Twenty-one members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter gathered at the Sports Cafe, located at 3579 Pennridge Drive in Bridgeton on Monday, April 23, 2018.
Chapter president Brian Flaspohler called the meeting to order. Newly elected treasurer Mark Stangl gave the treasurer’s report. Flaspohler then announced that he would have to relinquish his position as president at the end of May, since he will be moving to the Los Angeles, California area due to his wife’s new job.
Items mentioned for this date in baseball history were: 1902 – Luis Castro makes his major league debut with the Philadelphia A’s becoming the first Colombian native and the only one prior to 1974. 1919 – Walter Johnson records his fifth opening day shutout beating the A’s at Griffith Stadium. 1952 – Both starters at Sportsman’s Park toss a one-hitter, but Browns southpaw Bob Cain is the victor over Bob Feller and the Indians 1-0. 1952 – New York Giants knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm homers in his first major league at-bat but never hits another in his 21 year career. 1954 – Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hits the first of his 755 home runs off Vic Raschi of the St. Louis Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park. 1962 – The expansion New York Mets win the first game in franchise history defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-1 at Forbes Field. 1999 – Fernando Tatis of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the first player in major league history to hit two grand slams in the same inning, connecting in the third inning, both times off Chan Ho Park of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
Allison Levin gave a report on the SABR Analytics Conference. She found some of the more interesting topics were the importance of clubhouse chemistry (Chase Utley’s clubhouse presence is apparently one of baseball’s most unifying), the slow free agent market this past off season, and clutch hitting. There was some good discussion on each of these topics.
Flaspohler discussed his progress of the SABR bio on former Cardinals/Browns/Cubs first baseman Ed Mickelson, who is 91 years old and resides in St. Louis. He said he recently interviewed Mr. Mickelson and his mind is still sharp.
Joe Votoupal gave a research presentation on the Cardinal’s attendance and its reliability on promotional items. With 31 promotional giveaway dates the Cardinals will hand out just over 1,000,000 items. This doesn’t take into account special ‘theme nights’ where there are additional giveaways with a special ticket/voucher. Theses include nights for Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Firefighters, Nurses, Law Enforcement, the Military, Kurt Warner, Bob Costas, the Negro Leagues, and even Hello Kitty. The Cardinals have not drawn less than 3 million since 2003, but Votoupal speculates that they may not draw over 2 million without the giveaways.
Bob Tiemann shared a May 3, 1919, Washington Post article and box score touting Washington Senators pitcher Jim Shaw as the “New Babe Ruth” after homering twice and getting the win vs. the Philadelphia A’s.
Other topics of discussion were the Cardinals’ 7-0 start vs. the Cincinnati Reds and going 6-8 vs. other opponents, and the early season weather.
Bob Tiemann’s trivia topic was “2018 Major League Managers and General Managers.” Mark Stangl was the winner with a score of 54 out of 60. The top three all received a 125th Anniversary Cardinals hat, courtesy of Steve Gietschier.
The First Wednesday Meeting will be May 2 at the Frontenac Hilton Restaurant. The next regular monthly meeting will be Monday, May 14, 2018 at the Sports Café in Bridgeton.
— Jim Leefers