Nineteenth Century Research Committee

SABR’s Nineteenth Century Committee, established in 1983, fosters research on all facets of baseball before 1901. Completed committee projects include full team and player statistics for the 1871-1875 National Association, two volumes of short biographies published by SABR, Nineteenth Century Stars (1989; reissued 2012) and Baseball’s First Stars (1996), and Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century (2013).

Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legends: Members of SABR’s Nineteenth Century Committee receive an online ballot every spring for the Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend, to select the top players not yet inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The results are announced at the committee’s annual meeting at that year’s SABR convention. To learn more about the project and get involved, click here.

Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference: The Nineteenth Century Committee organizes this conference each April in Cooperstown, New York. All baseball fans are welcome to attend. For more information, click here.

Virtual Monthly Speaker Series: All SABR members are invited to attend the virtual, monthly 19th Century Baseball Speaker Series, with research presentations that were originally presented at “The Fred” in Cooperstown. These informative talks will be re-presented on Zoom each second Tuesday of the month. The starting time for each session will be 8:00 p.m. ET and they will run for one hour. Click here to learn more or to watch past presentations on YouTube.

19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium: To help us derive a greater understanding of baseball’s early days, SABR’s Nineteenth Century and Origins Committees established the biennial 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium. Previous symposiums were held in New York City (2014), Philadelphia (2016), Cleveland (2018), Minneapolis (2019), Brooklyn (2021), and Providence (2022).

Donate to the 19th Century Grave Marker Project: Please consider supporting the 19th Century Grave Marker Project, which identifies 19th-century baseball notables who either lack a grave marker or whose headstone is in dire disrepair, and then rectifies those issues. Click here to learn more.

Chairman’s Award: Each year, the leadership of the SABR Nineteenth Century Research Committee selects the recipients of its Chairman’s Award. These members have lent their time and energy to enhancing our understanding of 19th-century baseball and in service to the committee. Click here for a list of past winners.

American Association History Project: In 1993, a new long-term committee project was introduced by late SABR founding member Bob McConnell. McConnell’s goal for The American Association History Project was to produce a book-length history of the 19th-Century American Association (1882-1891), its teams and participating cities. Initially, a great deal of research was conducted under the direction of Bob McConnell, Bob Bailey and Jonathan Dunkle. By the late 1990s, the project stalled and by 2007-08, the Nineteenth Century Committee decided to halt the project indefinitely. Thanks to Joanne Hulbert (collecting the research files), Trent McCotter (scanning the files) and Jacob Pomrenke (uploading the files on the SABR website), the files are now available to all SABR members. They are collected on this page for future researchers who might be interested in studying the American Association of 1882-1891.

  • Newsletters: To find current and past Nineteenth Century committee newsletters, click here.
  • Announcements: To sign up for email announcements from this committee, click the “Announcements” button above, then click “Join Group” (). All SABR members are eligible to sign up for announcements from any committee.
  • Discussion: The Nineteenth Century Committee and the Origins Committee share a Yahoo! discussion group, 19CBB, which anyone can sign up for. Or “like” us on Facebook for further updates.