Gardner-Waterman Vermont Chapter meeting recap – 3/5/2018

The revitalized Gardner-Waterman Vermont Chapter had eight people in attendance for its first meeting on Monday, March 5, 2018, at Smitty’s Pub in Burlington, Vermont. Everyone introduced themselves and exchanged emails. We discussed holding a Spring Meeting.

I am planning to speak with representatives of the Miller Center in Burlington on Wednesday. The Miller Center is a community center in Burlington’s New North End which was formerly a National Guard Armory. It is just off North Avenue on 30 Gosse Court. It has ample, free parking and offers cheap rates for room rentals.

I plan to seek out a Sunday afternoon date for our Spring Meeting, which will feature research presentations and a trivia contest. In the spring, much of our potential audience will be occupied with baseball-related activities on Saturdays. I think Sunday afternoon is our best bet to draw a crowd. My first choice is 4/29, my second choice is 4/22, and my third choice is 5/20. I plan to rent a room from 1 to 4 PM, so that our gathering is after lunch but before supper.

3) We have several presenters lined up already:

– Tom Haley of the Rutland Herald, who has covered high school and college baseball in the state for five decades, has graciously agreed to speak at our meeting.

– Scott Roper, a geography professor at Castleton State, will also be presenting at our meeting. He will be discussing his new book, When Baseball Met Big Bill Haywood.

– I plan to present on the book I co-edited for SABR last year, Overcoming Adversity: Baseball’s Tony Conigliaro Award, which is available to you all as a free download as a SABR member.

– Barry Trutor will be presenting on the gravestones of former Major Leaguers in the state, including that of Ray Collins. Barry will also be describing his work preserving old gravestones with the Vermont Old Cemetery Association (VOCA), whose website he manages.

– I am trying to organize a retrospective panel on The Green Mountain Boys of Summer, featuring the writers who helped create this book. John Bennett, who was one of the biography authors, has agreed to be on the panel. I hope to get editor Tom Simon on board as well. Any of you who contributed to the book are also welcome on the panel.

At the meeting, several other great suggestions for presenters were made and I will be pursuing those leads in the next week. Additionally, I will be putting together a baseball trivia contest at the meeting. It will be thematic in some respect.

4) We discussed a Gardner-Waterman SABR group meeting at a Lake Monsters game this summer. Hopefully, it will take place at one of the pavilions at Centennial and we can include some other presentations before the game. I will be contacting the club later this summer to try to set this up.

5) Finally, we held an impromptu contest with some packs of 1989 Bowman Baseball cards which I brought to the meeting. All present opened their packs to determine which batter among those in the packs had struck out the most times in their career at the time of the card’s printing.

Carl Backman won the contest with Blue Jays slugger Jesse Barfield, who had struck out 887 times by the end of the 1988 season. The victory entitled Carl to a pack of 1990 Bowman cards, which actually fit in clear-plastic pages, as well as the two remaining packs of 1989 Bowmans I brought to the meeting.

Thanks for reading and looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

— Clayton Trutor