Society for American Baseball Research
The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) is a membership organization dedicated to fostering the research and dissemination of the history and record of baseball. Established in Cooperstown, New York, in August 1971 by sportswriter Bob Davids, it is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
While the acronym "SABR" may have lent its root to the word sabermetrics (for the use of sophisticated mathematical tools to analyze baseball), the Society is about much more than statistics. Well known figures in the baseball world such as Bob Costas, Keith Olbermann, Craig R. Wright, and Rollie Hemond are members, along with highly regarded "sabermetricians" such as Bill James and Rob Neyer.
Some prominent SABR members:
Only a minority of members pursue "number crunching" research. Rather, the SABR community is organized both by interest and geography:
- Research Committees study a particular issue
- Regional Chapters link members by proximity. The latter are frequently named after baseball personalities relevant to their region.
- SABR also has an active Biography Project, with members authoring well-researched and engaging biographies of a growing list of former and current big league ballplayers.
SABR members keep in touch through online directories and electronic mailing lists set up through the SABR headquarters. The headquarters also maintains a number of research tools on its website, including a lending library, home run and triple play logs, and course syllabi related to the game.
SABR holds annual conventions in a different city each year. The conference generally includes panel discussions, research presentations, city-specific tourism, a ballgame, and an awards banquet. The 2007 convention in St. Louis, Missouri set the attendance record with 726 registered attendees out of approximately 7,000 SABR members. The organization also sponsors a baseball analytics conference in Phoenix and an annual Negro Leagues conference, held in a different location each year.
The Baseball Research Journal (BRJ) is SABR's flagship publication since 1972 for members to publish and share their research with like-minded students of baseball. The National Pastime is an annual, published from 1982 to 2008 as The National Pastime: A Review of Baseball History, when it was intended as a more literary outlet than the stats oriented BRJ; since 2009 it is a convention-focused journal, with articles about the geographic region where the convention is taking place that year. Other Society publications are an increasing variety of books (since 1976) and ebooks (since 2011); 8-10 new e-books published annually are all free to members.
SABR annual awards include:
- Bob Davids Award: for exceptional SABR members who have made contributions to SABR and baseball that reflect ingenuity, integrity, and self-sacrifice. It is SABR's highest honor, and was established in 1985.
- Henry Chadwick Award: for baseball researchers—historians, statisticians, annalists, and archivists.
- Seymour Medal: best book of baseball history or biography published during the preceding calendar year.
- McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award: for authors of the best articles on baseball history or biography completed during the preceding calendar year (published or unpublished).
- Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award: for projects which do not fit the criteria for The Seymour Medal or the McFarland-SABR Award.
- Jerry Malloy Book Prize: best book-length nonfiction manuscript submitted by a member of SABR.
- Doug Pappas Research Award: best oral research presentation at the Annual Convention.
- Lee Allen Award: for the best baseball research project at the annual National History Day competition.
- Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award: research paper by a researcher in grades 6–8 (middle school category), grades 9–12 (high school category), or undergraduates 22 and under (College Category).
In 2013, SABR began collaborating with Rawlings on the Gold Glove Award. Rawlings changed the voting process to incorporate SABR Defensive Index, a sabermetric component provided by SABR, which accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote for the defensive award.
Retrosheet is a research and archives organization independent of SABR which holds its annual meeting in conjunction with the society's annual convention.
Past convention sites and keynote speakers
- "Bob Davids". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- "Designing People...". Computer Gaming World. 1992-08. pp. 48–54. Retrieved 3 July 2014. Check date values in:
- "Publications". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "Other Society Publications". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- "The SABR Story". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
- Established in November 2009, the Henry Chadwick Award was first presented in 2010. "Henry Chadwick Award". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- "Henry Chadwick Award". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2011-12-17.
- "SABR Creates New "Henry Chadwick Award": James, Ritter, Palmer Among Honorees". OriolesHangout. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Chuck, Bill (February 15, 2011). "SABR Announces 2011 Chadwick Award Recipients". Billy-Ball. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Harold Seymour and his wife Dorothy Seymour Mills together wrote a three-volume history: Baseball: The Early Years (1960), Baseball: The Golden Age (1971), and Baseball: The People's Game (1991). "Harold Seymour and Dorothy Seymour Mills". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
- The Seymour Medal was first awarded in 1996, at the SABR national convention. SABR held the first Seymour Medal Conference in 1999, at Cleveland State University, in conjunction with the presentation of the medal. "The Seymour Medal". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "SABR and The Seymour Medal: How Did it Happen?". Dr. Harold Seymour, Baseball Historian. drharoldseymour.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "The Seymour Medal: Winners and Finalists". Dr. Harold Seymour, Baseball Historian. drharoldseymour.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "Seymour Medal Award". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- Mondout, Patrick. "Seymour Medal Honorees". BaseballChronology.com. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- See also: Baseball awards#Baseball book of the year.
- The McFarland award was "previously named The Macmillan-SABR Baseball Research Award (1987–1999)", according to "McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved 2012-02-17.
- "Rawlings Gold Glove Award Finalists Announced" (Press release). Rawlings. October 25, 2013. Archived from the original on January 8, 2014.
- Keri, Jonah (ed.) (2006). Baseball Between The Numbers: Why Everything You Know About the Game is Wrong. Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-00596-9.
- Lewis, Michael (2004). Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. Norton. ISBN 0-393-32481-8.
- Ross, Ken (2004). A Mathematician at the Ballpark: Odds and Probabilities for Baseball Fans. Plume. ISBN 978-0-452-28782-2.
- Society for American Baseball Research official website
- SABR's BioProject committee, whose goal is to write in-depth biographies of every MLB player