The Southern New England Lajoie-Start Chapter's annual post-Thanksgiving meeting on November 26, 2016, at St. Philip's Parish Center in Greenville, Rhode Island, was a whopping success: Nearly 70 members and guests attended and enjoyed five hours of offseason baseball talk.
Showing themselves to be stern judges of baseball talent, the attendees, in the annual mock Hall of Fame election conducted by Mike Darowski, declined to “send” any player to Cooperstown. None got the required 75 percent of the votes from the 50 people who took part in the election. Jeff Bagwell came closest with 70 percent, and Tim Raines was second with 60 percent in his final year on the ballot. Newcomer Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman tied for third. (At last year’s meeting the SABR members elected one player while the BBWAA elected two.)
The meeting got off to a pleasant start when Larry Smith, treasurer of the Southern New England Brooklyn Dodgers Fan Club, presented a check for $1,418.22 to chapter chairman Len Levin. The fan club is winding down its activities and since many of its members are also SABRites, it decided to turn its treasury over to the chapter. The money will be used to help pay expenses of future meetings.
Three authors made brief presentations and had copies of their books for sale: Herb Crehan (The Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox: Birth of Red Sox Nation), Jim Kaplan (Clearing the Bases: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime), and Gregory Rubano (In Ty Cobb’s Shadow: The Story of Napoleon Lajoie, Baseball’s First Superstar).
Research presentations were given by Steve Krevisky (on the 1916 World Series), Jay Hurd (Jerry Malloy Conference), David Kaiser (Who Really Won the Pennant: Breaking Down the Red Sox 1967 to 2016), Fr. Gerry Beirne (Cape Cod Cardinals: The Post WWII Boston Braves), Dixie Tourangeau (Notes From a Researcher’s Notebook), and Rick Harris (Early Baseball in Rhode Island).
The chapter always tries to have someone from the baseball world as a guest speaker, and this time our speaker was Gordon Edes, Boston Red Sox team historian and a former baseball writer in Boston, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Gordon’s wide-ranging comments were well-received.
Amid all this activity, the attendees paused for a ballpark lunch prepared by a St. Philip’s women’s group. The meeting ended with a baseball book raffle and sale.
The chapter’s spring meeting will be held at McCoy Stadium, home of the Pawtucket Red Sox. The date will be announced soon.
Check out more photos courtesy of Dixie Tourangeau below or click here to view a slideshow.
— Len Levin