A night with SABR

added 9/15/2009 by Scott Barzilla

Instead of talking about yet another one run loss, I thought I would talk about an organization I am a member of called SABR. SABR stands for the Society of American Baseball Researchers. Most people on the outside think it is an organization for stat geeks and there certainly are a good amount, but most of the members of the Larry Dierker Chapter (Houston) are not statistical gurus. In fact, I am sad to say I am the statistical guru of the group. Considering how many folks are higher up on the food chain in the stats world, that’s saying something.

However, their knowledge of history is second to none. Most of them are dedicated to not only imparting their knowledge of the game, but also finding out more. They have sought out long since forgotten players and interviewed them so their story would continue. Our chapter has had the likes of Monte Irvin, Jimmy Wynn, and Tal Smith to name a few. Every month there is a new speaker to expound on old stories, baseball knowledge, and new incites into the game.

The Larry Dierker chapter is one of the biggest in the country and only one chapter (Atlanta) meets more often. Meetings are held monthly at a downtown eatery where you will normally see some of the biggest names in Houston baseball. Seven different members of the media are members with three or four attending regularly. Being able to discuss baseball with them is one of the greatest pleasures I have. They are as committed to the cause of advancing baseball history as any of us are.

Right now, some members of SABR are taking on multiple important projects. Currently, the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame is endeavoring to have a museum here in Houston. They hope to have a joint effort in conjunction with the Astros. Secondly, members of that group are also doing key research on players that played in Texas or were from Texas. The list is obviously extensive, but they do the work anyway. The Houston chapter even has its own website up now and they are endeavoring to expand that as well.

So, if you are a lover of baseball you can do a lot worse than joining SABR. It doesn’t mean you have to be in stats. Most meetings end up with a discussion about the current game like steroids or other current trends in strategy. If you would like to discuss those issues and receive some great reading materials with your membership then give SABR a try. Especially in seasons like this, discussing something bigger than the Astros is worth the time and effort.