Vintage Base Ball – Played by 1857 Rules on Sept. 18




From  —

Vintage Base Ball – Played by 1857 Rules on Sept. 18

“I see great things in baseball.  It’s our game—the American game.”   Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

 Just around the corner is your chance to see ‘the American game’ played by the rules of 1857, much the same as was seen by one of America’s finest poets.

On Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2 p.m., teams representing Chester (the “Chester Squirrels”), Deep River (the “Deep River Haz Beenz”) and Essex (ICE – Ivoryton, Centerbrook, Essex – Elephants) will be meeting in a round-robin format at Devitt Field in Deep River.   There is no admission charge for this family event sponsored by the Chester, Deep River and Essex Historical Societies. Rain date will be Sept. 25. Bring a chair to supplement limited ballfield seating.

Springfield SABR to Host Authors Kettman and Bryant 9-26


Exciting lineup for The Rabbit Maranville (Springfield, MA) Chapter’s Sept. 26 meeting!  Please note that Howard Bryant will appear in person and Steve Kettman by Skype.  Here is Maranville President Jim Winston’s email with details:









Next Meeting – Monday September 26, 2016


TIME:                                    7:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.


WHERE:                               Bears Den – Lower Level of the Campus Center

Western New England University

1215 Wilbraham Road

Springfield, MA 01119




SPEAKERS:         HOWARD BRYANT: will be presenting about all topics of baseball, including the Boston Red Sox.


Howard Bryant writes weekly columns for and is often a panelist on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters.” Mr. Bryant is the author of “Shut Out-A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston”;  “The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron” and “Legends: The Best Players, Games and Teams in Baseball.”


STEVE KETTMAN: Will be presenting on his books: “One Day at Fenway” and “Baseball Maverick: How Sandy Alderson Revolutionized Baseball & Revived the Mets.”


Refreshments will be served and there will be a new selection of  baseball books, hats, and other baseball related items for sale.


If you have any questions, please call the following:


Steve Manioudakis (President)         413-427-4681 or

Jim Winston (VP/Secretary)             413-584-1110 or


From the East and West (Boston, Albany) via the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90):

Leave the Mass. Pike at Exit 6. Turn left onto I-291. Take Exit 5 off I-291 (“Route 20-A West to East Springfield”). Bear right at the end of the exit ramp on Page Blvd. Take the left at the first light onto Roosevelt Ave. Take Roosevelt Avenue 2.5 miles to the intersection with Wilbraham Road (fifth traffic light). Turn left onto Wilbraham Road and follow it 1.5 miles through the second light. Turn right into the parking lot of the Welcome Center. (Total 5.6 miles from Mass. Pike.)

From the North via Interstate 91:

Leave I-91 at Exit 8, (“Ludlow, Boston 1-291”). Travel to Exit 5B, (“East Springfield”). Turn right off of the ramp onto Page Blvd. At the first traffic light, turn left onto Roosevelt Ave. Take Roosevelt Avenue 2.5 miles to the intersection with Wilbraham Road (fifth traffic light). Turn left onto to Wilbraham Road and follow it 1.5 miles through the second light. Turn right into the parking lot of the Welcome Center. (Total 8.6 miles from I-91)

From the South via Interstate 91:

Leave I-91 at Exit 2 (“East Longmeadow”). Follow signs (“Route 83”) to the light at the intersection of Longhill and Sumner Ave. Turn right onto umner Ave. Travel straight on Sumner Ave. (which becomes Allen St.) to the traffic light at the intersection of Allen St. and Bradley Road (3.2 miles). Turn left onto radley Road and travel 1.6 miles to Wilbraham Rd. and turn right. Travel 0.2 miles and turn right, into the parking lot of the Welcome Center. (Total 5.7 miles from I-91.)



Courant reports Ballpark accord reached



The Insurer that guaranteed the construction of Dunkin Donuts Park has finally finished its due diligence and will move forward to complete the ballpark.  Here is Steven Goode’s story in today’s Hartford Courant:


Accord Set To Finish Ballpark

Insurer To Handle Construction


HARTFORD — A monthslong shutdown of construction work at Dunkin’ Donuts Park appears to be near an end with the announcement Tuesday of an agreement to finish the ballpark in time for a home opener next April.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said the city had reached an agreement in principle with Arch Insurance to have the bonding surety company take over construction of Dunkin’ Donuts Park and pay for the cost — a plan that would have the Hartford Yard Goats play their first-ever home game on April 13, 2017.

Still to be determined is who finishes the work. The city terminated the ballpark’s developers, Centerplan Construction Co. and DoNo Hartford, in June after they failed to meet a May 17 deadline for substantial completion. Arch could choose to rehire them or find another contractor.

Bronin said the takeover agreement announced Tuesday was the solution he envisioned when the city fired the original contractors. “I have no doubt it was the right thing to do, but that doesn’t mean it was the guaranteed outcome,” Bronin said.

The city is still expected to contribute the remaining $4 million-plus it has on hand for the project, but Bronin said no more taxpayer money will be spent.

Bronin said that Arch has been meeting with subcontractors in anticipation of getting back to work and that he expects the company to make progress toward getting back to work in the coming weeks.

When asked about the possibility that Centerplan be brought back to the job, Bronin said that was up to Arch. City officials have said publicly that they don’t think Centerplan should be brought back, based on two failed deadlines to complete the project and cost overruns that have seen the construction costs go from $56 million to more than $70 million.

Raymond Garcia, an attorney for Centerplan and DoNo Hartford, declined to comment Tuesday.

The developers have claimed that the city is responsible for cost overruns and delays at the 6,000-seat minor league ballpark because of more than 100 change orders it submitted in the months leading up to the deadline and beyond.

They have filed suit claiming wrongful termination and an injunction to prevent the city from hiring another contractor to finish the job. The city and developer are engaged in mediation.

Arch officials were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

On Monday, the team, the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, completed its inaugural season with a 74-67, record, third place in the Eastern Division. The closest the Yard Goats came to playing in Hartford was at Thomas Dodd Stadium in Norwich.

Last month, Double A Eastern League officials said this was the first unplanned entire season on the road for any league team, prompting league President Joseph McEachern to threaten to move the team out of Hartford if the ballpark was not ready for next season.

Reached Tuesday, McEachern declined to comment on the announced agreement.

– See more at:

Author Roy Blount at Twain House Nov.17

Roy Blount, author of 24 books and longtime Sports Illustrated Senior Contributor, will speak at the Mark Twain house in November.  You may remember his piece on the 1969 Cubs.  Here is the press release from the MTH…..




# Roy Blount Jr.: A “Mark My Words” Event

Thursday, November 17, 6:00 p.m. VIP Reception – 7:30 p.m. Event

The Mark Twain House & Museum is pleased to present acclaimed author Roy Blount Jr.for a Mark My Words event. Blount will read from his latest book, Save Room for Pie, a lively compendium of essays, poems, songs, limericks, and news stories (both fake and real) about food. Blount will speak at the Lincoln Financial Auditorium in The Mark Twain House & Museum on Thursday, November 17, at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a VIP reception at 6:00 p.m.

Roy Blount Jr. is a highly accomplished writer with a versatile and distinctly humorous style. His subjects have ranged from the Pittsburgh Steelers (About Three Bricks Shy of a Load ) toDuck Soup, the Marx Brothers’ war satire  (Hail, Hail Euphoria!) to two delightful examinations of words, usage, and letters themselves (Alphabet Juice and Alphabetter Juice).

His second book, Crackers, prompted Norman Mailer to say, “Page for page, Roy Blount is as funny as anyone I’ve read in a long time.”

Blount is a panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me, ex-president of the Authors Guild, a member of PEN and the Fellowship of Southern Authors, a New York Public Library Literary Lion, a Boston Public Library Literary Light, a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary, and an original member of the Rock Bottom Remainders.

Copies of Save Room for Pie will be available for purchase.

The Mark Twain House & Museum’s Mark My Words series is generously sponsored by The Hartford, Wish You Well Foundation, and Hoffman Auto Group.

$25.00 MTH&M Members – Advance ticket sales for members only will be available on Thursday, September 8 at 10:00 a.m.

For the opportunity to secure pre-sale tickets for Roy Blount Jr., become a member today! Please visit our website or call 860-280-3112.

$30.00 General Public – On sale Monday, September 12 at 10:00 a.m.

$75 VIP Reception with Roy – Save room for pie, coffee, and conversation from 6:00 to 7:00. VIP tickets include priority seating for the 7:30 event.

Meet the Hoopers (Harry’s family)

The Great Fenway Park Writers Series

A Public Service of the Boston Red Sox

2 August 2016

Dear Special Friends of The Writers Series:

Our next event honors the memory of Harry Hooper, member, Baseball Hall of Fame, and the only Red Sox player to ever play on four World Series team – 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1918.

Fifty members of the Hooper family will join us for our luncheon, Thursday, August 11, in the EMC Club (enter at 20 Yawkey Way). Please note the starting time – 11 am (that’s earlier than normal but necessary).

To bring back those memories of Mr. Hooper’s career, we have invited two exceptional speakers.

First, Mike Vaccaro, lead sports columnist of the New York Post, and author of, “The First Fall Classic: The Red Sox, the Giants, and the Cast of Players, Pugs and Politicos who Reinvented the World Series in 1912”; and, second, Dr. Thomas Whalen, associate professor at Boston University, and author of, “When the Red Sox Ruled: Baseball’s First Dynasty, 1912-1918.”

Dick Flavin will be Dick Flavin and have a special poem memorializing Harry Hooper, and Gordon Edes, the new Red Sox Historian (and the genesis of this program), will introduce our special guests, including a Barber Shop Quartet.

Oh, this should be great fun with you, and the Hooper family back at Fenway.

The cost of the luncheon in EMC is $45, with Mr. Vaccaro’s and Dr. Whalen’s books available for sale and signing separately

If you have questions, I invite you to call: 619-249-6379, or find details online at

NOTE: ESPN’s Brian Kenny, author of, “The Curve: Inside The Baseball Revolution”, speaks September 13 at our luncheon.


George Mitrovich

The Great Fenway Park Writers Series
4 Yawkey Way | Boston, Massachusetts 02215 | 617.226.6781


Vintage BB 3

Enjoy some barehanded, 1861 rules Base Ball in the coming weeks.

The Thames BBC schedule for August/September (all times TBA):

Sat Aug 6              Woodstock Hilltoppers @ Woodstock, CT

Sat Aug 20            Wethersfield Red Onion @ Fort Trumbull

Sat Aug 27            Bristol Blues BBC @ Bristol, RI or South Dartmouth, RI

Sun Sep 25           Bristol Blues BBC @ Concordia Boatyard in South Dartmouth, RI

Thames home games are at Fort Trumbull State Park in New London.  More info at:


Schedule information for the Lisbon Tunnelman, another vintage team in CT, can be found at:.


All dates are tentative.  Before attending, confirm the date and game time with Michael Dreimiller ( or Jim Wyman (  In addition to being good guys and fine vintage players, Mike and Jim are CT SABR members.

And don’t forget that a special Vintage BB event will happen on Sat., July 30, 11 AM, at the Springfield, MA Armory.  Two back-to-back games will be played beginning between the Lisbon Tunnelmen and the Woodstock Hilltoppers, demonstrating Civil War era rules, costumes, equipment and culture of the 1860s. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, picnic lunch and enjoy seeing the game as it was played 150 years ago!  More info at:

Bob Wirz recalls the ’69 Royals, Stan Musial & the Commissioner’s Office.

Bob W



By Karl Cicitto


CT SABR member Bob Wirz is best known as the PR Director for two former Commissioners of Baseball.  His career arc is rich.  Bob has been a journalist, a BB HOF voter, a football, basketball and baseball broadcaster, a sports TV show host, a minor league and major league PR Manager, the owner of a Sports PR & Marketing firm and a family man blessed with a dear wife, four children and five grandchildren.


Bob’s memoir, The Passion of Baseball, is scheduled to be published in October.


I had the opportunity to do a Q & A with Bob on July 1, 2016.



You were the PR Director for the expansion KC Royals in 1969.  What was it like to help bring MLB back to that city?


Selfishly, first of all, it was wonderful being in the major leagues after coveting that for so long.  We knew there was a great opportunity in Kansas City because of the hijinks with which Finley treated the fans and his subsequent move to Oakland just as the team was becoming good.   The A’s never had a .500 season in 13 years in KC.  We knew we had an opportunity and we knew we had to build from the ground up.  Because of all the success my Cardinals had enjoyed, people drove through KC to get to St Louis to see the Cardinals.


We had to work at building a fan base.  In our preseason campaign we would always have a caravan that would for two weeks visit towns in MO, KS, NE, IA, OK to build interest.  Sometimes Ewing Kauffman’s jet was available to us to go to Tulsa or Springfield, MO, and into towns that were clearly in Cardinal territory.


By the time I left to go to the Commissioner’s office we had not achieved great success in KC.  We had achieved relative success for an expansion team, finishing 2nd in the division at least once.  That was before the Royals got good for the first time.  At that point, we kind of thought great success was coming.  George Brett came up in 1973, which was the 5th of my 6 years with the Royals.  Brett was very green and I was wondering what the scouts saw in the guy because he had a hard time.  He really struggled from both a hitting and fielding standpoint.  He was up and down in 1973 and in KC full time in 74.


1973 was when Royals Stadium opened.  It was fortunate for me to participate in the opening and marketing of a new stadium and to help win over the fans.  The very first game there was against Texas on a 39 degree night.


In those early years especially before Royals Stadium opened the Royals still had trouble drawing.  Tampa Bay’s present attendance looks good compared to what we drew.  But everything is relative.  Other teams struggled in those years, too, including the White Sox, the A’s and Red Sox.  I remember going to Fenway at the time and it was far from a sell-out as the team struggled.  But I have wonderful memories from the opportunities during my time in KC.  Being with the team helped put me on the map with the media.  I connected with the big time columnists and all.


I later learned it is much more fun to be with a team than to work for the Commissioner.  It’s the difference between having a team to cheer for and cheering for attendance figures, umpires and that the World Series will go 7 games.


That’s how it was when you worked in the Commissioner’s Office.  You really felt that separation when the Commissioner had a dispute with one team and the local media usually sided with that team and opposed the Commissioner.  Those were challenging times.


Bob, I want to throw some names at you and get your fast reactions.



John Scheurholz

An exceptional talent.  A good friend.  He and I started together in KC, although he had had some previous time with the Orioles.  We were roughly the same age.  There were a lot of jokes about us being the young guys in the office.   You had a feeling from the start that John was going to go someplace in the game.  A very good talent and very hard working, which is what it takes.


Joe Gordon

Joe was a wonderful human being and a lot of fun to be around.  I don’t know how his managing skills are rated overall, maybe not nearly as good as his playing skills, but he was there that first year in Kansas City and was lots of fun.  Trader Vics, a popular restaurant chain at that time, offered a certain dark rum that Joe liked.  I remember going to Trader Vics with Joe on a road trip to Oakland.  I also recall the day when Joe and Ted Williams, who was managing Washington, had a long, animated discussion before a game in Fort Myers.  They were talking about hitting, and commanded the attention of everyone within earshot.


Bob Lemon

Great guy.  He became a great personal friend.  I could tell you a lot of stories about Lem.  I’ll tell you a quick one.  He managed the Royals before his off and on time with the Yankees.  After the 1978 playoff game won with the Bucky Dent homer, I needed to fly to Kansas City for ALCS Game 1 the next night.  I had to get to KC more for advance planning on the World Series than to attend the ALCS.  I had gone to Fenway with Bowie Kuhn.  We were able to watch the game without much distraction or work interruptions.  But it wasn’t easy to find a flight from Boston to KC.  The Yankees graciously invited me onto their charter.  This was not something  I really wanted to do because they’d be celebrating and I was unknown to everyone but Lemon, Lou Piniella and few others.  Still, they encouraged me to fly with them and I accepted a seat in the back row.  Well, about halfway to KC, Lem found out I was on board and insisted that I sit with him in first class, and I did so for the rest of the trip.  He had maybe had a cup of tea or two by that time.  He was a great human being.






When you began writing at The Daily Nebraskan in college, what did you discover about yourself and your relationship with writing and Sports in general?


Oh my goodness.  (Laughs.)  I don’t know, Karl.  My whole motivation from age 8, as this book attempts to explain, was to be involved in baseball in some way.  So, I developed into a sports fanatic, like many others.   Most of my motivation in getting my education and various jobs was aimed at getting myself into the game of baseball.  I know that’s not a direct answer to your question but it’s the best one I can give.


I asked because of your collegiate journalism experience.  Perhaps writing for the college paper was your first opportunity to attend a game and write the story.


Well, that probably is true.  The first serious times for me covering events and writing features would have been when I was at the University (of Nebraska).  I don’t think I’d count the 5 cents or 10 cents per column inch (laughing) that I got in high school when writing for a local weekly.  I consider both the writing opportunities at The Nebraskan and the radio broadcast work I did at the University as being all geared to getting some experience and figure out where I fit into the baseball world.  I knew I couldn’t hit the curveball.



Nebraska ended Oklahoma’s 74 game winning streak in 1959.  Where were you when Ron Meade intercepted a Sooner pass in the end zone to end it?


Right.  (Laughs).  Your research is remarkable.  I don’t remember the details of the game but I remember exactly where I was.  I was working part time at The Lincoln Journal.  When Nebraska had home football games The Journal published a 4 page Extra wrapped on pink paper, believe it or not, that would be available on the streets virtually as people walked just blocks from Memorial Stadium back to downtown after the game.  As a part timer and low man on the totem pole, I was on a head set for that game listening to the radio broadcast and writing a running summary.  I did this for the Oklahoma game while my boss & Sports Editor, Dick Becker, was in the press box writing a one paragraph lead.  Our first edition story was Becker’s lead followed by my running summary.  I’ll probably reproduce a copy of that game story in the book.  That was my little part of that historic event.



You were a Stan Musial fan?


Oh, of course.  I saw my first MLB game on August 16, 1949 in Wrigley Field, Cardinals vs. Cubs.  We were on a trip to see my aunt near Cleveland.  Six of us traveled by car.  I don’t think we had air conditioning.  My Mom and Dad, my sister, and my aunt and Uncle drove from Nebraska to Cleveland, with a side trip to Niagara Falls.


Although Cleveland was the main destination, we managed to see a Ladies Day game, which were very popular events in those days at Wrigley.  Musial was 2 for 2 with 2 walks, the Cards losing the game late.  The reason I remember the date so clearly was it was one year to the day that Babe Ruth died, and the Cubs did a moment of silence to recognize his passing.  It was a nearly full house and we had gotten there very early.  In those days you could stay late after the game, and we did.  I could virtually touch some of the Cardinals as they came out of their dressing room.  My Uncle was approached by a number of people for autographs because he resembled the Umpire Frank Dascoli.  What a red letter day that was for me to finally see my first major league baseball game.  We went on and saw 2 games in Cleveland – one against the Yankees and one against Washington.  I saw Bob Feller hit his first home run after returning from the War.  I saw Satchell Paige pitch.  The game versus the Yankees was on Gene Woodling Night.  I still have the programs.  The covers of those programs will be featured in the book, too, because of what they mean to me.


(Read the rest of the interview with Bob Wirz (after August 1) in The Wood Pile.  You can purchase a copy of Bob’s book, The Passion of Baseball, this October at or through his  blog,  It will also be available in e-book and print format on Amazon and the web-site of Barnes & Noble.)




A Surprise on the Book Trail

All 3 Shots


The first time Alan and I did an author talk (June 9, Suffield Library), we and Mike Sandlock were the sole focus for the 75 minute program.  The attendees included devoted and knowing BB fans.


Earlier this evening at our second author talk (Bloomfield Library), Alan and I had 10 minutes in total and shared the program with 6 other authors plus one absentee that the Librarian pitched.  Each author also received just 10 minutes.


It was an open mike format.  Our BB talk (we led off) was followed by one on adult fiction (deviation), dystopian science fiction parables with political themes, how to be a virtuous woman and not be alone, how God can deliver you from addiction and injury, love for the aching heart, growing up Jewish in Brooklyn, and dealing with life changing injury.


Suffice it to say that the vibe was very different between the two events.  And – there was one ironic surprise.


In order to pull more attendees in just before the program started, the Librarian walked the floor and encouraged patrons to come to the event.  And who just happened to be in the library and decided to join us?  It was none other than our own Norm Hausmann, the author of the chapter on Bulkeley Stadium, a man widely known to hang out in libraries all over CT.