Original Research Committees
The Society’s first four active committees were established in 1971. They were Biographical Research, Publications, Minor Leagues, and Negro Leagues. The original Publications Committee was eventually dropped and replaced with the position of Publications Director, but several other publications committees and task forces have existed over the years to hire and assist different Publication Directors.
- Research Committees: Click here to learn more about each of SABR’s Research Committees
The Biographical Committee was formed to encourage biographical research of players, managers, and officials. It has collected birth, death, and other vital statistics on close to 15,000 players and managers who have appeared since 1871. It has been said that the Biographical Committee is an extension of Hall of Fame Historian Lee Allen’s biographical research club. Allen and late committee member Tom Shea provided much of the biographical data for The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball, first published in 1951 by Hy Turkin and S.C. Thompson. The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball, originally published by Grosset and Dunlap but commonly known today as the Neft and Cohen book, paid the Society $600 in 1972 for player demographic data, and continued to pay $120 yearly through 1974 for updates. The four authors, David Neft, Richard Johnson, Roland Johnson and Jordan Deutsch, were all Society members and had worked on the Macmillan’s Baseball Encyclopedia. The committee, which has been chaired by Cliff Kachline (1971-83), Joe Simenec (1983-84), Rich Topp (1984-88), and Bill Carle (1988-), has also provided data to Total Baseball and, in recent years, to Baseball-Reference.com.
The Negro Leagues Committee was formed in an effort to research and preserve for posterity the baseball history of African-Americans before the re-integration of major league baseball and to support efforts to give them due recognition. Chairmen have included John Holway, Merl Kleinknecht, Phil Lowry, and Dick Clark, and Larry Lester. The committee’s work resulted in The Negro Leagues Book, a 382-page book, edited by Dick Clark and Larry Lester, published by the Society in 1994. Members Holway, Clark, Lester, and Jim Riley, among many other writers and researchers, have produced authoritative works on the Negro Leagues and its players. By 1975 two former Negro League players, Dave Malarcher and Tweed Webb, had joined the committee. In August, 1999, the Society’s Negro Leagues Committee and the John Henry “Pop” Lloyd Committee co-hosted a conference on Negro Leagues baseball in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The Minor Leagues Committee studies and gathers data on the minor leagues. Chairmen have included Ray Nemec, Vern Luse, Bob Hoie, John Pardon, David Kemp, Jamie Selko, Carlos Bauer, Ernest Green, Bob McConnell, Kurt Bloeser, John Schleppi, Kevin McCann, Jonathan Dunkle, Joe Wancho, Joe Werner, and George Pawlush. The committee has produced three volumes of Minor League Baseball Stars, three volumes of the Minor League History Journal, two volumes of the Minor League Baseball Research Journal, and The SABR Guide to Minor League Statistics. No minor league, no matter how small or insignificant, has escaped the scrutiny of the committee.