Sixteen members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter gathered at The Original Crusoe’s Restaurant in South St. Louis on Monday, May 16, 2016.
Chapter president Brian Flaspohler called the meeting to order and mentioned that so far he had only one confirmed research presentation for the Chapter Research Conference that will take place August 20, 2016. He encouraged those with research presentations to let him know as soon as possible.
Flaspohler and those that attended the first ‘alternate’ meeting for the chapter on Thursday, May 5 at the Trainwreck Saloon in Westport were generally pleased at the turnout. These meetings will be less formal with no agenda and involve general baseball discussion, good food, and good camaraderie. The next alternate meeting will be Thursday, June 2 at the same location.
The first item noted in “Today in Baseball History” was the 1902 game between the Reds and the Giants where two deaf-mutes faced each other for the first time as William ‘Dummy’ Hoy led off for Cincinnati against Luther ‘Dummy’ Taylor. There was some discussion about how such nicknames would be socially incorrect today. Also included was the first night game in Shibe Park history in 1939, Billy Martin’s 29th birthday celebration in 1957 that led to the fight at the Copacabana Club, the sale of the Astros in 1979 to John McMullen for $19 million, and the 1984 game when the Twins sold 51,863 tickets and only 6,346 fans showed up. The numbers were skewed by the fact that Minneapolis businessman Harvey Mackay organized a massive ticket buyout plan to keep the Twins in Minnesota. If the club did not sell 2.41 million tickets the lease with the Metrodome would be broken. Because of a Family Day promotion, Mackay was able to buy 44,166 tickets for $218,718.
Flaspohler gave a report on a trip he, Carl Riechers, and a friend made to the various ballpark markers around the city that commemorate sites of former major league ballparks. Most were still in generally good condition, unfortunately the one on the campus of the former Beaumont High School that was the site of Robison Field from 1893-1920 was missing.
The recent article in Sports Illustrated by Joe Sheehan entitled “Is Baseball Broken?” was discussed. Some of the solutions put forward were moving the pitcher’s mound back, putting a limit on the thinness of bat handles, & lowering the mound again. It was mentioned that the number of runs scored as the result of home runs has increased to 42%.
Open discussion topics included the number of pinch hit home runs by the Cardinals (8 as of this report), the Blue Jays-Rangers fight, the continued poor defense by the Cardinal infielders (it was pointed out it has been better than the 08 team, 1908 that is that led all of baseball in errors with 349, and the eventual return of Tommy Pham and Jhonny Peralta to the Cardinals lineup and who will be sent down.
Bob Tiemann’s trivia topic was “Albert Pujols – El Hombre of Yore”. Jim Leefers was the winner with a score of 24 out of a possible 35 and received a 2008 MVP mini statue of Pujols as a prize.
As mentioned earlier, the next alternate meeting will be at the Trainwreck Saloon on Thursday, June 2. Next month’s regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 21 at Crusoe’s.
— Jim Leefers, Secretary