Robinson-Kell Chapter meeting recap – 8/20/2016

The Robinson-Kell SABR chapter met Saturday, August 20, 2016, at the Central Arkansas Library at 12:00 p.m. There were 17 members present.

The guest speaker was former major league pitcher and Texarkana, Arkansas, native Dustin Moseley who now owns and operates Proformance, a baseball training facility in Little Rock. He was accompanied by his wife Carly. A standout high school athlete, Dustin played baseball, football and basketball, where his work ethic (including working out in the gym at midnight after basketball games) is still used by the local high school coaches to encourage their players to work hard. In his senior year, Dustin was 12-2 with a 0.76 ERA in 101 innings while batting .494 with 13 home runs and was named the Arkansas Player of the Year. Although he signed with the University of Arkansas, Dustin headed to the minor leagues after he was drafted with the 34th pick in the 2000 draft by the Cincinnati Reds. After reaching AAA in 2004 was traded to the Anaheim Angels. On July 17, 2006, he won his big league debut despite giving up four runs and ten hits in five innings.

After three seasons with the Angels, Dustin suffered season-ending surgery in 2009 but was signed by the New York Yankees for the 2010 season. Called up in July, he had a memorable game on August 8, televised by ESPN, in which he replaced another Arkansan A.J. Burnett (back spasm) and led the Yankees to a win over the Red Sox with 6 1/3 innings, allowing only two runs. In the same game, Derek Jeter collected two hits to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time hit list. In his only postseason, Dustin pitched two scoreless innings in Game 1 of the ALCS and was the winning pitcher. In 2011, Dustin signed with the San Diego Padres and posted a solid season with a 3.30 ERA in 120 innings but his 2012 season and his career ended when he tore his labrum and shoulder capsule in his first start of the season. For his career he was a record of 15-21 with 199 strikeouts in 101 games. Dustin discussed a wide variety of topics in the question-and-answer session.

Fred Worth began the presentations with “Highlights and Lowlights on the way to 5,000” in which he detailed some of the adventures and challenges he h as encountered while locating and visiting the gravesite of more than 5,000 former major league pl ayers, the 5,000th being that of Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra. Fred also related anecdotes of meetings he had with relatives of the ballplayers as he searched for their final resting places.

Jim Yeager presented another installment of “Back Roads and Ballplayers: Baseball in Rural Arkansas”. This one was entitled “Doctor Earl T. Williams: The story of the father of Arkansas’ Semi-Pro Baseball, founder of the Greenbrier Baseball School, and the Boys of Summer he developed.”

Madison McEntire followed with “Making That Triple Count: Players who hit for the cycle despite hitting just one triple for the season”. After noting that great players such as Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays, Pete Rose, Roberto Clemente, and Derek Jeter never accomplished a cycle, he highlighted the players who pulled it off while hitting their lone three-bagger of the season.

Bob Reising concluded the meeting with “A Tribute t o Robin Roberts.” He began by noting why 2016 is a special year for honoring Roberts: 90 years have pa ssed since his birth, 50 since his last major-league pitching win, and 40 since his election to the Base ball Hall of Fame. Bob added that he thought that a mong Roberts’ most remarkable achievements was his recor d of 28 straight complete games during the 1952 and 1953 seasons. Bob proceeded to discuss some of the content to be incorporated into the revised biography of Robin currently being prepared for SAB R by C. Paul Rogers III, with whom Bob collaborated on a tribute to Robin that appeared in the July/Aug ust 2016 SCENE MAGAZINE, published in Robin’s nativ e city, Springfield, Illinois.

For a full recap and photos, download the PDF report here.