In Memoriam: Paul Hirsch

Paul Hirsch, 56, a former SABR Director and past president of the Lefty O’Doul Bay Area Chapter, passed away of brain cancer on Saturday, July 26, 2014, in San Diego, California.

Hirsch joined the SABR Board of Directors in 2007 and served admirably for six years at a critical time in the organization’s history. He first joined SABR in 1983 and was a leader for many years with the Lefty O’Doul Chapter in the Bay Area, helping to organize the 1998 national convention in San Mateo, California.

In 2004, he and SABR founding member Daniel Ginsburg founded the SABR Donor Program, which has helped the organization thrive in the 21st century. Hirsch was also a member of the Umpires and Rules Committee, and conducted extensive research on post-war franchise moves, his beloved Dodgers, and baseball uniforms.

He wrote several SABR biographies and articles for The National Pastime, and also contributed essays to three BioProject books: The Miracle Has Landed: The Amazin’ Story of how the 1969 Mets Shocked The World (2008); The Team That Forever Changed Baseball and America: The 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers (2012); and The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies (2013).

Born August 12, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York, Paul was the son of an engineer and a housewife, Jerry and Ann Hirsch. He grew up in Orange County, California, and was smitten with baseball from an early age. In the first game he attended, Sandy Koufax beat the Pirates at Dodger Stadium. He served as a ballboy for the California Angels during the 1974 season and caught more than a dozen in-game foul balls, which he liked to have autographed by the player who hit them.

After graduating from Mission Viejo High School and Cal State Fullerton, he began an award-winning career in marketing and public relations, where he advised Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco Systems and Sybase, along with the San Francisco 49ers, Pacific Bell, Sun Microsystems, and many others.

He is survived by his wife, Debbie, of San Diego, California; daughter Rebecca, of Northridge, California; son Mark, a student at Arizona State University; and brother and sister-in-law, David and Gwen.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, August 7 at St. Timothy’s Epsicopal Church, 1550 Diablo Road, Danville, CA 94526.


Originally published: July 27, 2014. Last Updated: April 16, 2020.