Buck O’Neil/North Florida Chapter members gathered on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, in the Legends Room at Glory Days Grill, Tallahassee, Florida, for their monthly meeting. In attendance were:
- Matt Keelean, President
- Matt Hudson, Vice President
- Renee Watters, Communications Co-Director
- Rick Swain, Treasurer
- Kent Putnam, Secretary
- Diana Kampert
- Jim Wolf
- Glenn Robertson
- Bruce Grant
- Fred Dunphy
- Chuck Rosciam
- Frank Alarcon
- Gar Chisenhall
- Brian Logan
President Keelean called the meeting to order and turned the proceedings over to Vice President Hudson. VP Hudson then introduced our special guest, Jamey Shouppe, head coach of the Florida A&M University baseball team. Coach Shouppe summarized his background, including playing days in the JUCO ranks, two years in the bullpen at Florida State University, and minor league experience in the Houston Astros system. He served as pitching coach and recruiter at FSU for 21 years and has headed up baseball at FAMU since 2013. Coach described some of the challenges of his current job, particularly serious budget limitations. Nevertheless, he recruits talented players and field a competitive team, emphasizing discipline and baseball fundamentals to his players. Chapter members asked questions and expressed interest in attending a game or games in the upcoming season.
The next order of business was discussion of upcoming events, in particular the Chapter’s SABR Day celebration on February 4 (to be held at the Glory Day Grill) and SABR 51, the national convention in Chicago this coming summer.
We then turned our attention to Baseball Hall of Fame voting; approximately 30 percent of the BBWAA voters have revealed their votes, with Scott Rolen and Todd Helton in good position to be elected this year, although it will be very close for both of those candidates. We also looked at the candidates who will be on the ballot for the first time next year, agreeing that some are in good position but no one is a “lock” this year or next. The different voting committees were explained.
The sports headline of the day was the cardiac injury and near death experience of Damar Hamlin during an NFL game. VP Hudson shared memories of injury problems he encountered while serving as home plate umpire over the years, including one ball to the chest that prompted him to change the type of chest protector he uses.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM.
Kent Putnam, Chapter Secretary