The Society for American Baseball Research had its beginnings in Cooperstown, New York. It was the brainchild of L. Robert Davids, who on August 10, 1971, gathered 15 other baseball researchers at the National Baseball Hall of Fame to form the organization.
From this modest start, SABR membership has broadened steadily. A decade later, it had reached 1,500; today, it totals more than 6,000 worldwide. Who belongs to SABR? Many major and minor league baseball officials, broadcasters and writers, as well as numerous former players. Primarily, the membership consists of “just plain fans” — anyone interested in baseball can join. While the original purpose of SABR was to band together baseball historians, statisticians and researchers, it is not necessary to engage in research to become a member.
Ernie Harwell, the late Detroit Tigers broadcaster, said: “SABR is the Phi Beta Kappa of baseball, providing scholarship which the sport has long needed. … An excellent way for all of us to add to our enjoyment of the greatest game.”
SABR members have a variety of interests, and this is reflected in the diversity of its research committees. There are more than two dozen groups devoted to the study of a specific area related to the game — from Baseball and the Arts to Statistical Analysis to the Deadball Era to Women in Baseball. In addition, many SABR members meet formally and informally in regional chapters throughout the year and hundreds come together for the annual national convention, the organization’s premier event. These meetings often include panel discussions with former major league players and research presentations by members.
Most of all, SABR members love talking baseball with like-minded friends. What unites us all is an interest in the game and joy in learning more about it. Some member benefits include:
- Two issues of the Baseball Research Journal, which includes articles on history, biography, statistics, personalities, book reviews, and other aspects of the game.
- The National Pastime, which focuses on baseball in the city or region where our national convention is being held
- 8-10 new e-books published annually by the SABR Digital Library, all FREE to members
- “This Week in SABR” e-newsletter sent to members every Friday
- Regional chapter meetings, which include guest speakers, presentations, and trips to ballgames
- Publish your research in SABR research journals, the BioProject, or the Games Project
- Online access to back issues of The Sporting News and other publications
- SABR-L listserv and many other research resources
- Online member directory to help locate other members with your interests
- Discount on registration to our national convention and other major conferences
- The opportunity to be part of a passionate international community of baseball fans