Pictorial History Research Committee

Welcome to the Pictorial History Committee!

The committee manages the SABR-Rucker Archive, one of the most extensive collections of baseball images in North America. This collection will contain nearly 80,000 unique images from the roots of baseball in the 19th century up to current major league teams and players. These images represent more than 150 years of the sport and its growth from homemade fields with players wearing no gloves to the global pastime today played by hundreds of millions of kids and adults, from Little League to the Major Leagues. We have digitized the entirety of the collection and are in the process of initial cataloging in order to make all of the images available as part of the search engine on SABR.org.

Another primary focus of the Pictorial History Committee is to develop the Player Image Index. The goal of this project is to catalogue at least one photo image of every man who has played in the major leagues. When we are able to catalogue an image, that means that we know where it has been published or in what collection it has been seen. We have been able to catalogue images for about 96% of the players who have been in the majors since the beginning, 1871. The Player Image Index currently consists of more than 28,000 records describing image sources for over 16,000 major league players.

For general information about the Player Image Index project, contact one of the committee leaders below.

The committee is also developing a Manager Image Index and a Ballpark Photo Index. In addition, the committee is working with staff at the Library of Congress to improve the accuracy and completeness of captions associated with the Library’s website display of baseball-related photos from the George Bain Collection.

The Ballpark Photo Index project is being led by Paul Healey. If you are interested in learning more about this project or in being a project participant, please contact Paul Healey. In its initial stage, the project will concentrate on cataloguing photos of major league parks, both current and former. As the project advances, it is likely that we will begin to catalogue photos of minor league and other ballparks as well.

The Manager Image Index project is being led by Dave Davis. We have catalogued many of the manager images into the “Pictures” section of the SABR Encyclopedia. Over 95% of the major league managers have images catalogued into the SABR Encyclopedia. We have also developed a Missing Managers List to show those managers for whom we have not yet discovered an image. If you are interested in participating in this project, please contact Dave Davis.

The George Michael SABR Pictorial History Award is granted by SABR’s Pictorial History Research Committee for significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding of historical baseball imagery. Click here to learn more and view past recipients of the award.

  • Newsletters: To find current and past Pictorial History 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.