2017 SABR Day: Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Chapter met for SABR Day on Saturday, January 21, 2017, within the confines of Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. A group of 17 enthusiasts heard remarks from head baseball coach Josh Holliday, assistant baseball coach James Vilade, Dr. Justin Moss, horticulture professor and member of the turfgrass breeding team in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and and Natural Resources, and athletic fields superintendent Todd Tribble.

Coach Holliday stressed the importance of the lifetime value of a university degree as a recruiting tool when in competition with professional teams for accomplished athletes. He answered numerous questions related to running a college baseball program, including the manner in which the NCAA allowable funding of 11.7 scholarships is spread through a roster of 30 to 40 players.

Coach Vilade contrasted his college coaching experience with his extensive experience in professional baseball both as a coach and scout. In response to a question, he further stressed his committment to the nonprofit Keeper of the Game and its outreach to "kids and young adults with special needs and disabilities."

Professer Moss described some of the science behind OSU's development of bermuda turfgrass products which are used extensively on athletic fields around the world, including on OSU's baseball, softball, and soccer fields and even at the Beijing Olympics.

Mr. Tribble expounded on the problems and time commitment in maintaining athletic fields undergoing heavy use and described some of his methods for presenting fields with a "warm-weather" look throughout a season whose first half is conducted in a late winter - early spring environment. His presentation concluded with a trip onto the field itself.

The chapter very much appreciates the cooperation of OSU personnel who gave up a portion of their weekend to educate a small group of fans. We extend a special "Thank You" is extended to SABR member Ron Elliott and Wade McWhorter, OSU Assistant Director for Athletic Communications for organizing the event.

— Howard Johnson

View more photos below, courtesy of Jake Cornwall. (Click here to view the slideshow on mobile devices.)