Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 3/18/2019

Twenty-two members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter gathered at the Sports Cafe, 3579 Pennridge Drive in Bridgeton, Missouri, on Monday, March 18, 2019.

Chapter president Rick Zucker called the meeting to order.

First on the agenda for the evening was guest Mike Womble. Mike shared his recent research on St. Louis Cardinals MVP Seasons. There is a youtube video entitled “Ranking All 20 St. Louis Cardinals MVP Seasons” if you want to hear more information on how he arrived at his rankings. There are 17 position players and 3 pitchers who have won the National League MVP award for the Cardinals. He separated the rankings between position players and pitchers, ranking Albert Pujols’ 2009 season as #1 for position players and Bob Gibson’s 1968 season as #1 among the three pitchers. There was some good discussion about the rankings and the method that he used to arrive at his conclusions. Mike said his next topic for research is “The Greatest Single Seasons by Decade”. We look forward to hearing from Mike on this topic and perhaps more research in the future.

There was a treasurer’s report given on the Hot Stove SABR Day Luncheon held at Favazza’s Restaurant on February 2. The report stated that the luncheon operated at a loss this year, however there were many positive remarks about the program that was presented that day, directed primarily toward our guest speakers, former Cardinals scout and now Cincinnati Reds Assistant to the GM, Marty Maier, and Post-Dispatch sportswriter Benjamin Hochman.

An e-mail was recently sent to the chapter officers, from Heather Bostic, Vice-President of Title III and Sponsored Programs at Harris-Stowe State University. It was in regards to the ballpark marker placed near the campus baseball field, designating the site as the former location of Stars Park, one of the few ballparks built specifically for a Negro League team. She commented that this designation may lead to a gift to the institution that would allow them to make much needed improvements to the current baseball field and further recognize the historic relevance of the field. The potential donor has asked for approval to build a larger monument recognizing the history of the field that incorporates the plaque donated by the chapter. It was agreed to give our permission to allow the changes to occur.

Items mentioned for this date in baseball history were: 2000 – Cardinals acquire 42-year old Jesse Orosco for 27-year old Joe McEwing; 1968 – Heine Meine dies in St. Louis. He led the NL in wins in 1931; 1957 – Indians GM Hank Greenberg rejects a $1M dollar offer from the Red Sox for Herb Score; 1953 – The NL approves the move of the Braves to Milwaukee, the first franchise move in 50 years; 1918 – Our chapter namesake Bob Broeg is born. President Zucker had a birthday cake made to commemorate the occasion which was enjoyed by everyone.

Guest Leslie Hoffmeister, a member of Baltimore’s Babe Ruth Chapter and St. Louis native, was on hand to give a report on the recent Analytics Conference. She was especially interested in the use of analytics in advanced training techniques. She spoke about the approach used to measure a players ability to focus, motion capture systems used for both batting swings and pitching motions, and the use of virtual reality. It was also noted that in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition, at the conference, the winning team was the local group from Washington University. In this competition, undergraduate and graduate students from colleges and universities across the country compete against each other by preparing an analysis and presentation of a baseball operations decision – the type of decision a team’s GM and his staff is faced with over the course of a season. Congratulations to the Washington University team!

Ed Wheatley, of the St. Louis Browns Historical Society and Fan Club, gave a video presentation from their recent roundtable event on the significance of the Browns in the integration of major league baseball.

General discussion topics were about the upcoming rule changes over the next two seasons, which not surprisingly spurred some differing opinions and comments, and the Cardinals spring training performance thus far.

Sixteen 2019 Predictions forms were turned in. All sixteen chose the Indians to win the AL Central. World Series Champions choices were as follows: Cardinals (7), Yankees (3), Red Sox (2), Nationals, Mets, Brewers, & Astros (1 each).

Bob Tiemann’s trivia quiz was titled “Snatching The HR Crown (Or Not)”. Jim Leefers was the winner with 29 out of 30 answers. He received a copy of Tiemann’s 1983 book “Dodger Classics”.

The next event will be the Fellowship Meeting on April 3 at Lester’s in Ladue. The next regular monthly meeting will be Monday, April 15, 2019 at the Sports Café in Bridgeton.

— Jim Leefers