The 2015 George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award, which was established by SABR’s Pictorial History Research Committee to honor significant contributions to the knowledge and understanding of historical baseball imagery, has been awarded to Bill Hickman, the longtime committee chair who lives in Rockville, Maryland.
The SABR Pictorial History Research Committee has released the following statement:
During Bill’s time as chairman, the following things happened:
- The Player Image Index grew from 14,300 major leaguers to 17,399 major leaguers and the Player Image Index database grew from about 20,000 records to about 40,000 records. The Index now covers about 97% of the major league players.
- The Manager Image Index was launched and it grew to the point where it now covers 97% of the major league managers.
- The Ballpark Image Index was launched and now covers about half of the historical major league ballparks.
- Coach and Umpire Image Indexes were launched.
- Several thousand vintage baseball photos have been identified in SABR PHC sponsored group projects, including the Libray of Congress Bain and Ewing & Harris collections, and the Boston Public Library Leslie Jones collection.
- The process of archiving and digitizing the collection of SABR photo negatives was started.
It should also be pointed out that PHC membership more than tripled in size during Bill’s tenure.
Bill knew how to define an important research objective and create an inclusive plan to achieve it. Most importantly, he knew how to inspire people to participate.
In all of this, Bill established a great example for future PHC chairpersons to follow.
To learn more about the George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award, click here.
Originally published: June 15, 2015. Last Updated: April 24, 2020.