East Tennessee SABR Chapter
Meeting: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Location: Tennessee Smokies Park, Kodak, TN
Time: 4pm through game time of 7:05pm against the Mississippi Braves
Attendees: Mark Aubrey, Ken Fricke, Bryan Steverson, Ed Ripley, Brian Purvis (President, Chattanooga SABR Chapter)
Guests: John Schwartz, Bill Steverson, Maureen Fricke
*July/August Meeting: Attend an Apply League game with pregame SABR chapter meeting, Lucas Hobbs to coordinate dates
*November 2015 Meeting: Knoxville, Lawson McGhee Library TBA by Mark
Lauren Chesney, Director, Community Relations for our Tennessee Smokies, led members on a very informative and detailed tour of the park, including suites, dugouts, batting cages, offices, broadcast areas, etc.
Brady Cox, Umpire Clubhouse Manager, gave a very interesting presentation on the duties of a bat boy and answered questions on clubhouse operation. Brady rubs down 8 dozen balls before each home game; a job which originally took two hours now is done is 20 minutes using special Southern League mud.
Mick Gillespie, Director of Broadcasting and “The Voice of the Smokies,” entertained us with stories from the booth and his travels through the years around the Southern League.
Member Ed Ripley presented his nomination of former Univ. of Tennessee Star and MLB LHP, Steve Searcy, for our Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. Members signed the petition Ed had read. The submission will be sent right away.
Mark Aubrey discussed his research on the foreign players who have played for our Knoxville based professional teams in the past. Mark is still collecting data going back over a century.
Another treat from the meeting was the Jorge Soler bobblehead given put to the first 1,000 fans in attendance at the game.
The game was exciting for Smokies and Cubs fans as the home team won 11-2.
There is saying regarding the intrigue of baseball,
“You never know what you might see that you haven’t seen before.”
This certainly applied to the June 20 game. Smokies 2nd baseman, Stephen Bruno hit an apparent 3-run home run in the 6th inning. Runner, Jacob Hanneman, on 1st base at the time, thought the ball had been caught and was returning back to 1st base. Bruno in his home run trot, passed Hanneman, and thereby was called out. Instead of a home run and 3 RBI, Stephen Bruno was credited with a single and 2 RBI. Baseball is amazing. Never close your eyes. You never know what you will miss!!!
Our thanks to Smokies’ GM Brian Cox, whose staff assisted in many ways for us to have a great meeting.
Summer Reading Considerations:
Billy Martin, Baseball’s Flawed Genius by Bill Pennington, 2015 copyright. The Elias Sports Bureau credits Martin with 7.45 wins per season more than expected–the highest of any manager of 1,000 games or more. Their analysis states:
Billy Martin happens to be the best manager in the history of Major League baseball.
The book is balanced and includes unusual insights into the nuances of the game.
1954, The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball Forever by HOF award winning writer, Bill Madden, 2014 copyright. For Yankee, Dodger, Indian, Cubs and Braves and truly all fans, a memorable read.
Also, Bryan Steverson has my undying gratitude for collecting and processing the minutes of the meetings.
— Mark Aubrey