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SABR Day Coming Up Soon – January 25th

With the upcoming annual SABR day coming up in just over a week I thought I would take a moment to comment on why any baseball fan should join SABR.

When most people think of SABR they think of sabermetrics and the study of advanced statistics, but it is so much more than that. I am not into the statistics as I am the history of the game. I just started working on my master’s degree in history and have decided to do my thesis on how baseball influenced the war effort during the 1940’s.

As a member of SABR I have had a lot of great resources available to me. Over the past few weeks I have been able to listen to oral histories put together and saved online by SABR to help in my research. All it took as a member was an email with a short list of names to get the audio files sent to me. There are hundreds available and I have been fortunate to find a few from players that also served in the war.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a research group that will fit anyone’s interest where you can learn about a part of the game that interest you.

Then there are the different chapters around the US, and now around the world. Many of the chapters have meetings throughout the year or meetups somewhere to talk about baseball. There is such a wealth of knowledge in these chapters that you can learn more and more about baseball that might be specific to your area.

Each year there is a SABR convention as well. In 2014 the convention will be in Houston. I have not yet been to one of these conventions since I have lived overseas for the past few years, but I am going to try and make my first one this summer since it won’t be far from me. Here they have presentations, meetings, and different outings for baseball fans of all ages and interests.

SABR is definitely a worthwhile endeavor for any baseball fan. I will continue as a member in order to hopefully meet more baseball fans that have similar interests than myself as well as to continue to learn about the history of the great game.

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SABR Day 2011 – Nashville, TN

For years I have thought about joining the Society for American Baseball Research or SABR. But in the end I always talked myself out of it because I don’t consider myself a “stats guy”. I, like many people, had a misconception about what SABR was about.

Sure there are the Sabermetrics guys out there or “stats guys” if you will, but SABR is much more than that. I only wish it didn’t take me this long to find that out.

I am more interested in the history of the game, and that was just what I found when I went to my first SABR meeting on SABR Day last Saturday. Since I live near Nashville, I met up with the Grantland Rice-Fred Russell Chapter for breakfast, and I was glad I did.

What I found was a group of baseball fans that were interested in different aspects of the game which made for an interesting breakfast. Some members were interested in minor leagues while others were interested in how geography affected the game. That was something I never really thought about, but it was interesting to hear someone knowledgeable talk about.

Members of the chapter came from all over the area. There were folks from Birmingham, Chattanooga, Nashville, and even Bowling Green, KY. But we all had one thing in common and that is a love for the game.

I heard a lot of interesting stories. We even got the story on how the Nashville Sounds came to town from their first general manager Farrell Owens. I found that interesting, and it was nice to hear the story from someone who had a great deal in baseball returning to Nashville after a 14-year absence. It’s the behind the scenes history of teams like that which make this game so interesting off the field, and SABR is just the place to find that and much more.

I wasn’t sure how I would be accepted at the meeting having not known anyone prior, but everyone was more than welcoming. They were even interested in hearing about baseball in Korea, which I found a little relieving since I wasn’t sure what else I would talk about. It really couldn’t have been a better first meeting for me, and I owe all of that to the group that was there.

I met some amazing people, who I hope to be in contact with in the future even though I am moving half way around the world. I know I can learn a lot from them about the game I love, and in the end that is why I joined SABR.

All in all it was a great time. To top it off I got to briefly meet Dwight Gooden. The Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association had its yearly banquet the night before at the hotel where we met for breakfast. Their speaker that night was Gooden, and the next morning he was eating breakfast with some of the members of the Association. He was kind enough to take a picture with our small SABR group giving me a memory I will long remember.

So thanks to Skip, Joe, Clarence, Gerald, Peggy, Dan, and Dwight (I hope I am not forgetting anyone) for making my first SABR meeting one to remember. If you aren’t a member and have a love of the game whether it is for stats or the history, I would highly suggest joining and participating in events to meet fellow lovers of the game.

SABR Day 2011
SABR Day 2011 – Nashville, TN

Photo courtesy of Skip Nipper

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