The Grantland Rice-Fred Russell (Nashville) SABR chapter meeting took place on Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 10 a.m. at the East Branch of the Nashville Public Library.
Five members were present: Peggy Gripshover, Dave Roberts, John Reynolds, Hugh Atkins, and Skip Nipper. Tom Bell and Keith Brown joined as guests. Keith’s wife, Renay, was not able to attend due to illness.
Prior to a Q&A with Keith, we took time to introduce each to one another. A discussion about the MLB postseason was lively as each member had his/her personal favorite play, team, and player. Our chapter has been participating in season-long MLB predictions that will culminate with the 2017 World Series championship. Peggy lamented much about the Chicago Cubs not getting a chance to defend their 2016 World Series championship title.
Keith Brown was a gracious and enthusiastic guest, with no topics off-limits. His congenial manner allowed for many questions on several subjects, including:
- Family, high school, college, and Spring Training experiences
- Pete Rose, who was his manager for two seasons with Cincinnati
- His professional career, including stints with the AAA Nashville Sounds
- His own arm issues and the mechanics of pitching
- Two failed marriages and one successful one (he was passionate about his bride Renay, how they met and what she has meant to him)
- Battling and beating cancer
- Teaching young pitchers as a pitching coach at Nashville Baseball Academy
At noon we closed our meeting and went to Edley’s Bar-B-Cue across the street from Smith & Lentz as there was no food service at the brewery. I take full responsibility for not making John Reynolds aware of our change in plans. I am sorry John!
Thanks to all who have supported our efforts to continue to meet on a regular basis; we agreed that quarterly meetings work best. Our next meeting will be on SABR Day, Saturday, January 27, 2018, and former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jerry Bell has agreed to meet with us. Since some of Jerry’s memorabilia is on loan at the Old Hickory branch of the Nashville library (he grew up nearby), tentatively we will meet there. Trivia note: Jerry was drafted by the Seattle Pilots in 1969, their only year of existence before moving to Milwaukee.
I will send an update with the final tally of our MLB predictions; if you have not already sent your selection to me, please get it to me today. I am taking the Astros.
Enjoy the games!
— Skip Nipper