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, primarily through the use of statistics. The organization was founded in Cooperstown, New York, on August 10, 1971, at a meeting of 16 “statistorians” coordinated by sportswriter Bob Davids. The organization now reports a membership of over 7,000 and is based in Phoenix, Arizona.
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.
Biography Project, with members authoring well-researched and engaging biographies of a growing list of former big league ballplayers and other notable contributors to the game.
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 hosts an annual baseball analytics conference in Phoenix and a Negro Leagues conference, which is 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.
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.
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.
^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.
^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.