SABR Day 2015: Philadelphia


Nearly 30 brave souls made their way through an Alberta Clipper, dispensing wind chills in the teens, to attend the Connie Mack Chapter’s SABR Day at Drexel University. Wet snow made for great snowballs , but our search for a Santa Claus to pelt with them, was in vain. We also lost four of our speakers who were unable to make the trip.

Since our program was truncated from the outset, we were able to permit the presenters more time and to expand the Q&A. This led to some more extended discussion.

Our program began with a presentation by Bob Gomberg on “Beep Baseball”, a game for blind players. Bob runs the Philly team in the National Beep Baseball Assoc. He brought with him Tony Santiago, a veteran player of Beep Baseball. Tony’s goal is to win the Beep World Series in 2015 . We were entranced by the presentation and some of us plan to attend a game next summer. If SABR is “anything baseball,” we have expanded our possibilities.

Next, Jack Morris reported on the 4th Naval District Baseball team during World War I. The 4th was a local center and several players including future Hall of Famer Eddie Collins played with the team.

Peter Mancuso talked about the 2014 19th Century and Origins meeting held this past November in New York City. Called the “NYC 19th Century BB Interdisciplinary Symposium, this program was unique because it included some professional historians to provide a social and political background to the period. Peter wants to continue this conference in the future and felt that Philadelphia would be an appropriate venue.

James Robinson shared his experience of teaching a BB course at Temple University and the techniques he employs to keep students involved.

Steve Glassman presented ‘Mickey Cochrane, A’s GM, 1950.” Cochrane’s short-lived stint as CM occurred during Mack’s farewell season.

Finally, Dick Rosen gave a talk on the “Cuban-American Major League Clubs Series played during the winters from 1908 to 1913 in Cuba. This was a integrated league with Cuban teams, Negro League teams, and MLB teams.

The chapter will reconvene at its February Hot Stove at the City Institute Library, NW Corner, 19th and Locust.

— Dick Rosen