Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 7/18/2017

Eighteen members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter gathered at Lester’s Bar & Grill, located at 9906 Clayton Road on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

Chapter president Brian Flaspohler called the meeting to order. Items noted in “Today in Baseball History”: 1882 – Ambidextrous pitcher Tony Mullane of Louisville pitched with both hands in a Major League Game at Baltimore. Normally a right-hander, Mullane switched to the left hand in the fourth inning. He eventually lost 9-8. 1927 – Ty Cobb of the Philadelphia Athletics doubled for his 4,000th hit at Detroit’s Navin Field off former teammate Sam Gibson in the first inning. 1970 – Willie Mays bounced career hit #3,000 through the left side of the infield off Mike Wegener in the second inning of San Francisco’s 10-1 win over Montreal. 1987 – Don Mattingly tied Dale Long’s 31 year-old Major League record when he homered in his eighth consecutive game in the Yankees 7-2 loss to the Texas Rangers. President Flaspohler proudly mentioned that his wife is actually a second cousin, once removed of Dale Long.

Eleven of our local members recently attended SABR 47 in New York City, which set a new attendance record, beating the mark set at SABR 37 in St. Louis. Hey, we held it for 10 years, gang!

Seven of those that attended were present at the meeting and all were very positive of their experience at the convention. The one disappointment mentioned was the overall lack of ex-ballplayers on the speaker panels. Jim Bouton, Mark DeRosa, and Mets coach Tom Goodwin (who spoke to the group at Citi Field) were the only ex-players mentioned and all were well received. Others speakers that the local attendees enjoyed were Mets GM Sandy Alderson, 2017 Spink Award winner Claire Smith, Lindsay Berra, granddaughter of Yogi Berra, and Keith Olbermann. SABR 48 will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

While at the convention, local member Allison Levin informed President Flaspohler that she is forming a satellite chapter at Webster University in St. Louis.

Bob Tiemann presented some old newspaper accounts of President Taft’s attendance at a Cubs/Giants game in Chicago on September 16, 1909. All four articles made mention of Taft standing in the middle of the seventh inning to stretch, precluding the popular legend that the tradition was begun on opening day the following year when Taft attended the game to make the inaugural presidential first-pitch.

Burton Boxerman spoke of some of the preliminary work that he and his wife Bonita have been doing on an upcoming book about Bill DeWitt, Sr., including a recent evening speaking with current Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. and Bill DeWitt III. This also led to some discussion about former Browns owner Bill Veeck.

Mark Stangl spoke briefly of his enjoyable experiences at the College World Series in Omaha.

Open discussion was dominated by whether the Cardinals would be buyers or sellers prior to the trade deadline.

Bob Tiemann’s trivia topic was “Single-Season Triple-Crown (plus runs) Statistical Leaders by Defensive Position Played”. Rick Zucker was the winner with a score of 63 out of 81 and received a Mark McGwire poster.

The Baseball First Wednesday Meeting will be at the Sports Café in Bridgeton on Wednesday, August 2, 2017 starting at 5:30. The Jim Rygelski Research Conference is scheduled for Saturday, August 26 on the campus of Webster University; however there is a slight possibility that it could be rescheduled to the original date of August 19, so stay tuned. The next regular monthly meeting will be September 18, 2017 with the location to be determined.

— Jim Leefers