SABR 41: Attending For Many Reasons

LIVE FROM LONG BEACH — If you talk to 100 SABR members at the national convention this week, you’ll probably hear 101 reasons for why they’re there.

For many, the opportunity to see a major league game in a stadium far from home is always a treat. In Southern California, American and National League fans will both get their fill as SABR convention attendees will see the Dodgers and Padres play on Friday night at historic Dodger Stadium and take in an Angels-Mariners game on Saturday night in Anaheim.

Maxwell Kates, a member of the Hanlan’s Point Chapter in the Toronto area, arrived early to see his beloved Detroit Tigers take on the Angels on Tuesday night (although they lost 1-0 in a tension-filled game in which pitcher Justin Verlander and manager Jim Leyland were ejected.) Irv Goldfarb, from North Woodmere, New York, saw better results for his team when he went to the Mets-Dodgers game on Tuesday, as Jason Bay smacked two home runs in the Mets’ 6-0 win.

Other SABR members are interested in listening to the 30 research presentations on the schedule all week.

“We’ve got people who won’t miss a single presentation if they can help it,” said SABR Director Leslie Heaphy, co-chair of the Women in Baseball Committee.

That will be tough to do this year, as the presentations are double-tracked due to time constraints. It’s almost impossible to choose between “Baseball’s 7 Deadly Myths”, by Henry Chadwick Award winner John Holway, and “The Search for Baseball’s Missing Treasures,” by David Stephan and four-time Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award winner Trent McCotter, which both begin at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

And of course, the panel discussions — on subjects as varied as sports medicine to the changing role of general managers — always draw a lot of interest from members and nonmembers alike.

We’ll help you stay up-to-date at by posting multimedia clips and live updates on Twitter during the presentations and panels.

Nearly every SABR member says while the baseball is what brings them together, it’s the camaraderie that keeps them coming to the convention. Regular attendees have a chance to reconnect with longtime friends, while first-time attendees quickly learn how much fun it is to talk baseball for a week with so many kindred spirits. The hotel lobby and bar, and other nearby watering holes, fill up every night for conversations about games and players from long ago to debating the All-Star selections for next week. (Just don’t get people started about Pete Rose!)

A first-time attendees social is scheduled for later tonight, at 8 p.m. in the Catalina Room. Ask around and find out why other members are here for SABR 41. I bet you’ll hear a different answer than the one you’re expecting.

— Jacob Pomrenke

Originally published: July 6, 2011. Last Updated: April 17, 2020.