The SABR Story
The Society for American Baseball Research had its beginnings in Cooperstown, New York. It was the brainchild of L. Robert Davids, who on August 10, 1971, gathered 15 other baseball researchers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame to form the organization.
From this modest start, SABR membership has broadened steadily. A decade later, it had reached 1,500; today, it totals more than 7,500 worldwide. Who belongs to SABR? Many major and minor league baseball officials, broadcasters and writers, as well as numerous former players. Primarily, the membership consists of “just plain fans” — anyone interested in baseball can join. While the original purpose of SABR was to band together baseball historians, statisticians and researchers, it is not necessary to engage in research to become a member.
Ernie Harwell, the late Detroit Tigers broadcaster, said: “SABR is the Phi Beta Kappa of baseball, providing scholarship which the sport has long needed. … An excellent way for all of us to add to our enjoyment of the greatest game.”
SABR members have a variety of interests, and this is reflected in the diversity of its research committees. There are more than two dozen groups devoted to the study of a specific area related to the game — from Baseball and the Arts to Statistical Analysis to the Deadball Era to Women in Baseball. In addition, many SABR members meet formally and informally in regional chapters throughout the year and hundreds come together for the annual national convention, the organization’s premier event. These meetings often include panel discussions with former major league players and research presentations by members.
Most of all, SABR members love talking baseball with like-minded friends. What unites us all is an interest in the game and joy in learning more about it. Some member benefits include:
- Two issues of the Baseball Research Journal, which includes articles on history, biography, statistics, personalities, book reviews, and other aspects of the game.
- Expanded e-book edition of The National Pastime, our convention journal which focuses on baseball in the region where that year’s national convention is held
- This Week in SABR e-newsletters every Friday, with the latest goings-on in SABR and highlighting SABR members’ research
- New e-books published through the SABR Digital Library — free to all SABR members
- Regional chapter meetings, which can include guest speakers, presentations, and trips to ballgames
- FREE online access to the Historical Black Newspapers Collection via ProQuest, the Newspapers.com World Collection, and The Sporting News via Paper of Record
- Access to SABR’s extensive archive of members-only Research Resources
- SABR Analytics Certification program, an online, on-demand curriculum offering professional development and learning opportunities
- Online member directory to connect you with an international network of passionate baseball experts and fans
- Discount on registration to our annual conferences and National Convention
- Access to SABR-L, an e-mail discussion list of baseball questions and answers, or other online forums at SABRgroups.org
- The opportunity to be part of a passionate international community of baseball fans
To become a SABR member, visit SABR.org/join.
Want to learn more? Check out Frequently Asked Questions about the benefits of SABR membership.
- John Thorn: Why I’m a SABR member, and you should be, too.
- “The Cooperstown 16”: Click here to learn more about SABR’s first meeting and its 16 founding members