Call for papers: 2020 The National Pastime

SABR 50 logoSABR’s 50th national convention will take place on July 15-19, 2020, in Baltimore. To coincide with the convention, the summer 2020 issue of The National Pastime will focus on baseball in the Charm City and around the state of Maryland.

Baltimore’s long association with baseball includes both the major-league and minor-league Orioles, from the celebrated National League champions of the 1890s with John McGraw, Wee Willie Keeler, and Hughie Jennings to the Birds dynasty of the 1960s and ’70s with Frank and Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, and manager Earl Weaver. Babe Ruth and Al Kaline each hailed from Baltimore, and Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Home Run Baker, and Harold Baines called Maryland home as well.

Next year provides a wealth of opportunities to commemorate baseball in Baltimore: 2020 will mark a quarter-century since Cal Ripken Jr. (who grew up just up the road in Aberdeen) surpassed Lou Gehrig’s record with his 2,131st consecutive game played and 50 years since the Orioles’ World Series championship in 1970, when they shut down the Big Red Machine in five games. Camden Yards, home of the Orioles since 1992, brought baseball ballparks into a new era and will surely be the subject of many conversations during the SABR convention. Baltimore also has a long history of black baseball, boasting such stars as future Brooklyn Dodgers Roy Campanella, Joe Black, and Junior Gilliam for the Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues and the Baltimore Black Sox’s “Million Dollar Infield” which included Hall of Famer Jud Wilson and Dick Lundy.

There’s plenty to explore and ideally we’d like a mix of topics that could encompass everything from fan studies to Little League. Research articles may be historical, biographical, or analytical (stats welcome), but please avoid personal narrative. 

This issue of The National Pastime will be edited by publications director Cecilia Tan. She will be taking queries and abstracts until December 10, 2019, and will make assignments no later than January 1, 2020. First drafts of articles will be due no later than March 1 and rewrites (if needed) will be due by April 15.

If you can estimate the length of the finished article, that is good, too. Typical articles tend to run 2,000 to 5,000 words — the size of a midterm paper, not a masters thesis. The upper limit on papers for the TNP is around 6,000 words. If you are given a word count limit by the editor, you must try to stick to it. Articles which exceed assigned page count may need to be cut or relegated to digital-only distribution and not be included in the print edition of the journal.

To query, email to with the subject line “TNP Query:” and a key word or two on your subject. For example: “TNP Query: Camden Yards legacy.”

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

— Cecilia M. Tan

Originally published: November 14, 2019. Last Updated: June 18, 2020.