Bill James honored with inaugural SABR Analytics Conference Lifetime Achievement Award

Sabermetric pioneer Bill James was honored with the inaugural SABR Analytics Conference Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, March 10, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Vince Gennaro and Bill JamesSABR President Vince Gennaro presented James with the award following his talk on the future of baseball analysis at the sixth annual SABR Analytics Conference.

“Bill is receiving this award because of his enormous contribution to the game of baseball,” Gennaro said. “His writings have been provocative; they’ve encouraged us to think about baseball in new ways.

“Perhaps the greatest gift he has is his ability to frame a problem and ask the powerful question, the one no one else oftentimes is asking. He’s inspired thousands of others to seek an answer [and] that ultimately leads to a much deeper understanding of the game for fans, for baseball operations departments, and for anyone who really wants to understand how the game works.”

James accepted his award to a standing ovation from the capacity crowd at the Hyatt Regency Phoenix.

“I will treasure this and put it on my mantle so I can see it every day,” he said.

James is the best known baseball analyst in the world and a prolific author of many books, including the Historical Baseball Abstract, Win Shares, Politics of Glory, The Bill James Gold Mine, and the annual Bill James Handbook. Forty years ago, in 1977, he began publishing an annual series of Baseball Abstracts that were treasured by readers as much for Bill’s high-quality writing as his many statistical innovations.

He is considered by many to be the father of sabermetrics — he even coined the phrase in 1980 — and has created many new statistics such as Runs Created and Win Shares to evaluate player performance.

He is a founding member of the SABR Statistical Analysis Research Committee and was a recipient of the Henry Chadwick Award in 2010. Since 2003, he has been a Senior Advisor on Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox. The team has won three World Series championships during his tenure.

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Originally published: March 11, 2017. Last Updated: March 11, 2017.