Welcome to the Magnolia Chapter


The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) was formed in August 1971 in Cooperstown NY.   Currently, SABR has approximately 6,000 member worldwide.  Its mission is to:
  • promote and preserve baseball's standing as an historically significant social and cultural institution;
  • encourage research into all aspects of the game;
  • identify and document an accurate historical record of the game and its participants, and;
  • provide ways in which members can share their research with others who share their interests.
One way members can share their love of the game with others is through participation in the activities of their local SABR chapter.  The Magnolia Chapter is based in Atlanta and serves members throughout the state of Georgia.  SABR members from surrounding states that have no local chapter are welcome to participate in Magnolia Chapter activities.

The Magnolia Chapter takes it name from the magnolia tree (above) that once dominated the center field skyline at Ponce De Leon Park, home of the old Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association.   Today, the tree still stands behind a shopping center that now occupies the space of the old ballpark on Ponce De Leon Avenue.

The Magnolia Chapter holds at least two general membership meetings each year.  The Hot Stove League meeting is held in early February, while the "Play Ball" meeting is held in late April or early May.  These meetings include member research presentations and appearances by special guests.  Past special guests have included former Braves announcer and Braves HOFer Pete Van Wieren,  former pitcher Bob Hendley (left) and the late Furman Bisher.  Other meetings may be held at other times of the year depending on the availability of program participants.  

The Chapter also has a Fall Banquet, usually in early November, where members have a chance to listen to guest speakers and share a meal with other local SABR members. John Smoltz (left, with Mil Fisher) was the featured speaker at the 2014 banquet.  Other past speakers at the fall banquet have included Paul Snyder, Ron Blomberg (the first designated hitter), the Toronto Blue Jays' first manager Roy Hartsfield, and authors Lee Lowenfish, Tim Wendel, Tim Gay, among others.  

The chapter also participates in SABR Day.  SABR Day is designed to be the one day of the year when every SABR chapter and members have a chance to celebrate SABR and welcome new members into the fold.  National SABR Day is usually in late January; however, in recent years, the Magnolia Chapter has been folding SABR Day into its own Hot Stove League meeting in early February.

The chapter holds a couple of informal get-togethers each month as well.  "Third Thursdays at Manuels" is held on (obviously) the third Thursday of each month at Manuels Tavern at the corner of North Ave. and N. Highland.   Members start gathering around 6:45 up in the "Eagles Nest" room and generally stay until 9:30 - 10:00 or so.  There are no formal presentations; just a chance to discuss/argue baseball with fellow members.   Also, the chapter holds a "Fourth Wednesdays" get-together at a location on the east side of Atlanta.   The new location is Piccadilly Cafeteria in the Northlake area.  This get-together usually starts around 6pm and may include brief presentations of some type along with plenty of baseball chat.

Members also have the opportunity to attend minor league games with other local members and an occasional game at Turner Field, as well as other special events such as the Rickwood Classic in Birmingham, the annual Southern Association Conference, and the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

We hope you will visit our website often to keep up on what's going on in the Magnolia Chapter!