Hanlan’s Point Chapter

The Hanlan’s Point Chapter serves the Greater Toronto area and Southern Ontario.

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Newsletters: Click here to download any current or past edition of the Hanlan’s Point Chapter newsletter, The Jenkins Journal.

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SABR chapter meetings are open to all baseball fans. For details on the next chapter meeting, visit SABR.org/events.



Hanlan’s Point Chapter history:

Canada has always played an important role within SABR. There have been Canadian members of SABR as early as 1971 and by the end of the organization’s first decade, there were enough members in Toronto to field a team. A young educator named Bill Humber envisioned enough of a baseball research community in the Toronto area and in 1979, he founded the Spring Training for Baseball Fans class. He continues to organize his baseball interest course each winter to this day. Along with Bill Maxwell, Gavin MacKenzie, and the late Dave Crichton, Bill spearheaded Toronto’s first SABR Convention, which was held in 1981. The convention, held at the Erindale campus of the University of Toronto, was not without controversy. Convention planning was plagued by both the baseball strike and the Canada Post strike that summer and weeks before his keynote address, Blue Jays broadcaster Early Wynn announced without explanation his decision to withdraw from the program. In terms of attendance, however, it was SABR’s largest to date.

Humber remained instrumental within the Toronto baseball research community over the ensuing decades. He wrote and published six books about baseball in Canada, served on the SABR Board of Directors in 1982-83 and in 1989, he was a driving force behind “Let’s Play Ball,” an exhibit which celebrated 150 years of baseball in Canada at the Royal Ontario Museum. All the while, Humber tried to disavow Early Wynn of one of his 300 victories, an endeavor which proved to be unsuccessful. In January 2022, Humber was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his contributions highlighting Canadian baseball history.

In 2005, Toronto hosted a second SABR convention. This convention attracted a wide array of speakers including sportswriters Louis Cauz and Neil MacCarl, former Expos broadcaster Jacques Doucet, and Tom Valcke of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. In 2006, the Toronto chapter took part in a fund raising effort to establish a historic plaque at Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands to honour the location where Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in 1914. The Chapter also focused on meetings that included baseball alumni and writers such as baseball Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins, Jim Fanning, Dr. Ron Taylor, Alan Ashby, Jerry Howarth, Buck Martinez, Danny Gallagher, and Bill Young.

Following discussions with a group of Southern Ontario SABR members at the 2018 SABR convention in Pittsburgh, the Chapter launched a pilot to expand chapter activities beyond Toronto. The initiative proved successful as an increase in active membership supported the launch of a Chapter newsletter, The Jenkins Journal. Other highlights included the holding of a vintage baseball game in Beachville, Ontario, site of the first detailed recording of a baseball game played in Canada on June 4, 1838, and the strengthening of support between the Chapter and the Centre for Canadian Baseball Research. The Centre holds an annual baseball history conference and a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chapter and the Centre was signed in November 2022. Based on results of the pilot, the SABR Board approved amending the Hanlan’s Point designation to “Hanlan’s Point (Toronto and Southern Ontario)” as of November 2022.

In 2022, SABR published two books related to baseball in Canada. Our Game Too: Influential Figures and Milestones in Canadian Baseball was edited by Chapter member Andrew North. We Are, We Can, We Will: the 1992 World Champion Toronto Blue Jays was co-edited by chapter member Adrian Fung (with Bill Nowlin). The Hanlan’s Point Chapter is an active participant in SABR Day and has programming throughout the year. Please contact any member of the Chapter Board for more information.