Twenty-two people attended the April 22, 2013, monthly roundtable of the Bob Broeg St. Louis SABR Chapter. The meeting was held at the regular location, The Original Crusoe’s in South St. Louis.
Jim Rygelski gave a presentation on “Significant Things About the 1928 Cardinals.” It wasn’t a day-by-day recounting of the season but a listing of some noteworthy things about the Cardinals and that major league season, such as: it was the third consecutive N.L. season whose pennant race was decided on the second-last day of the season; the Cardinals had six players later elected to the Hall of Fame (Bottomley, Frisch, Maranville, Hafey, Haines, Alexander) and a HOF manager, McKechnie; the Cardinals set a team attendance record of 761,000, not broken until 1946; the third-place Cubs outdrew the eventual World Champion Yankees in attendance, 1.14 million to 1.07 million; Burt Shotton, Jackie Robinson’s first manager with the Brooklyn Dodgers, made his managerial debut in 1928 by leading the hapless Philadelphia Phillies to a 43-109 last-place finish; the Boston Braves finished seventh despite having .340-hitting George Sisler at first base and batting champ Rogers Hornsby, .387, at second; most N.L. pitchers both started and relieved, with Alexander leading the Cardinals in starts with 31, a figure more comparable to today’s pitchers; the Yankees, despite injuries to key players such as Pennock and Combs, swept the favored Cardinals in the World Series. Jim’s presentation was augmented by team photos, scorecards, and a Series bleacher ticket to one of the games at Sportsman’s Park, which cost $1. The memorabilia were brought by Ted Ingram from his vast baseball collection.
Bob Tiemann gave a presentation, “Table of Batting Statistics for Historical Leaders in Triples.” His list included the top 20 all-time triples leaders, ranging from Sam Crawford’s 309 to Stan Musial and Rabbit Maranville at 177 each. Musial leads hitters who spent their career primarily on the Cardinals. Tiemann’s list and presentation also covered the triples totals of selected hitters such as Hank Aaron (98), Babe Ruth (136), Pete Rose (135), and Barry Bonds (77). The list included the top three among current hitters: Carl Crawford, 114, with a season high of 19; Jose Reyes, 111 and 19; and Jimmy Rollins, 105, 20. Among Cardinals who spent significant parts of their careers with the Cardinals, Rogers Hornsby ranked second on the list with 143, and Garry Templeton was No. 10 with 69. Musial, Hornsby, and Bottomley each had a high of 20 for a season. For the St. Louis Browns, George Sisler led the career triples list with 145, and had a high of 18 one season. In his presentation, Bob also noted that smaller ballparks and outfielders playing deeper today are primary reasons for the decline of triples over the decades.
Members discussed the current Cardinals’ woes with the bullpen. As they did, the TV in the room carried the Cardinals’ 3-2 win over Washington in which the bullpen was perfect for the final 2 1/3 innings.
Mark Stangl won the trivia quiz compiled by Bob Tiemann on “The Triple.”
The next monthly roundtable will be Tuesday, May 21, also at Crusoe’s.
— Jim Rygelski