Pittsburgh/Forbes Field Chapter meeting recap – 10/29/11

The Pittsburgh/Forbes Field Chapter of SABR held its Fall meeting yesterday, October 29, at the Senator John Heinz Western Pennsylvania History Center.  Despite a surprise pre-Halloween snowstorm that delayed the arrival of many of the attendees, a total of 45 people attended the meeting.

Our guest speaker was Joe Jordano, Head Baseball Coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Coach Jordano has been at the helm of the Panthers for 15 seasons, and in 2012, he will become the winningest coach in Pitt baseball history. He informed the group that since he became coach in 1997, over 50 Panthers players have been drafted and signed by major league teams. Pitt will be one of the strongest teams in the Big East in 2012, and Coach Jordano looks forward to the challenges that Pitt will face when they move to Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

The Chapter plans on attending a Pitt baseball game as a group this spring at Pitt’s Peterson Athletic Complex on campus. Thanks go out to member Marky Billson for arranging the Coach’s appearance.

The day also included the following member presentations:

  • Bob Sproule talked about attending the World Series Gala at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
  • Bill Sproule presented “A Casual Fan Looks at Some Numbers” concerning the 2011 baseball season. Combining OPS and WHIP, Bill’s numbers had the eight teams that made the MLB playoffs occupying eight of the first nine slots in his “final standings.”
  • Nina Schreiner talked about her summer as an intern at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Great stories and pictures from her most interesting summer job were a part of her presentation.
  • Joe Guzzardi discussed the trend of more foreign-born players entering the Major Leagues.
  • Jim Haller conducted the ballpark-themed trivia contest, won by Joe Elinich.
  • Len Martin discussed the possibility of SABR becoming involved in an attempt to preserve, by some means, a marking of the spot of home plate from old Exposition Park, site of the first World Series in 1903. Len and others from SABR had determined the spot of home plate back in 2003, and that land will soon be developed, probably as an office building, within the next year.
  • Sam Reich presented his ideas for leveling the playing field among all teams in MLB. It involves additional draft picks for some teams and a worldwide entry draft.

The raffle prize, a T-shirt from the Baseball Hall of Fame that featured the HOF plaque of Roberto Clemente, was won by member Alan Steinberg.

Future plans that were discussed for the Chapter for 2012 included attending a Pirates game as a group, the aforementioned University of Pittsburgh game, possible plans for SABR Day on January 28, attending the Cleveland chapter meeting on February 4, our winter Hot Stove gathering at SoHo Restaurant sometime following the Super Bowl, and another chapter outing to see a Pittsburgh Franklins Vintage Base Ball Game next summer.

— Bob Sproule