SABR’s Pee Wee Reese Chapter in Louisville had a marvelous time on July 24, 2021, at the Louisville Bats game. The outcome was not so good (Bats lost) unless you’re a Cardinal fan (hint, hint), but the weather was great and the suite was sweet.
Attendees included members Harry Rothgerber, Jon Borie, Jack Sullivan, Mike Zanone, Rodger Payne, Chris Betsch, Bob Sawyer, Ryan Schroer and Steve Silverman. Jon brought his friend Tommy Newman and Jack brought his buddy Bill Nixon, who has since joined the chapter. It was great to meet Steve Silverman at last, who came down from Cincy with his engaging son Brian. And what a delight to have Ryan join us, along with his father Dan and mom Taffy.
Ryan seemed like he was in seventh heaven and I learned only later that that was his first time in a suite (and not the last). Jack administered his traditional trivia contest, won by Bob Sawyer, second place Ryan. When he reads out the answers, Jack always smiles when his audience groans and always asks, “was it too hard?” That’s part of the tradition.
For me that night was made special by our many guests, but it was also good to see everyone live once again. Lotsa smiles and laughter and baseball. The food order was just about perfect (there was one hot dog left), the cost to the Chapter for that defrayed in part by the generous donations (totaling $100) of the attendees.
We had some help. The Louisville Bats donated the suite (thanks to Greg Galiette and Jillian Waitkus (no relation to Eddie), who both dropped by). It was nice to meet Joan Hagan of Centerplate at the end, and Jody and Mary, who took care of us, couldn’t have been nicer. Extra special thanks to Ken Draut, who was planning to attend but then had something come up, yet still came to the ballpark to help with ticket distribution and directions. We missed your for sure, Ken.
Jack, Bill Nixon and I all left together and Bill informed me he was joining the Chapter, which he now has done. Welcome, Bill! A kindly fella with an excellent wry sense of humor, if you haven’t met him, you have something to look forward to.
For those who are following, we’ve had a gap in our Zoom calls, but those will pick up soon. I took a bit of a break, necessitated in part because I feel an obligation to read the book before talking to the author, in part by work and in part by play (a vacation). Speaking of the latter, my vacation included a St. Paul Saints game, which was as much fun as I’ve had at the ballpark in a long time. Two of the Saints owners are Mike Veeck (son of Bill) and Bill Murray, so you can probably imagine the between-inning entertainment. From the Twin Cities, my wife and I traveled down (by car) the Mississippi, staying one night in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The La Crosse Loggers were not playing, but we went by the team office and the team owner, a gregarious man named Dan Kapanke, came walking out and offered to give us a tour of the ballpark, which we quickly accepted. Dan told us about the team history and took us all around until his co-owner, his wife Ruth, reminding him that he had to be somewhere.
One of the cool things about traveling vacations is that there’s always a bunch of nice surprises, and meeting Dan and getting an owner-tour was one of the best. I intend to go back when the Loggers are in town. If you’re in or near La Crosse, don’t miss Grandad Bluff, which offers such a spectacular vista that it rivals Lookout Mountain. We stayed another in Dubuque, Iowa and really enjoyed Mark Twain’s hometown, Hannibal, Missouri. Highways that cling to the river go down both sides; it’s something we’ll do again.
- August 11: Author Eric Gray reading and book signing at Starbucks (notice to come soon).
- August 14: Hot Rods game (see prior notice).
- October: Gathering for first game of the World Series
- January: SABR Day: Gary Cieradkowski (see https://studiogaryc.com/) will be one of our guests.
Zoom call guests to be announced.
— Tad Myre