On May 14, 2016, fifty SABR members and guests met in the DH Lounge in the Warehouse at Camden Yards for the first ever “SABR Day at the Orioles” sponsored by the still young Baltimore Babe Ruth Chapter of SABR.
An excellent buffet meal was enjoyed by all as we were privileged to hear presentations from former Oriole pitcher (and Baltimore native) Dave Johnson; Bill Stetka, Director of Orioles Alumni; and Mark Pattison of the Mayo Smith Society. We then crossed over to the stadium to watch the game between the Orioles and visiting Detroit Tigers. The final score of that game was enjoyed by all but a small portion of those in attendance.
Dave Johnson regaled the audience with the story of his rise to the majors in 1987 with the Pirates and his career with the Orioles in 1989. Any misconceptions the audience had about the easiness of the life of a minor league pitcher were quickly corrected. Johnson was an ebullient and articulate speaker and approached SABR members after the meeting to do some research on his behalf.
Bill Stetka, a former and future SABR member, told of his more than two decades with the Orioles and gave some great insights to the relationship the franchise has with its city and fans. Bill had much more to tell and is already penciled in as a speaker at future Babe Ruth Chapter meetings.
Mark Pattison originally from Michigan is a professional journalist living in Washington, DC, and a senior member of the Board of our neighboring chapter (SABR’s first), the Bob Davids Chapter. Mark revealed the inner secrets of the Mayo Smith Society whose members constitute a diaspora of Tigers fans now living in the Central Atlantic and elsewhere.
We all then enjoyed the competition between two of the most entertaining teams in the majors. The outcome, a Baltimore victory, was fueled by home runs from Matt Wieters, Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones. A sixth-inning line-drive home run by the Tigers’ two-time Miguel Cabrera was beautiful in its own right, but not enough to keep the Orioles from the win column.
Plans for the next chapter outing will be with the Frederick Keys on Saturday, August 13. Speakers and other details will be announced soon.
— D. Bruce Brown