Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 3/19/2013

Twenty-two people attended the March 19, 2013, roundtable of the Bob Broeg SABR Chapter, held at the usual location, the Original Crusoe’s in South St. Louis.

Special guest speaker was Fred Worth, a mathematics professor at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, and a member of the Robinson-Kell SABR Chapter. His presentation was “A Necrological Tour of Missouri Baseball,” in which he described his nearly decade-long search for gravesites of former professional baseball players.

Since beginning his quest, which Fred said began as a release from a “stressful” time at the university some years ago, he has visited 2,970 gravesites in 35 states.

Those sites include major, minor, and Negro leaguers, and some baseball executives. His presentation included both computer-projected images and binders with photos of gravesites and newspaper clips about the ballplayers whose graves he’s visited. He reported that some are unmarked. Most of his encounters with surviving family members have been pleasant, he said. He delighted those in attendance by naming, from memory, the burial places of players whose names came up in discussion among chapter members later in the meeting.

He tailored his talk to the Missouri sites he has visited, and noted that St. Louis’ cemeteries have a large number of graves of former players since the St. Louis region has been a good place for many players to settle in after their careers ended.

Wayne Hebden reported on his recent spring training trip to Florida and said he enjoyed several games, noting that his tickets ranged from $24 to $39 per game. Kris Lokemoen gave a report on the new book, Long Shot, by former major leaguer Mike Piazza. She said Piazza describes how his father’s relationship with former Dodgers’ manager Tommy Lasorda helped him get drafted by the organization, and covers his career well. She said it’s worth a read though it does drag at times.

A poll showed about three-fourths of the meeting’s attendees thought Piazza should be in the Hall of Fame despite his being denied entry in the recent vote by baseball writers. Kris also noted that the recent publication of Drama and Pride in the Gateway City, published by the University of Nebraska Press, about the 1964 world champion St. Louis Cardinals; several members of the Bob Broeg Chapter contributed players’ bios to the book. Bob Tiemann, in his presentation “George Harper’s Revenge,” described how the outfielder on the 1928 St. Louis Cardinals helped the team win the pennant, particularly with a three-homer performance in a late-season win over the New York Giants. He’d started the season with the New York N.L. club but been dealt to the Cardinals early in the season.

Bob Broeg members turned in written predictions on which teams will finish as division titlists, wild cards, league champions, and World Series winner, in a contest coordinated by Brian Flaspohler, the chapter’s vice president.

Members also discussed such Cardinals-related topics as the middle infield problem, particularly with the release that day of Ronny Cedeno; who the fifth starter will be; and other roster needs.

Jim Rygelski won the monthly trivia quiz put together by Bob Tiemann. This month’s quiz was on “Cellar-Dwellers, Managers and All-Stars” related to the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns.

The chapter has $3,750 in its account, reported Wayne Hebden, the chapter’s treasurer.

The next Bob Broeg Chapter monthly roundtable will be Monday, April 22, also at Crusoe’s, Compton and Osceola.