Saturday, January 28, 2017

Meeting of the Casey Stengel Chapter of SABR in NYC Today

Today the NYC Casey Stengel chapter of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) held its annual meeting at the Mid-Manhattan Library.  It is traditional that the local chapters meet on the weekend before the Super Bowl.  This is the third meeting that I have attended.  Ernestine Miller, the moderator, made some introductory remarks stating that 2017 marks some significant milestone anniversaries:

  • 1947 – Jackie Robinson breaks the color line
  • 1927 – New York Yankees Murders Row Team – Babe Ruth hits 60 HRs
  • 1962 – The New York Mets are born

She introduced Max Mannis who talked about baseball cards.  There is a baseball card exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art which will close on May 14.

Marc Appleman, the CEO of SABR spoke about the national convention that will take place in NYC from June 28-July 2.  I should make sure that I ask for vacation at that time.

Kristie Ackert, the New York Daily News reporter for the Mets spoke of her experiences as a woman sports reporter.

I walked around the area during lunch as I had worked for the Science and Technology Division of NYPL from 1983-1990.  Certainly, that area has changed dramatically over the last 26 years.  Back then Bryant park was a real dump back then with drug dealers and homeless people.  There is now a skating rink and several restaurants there.

After lunch, Eric Weiss ran a trivia contest.  I didn’t do very well.

The next speaker was Marty Appel, an author and public relations professional who spoke about his forthcoming book about Casey Stengel.  He related several anecdotes about the “Ole Professor”.   I didn’t realize that in the early days of the Mets his coaches, Solly Hemus and Cookie Lavagetto, were the “defacto” managers of the Mets.  Back then the nascent Mets needed a noted figure like Casey to promote the team.

Steve Nadel showed videos of some controversial calls that would have likely been overruled had the replay rule been in effect.  Johann Santana would have lost his no-hitter for the Mets in 2012 as a ball that was called foul would have been a double.  Also, it was obvious that the infamous fan Jeffrey Maier obviously interfered with a home run in 1996.  It would have been ruled a catch by the outfielder.

I wish that the local SABR chapter would have more than one meeting a year.

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