Boston Chapter/Baseball Memories meeting recap – 5/21/2024

Boston Chapter members Herb Crehan and Joanne Hulbert had a good interaction with eight couples and four staff members at the Memory Cafe sponsored by the Worcester Council on Aging on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. As Herb describes it, “Our objective was to coordinate an enjoyable event for all participants dealing with Alzheimers and their care-givers.” Our primary contact with the Worcester COA described the event as “wonderful,” so we were confident we achieved our objective.

We presented for about 40 minutes and had pretty good success engaging participants, followed by 20 minutes of a spirited Q&As,” Crehan said. “Our hope is to have more of a conversation than a presentation, but we recognize there has to be enough contact to trigger memories! And making it interesting for the care-givers encourages them to perhaps watch a ballgame with their partner or to get a baseball book out of the library. If we give a pair one more enjoyable event that is a good thing.

“I believe visuals are important to stimulate the group and I used the PowerPoint pictures attached as a backdrop for my human interest anecdotes. For example, any of us who have watched Piersall’s story “Fear Strikes Out” knows Jim’s father was the problem. But when I asked Jimmy about his father he said, “That’s not true at all. The movie people said they only have 90 minutes so it would work best if they presented my father as the villain. “I needed the money so I agreed.” Hence my title, “I didn’t know that!!”

I did about 3/4 of the presentation and Joanne did the balance, which is a pretty good contribution for a first-timer. We want to get a little more participation in the presentation portion so the next time we will plant a question with the staff to show it’s okay. Also, at the very beginning we sang along with Carly Simon for all the verses of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” We brought along some “show and tell” for folks to look at before and after. My never-used Frank Sullivan game bat was a big hit—no pun intended.

We received a lot of compliments, all of which were sincere, so that’s energizing. There’s a lot of room for improvement, which is always a motivation for us! If you are interested in participating in the Baseball Memories Program, let us know, and you can also contact Anne Enos at SABR’s Baseball Memories website. She has been a great advisor and can tell you how to get involved.

— Herb Crehan & Joanne Hulbert