SABR’s Buck O’Neil/North Florida Chapter held its monthly meeting on May 4, 2022, at the Glory Days Grill in Tallahassee, Florida. In attendance were:
- Matt Keelean, Chapter President
- Jim Wolf
- Kent Putnam
- Rick Swain
- Brent Kallestad
- Chuck Rosciam
- Terry Mahoney
- Frank Alarcon
- Jim Turner
- Renee Watters
- Jaime Quinn
- Ben Gaddis
- Gar Chisenhall
Members gathered at 6 PM and engaged in casual conversation. President Keelean called the meeting to order at 6:30 and introduced new member Gar Chisenhall, a self-proclaimed Braves fan. Next up was a status report on the chapter’s MLB prediction contest after one month. Jaime holds an early lead with Matt and Kent close behind. No one threw in the towel.
We then turned our attentions to the changes to the MLB game for 2022, first the transmission of called pitches from catcher to pitcher and defenders via electronic devices. The consensus is that it speeds up the game; most players like it but hearing the call can be difficult in noisy stadiums. There also appears to be an issue or issues with the 2022 regulation ball, some pitchers having trouble gripping it causing loss of control. The number of batters hit by pitches is up.
Matt reported on the visit of the Braves’ World Series trophy to the Boys and Girls Club in Cairo, Georgia, on April 15. There was a good turnout and the event was well-run.
Members were reminded of the upcoming Jerry Malloy Conference re: Negro League Baseball in Birmingham. Matt plans to go and other chapter members have taken it under consideration. The annual general conference, SABR 50 (twice postponed), is now scheduled for Baltimore in August. Chapter members were encouraged to attend.
The next chapter meeting was rescheduled to June 8. The meeting to follow was rescheduled to July 20.
The evening’s featured entertainment was a presentation by Matt Hudson, who has worked as a baseball and softball umpire at the youth, high school, minor league, and college levels. He discussed the decisions umpires must make, dealing with disgruntled participants and fans, the strike zone, the profession and how to succeed, and much more. He showed us the umpire’s gear and described some of his more memorable moments in the profession.
He answered the questions of chapter members. Appreciation was expressed for an excellent, entertaining presentation.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.
— Kent Putnam