Twenty-two members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter assembled on Monday, January 20, 2020, at the Sports Cafe, located at 3579 Pennridge Drive in Bridgeton, Missouri.
Chapter president Rick Zucker called the meeting to order. The details of our upcoming SABR Day Hot Stove Luncheon were announced. It will be held at Favazza’s (5201 Southwest Ave.) Saturday, February 1 at noon (doors will open at 11:30 am). Special guests will be Dan O’Neill (author and former Post-Dispatch columnist), George Altman (Negro Leaguer, NL All-Star), Dr. Ray Doswell (VP of Curatorial Services for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City), and Emily Wiebe (St. Louis Cardinals Manager of Player Development and Performance). Tickets are $45 in advance ($55 at the door). Checks can be made out to “Bob Broeg SABR Chapter” and mailed to Mark Stangl, 11683 Chandellay Drive, St. Louis MO 63146.
Items mentioned for this date in baseball history were: 1871–The Boston Red Stockings are incorporated into the National Association where they spend 5 years before moving to the National League in 1876, eventually becoming the Atlanta Braves and remain the oldest continuous franchise in professional sports. 1947-Josh Gibson suffers a stroke and dies at 35. 1966-Ted Williams is elected to the HOF. 1970-Lou Boudreau is elected the HOF. 1997-Curt Flood dies from throat cancer at 59. 2000-All 30 teams grant internet rights to the Commissioner’s office, paving the way for mlb.com. 2006-Ozzie Guillen, the first foreign-born manager to win the World Series, turns 42 and becomes a U.S. citizen.
One day prior to the BBWAA announcement of the newest HOF voting results, a mock vote was held among the 22 present members and guests. 17 votes were required for induction and true to the actual results both Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were elected. Jeter received 19 votes and Walker 18 votes. Falling short were Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Todd Helton with 13 votes, Scott Rolen 10, Curt Schilling 9, Billy Wagner 8, Manny Ramirez 7, Gary Sheffield & Omar Vizquel 6, Jeff Kent, Andy Pettite, & Sammy Sosa 5, Jason Giambi & Andruw Jones 2, and Cliff Lee 1.
Brian Flaspohler announced that a 100th anniversary celebration of the Negro Leagues would take place during a doubleheader at Harris-Stowe State University on April 25th.
Ed Wheatley announced that the 1st Quarter 2020 roundtable gathering of the St. louis Browns Fan Club will be February 15th at 1 pm at the Carondolet Historical Society, 6303 Michigan Avenue in St. Louis. The topic will be “1953: The Final Season and Final Game”. The Browns Night at the Gateway Grizzlies this summer will be June 11th.
The general consensus around St. Louis is that Yadier Molina is a lock for the Hall of Fame. Morris Buenemann presented a statistical comparison of Molina to the current HOF catchers, a dozen retired/deceased catchers not in the HOF, and three other current catchers. He determined that comparing Molina’s WAR, WAR7, dWAR, oWAR, WAA, and JAWS numbers the only category that favors him is dWAR (5th best of all catchers mentioned). In the other five categories he trails most of the HOFers and at least half of the non-HOFers. Of course Molina has a chance to increase his numbers, but we are looking at only 2-3 years at best to do so, and the rise would have to be quite significant to place him in the middle of the pack. Will the writers bring into account some of the intangibles that Molina possesses and overlook his shortcomings statistically when he finally appears on the ballot?
General discussion topics included Ted Simmons’s election to the Hall of Fame by the Modern Baseball Era Committee, and the offseason free agent signings and trades.
Nominations for chapter officers for this year were solicited, however the current officers were all willing to continue in their current capacities, so no other nominations were presented at this time.
Bob Tiemann’s trivia quiz was titled “2019 and 21st Century Batting Leaders”. Jim Leefers was the winner with 45 out of 57 possible and was presented with a Stan Musial Harmonica.
The next regular monthly meeting will be Monday, March 2, 2020 at the Sports Café in Bridgeton. The next Fellowship Meeting will be Wednesday, February 5 at Lester’s in Ladue.
— Jim Leefers