SABR Salute: Bill Schroeder

Editor’s note: The SABR Salute, first bestowed upon writer Fred Lieb in 1976, was designed as a manner of recognizing the contributions of some of the older members of the Society. Subsequent SABR Salutes appeared in the SABR Membership Directory and honored members who had made great contributions to baseball historical research. Bill Schroeder received the SABR Salute in 1978; the following biographical sketch appeared in that year’s membership directory.

Any salute to W.R. “Bill” Schroeder for his contributions to baseball history and statistics has to be made in the context of his contributions to all sports. His primary sports affiliation has been as Director of the Helms Athletic Foundation in Los Angeles from 1936 to 1970 and the continuation of that role with the Citizen Savings Athletic Foundation up to the present. Since 1948 he has directed the Foundation’s primary facilities, which include a large sports museum and a sports library, now located close to the Los Angeles airport.

The library has an outstanding baseball collection and many SABR members have done research there in a very congenial atmosphere. Among its other sports publications, the library has an Olympic Games section which is the best of its kind and is an outgrowth of Bill’s membership on the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Bill is also a vice president of Citizen Savings, and that is not his first banking affiliation. He started out with the California Bank in 1925 and spent 11 years with that organization. Born in Beaumont, Texas, in 1904, he moved west to Southern California where he went to school and played semipro baseball. He developed a great interest in the sport and became an authority on Pacific Coast League baseball. He compiled the history and records of the PCL which was published in 1940. He also assisted in the compilation of Southern Association records in the period when Billy Evans was President of that League.

In 1941 Bill organized the California Baseball League and served as its president, 1941-47. In 1947 he also organized the Sunset League, which he headed, and the Far West League. That was the high mark of post-World War II baseball in terms of number of teams and leagues in the Minor Leagues.

Because of his record of achievement in baseball research, because of his collection of books and other materials which he has made available for public use, and for his personal involvement in baseball thru administration, awards, and numerous other means, we render him the SABR Salute for 1978.

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