Buck O’Neil/North Florida Chapter members and guests gathered in the private room at the Glory Days Grill for the monthly meeting on March 2, 2022. In attendance were:
- Matt Keelean, Chapter President
- Rick Swaine
- Glenn Robertson
- Jim Wolf
- Kent Putnam
- Brent Kallestad
- Matt Hudson
- Chuck Rosciam
- Jeff Lickson
- Ron Block
- Renee Watters
- Jim Joanos (special guest and speaker)
After casual conversation and service of dinner, the meeting was called to order at 6:25 PM. The first topic was the current state of MLB, with contract negotiations stalled and the lockout in place until who knows when. The game, it was agreed, has lost touch with its fans and is harming itself—possibly permanently.
President Keelean reminded members of upcoming SABR conferences, including Analytics, the Malloy conference on the Negro Leagues, and SABR 50 in Baltimore.
The chapter’s annual predictions contest is postponed until a contract is finalized and the playoff structure is set.
Judge James Joanos (retired) was introduced by his former colleague and friend, Judge James Wolf (also retired). In addition to a stellar career in the law, Judge Joanos is a graduate of Florida State University and a long-time supporter of the institution’s athletic program. He spoke on the university’s baseball program from its early days in the 1950’s to the present day, when Mike Martin, Jr., took over the head coach post after the retirement of his father. Other outstanding skippers in the program’s history included Danny Litwhiler, Jack Stallings, Woody Woodward, and Dick Howser. Judge Joanos was a close friend of Coach Howser and spoke of him and his accomplishments with great fondness. Mention was made of the team’s Golden Spikes winners, conference championships, success of former players in MLB (Buster Posey!) and in life outside baseball. The lack of a National Championship despite several appearances in the College World Series, is frustrating. The fans received a tip of the cap with the Animals and their cheers (Oh! Canada explained) and Mongo saluted. Our speaker took questions and recalled attending games of the Class D Tallahassee Pirates at Centennial Field as a youth. Those attending expressed their appreciation to Judge Joanos upon conclusion of his remarks.
After further discussion and a few remarks by President Keelean, the meeting adjourned at 8 PM.
— Kent Putnam