Baseball analytics group SABR now located at ASU – azcentral.com
In August 1971 in Cooperstown, N.Y., a group of 16 baseball researchers came up with the idea to start an organization specifically for baseball researchers. Since then, Society for American Baseball Research, or SABR, has grown to be a membership-based organization for anyone interested in all aspects of baseball.
SABR is a nonprofit organization specializing in baseball statistics, analytics and history. It recently relocated to the Cronkite School at Arizona State Universityâs downtown Phoenix campus.
âIt is targeted toward members of the baseball community who are passionate baseball fans who love everything from statistics to history to the camaraderie of being with fellow fans,â Chief Executive Officer Marc Appleman said.
Being a nonprofit organization, SABR is funded through donations, licensing agreements and company agreements, Director of Operations Jeff Schatzki said.
One major licensing agreement SABR has is with Rawlings, a sports equipment company specializing in baseball equipment. Rawlings essentially pays SABR for the work it puts into the analytics and statistics behind the Gold Glove candidates who go on to receive the Gold Glove Award, which is sponsored by the equipment giant.
âWe provide them with some very sophisticated analytical data regarding the defensive abilities of all major league players to help the voters in determining who should win the gold gloves,â Schatzki said.
Another large part of SABRâs organization and revenue are the events it puts on during the year. The Arizona Fall League and spring training puts SABRâs baseball knowledge into full force for fans that like offseason play.
In March during spring training, SABR holds its annual analytics conference in Phoenix, drawing participants from the manyÂ baseball fans who come to Arizona for the Cactus League. This yearâs conference will be March 10-12 at the Hyatt Regency. Commissioner of BaseballÂ Rob Manfred is scheduled to speak at the conference.
Besides the analytics conference, SABR also holds an annual convention. Whereas the analytics conference focuses on analytics world, the convention brings together SABR members. The 2016 convention is set forÂ July 27-31Â in Miami.
âBoth of those conferences are different animals,â said Deb Jayne, membership and events director. âSo the analytics is focused more on the business side of baseball, the statistics and analytic part, whereas our annual convention in the summer is focused more on our membership and baseball in that location wherever we choose to go in that city because we rotate where we hold that conference.â
Now with more than 6,000 members worldwide, SABR continues to grow â largely due toÂ its social media presence and membersâ increased ease of ability to share baseball knowledge, including statistics, to other SABR members.
âI learn something new about baseball every single day,â Director of Editorial Content Jacob Pomrenke said. âThereâs always something new that a member dug up. No matter what happens in baseball around the world, thereâs some history to it to put it in perspective and usually a member will find it and Iâll go and tweet it.â