Buck O’Neil/North Florida Chapter meeting recap – 6/8/2022

Members of SABR’s Buck O’Neil/North Florida Chapter met on June 8, 2022, at Tally Fish House in Tallahassee, Florida.

Present were: Matt Keelean, Fred Dunphy, Brent Kallestad, Glenn Robertson, Rick Swaine, and Jim Wolf. There was some speculation about how many others went to Glory Days, but will never admit it.

The first topic of conversation was the plight of ace Recording Secretary, Kent Putnam, who was stranded in Greece trying to pass a COVID test. He has since returned home in good health after spending about a week confined to an Athens hotel room.  

Next was a session of mindless blathering about the hopefully short-lived success of the New York Yankees.

That was followed by a discussion of Joe Maddon and Joe Girardi’s recent firings, with the group generally sympathizing with Maddon – not so much with Girardi.

The discussion then moved to Mike Martin Jr.’s chances of returning to FSU next year, where our expert panel predicted he would be given another year.

Matt then gave a presentation on the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference in Birmingham, Alabama, on June 2-4. Highlights were a visit to historic Rickwood Field, which has hosted professional baseball since 1910 – longer than any other baseball park still in use. At the end of the stadium tour we got to go down on the field and throw the ball around on the diamond.

We were also treated to pre-release viewing of The Island of Baseball: The Story of Black Baseball in Cuba, toured the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and visited the Negro Southern League Museum.

There was also a slate of excellent presentations by fellow SABR members mostly centered on the recent declaration that the Negro Leagues were Major Leagues and Negro League stats (prior to 1949) would be considered Major League stats. There were also presentations on the best Negro League players and those still deserving of Hall of Fame recognition.

Matt also reminded us that due to scheduling issues the next Chapter meeting would be held July 20 and would be back at the Fish House if available, after which we’d try to get back to our first Wednesday of the month schedule at Glory Days.

— Matt Keelean