Tributes To SABR For Its 40th Anniversary

Several prominent SABR members sent along tributes to the organization as it celebrates its 40th anniversary on August 10, 2011:

SABR has provided a valuable service to baseball through their diligent research.  I am especially appreciative of the major role our organization has played in preserving the history of the Negro Leagues.

Happy 40th Birthday!

— Monte Irvin, Hall of Fame baseball player

I was lucky. I discovered SABR when I was just 19 or 20 years old. Before that, I had no idea there was a whole community of people out there who shared my passion for baseball’s incredibly rich history. Now, I don’t really know what I would do without the conventions, the publications, and all the incredibly wonderful people I never would have met if not for SABR.

— Rob Neyer, Baseball Editor, SB Nation

Happy 40th birthday, SABR! Baseball research and analysis are getting better every year, and all who practice those arcane acts stand on the shoulders of SABR’s founders.

I am as proud to be a member today as I have ever been, and I owe my fellow SABR members so much; as Casey Stengel once said after winning the World Series, “I couldn’ta done it without my players.”

— John Thorn, Official Historian, Major League Baseball

It is a pleasure for me to wish SABR a Happy Birthday!

SABR is, and has been, a favorite organization of mine for many years. The history and research projects have brought back vivid memories of my youth, including a day back in 1938 when, as a youth, I attended my first Major League game – and in Fenway Park; a game in which I witnessed a home run struck by Jimmie Foxx, the American League MVP of that season.

— Roland Hemond, three-time MLB Executive of the Year and 2011 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SABR! It started as a wonderful idea and it has become a terrific organization, encouraging people to do baseball research, publishing many of the results of that research and providing a way for researchers and historians to meet and communicate with each other.

For me, SABR was a huge help when I was doing “The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball”. Bill Carle and his Biographical Research Committee provided great demographic data on a huge number of players, from old-timers to rookies.

— David Neft, editor of The Baseball Encyclopedia and 2010 recipient of SABR’s Henry Chadwick Award

SABR’s position in sports – indeed in American culture – is unique, and to be treasured. Rare are the opportunities for those who combine expertise and love, to genuinely contribute to the understanding, recording, and advancement of the thing they love. Such is SABR, where we (the professional historians and researchers, and the amateurs like me) continue to produce the keys that unlock baseball’s secrets. I salute SABR’s 40th Birthday, take pride in my 27 years as a member, and say without the slightest exaggeration that one of the greatest regrets of my life remains my failure to join up when I had a chance – in 1973!

— Keith Olbermann, TV anchor and writer

The knowledge and passion of SABR people for baseball’s past and present is off the charts! I loved meeting them and sharing memories.

— Wes Parker, former Los Angeles Dodgers Gold Glove first baseman

I am very happy that Bob Davids had the idea to form SABR 40 years ago.  I have made a lot of friends and also received a great deal of cooperation on several projects that required people all over the country to participate.  John Thorn and I met via SABR, which led to the Hidden Game of Baseball, then Total Baseball, and now the Barnes & Noble/ESPN encyclopedias with Gary Gillette.

— Pete Palmer, 2010 recipient of SABR’s Henry Chadwick Award

For more coverage of SABR’s 40th anniversary, click here.

Originally published: August 10, 2011. Last Updated: August 10, 2011.