East Tennessee Chapter meeting recap – 11/21/2015

East Tennessee SABR Chapter Meeting recap

Meeting: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Location: Lawson McGhee Library, Knoxville, TN
Time: 2:30-4:30pm

Attendees: Mark Aubrey, George Aubrey, Joe Gallagher, Marshall Adesman, Brad Ridenour, Lucas Hobbs, Bryan Steverson

Next Meeting: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday, January 30, 2016 (SABR Day), Lawson McGhee Library, Knoxville, TN

Discussion: Mark Aubrey led a very informative meeting which included the following subjects:

Joe Gallagher gave a fascinating presentation on the “10 and 10 Club” of New York City, from 1959-1961. Each member put up $10.00 for prize money.  More than 100 fans and writers from all over the country participated. The objective was to pick the 10 players in either league who you thought would end the season with the highest batting average. Selecting the first few was easy with Aaron, Mantle and Mays usually a given. Joe mentioned it was the surprise players who would win you the money. In 1960, the surprise player was Los Angeles Dodger first baseman, Norm Larker, who batted .323 in 493 plate appearances. Larker finished second to Dick Groat that year for the NL and MLB batting crown. Noted sports writers Dick Young of the New York Daily News, won the “10 and 10” Club top monetary prize in 2 of the 3 years of the club. Great presentation on a great bygone club.

Mark Aubrey discussed the research he and his dad were conducting on early baseball at Maryville College. In locating various leads and sources, Mark was very complimentary of the assistance provided by the college, Blount County Library and the County Court House.  Rosters of teams dating to the 1870’s were located and copied. There was even reference to an Institute team  which may refer to an early all black baseball team of the Freedmen’s Institute. Maryville College was reputed to have been a stop on the Undergound Railroad and nearby Friendsville, was founded by Quakers. More research is planned.

Lucas Hobbs will be attending the MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville as a representative of the Bristol Pirates and the Appalachian League. Discussion of the Apply League History project created interest by many at our meeting.

Bryan Steverson revealed the 2016 Hall of Fame votes from an electronic poll of candidates emailed to our members. Our chapter would suggest the election  Ken Griffey, Jr (unanimous) and Mike Piazza to the Class of 2016. The next closest votes were at 50% for Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines. We had a spirited discussion on players/managers currently in the Hall who some consider as questionable. Also the subject of PEDs and the DH creates a welcome involvement of many opinions.

Members were very interested in a combined East TN Chapter, Chattanooga Chapter and Nashville Chapter meeting in 2016. It would be a full day meeting, 10am to 4pm with a joint lunch in a location convenient for all. Members could present subjects challenging and interesting to all.

— Mark Aubrey