bill Brown, Buck Martinez, Alyson Footer, and Evan Drellich; the Women in Baseball Panel with Jana Howser, Footer, Leila Rahimi, and Marie "Red" Mahoney; and the From Playing Field to Front Office Panel with Dr. Bobby Brown, Bob Watson, and Eddie Robinson. We also visited Constellation Field, home of the Atlantic League's Sugar Land Skeeters, where Tal Smith and Ira Liebman, voice of the Skeeters, spoke before the game.
- Complete coverage: For full coverage from SABR 44, visit SABR.org/convention/2014
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: Baseball in the Space Age, the SABR 44 convention publication
- Related video: Watch select videos from SABR 44 featured panels on YouTube
- Related audio: Listen to our SABR 44 featured panel discussions here
- Related audio: Listen to select SABR 44 research presentations here
- Photo galleries: View photo galleries from each day at SABR 44
- The elegant and historic Palmer House Hilton played host to the 660 SABR members and guests for our 45th annual convention in Chicago. Attendees were treated to one of the most memorable sessions — and certainly the loudest — at any SABR convention with our special concert with The Baseball Project, who delivered an energetic 90-minute performance of baseball-themed songs that tapped into their shared kindred spirit with SABR members' passion for the game. It was a perfect match of artist and audience. Another highlight was the appearance of baseball pioneer Masanori Murakami, the first Japanese major-leaguer, with author Rob Fitts at the Asian Baseball Committee meeting as part of their book tour for Mashi. At the Awards Luncheon, MLB.com columnist and author Phil Rogers delivered an emotional tribute to Chicago baseball icons Ernie Banks and Minnie Minoso, both of whom passed away earlier in the year. Other featured panels included: a Broadcasters Panel with Cubs announcers Len Kasper, Jim Deshaies, and Ron Coomer; a White Sox Players Panel with Ron Kittle, Carlos May, and Mike Huff; a unique panel on pitching prodigies, real and imagined, with former major-leaguer Steve Trout and Joe Berton, who portrayed "Sidd Finch" in the iconic April Fools' Day hoax by Sports Illustrated; a Women in Baseball Panel with Martha Jo Black, Christy Spisak, John Kovach, Caroline Phillips, and Leslie Heaphy; and a Negro Leagues Panel with former players Ernie Westfield and Al Spearman.
- Complete coverage: For full coverage of SABR 45, visit SABR.org/convention/2015
- Read more: Read every article from The National Pastime: Baseball in Chicago, the SABR 45 convention publication
- Related audio: Listen to our SABR 45 featured panel discussions here
- Related audio: Listen to select SABR 45 research presentations here
- Photo galleries: View photo galleries from each day at SABR 45
SABR 46 (2016): TBA
Stay tuned for more information!
Hall of Famers to speak at SABR conventions
- 1979: Cool Papa Bell (SABR 9, St. Louis)
- 1982: Sparky Anderson (SABR 12, Baltimore)
- 1987: Harmon Killebrew (SABR 17, Washington)
- 1989: Phil Rizzuto (SABR 19, Albany)
- 1990: Bob Feller, Bob Lemon (SABR 20, Cleveland)
- 1992: Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst (SABR 22, St. Louis)
- 1993: Bobby Doerr, Dick Williams, (SABR 23, San Diego)
- 1994: Robin Roberts, Nolan Ryan (SABR 24, Arlington)
- 1995: Bill Mazeroski (SABR 25, Pittsburgh)
- 1996: Bob Feller, second appearance (SABR 26, Kansas City)
- 1997: Jim Bunning, Pee Wee Reese (SABR 27, Louisville)
- 1998: Orlando Cepeda (SABR 28, San Mateo)
- 2000: Monte Irvin, Tony Perez (SABR 30, West Palm Beach)
- 2003: Pat Gillick (SABR 33, Denver)
- 2008: Bob Feller, third appearance (SABR 38, Cleveland)
- 2010: Phil Niekro, Bobby Cox (SABR 40, Atlanta)
(compiled by Maxwell Kates)
SABR Trivia Contest history
In 2015, Mark Kanter of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, reached a milestone with his 10th overall SABR Trivia Contest championship. Click here for a list of all past winners in the SABR Trivia Contest, including all-time leaderboards for individual, team and total.