For the 55 attendees of the Rocky Mountain Chapter's 16th annual banquet on November 15, 2013, it was a memorable night. Filling up the Centennial Room at the Denver Athletic Club all the guests were treated to a fine evening of baseball conversation and comradery. Some of the discussions were about the recently concluded post season playoffs and the miscues of the Grand Ol’ Game during those games, as well as many other topics.
The many classic items up for silent auction became eye-catching for those in attendance, as were the tables across the ballroom where current and rare baseball books were available for purchase. The night’s banquet attendees also were able to participate in a raffle for tickets to “Jackie and Me” at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Ed Henderson, esteemed baseball scout, sportscaster, and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, announced that dinner was served shortly after 7 p.m.
It was then time to move on to the evening’s program beginning with Jeff Bridich, Senior Director of Player Development for Colorado Rockies and fellow SABR member. As the Featured Speaker for the night, Jeff talked about the role of Development Supervisor within the Rockies organization that provides a leadership role for the oversight and implementation of the Colorado Rockies development philosophies and practices at the minor league level. They travel with their respective club and focus on team-building, generation and evaluation of best practices on a daily and season-long basis. All aimed at developing players for the big league clubs run to the playoffs and ultimate World Series.
After all the guests had been served, some chapter business was attended to by MC Ed Henderson. Introduction of some of the honored guests in the crowd, including anyone involved with the game of baseball at the professional level. Afterward, the presentation of the John Zajc Award for service to the chapter was made to Paul Parker. Paul was very surprised to get the award and humbly accepted it. Also announced were the final results of the ballots cast providing the newly elected members of the chapter’s board, these include:
•President: Matthew Repplinger
•Vice President: Michael Sullivan
•Treasurer: Jeff Nelson
•Secretary: John Paul
•At-large Board Members elected:
•At-large Board Members continuing their terms:
William “Chip” Atkison
The evening then reached its high point with the Keynote Speaker, Bryn Smith, former major league pitcher and winner of the first victory in Colorado Rockies history. Bryn provided insight into the “Game within the Game” which included some excellent props, discussion, and demonstrations. He provided highlights to his baseball career, game day experiences and baseball travels. He also gave some comparisons of today’s baseball practices at the minor league and MLB level compared to those in use during his climb through the minor leagues to the major leagues. He then highlighted his activity with high school and collegiate level baseball players where Bryn is currently the pitching coach for the Santa Maria Packers of the Pacific West Baseball League. The team features returning Hancock College players and high school seniors who will be attending Hancock the next fall.
John Paul, RM SABR Secretary
- Photos of the 16th Annual RM SABR Banquet can be found at: