Saturday, June 23, 2018

Final Day of SABR 48

The final day of the meeting started with a panel discussion among Pirate broadcaster Joe Block and former players John Candelaria and Grant Jackson.  They discussed their experiences playing the Bucs many years ago and fielded questions from the audience.  I then attended a meeting the the BioProject chaired by Gregory Wolf.  I have exchanged many emails with Gregory over the years, but I met him for the first time at this meeting.

One major league baseball issue recently has been the length of games.  David W. Smith of discussed many factors which result in longer games today.  Changes such as limiting the number of visits by the catcher to the pitcher have not alleviated this situation.  Whether I am at the game or watching on TV slow games can be a drag.

Mark Armour, an active SABR member chaired a session on season-long platoons.  He discussed numerous sets of platoon partners.

The highlight of the day was a discussion of the Pittsburgh Pirate years of Branch Rickey.  My favorite panelist was Frank Thomas who played for the 1962 Mets and set a record for home runs by an expansion team players.  Most of the time he talked about his time with the Pirates.  Another panelist was Jeffrey Flannery of the Manuscripts Division of the Library of Congress.  He described a forthcoming exhibition called Baseball Americana.  There is much information in his library on Branch Rickey.

My last three talks of the day were:

  • Negro Leagues=Major Leagues
  • 1961 Perspective of Fricks 61* Ruling
  • Research Committee Meeting on Baseball Records
Back home tomorrow.

Busy Day 2 at SABR 48

The first meeting was a media panel where three Pittsburgh Pirate broadcasters discussed their experiences in covering a team from the broadcast booth.  The speakers were:

  • Curt Smith - Moderator
  • Greg Brown - long time Pirate play-by-play announcer
  • Steve Blass - color commentator and former player
  • Lanny Frattare - retired Pirate broadcaster
  • Joe Block - Pirate play-by-play announcer
From there I attended a talk titled; The Warhol Triple Play Maris Seaver and Rose

The speakers showed drawings that Warhol did of those three baseball stars.  One of them worked at the nearby Andy Warhol Museum.  I wish I had the time to visit, but I'll have to make another trip to  Pittsburgh to see it.

Th next talk was:  In Harmony the National Anthem for the National Pastime

Joseph Price described a cross-country trip where he sang the Star Spangled Banner at 104 minor league ballparks.  He even wrote a book about this trip.

At 12 noon I attended the SABR Awards luncheon.  From there we walked from the hotel across the Roberto Clemente Bridge tp PNC Park.  The SABR group was greeted by Pirate manager Clint Hurdle.  Three Pirate employees spoke to the group about analytics that is used by teams to evaluate players and make decisions during the game.

This session ended at 4 PM so we had to wait 3 hours for the game between the Diamondbacks and the Pirates to begin.  It was a long evening as in 13 innings the Pirates lost 2-1.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Busy First Day at #SABR48

My meeting with the Games Committee started at 7:30 AM.  Chairman Mike Huber gave some statistics:

  • 2240 games were assigned.
  • 941 articles were completed.
  • 353 articles for books were completed.
  • 950 games are awaiting publication for a book project.
Len Levin, one of the editors for this project, gave some hint for those writing articles.  I think if Len edited Bruce's Journal he would find many errors.  :)

The next two events were:
  • The SABR business meeting
  • Opening remarks by Pittsburgh Pirate President Frank Coonelly
There was a one-hour session on the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente who is revered by baseball fans and Puerto Ricans.  There is sentiment for retiring uniform #21 throughout major league baseball.

In the afternoon I attended a talk about the relationship between Branch Rickey and Ralph Kiner when he played for the Pirates.  Of course, Kiner is best known in NYC for his broadcasting years for the Mets.

The next talk considered Hank Greenberg's time with the Pirates in 1947.

I went to a meeting of the Baseball Index Project Committee.  I am interested in indexing SABR documents for inclusion in

The last three talks that attended were:

  • Wendell Smith of the Pittsburgh Courier: His Life and Legacy
  • The Humidor and the predictive powers of physics
  • Injuries in the Stands: MLB responds with extended netting
I went out to dinner with some of the guys from the Games Project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Arrived Safely in Pittsburgh

I called a local cab company at about 11 AM and arrived at LaGuardia in a few minutes.  It didn't take too long to go through security and I arrived at the gate in plenty of time.  Terminal C which serves Delta Airlines was renovated and looked much better than it did in the past.  The flight to Pittsburgh was less than half full which was only a problem for the airline who likely lost money.  I arrived at about 3 PM and took a van to the hotel.  It rained very hard at the time the van left the airport.  By the time I got to the hotel the rain had stopped.

After I unpacked I checked out the wifi and started to listen to Cousin Brucie on SiriusXM.  The welcoming reception starts at 6 PM.

Starting tomorrow, I'll give reports on the SABR meeting.

Leaving for Pittsburgh Later Today for the SABR Annual Meeting

I have been a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) for about 4 years.  Recently, I have been involved in the Games Project.  I went to the national meeting in NYC last year and really enjoyed attending the sessions.  I really need to get away from home for a few days and decided to attend this year's meeting in Pittsburgh.  I have been in touch with many people in the organization through email since I have been a member.  I will have an opportunity to speak to them face to face while I am in Pittsburgh.  My flight leaves from Laguardia at 1:40 PM.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Visited the American Folk Art Museum and Lincoln Center

Today we visited the American Folk Art Museum on Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th Street.  It was a small museum that did not have an admission charge, but we gave them a small donation.  This museum is devoted to the creative expressions of self-taught artists of diverse backgrounds.

The current exhibition was titled Charting the Divine Plan: The Art of Orra White Hitchcock (1796–1863).  She was an illustrator was western Massachusetts whose husband was a biologist at Amherst College.

From there we walked around the Lincoln Center area and stopped by the Metropolitan Opera shop and the Performing Arts Library of NYPL.
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