In Memoriam: George W. Hilton

We are saddened to note the passing of SABR member George W. Hilton, 89, of Columbia, Maryland, who died of a heart ailment on August 4, 2014, at an assisted-living facility in Columbia.

He joined SABR as Member No. 40 on September 15, 1971, just over a month after the organization’s first meeting in Cooperstown, and remained active up until the last year of his life. He was an early contributor to the Baseball Research Journal, writing articles on Bill Thomas, the winningest pitcher in minor league history, and the 1946 Evangeline League scandal (1982), his beloved Comiskey Park (1975), and Bobo Holloman (1974). He also attended many regional meetings of the Allan Roth Chapter in Los Angeles before he retired in 1992 as a professor of economics and transportation regulation at UCLA.

He was the author of 15 books, mainly on transportation, including the seminal history of the Maryland & Pennsylvania Railroad (the “Ma and Pa”) and a book on the 1915 Eastland disaster in his hometown of Chicago.

Born on January 18, 1925, he grew up on the South Side as an avid White Sox fan and later authored an annotated collection of Ring Lardner’s baseball writings. For many years, his car’s license plate was “Sox ’06.” He graduated summa cum laude in 1946 from Dartmouth College. At the University of Chicago, he received a master’s degree in 1950 and a doctorate in 1956, both in economics.

His first marriage, to the former Phyllis Bartlett, ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Constance Slater, died in 2005 after 22 years of marriage.

Survivors include two stepsons, Eric Gabler of Silver Spring, Maryland, and Grant Gabler of Littlestown, Pennsylvania; and four stepdaughters, Amy Stefhon of Columbia, Carol Kelly of Westfield, New Jersey, Karen Smith-Adams of San Diego, and Ebony L. Smith of Colorado.


Originally published: August 19, 2014. Last Updated: August 19, 2014.