Rice-Russell Nashville Chapter meeting recap – 7/20/2019

The Rice-Russell Nashville Chapter had a terrific meeting on Saturday, July 20, 2019, with two new members attending and guests, too. The Old Timers board room was really neat to see with all the photos of the Nashville Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame members. If you were unable to attend, we missed you. Here’s a recap (besides the lively ongoing discussions):

1. Tom Lee made an impactful presentation about Jackie Robinson based on Robinson’s autobiography and career.

2. Former Nashville Sounds general manager Farrell Owens spoke about the first years of the ballclub and related a special story about Sparky Anderson’s visit to Greer Stadium just before being named manager of the Detroit Tigers in 1979.

3. Andy Bennett reviewed his presentation from a few years ago about Nashville Vols catcher Earl Averill Jr. slugging Lyle Luttrell of the Chattanooga Lookouts in a game on August 20, 1955, and the resulting litigation. We did not get to see Andy’s special team-signed baseball he purchased at a recent estate sale, but he promised he would bring it next time!

4. Former major leaguer (New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles) John Mitchell talked about his relationship with the Boston Red Sox scout who signed him, George Digby, and Digby’s recommendation that the Red Sox sign Willie Mays.

Kurt Pickering’s flight was delayed out of Houston and he was unable to attend. Hopefully, he will be able to visit us again in the future as the stories of his trips to ballparks across the country are fascinating.

Afterwards, a few of us went to lunch at Calypso Cafe near Five Points, where the discussion continued about what else? Baseball!

Our next quarterly meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2019. I am waiting on confirmation from one of the Nashville library branches for meeting space and I will confirm as soon as I hear. In the meantime, should you wish to make a presentation let me know – I hope you will!

— Skip Nipper