by David Hughes
The annual minor league outing for SABR’s Bob Davids Chapter took place on August 17, where 25 chapter members gathered for a South Atlantic League game at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium. Thanks go to event organizer David Newman.
Municipal Stadium is a historic ballpark and, despite its age, has a certain rustic charm. The evening’s activities began in the picnic area, with Eli Pearlstein (Suns’ Director of Media Relations, Radio Announcer, and general public information officer) addressing the group and leading a Q&A about the team, the stadium, his job, and his career experience and aspirations. Eli acknowledged that he has a long way to go to achieve his career goals, and he is working his way up from the bottom rungs. Unfortunately, while Eli (and virtually everyone else present) knew the significance of two of the stadium’s three retired numbers (located on decals on the wall in the right field corner, two of the numbers are “42” for Jackie Robinson and “24” for Willie Mays), he could not answer for the third number on the wall, “50” (a few days later, an outside source provided the answer: the “50” is for John Henry Moss, highlighting his 50 years of service to the South Atlantic League). A fourth decal on the outfield wall commemorates the late Nick Adenhart, former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher who played many years of youth baseball in the Hagerstown area.
After Eli’s presentation, chapter President Bruce Brown moderated an impromptu trivia contest. The champion crowned that evening was Paul Sekula, with the prize being a DVD of “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg.” After a hearty ballpark buffet, we had the opportunity to watch Brett Mooneyham (Nationals’ 3rd rounder out of Stanford, 2012) face those pesky Tourists from Ashville, including the league’s then-leading hitter, 20-year old Rosell Herrera (Rockies’ free agent, Dominican Republic). Mooneyham was dominant in the game, as he went 7 innings with 9 Ks. Hagerstown won the crisp, 2:15 contest, 4-0, before an announced crowd of 1,139.