Monthly Archives: April 2016

Bill James, Rob Neyer in Provincetown May 27.

Bill James

 

INSIDE BASEBALL: Bill James in Conversation with Rob Neyer
Friday, May 27, 7:00 p.m. $25.  At The Barn, 25 Miller Hill Rd., Provincetown, MA.

Buy Tickets

Bill James, whose quantitative analysis of baseball revolutionized the sport, will talk with baseball writer Rob Neyer about his life, his career, and the national pastime. James, who now serves as a senior advisor to the Boston Red Sox, began writing his annual Bill James Baseball Abstract in the 1970s. These books focused on what James later termed “sabermetrics”—the objective analysis of the game. His ideas reached a larger audience when Michael Lewis wrote about him in Moneyball, a book later made into a movie starring Brad Pitt. Neyer, a writer for FOX Sports and the author or coauthor of six books on baseball, spent fifteen years as a columnist for ESPN and has served as the baseball editor for SB Nation.

Thanks to Joanne Hulbert of the Boston Chapter for forwarding this info.

CONGRATS TO LEN LEVIN A R.I. HOF’ER

Len pic

Many of us have worked with Len Levin on a Bio Project assignment or a book contribution.  Many have enjoyed his terrific twice-annual meetings of the Nap LaJoie (RI) Chapter, gatherings conducted with alacrity, grace and engagement.

The Rhode Island Press Association inducted Len into their HOF this month.  Here is the write up from the RIPA site:

Len Levin is probably best known in Rhode Island and the rest of New England journalism as a wizard of grammar and style. For close to 30 years, he served as the Providence Journal’s news editor, overseeing the copy desk and serving as the language guru for the news department. His crusade for good grammar, correct style, and accuracy earned him the soubriquet Chairman Mao or just The Chairman. For years, he compiled the monthly “Excellence Newsletter,” which complimented by name as often as it zinged the work of the reporters and copyeditors (without naming them). When he retired in 1996, staffers said they greatly missed his newsletter. He also co-authored (and then enforced) the several-hundred-page Journal stylebook. Any number of copyeditors who worked under Len’s tutelage went on to become copyeditors at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and other metropolitan daily newspapers.

He also left his mark on New England journalism through his service on various boards. He was the president of the New England chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and of the New England Society of Newspaper Editors. In retirement he continued to serve on the NESNE board. For many years, he taught journalism courses part time at the University of Rhode Island, including copy editing and news writing. When he took a buyout from the Journal in 1999, he was asked by the Quincy Patriot Ledger to be one of its editors, but he demurred and instead joined the copydesk part time. After leaving the Patriot Ledger he took on another part-time job: editing the decisions of the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

A native of Pawtucket, R.I., Len graduated from Providence College, where he was the co-editor of the school’s weekly student newspaper, The Cowl. He received a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and went to work at the Pawtucket Times until the Providence Journal asked him to join its copyediting staff in 1963. During his years at the Journal, he and his wife, Linda Lotridge Levin, a journalism professor at URI, developed pro bono seminars and workshops in editing and writing for newspaper staffs around New England. He was a frequent presenter at panels and seminars for copyeditors, preaching the need for accuracy and good grammar. As a member of NESNE, he traveled to Russia twice to explain a free press to journalists there. Passionate about the history of baseball, he is a former secretary of the Society for American Baseball Research and for many years was the group’s archivist, the files piled high in rooms on the third floor of the Levin residence in Providence. He and Linda have two daughters, Sara and Rachel.

Inducted into the R.I. Journalism Hall of Fame April 2016

Dick Allen Author Headlines Springfield Monday

God Almighty

The Maranville SABR Chapter (Springfield, MA) will host an intriguing pair of authors this coming Monday, April 25.  Any event featuring Dick Allen is a goodie.  Don’t miss it.  Here is the announcement:

SOCIETY for AMERICAN BASEBALL RESEARCH

SABR

WALTER RABBIT MARANVILLE CHAPTER

SPRINGFIELD MASSACHUSETTS

Next Meeting – Monday April 25, 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

REGISTRATION FEE:         $5.00

SPEAKERS:         Tommy Shea will present his new book Dingers: The 101 most memorable home runs in baseball history. Mr.Shea was a reporter for the Springfield Republican for 40 years. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, New England Monthly, and Baseball America and USA Today.

Mitchell J. Nathanson is the author of the recently released book God Almighty Hisself: the Life and Legacy of Dick Allen. Mr. Nathanson is a professor at the Charles Widger School of Law at Villanova University. He has written many articles regarding the intersection of sports, law, and society.

Refreshments will be served and there will be 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 stavkim@charter.net

Jim Winston (VP/Secretary)             413-584-1110 or james@jameswinsonlaw.com

R.I. SABR announces date for June session at McCoy

 

PawSox

Every one of the RI Chapter’s twice-annual gatherings are special.  Save the date.  Here are the early details on June from Len Levin….

Hello,

Here’s the date for the Lajoie-Start Chapter’s spring meeting at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium: Saturday, June 25.

The club’s ownership has changed, but we will be back at our usual meeting place, under a picnic tent behind the right-field bullpen. We will begin at 10:30 and wind up at 3:00.

Our friend Mike Tamburro is still on the scene, and he will bring over manager Kevin Boles and perhaps a coach or two to meet with us at around 12:30 or 1:00.

I’m working on having another old friend as our speaker: Dr. Charles Steinberg.  Dr. Steinberg is now the president of the Pawtucket Red Sox. (He remains an adviser to the Boston Red Sox.) You’ll remember that Dr. Steinberg spoke to us at McCoy a few years ago and was a big hit.

As always, a baseball book raffle and Fr. Gerry Beirne’s trivia quiz will be on the program. Because this meeting is shorter than our fall session at St. Philip’s, we’ll have to cut back on research presentations, but I’ll try to make room on the schedule for a couple. Let me know if you want to do one.

Look for the chapter newsletter in your inbox toward the end of May or early June. Let me know if you have any questions.

Len Levin

LenLevin5@hotmail.com

 

 

R.I. SABR announces date for June session at McCoy

PawSox

 

Every one of the RI Chapter’s twice-annual gatherings are special.  Save the date.  Here is Len Levin’s email with all early details.

Hello,

Here’s the date for the Lajoie-Start Chapter’s spring meeting at Pawtucket’s McCoy Stadium: Saturday, June 25.

The club’s ownership has changed, but we will be back at our usual meeting place, under a picnic tent behind the right-field bullpen. We will begin at 10:30 and wind up at 3:00.

Our friend Mike Tamburro is still on the scene, and he will bring over manager Kevin Boles and perhaps a coach or two to meet with us at around 12:30 or 1:00.

I’m working on having another old friend as our speaker: Dr. Charles Steinberg.  Dr. Steinberg is now the president of the Pawtucket Red Sox. (He remains an adviser to the Boston Red Sox.) You’ll remember that Dr. Steinberg spoke to us at McCoy a few years ago and was a big hit.

As always, a baseball book raffle and Fr. Gerry Beirne’s trivia quiz will be on the program. Because this meeting is shorter than our fall session at St. Philip’s, we’ll have to cut back on research presentations, but I’ll try to make room on the schedule for a couple. Let me know if you want to do one.

Look for the chapter newsletter in your inbox toward the end of May or early June. Let me know if you have any questions.

Len Levin

LenLevin5@hotmail.com

 

 

OUR LAST MEETING WITH MIKE

yogi-dad-pirsal-howard

(Above, Mike signs while flanked by Yogi, Piersall and Ellie Howard at the Greenwich Old Timers banquet in the 1960’s.)

 

On March 19, six of the contributors to our book about Mike Sandlock met with the old catcher at one of his favorite places to socialize: Innis Ardens Golf Course in Greenwich, CT.

 

Alan Cohen, Stan Dziurgot, Peter Seidel, Don Harrison, Tom Monitto and I joined a dozen members of the Sandlock family in the Grill Room of that private club.

 

Mike endured bone cancer for some time.  It reached a dangerous stage last September when his son, Mike, Jr., told me that hospice care was at the ready.

 

There were few signs of illness this day.  Mike looked great for 100.

 

Old Sandbags was well attired and sweatered as he sat in his wheelchair at a Round-top with the six of us.   Bright sunshine bounced off the fairways outside and  streamed through the windows onto the white linen covered tables.

 

We were at a most unusual event, parties to a book presentation in honor of the 100 year old subject of that book.  We each got our personal copy signed by Mike and engaged in chit chat with him.  “Do you miss the Polo Grounds?”  “How good a pitcher was Don Newcombe, really?”

 

Alan snapped photos and recorded videos that he has since shared on our Facebook page.

 

I sipped decaf and took measure of the process while formulating what I would ask Mike.

 

Don engaged Mike in a literate and substantive discussion because he is, after all, a real writer.

 

Mike was amiable throughout the gathering, which lasted about one hour.  It was followed by a private luncheon with his family.

 

Before we excused ourselves, we presented the book to Mike.   We offered congratulations.  We offered hope that we had somehow done him justice.  We also wished him love, a better year for his Braves, and many future blessings.  He seemed to soak in the applause and good will.

Even though I knew Mike was very sick, his passing late last night (April 4) caught me by surprise.  He looked as trim and strong as any centenarian could be expected to look.  He was fully alert and conversant.  If you asked a question, taking care to speak into his left ear, he replied directly and with detail.

 

His daily battles were somehow manageable, I thought, and his illness was slowly taking down this big man with the large rugged hands of a backstop. We would celebrate another birthday with Mike Sandlock, I believed.

 

But, it was not to be.

 

I sent to Mike, Jr. our thoughts and good wishes.

 

Today  I am grateful for the team work of the contributors I mentioned earlier as well as Bill Nowlin, Len Levin, Steve Krevisky, Stew Thornley, Scott Ferkovich, Ray Miller, Lon Garber, James Ray, Norm Hausmann, Brian Wood, Ronnie Joyner and Gilly Rosenthal.

 

We started on the book project 10 months ago.

 

We presented the manuscript to Mike on Oct. 17 at his 100th birthday party.

 

We presented the book to Mike a smidge more than two weeks before he passed.

 

We were lucky.

 

RIP, Mike.   It was an honor.

 

-Karl