Deadline extended! Call for papers: 2021 The National Pastime

The National Pastime is SABR’s annual summer journal, which since 2009 has been themed to the location of the SABR national convention. Last year’s theme was Baltimore, but the 2020 convention was pushed forward to 2021 due to the global pandemic — meaning that in 2021 we were free to explore a new thematic direction. We are taking advantage of this unique opportunity to expand and challenge our thinking and become Baseball Futurists.

The 2021 issue of The National Pastime will focus on the future through the lens of baseball. Just as baseball and its history is a reflection of the culture and society of the past and present, it can also serve as input, context, and/or predictor of plausible futures for sports in the United States and other countries. Tentatively subtitled The Future According to Baseball, this issue of The National Pastime will collect thought-provoking articles from a variety of disciplines.

Recently, we sent a “Baseball in 2040” survey to all SABR members about the different trends, technologies, and issues that could have an impact on Major League Baseball in the future. That survey laid the groundwork for many areas that could and should be explored, and this theme offers many innovative ways to present ideas. Ideally, we would like a mix of topics, and formats, that could include everything from the the different trends, technologies, and issues that will have the most impact on Major League Baseball in the future, to the ways MLB’s advancement affects other sports, technology and society.

Will advancements in medicine and physiology lead to players that have human enhancement capabilities? Will we see women players in the major leagues? When will we have the first trans player and what will that mean? Will we see baseball expansion to more countries? What will the most significant global issues be (climate change, pandemics, robotics, social equity?) and how will baseball be impacted by and reflect those ideas?

While we always welcome research articles that run 1,500-3,500 words, we are also open to sci-fi prototypes (creative stories of flash fiction), speculative news articles, futuristic press releases, and possibly even opportunities for augmented reality content.

This issue of The National Pastime will be co-edited by Marty Resnick and Cecilia Tan. Marty will be taking queries and abstracts until February 1, 2021. First drafts of articles will be due no later than March 8 and rewrites (if needed) will be due by April 15.

To query, send an email to with the subject line “TNP Query” and a key word or two on your subject. For example: “TNP Query: Virtual Reality and Baseball.” If you can estimate the length of the finished article, that is also helpful.

Remember that to be published in a SABR journal, your SABR membership must be current. (Click here to join.) Each article must include proper citation of sources and present a clear thesis. For full writers’ guidelines and details on how to prep your manuscript for submission, click here.

— Cecilia M. Tan
SABR Publications Director

Originally published: January 21, 2021. Last Updated: January 22, 2021.