Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 SABR Day

For my readers who are not baseball fans, SABR is the Society for American Baseball Research.  Like many professional societies, it is a national organization with local chapters.  The New York City chapter is known as the Casey Stengel Chapter to honor the man who played or managed with the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, and Giants in New York City.  Every year on the last Saturday of  January each chapter has a meeting.

Today's meeting was held at the Scandinavia House at Park Avenue and 38th Street.  The morning program was a panel discussing:

The Babe’ As You Never Knew Him –  One Hundred Years As A New York Yankee

The panelists were:

  • Marty Appel Premier New York Yankees Historian
  • Mike Gibbons Director (1983-2017) of the Babe Ruth
  • Birthplace and Museum Bill Jenkinson Legendary Consultant and Researcher on George Herman “Babe” Ruth

Much has been said about the Babe over the years, but I always find more out by reading and attending panel discussions about him.  The topic was chosen for 2020 as it is the 100th anniversary of his becoming a Yankee after the infamous sale of his contract by the Boston Red Sox.  Below are some notes that I took during the discussion:
  • Marty Appel was a pallbearer at Claire Ruth's funeral in 1976
  • Babe used a 50 once bat in 1914
  • Pictures were shown of Babe's teams at the St. Joseph's Home for Boys in Detroit and St. Mary's in Baltimore.
  • The speakers felt that the movies that were made about Babe were terrible.
  • Babe Ruth promoted integration in baseball years before Jackie Robinson broke the color line.  Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis was against integration, but the efforts by Branch Rickey commenced after his death.
  • Recently $5.4 Million was paid for a uniform worn by Babe
  • Babe signed more baseball than many other players of his era.
Tyrone Brooks, Major League Baseball's  Senior Director of the Front Office and Field Staff Diversity Pipeline Program was the afternoon speak.

He discussed his career in baseball working with several clubs in a variety of positions over the years.  In his current position promotes the hiring of women and minorities to executive and managerial positions in baseball.

I had the pleasure of meeting Brian Wright who was the editor of Met-rospectives: A Collection of the Greatest Games in New York Mets History (The SABR Digital Library).  I worked with him as I contributed 3 articles about specific games to this book.

I bought a copy of Mets in 10s: Best and Worst of an Amazin' History that Brian authored.  He will be issuing another book about the Mets in March titled The New York Mets All-Time All-Stars: The Best Players at Each Position for the Amazin's

It seems that every time I go to a meeting I buy a book.

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