New day coming for SABR?

Late Saturday night, SABR member Paul Brewer had an intriguing idea: why not establish a non-geographic chapter of SABR. Existing chapters are geographically centered because traditionally notions of community are centered at fixed locales. The internet has changed the equation, and Paul thought maybe Baseball Think Factory, which has herded numerous members into the organization in recent years, can be a chapter.

After Paul’s spark of inspiration, SABR member and BTF poster Chris Dial provided the perspiration. Knowing that creating a non-geographic chapter would require a pigeonholed some veteran SABR members and leaders, getting their opinions on the matter. Once he found out they were supportive, he rallied a dozen or so BTFrs to think through what they could say. This all had to be done in one night, as the Board of Directors meeting was the next morning and after that the convention would end.

Thanks largely to Dial’s energy and leadership, a fairly effective presentation was made to SABR leaders, who responded very positively. The Board unanimously approved a resolution stating:

Move that the board looks favorably on the application of the Baseball Think Factory for recognition as a ‘community of interest’ functioning as a SABR Chapter, but, recognizing the need for bylaws modification to achieve this and understanding that this will establish a new model for chapter-like entities asks Chris Dial to develop a plan and directs the Executive Director to investigate implications for SABR within the next 60 days.

I didn’t include this in my recap because I left town before the meeting and only knew it was intended to be presented before the Board.

I think this is tremendous news as it could transform the never nature of SABR. Speaking as a sample size of one, I’m far more plugged into the BTF contingency at SABR than I am to my locale chapter (Chicago). There’s nothing wrong with geographic chapters, but this plan could augment the existing ones as it does mirror some of modern American communities. Here’s hoping this bold new plan succeeds.

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Chris Jaffe
14 years ago

I probably should source the quote: SABR member and BTF poster Mike McCullough, who was present for the meeting, posted it at BTF’s lounge.

Matt Mitchell
14 years ago

I too think this is a great idea. As a SABR member who doesn’t live near a Major League city (Denver is a day trip), I’d definitely be a candidate for a chapter like this. The trick, as I see it, will be distinguishing these chapters from the committees and keeping things from becoming too fragmented.

Neal Traven
14 years ago

I ran into new SABR Prez Andy McCue at BWI after the convention, and he was definitely positive about the Brewer/Dial proposal. 

I think this is potentially a real breakthrough.  No longer is it SABR trying (feebly) to reach out to the online baseball community … this is the online community looking to build a collaboration with SABR, to help build relationships between them, for the improvement and strengthening of both/all.

F. X. Flinn
14 years ago

Matt and others…I encourage you to contact Chris Dial and get him any ideas, observations, questions about this. Like anything new to an established organization, uncertainty over how to proceed is best overcome by thinking ahead and coming up with answers to questions in advance, so if you have questions, answers or anything else this is the perfect time to chime in. I assure you that everyone on the SABR board is and has been trying to figure out how to travel to the future. It is important that the baseball community have a financially independent organization with no commercial axe to grind standing for the interests of those who take a deeper interest in the game.