Hall-Ruggles Chapter meets at Ballpark in Arlington

The DFW Hall-Ruggles Chapter held its meeting on May 31 at the Legends Museum Auditorium at the Ballpark in Arlington.

Don Welke, Senior Assistant to Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels, was the first guest. He is a baseball lifer at 68 and has been a moving force, behind the scenes, in the Rangers’ acquisition of the likes of Josh Hamilton, Neftali Feliz, and Adrian Beltre, to name a few. He previously worked with new Hall of Famer Pat Gillick with the Blue Jays and Phillies and was instrumental in the drafting of players such as John Olerud, Dave Stieb, Jim Abbott, and Pat Hentgen. He talked about the Rangers thus far in 2011 and gave us a preview of the upcoming 2011 player draft.

Next was a panel of Joe Macko, longtime clubhouse manager for the Rangers and a member of the Chicago Cubs college of coaches in 1964, and John Esch, who has been involved behind the scenes in various financial roles for every sale of the Rangers franchise until the one last summer. That includes the Brad Corbett purchase from Bob Short, the Eddie Chiles purchase from Corbett, and the sale to the Schieffer/Bush group and that groups’ sale to the Hicks group.

Finally, Eddie Robinson, former Rangers GM and four-time All-Star as a player, told some anecdotes and stories from his new memoir, Lucky Me — My Sixty Five Years in Baseball, published by SMU Press. Eddie played with or against the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Bob Feller, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Whitey Ford. He also knew Babe Ruth, Hank Greenberg, Bill Veeck, Tris Speaker, Dizzy Dean , Casey Stengel, Paul Richards and many other legends of baseball and is the only GM to have traded Hank Aaron.

— C. Paul Rogers III