Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter meeting recap – 7/22/2019

Twenty-six members and guests of the Bob Broeg St. Louis Chapter assembled at the Sports Cafe, located at 3579 Pennridge Drive in Bridgeton on Monday, July 22, 2019.

Chapter president Rick Zucker called the meeting to order. As always, our meeting started with everyone introducing themselves.

In attendance were four former chapter presidents: Rick Salamon, who recently renewed his SABR membership, served as president from 1991-92; Mark Stangl served from 1993-2000 and is currently the chapter treasurer; Norm Richards who served from 2000-08 and again from 2011-14; and Brian Flaspohler who served from 2014-2018 and just moved back to St. Louis after being in California for a year.

Items mentioned for this date in baseball history were: 1893–Jesse Haines is born. 1913-Cardinals pitcher Slim Sallee steals home in a 3-1 win over Brooklyn. (He is the only Cardinals pitcher to do so. Joe Magrane’s steal of home years later is rained out) 1923-Walter Johnson becomes the first to strikeout 3000 batters. 1941-Dick Wakefield is the first “bonus baby”, signing with Detroit for $52,000 and a car. 1967-The Atlanta Braves use a record 5 pitchers in one inning in St. Louis. 1969-The All-Star Game is postponed by rain for one day at RFK Stadium. President Nixon was unable to throw out the first pitch as planned due to his wanting to be present for the splashdown of the returning Apollo 11 crew the following day. 1989-Red Schoendienst is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski. Harry Caray is inducted into the broadcasters wing.

Zucker used a collection of old pennants that he won at the recent convention, to show the league standings on this date 75 years ago. Of course the year was 1944 and the two St. Louis clubs stood atop their respective leagues, eventually meeting in the World Series.

Ed Wheatley spoke about the upcoming St. Louis Browns Luncheon which will take place Wednesday, August 21 at 11:30 AM at the Holiday Inn SW at 10709 Watson Road, Sunset Hills, Missouri. The 75th Anniversary on the 1944 All-St. Louis World Series will be commemorated. Three of the ten current living ex-Browns will be in attendance, Don Larsen, Ed Mickelson, and the oldest living former MLB player, Tom Jordan, who will be 100 years old September 5th. Wheatley also announced that a sequel to the award-winning PBS film on the Browns will be aired on the PBS network August 10th.

Rich Applegate gave a book review on A Season in the Sun: The Rise of Mickey Mantle, by Randy Roberts & Johnny Smith. The book focuses primarily on Mantle’s Triple Crown season of 1956. In the Introduction section of the book it also spoke of “The Play”. The oft-told tale of how in Game 3 of the 1952 World Series, in the 8th inning, Mickey gunned down Jackie Robinson as he tried to stretch a single into a double. The book points out though that it never happened! This led to a lengthy discussion about fact-checking. Chapter member Carl Riechers, who is a respected fact-checker for many authors and researchers, gave a few examples that he has dealt with.

SABR member Dennis Thiessen, of Toronto, Canada informed the local chapter that his book, Tip O’Neill and the St. Louis Browns of 1887, is now available through McFarland publishing and has acknowledged the help of the St. Louis SABR chapter for their invaluable help in completing the book.

Allison Levin passed out flyers for the upcoming fifth annual Jim Rygelski Research Conference to be held September 21, 2019 on the campus of Webster University. Doors will open at 10:00 AM and submissions are due by September 1. For more information, submission forms, and registration visit (case sensitive).

Several members at the meeting recently attended SABR 49 in San Diego and were generally positive about the various panels, presentations, meetings, etc.

General discussions focused on the Cardinals (will they be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline?), continuing problems with the game itself, and the recent deaths of former Cardinals Ernie Broglio, Gary Kolb, and Joe Grzenda, and also former players Jim Bouton, Pumpsie Green, and Don Mossi.

Bob Tiemann’s trivia quiz was titled “The Four Home Run Club”. Rick Zucker was the winner with 43 out of 52 correct. He won a St. Louis Cardinals windbreaker.

The next regular monthly meeting will be Monday, August 26, 2019 at the Sports Café in Bridgeton. The next Fellowship Meeting will be August 7 at Lester’s in Ladue. 

— Jim Leefers