SABR 41: Founder Tom Hufford Welcomes Attendees With Impromptu Performance

LIVE FROM LONG BEACH — Tom Hufford was once a ballpark organist for the minor league Pulaski (Virginia) Phillies, but his musical chops today, he says, are limited to “the National Anthem and baseball songs.”

One of SABR’s 16 founding members back in 1971 and now on the Board of Directors, Hufford and his wife, Nan, are familiar faces for attendees of the national convention.

He says one of his favorite memories from any SABR gathering involved a piano at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York — one owned by the great Christy Mathewson, with baseball bats as supporting legs. As Hufford tells the story, he sat down to admire the instrument up-close when Cliff Kachline, longtime Hall of Fame historian and SABR’s first Executive Director, asked him if he wanted to play it himself. So Hufford took the opportunity to belt out “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to the delight of those in attendance.

On Tuesday night at the Long Beach Hilton, those familiar notes could be heard from a piano on the second floor as Tom and Nan toured the convention area while the SABR staff was preparing for Wednesday’s opening day. Here is a clip of his impromptu performance:


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