Autumn 2013 Squibber Arrives

Members, check your inbox for the Bob David Chapter’s latest quarterly newletter, The Squibber. This month’s articles include:

  1. NOT YOUR GREAT-GRANDFATHER’S ORIOLES: Inaugural A.L. Season Kicked Off in Baltimore, by Fred Glueckstein
  2. TALKIN’ BASEBALL: Upcoming Talks Scheduled, by Dave Paulson
  3. A ‘SUN-Y’ DAY IN HAGERSTOWN: Recapping this Year’s Minor League Outing, by David Hughes
  4. CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA REPORT: Harrisburg’s Mirowski Completes Sparkling Relief Season, by Barry Sparks
  5. REPORT FROM BETHESDA: Holiday Baseball Auction Coming Up, by Bill Hickman

Comments and suggestions for future editions can be directed to Squibber editor Walt Cherniak at

Summer 2013 Squibber Reaches Members

Chapter members, check your email for the latest edition of our quarterly newsletter, The Squibber. Articles in this edition include:

  1. All-Star Memories:  The Rain, the Park and the 1969 All-Star Game, By Jeff Stuart
  2. Golf Tourney Planned : Event Will Benefit Perfect Game Foundation, by Del Wilber
  3. Talkin’ Baseball:  Upcoming Talks Scheduled, by Dave Paulson
  4. Special Movie Screening:  Aviation Theatre Recognizes Penny Marshall and “A League of Their Own,” by Mark Pattison
  5. Summer Minor League Meeting:  Chapter to Convene in Hagerstown
  6. Atlantic League Update:  League Seeks New President, by Barry Sparks
  7. Nats-Braves Tickets Offered:  SABR Block Available, by Dave Raglin
  8. Report From Bethesda:  Big Train Leads the Pack, by Bill Hickman
  9. The Essentials of Batting:  New Book Examines What Makes Hitters Successsful, by Andre Lower

Comments and suggestions for future editions can be directed to Squibber editor Walt Cherniak at

Chapter Spends a Sun-ny Day in Hagerstown

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.

Nationals Park Hosts Davids Chapter

SABR Day at Nats’ Park was a lot of fun . . . except for the game, in which the Nationals offense managed ten strikeouts (against Kevin Correia and assorted other bums, no less) and no walks.

Chapter president Bruce Brown emceed the proceedings, which kicked off with a lively session with Nats’ Director of baseball operations Adam Cromie. Then local radio/TV host and baseball guru Phil Wood and Mike Wallace (former MLB pitcher [] and sidekick on Wood’s show) regaled us with humorous stories out of Washington baseball history (good and bad, mostly tragicomic). There a followed a great buffet spread and then off to the seats . . . where yours truly roasted. Sunstroke . . . in Section 319 . . . it made for a tough finish to a great afternoon.

Postgame concert with Blues Traveler was surprisingly good (didn’t stay to the end). I had thought most of those guys were drawing Social Security by now.

Thirty-eighth Bob Davids Chapter Meeting a Success

The Bob Davids Chapter of SABR held its 38th annual meeting in Rosslyn, VA on Saturday, January 28th, the third time the chapter’s annual event coincided with SABR day. More than 130 members and guests attended.

After re-electing the chapter’s Board members, the group decided to form a chapter trivia team to challenge other chapters at SABR 42 in Minneapolis. The rest of the day was dominated by a series of engaging presentations:

  • David Vincent, Bob Davids Chapter Board member, Chapter Historian and Emcee for the proceedings, kicked things off with a great presentation on pitchers who hit home runs.  This set the appropriate tone and we were off and running. (see his presentation)
  • Bob Savitt, former Bob Davids Chapter President, having recently published his book, The Blue Ridge League (Images of Baseball) gave a succinct synopsis of his in‑depth research of a league that overlapped with the boundaries of our chapter, geographically if not chronologically.
  • Jim Hannan, former Washington Senators pitcher regaled us with stories from his career, but even more impressive is the work he has done and is doing on behalf of other retired players, particularly through the Alumni Association.
  • Dave Smith, Retrosheet icon, recounted some of the questions posed to him during the 2011 baseball season by the media and the research they prompted him to do.  Those results are always interesting and we are indeed fortunate to have Dave as a regular contributor at our meetings.
  • Steve Sclafani, is the founder and CEO of the Baseball Factory, a recognized leader in player development and college placement.  Baseball Factory alumni include Roy Halladay, Josh Hamilton, Ryan Zimmerman and more than 250 other major leaguers.  Steve told us how his organization scouts and develops young players, helping them (and their parents) plan appropriately for a possible future in baseball.
  • Andy Bradley, alumni player and now head coach of the very successful baseball program at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., told us of his coaching philosophy.  Andy’s dad, Tom, pitched in the majors for seven seasons and was the head baseball coach at the University of Maryland.  Great job by the conference’s youngest coach, a title he has held for the past eight years.
  • Tom Hanrahan, chapter member, presented a well-devised formula for comparing the relative values of the game’s best pitchers and batters. (see his presentation)

Finally, the always popular chapter raffle, bolstered this year with items donated from the Bob Davids estate, raised over $600 for the chapter coffers.

SABR Day with the Bob Davids Chapter 2011

On Saturday, January 29, a total of 156 SABR members and friends gathered in Arlington, Virginia for an all-day event headlining Nationals Park architect Marshall Purnell and New York Times best-selling author Jane Leavy.

Marshall Purnell DC meeting

Marshall Purnell


Purnell, partner of the firm Devrouax + Purnell, brought early drawings of the ballpark project and discussed some of the events that changed that design into what was unveiled in 2008. He was entertaining in his views of the political process as well as the give-and-take required to complete a $611 million project.

Leavy discussed her new book, The The Last Boy, Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, along with SABR member and physicist Alan Nathan. They showed the results of their research into the famous Mickey Mantle home run hit out of Griffith Stadium in 1953 off Chuck Stobbs. Leavy, a member of our chapter, conducted many interviews, including talking the man who found the ball as a youngster in his neighborhood. Nathan used a scientific approach to determine how far that ball actually travelled.

Jane Leavy DC meeting

Jane Leavy

No less entertaining were the four local SABR members who made presentations.

The current slate of chapter officer up for election were all re-elected by acclamation:
– David Raglin as Vice-President
– David Paulson as Treasurer
– Barry Sparks as Board member at large
(The chapter has placed no restriction on the number of Davids who can hold office simultaneously.)
A baseball trivia quiz composed by trivia maven T. Scott Brandon was also presented.
Those present participated in a straw poll showing which major league teams they support, particularly as demonstrated by the apparel they were wearing. The results, though somewhat predictable, were nonetheless interesting (totals are approximate):
  • 60 – Nationals
  • 50 – Orioles
  • 12 – Yankees
  • 11 – Phillies
  • 10 – Red Sox
  • Also receiving multiple endorsements were the Tigers, Pirates, Giants, Indians, Dodgers, Cubs, Mets and Cardinals. A single hand each was counted for the Braves, Rays, Twins, White Sox, Reds and Padres.

A delicious buffet luncheon was served and many acquaintances were renewed and friendships established.

(Photo credit: David Vincent)