Connie Mack Chapter Hot Stove meeting recap – 12/15/2018


YO! Members of the Connie Mack Chapter gathered on Saturday, December 15, 2018, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the PCI Library in Center City Philly. We talked all things baseball [well, there were some diversions] and listened to three excellent presentations, one of which is an indicator of baseball’s future. We also had a reminder from Matt Abers to consider posting/reading the Twitter account, @PhillySABR.

Michael Eckstein presented on the MLB Winter Meetings which just concluded Friday. He emphasized that the Meetings are not meant for wastrels. There is no real “Hey, let’s pound some Budweiser and talk about baseball and BTW, are you trading so and so?” He spoke at length about his experience: there are lots of business-oriented meetings, lots of MLB admin/organization meetings and lots of meetings. His typical day went 8am-10pm working w/MLB clubs. Specifically, he has partnered w/German company to measure kinetic-linked performance of baseball players. He was there to interest clubs in designing and setting up a program to measure, kinetically, electronically and digitally, ways to scout, grow and improve major league talent. He will present further along these lines at future Hot Stove meetings [February & March].
Paul Ember gave a fascinating, entertaining and enlightening PP on inventor and comic artist, Rube Goldberg. Paul displayed images of Goldberg’s baseball drawings and gave us a biographical overview of Goldberg’s life. Goldberg is famous for lampooning the working of machinery, designing complex apparati that performed the simplest of tasks, but, did you know he was also a baseball columnist and a screenwriter? One of his plays “Soup to Nuts” introduced The Three Stooges to American audiences.  You should have been there. There is an exhibit of Goldberg’s contribution to American culture at the National Museum of American Jewish History, 5th & Market Sts, which runs through January 2019.
Phil Williams updated us on an effort by the Negro Leagues Grave Marker Project on a grave marker for pitcher and Philadelphian, Dan McClellan. The Project was founded in 2004 by Jeremy Krock and is administered by Larry Lester. McClellan was a pitcher/coach/manager for a number of African-American barnstorming ball clubs from late 1890’s to mid 1920s. He may have won 300 games in his career and made the initial cutoff in the 2006 Negro Leagues consideration for HOF. Phil visited the gravesite and discovered McClellan’s grave to be unmarked. Phil is interested in creating a marker for him.

The Phillies Trades and Rumors section considered, among other things, that:
    – Segura trade is a steal, solidifies shortstop for a while.
    – Harper/Machado: Middleton wants them at any price
    – McCutchen is a good addition, adds defense to outfield
    – young pitching staff could improve with another full season, 2019

We spent the rest of the meeting talking baseball and planning for SABR Day on Saturday, January 26, which will be held at the Temple University Center City campus at 1501 Market St.

Happy Holidays and see you in 2019!

— Seamus Kearney and Dick Rosen