The Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) marked a historic milestone at the 2023 Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, celebrating its 40th anniversary since its establishment in 1983.
The occasion was a testament to the organization’s enduring commitment to advancing the field of athletic training in professional baseball and ensuring the health and well-being of players. The 40th anniversary celebration gala was held at Hall’s Chophouse in Nashville. In attendance were the entire PBATS current membership and numerous alumni, including 15 Charter Members. In total, the alumni in attendance have 835 years of MLB experience — truly an amazing accomplishment for all of the individuals and PBATS as a society.
Founded in 1983, PBATS has played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of athletic training in the world of baseball. Over the past four decades, the organization has grown into a dynamic force, bringing together dedicated athletic trainers from Major League and Minor League Baseball to exchange knowledge, promote best practices, elevate the standard of care for baseball players, and educate students and future athletic trainers in baseball and sports.
The anniversary celebration at the Winter Meetings in Nashville was a joyous occasion, filled with reflection on the organization’s rich history and a look forward to its future endeavors. The event drew prominent figures in the athletic training community, including current and former members of the executive board, key partners from Gatorade and Major League Baseball, honorary members, and supporters of PBATS’ mission.
“It was truly an honor to have been able to celebrate our 40th anniversary of PBATS. The turnout from our distinguished alumni was incredible, the video that showed the history of PBATS and the passion of the alumni, and the current members was truly amazing,” remarked outgoing president Ron Porterfield. “Being a member of this society is something we should never take for granted, it is truly special,” added Porterfield.
The Winter Meetings provided an ideal backdrop for the celebration, as professionals from across the baseball industry gathered in Nashville to discuss the latest developments, innovations, and challenges facing the sport. The anniversary festivities included special recognition of founding members, a retrospective look at PBATS’ achievements, and a vision for the organization’s future endeavors.
PBATS has been at the forefront of promoting research, education, and service within the athletic training community. The organization’s commitment to excellence has resulted in numerous advancements in injury prevention, rehabilitation, and overall player care.
About the celebration of 40 years, PBATS alumni member Tony Garofalo said, “It was great seeing so many Alumni in Nashville. The Alumni have a lot to be proud of, especially the Charter Members that were present. We put our jobs on the line to start PBATS and even some of our colleagues were against it. But we persisted and we established an organization that is very respected in the athletic training profession and by Major League Baseball. This is something we are very proud of as PBATS members.”
Jamie Reed, longtime PBATS member, World Series Champion, and former president said, “It was so great for our society that different generations of PBATS members were able to share their experiences. I think it created a bridge that our society will benefit for years to come.”
As PBATS embarks on its fifth decade, the organization remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of sports medicine and continuing its mission to enhance the quality of athletic healthcare in baseball. With an ever-evolving understanding of player needs and advances in technology, PBATS is poised to shape the future of athletic training in professional baseball for the next 40 years and beyond.