Society For American Baseball Research
- Updated 01/13
The New York City chapter of SABR was founded by Gary Kelleher, Bill Pechette and John Pardon after they attended a baseball seminar given by author and former public relations director of the New York Yankees Marty Appel at Pace University.
Gary ran the first regional at the Shea Stadium Diamond Club in May of 1984. Jack Lang, Frank Cashen, Danny Gardella, Ray Dandridge, Hector Lopez, Buddy Hassett, Marty Appel, Carl Lundquist and Larry Ritter were among the notables, with close to 250 people in attendance. Brooklyn sports writer and noted baseball historian Tom Knight was the MC for our first meeting, as he has been for all but one of the New York City chapter's regional meetings.
One highlight from that first meeting was Ed Lynch showing up in full uniform- spikes and all- with a baseball encyclopedia in his hand, showing us how he had had other players autograph their pages.
Another meeting was held at Shea's Diamond Club, in 1985, and again over 200 people attended. Notable attendees included Ralph Kiner, Mel Stottlemyre, Tim McCarver, Red Foley, Vern Hoscheit and Saul Rogovin. A real highlight was when Umpire Ed Montague performed a magic show! Both these meetings included dinner and a Mets game. Cliff Kachline and John Pardon, two of the original 16 SABR co-founders, attended both of these regionals.
During the winter of 1986, we met in Manhattan at The English Pub restaurant with over 100 members attending. It was the first of our "Winter Meetings," a tradition that continues today. We ran a “Best Players That You Never Saw Play” poll, won by legendary catcher Yogi Berra.
In 1987 and 1988 it was back to Flushing, Queens as Bill Pechette arranged for us to use the St. Margaret of Scotland church for our regional meetings. Approximately100 people attended each of these meetings; many members made research presentations.
1989 found us at Art Shamsky's Legends restaurant, where again we had more than 100 people turn out. Maury Allen and Art Shamsky himself were guests of honor. This was the first of five consecutive regional meetings that would be held in Manhattan.
1990's regional meeting was held at the Penta Hotel across the street from Madison Square Garden in midtown Manhattan. Several original Mets- the two Bob Millers, Clem Labine and Craig Anderson appeared courtesy of Pastime Productions, which was running a card and memorabilia show in the hotel. Free admission to the show was tied into the meeting. Authors Roger Angell and Stanley Cohen (A Miracle Summer, the story of the 1969 Mets championship) also made appearances.
We took a vote and renamed the chapter in honor of baseball legend Casey Stengel, and Al Blumkin began the tradition of his annual obituaries, in which he memorializes local contributors to New York baseball who had passed away during that year.
In 1991 the meeting was held at the Shelbourne Hotel. Chris Jennison, author of the book "Wait Until Next Year" was one of the research presenters. That same year, the SABR National Convention was hosted at the Penta Hotel by our chapter. Mel Allen was the keynote speaker; Terry Cashman and the Brooklyn Symphony provided musical entertainment at the banquet, which was the highlight of the 4 days gathering. Larry Ritter gave an encore presentation of the original tapes that made up the "Glory of Our Times." 405 people attended.
The Novotel Hotel was the site of 1992's annual winter gathering. Herb Stein, the long-time scout who signed Rod Carew, and HOF sportswriter Bob Broeg were our special guest speakers.
In 1993 we traveled uptown to the American Youth Hostel and Rusty Torres made the first of his two regional meeting appearances.
Beginning in 1994, the Casey Stengel chapter found a home at the Brooklyn Heights Public Library for seven consecutive winter meetings; for the first time, admission to a chapter regional meeting was free.
1995's winter meeting fell on the same day as nine inches of snow, which put a damper on attendance: only 53 diehards were able to attend, our smallest showing ever for a winter meeting. Billy Sample trekked in all the way from Jersey.