Sacramento Chapter fall luncheon recap – 11/12/2011

The Sacramento Chapter held its annual fall luncheon on Saturday November 12, at Espanol Restaurant. Forty people, including members and guests, attended and had a very good Italian meal. Our speakers included:

Judge George Nicholson, Associate Justice with the California Court of Appeals, Third District, Sacramento, and researcher on Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson. Judge Nicholson, who grew up in Oakland, talked about the impact of Rickey, Robinson, Frank Robinson, Curt Flood, and Roberto Clemente on baseball.  The discussion included a spirited debate on why baseball integration occurred in 1947, and included history of early african american and native american players.

Judge William Shubb, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, discussed similarities between being a judge and an umpire, and issues on umpiring covered in Rickey’s “The American Diamond”.

Bob Hemond, founding partner of the PCL Sacramento RiverCats and Hannibal (MO) Cavemen, is a friend of Sacramento SABR and has been a speaker several times over the years. Bob talked about the complicated efforts to build Raley Field and re-establish the Pacific Coast League in Sacramento in 2000. While there were other competitors and suburban areas to build a ballpark, the RiverCats were insistent on building the park near downtown, rather than in some available locations in the suburbs.  As a result, Raley Field is a great AAA ballpark in West Sacramento, a short walk across the Sacramento River from downtown.

Member Ray Anselmo provided his usual, extremely challenging trivia contest. We had a spirited raffle, with many items donated by Judge Nicholson, including Branch Rickey III autographed balls, and caps and shirts from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Our spring luncheon will probably be held in mid-March.

— John Moist