More than 60 members and guests gathered at St. Philip's Parish Center in Greenville, Rhode Island, on November 26, 2011, for the fall meeting of the Southern New England Lajoie-Start Chapter (I use the approximation because I saw some people there but didn't see their names on the signup sheet). Dick Flavin entertained us with "Teddy at the Bat," plus a new poem he has written about Fenway Park. Dick also talked about his trip with Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio to see Ted Williams in Florida. OUr other scheduled speaker, Ted Lepcio, unfortunately left early and didn't get to talk to us.
Steve Krevisky and Marc Wise were co-winners of the trivia contest. The meeting was also highlighted by a mock Hall of Fame vote. Mike Darowski, who conducted the election, submitted this report:
At the November, 2011 chapter meeting, we had our first of what I hope will become an annual event – a mock Hall of Fame ballot. We took a stab at voting for both the standard BBWAA ballot and the “Golden Era” Veterans ballot. Just like the real balloting, it’d take 75% of the vote to get elected. 38 ballots were submitted, and it quickly became evident that our ideas of what makes a player HOF worthy are as varied as those of the writers.
We didn’t elect anyone in either our BBWAA or Vets elections. The leaders were Jeff Bagwell (63.1%), Barry Larkin (50%), Edgar Martinez (42.1%), Jack Morris (39.5%), and Lee Smith (31.6%) for the HOF and Luis Tiant (58%), Ron Santo (47.4%) and Gil Hodges (44.7%) for the vets. Of new candidates, only Bernie Williams (18.4%) got more than one vote and would remain on the ballot in future years. As a group we didn’t think highly of the PED crowd, with McGwire (13.2%), Palmeiro (8%), and Juan Gonzalez (3%) coming nowhere close to getting elected.
I found this exercise very interesting. We had a lot of variety in the ballots. We had one ballot where someone voted for the maximum allowed 10 players. We had three other ballots with only vote each. We had two ballots with no votes at all. It really goes to show how hard it is to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
Our next meeting will be held next spring at McCoy Stadium. I'll let you know as soon as we have a firm date, which will depend on the Pawtucket Red Sox schedule.
— Len Levin