Monthly Archives: March 2018

WRAP: Spring Meeting Had Press, Pike & Nap

03 17 18

03 17 18 C

By Karl Cicitto

Alan Cohen Photos

About 40 attended the March 17 general chapter meeting at Quinnipiac.  Steve K. led off the meeting with welcoming remarks and announcements.

Karl moderated a media panel in honor of retired Courant Sports Editor Jeff Otterbein. Otto was joined on the panel by Jack O’Connell of the BBWAA, John Altavilla, award winner sports reporter of The Courant/NH Register, and Tom Yantz, award winning author of 10,000 stories in The Courant. Claire Smith was unable to appear due to illness. A discussion of Otto’s career (4 Sports Section Triple Crowns) gave way to a vigorous audience Q & A session. Otto explained that athletes are people just like you or I and he found it critical to use restraint in determining what got into the paper. Mr. Altavilla spoke about how he fulfilled his dream of scribing for The Courant, covering the MLB, NHL, UConn and nine Super Bowls. The segment closed with Joe Williams asking about legendary schoolboy reporter Bo Kolinsky, who Otto and Yantz described as a tireless, generous, good natured reporter who passed too young, and whose coverage seemed to touch the entire state. The panel concluded with the presentation of a citation to Otto from the Hon. John Larson, and a cake.

Following a break, Mickey Tangel spoke about Lipman Pike, the 19th Century slugger who was MLB’s first Jewish superstar. Mickey covered Lip’s family, early years, and the influences that led him to become a famed and well-traveled amateur. Mickey explained that Pike was a master of the fair-foul hit, a batting technique that caused the batted ball to at first strike fair ground and then zoom away from the fielders into foul territory. Since a ball struck in that fashion was considered a fair ball in the 1870’s, the speedy Pike made the most of it while batting .346, .355 and .377 in his prime. Pike is Mickey’s personal work in progress and the research goes on.

Bill Nowlin spoke about his new book, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox.  Some of what Bill uncovered included how rich kid Yawkey voluntarily worked in an Arizona coal mine and was embarrassed by his wealth. He worshipped ballplayers, having met Cobb as a kid. Even with his favorites like Yaz his familiarity with players did not extend outside Fenway; Yawkey ate most of his dinners in Boston alone at the Ritz Carlton. Bill spoke about the racist label that Yawkey continues to wear. He mentioned that Reggie Smith received special and personal financial support from Yawkey and that Jim Lonborg said that Yawkey underwent a gradual transformation about race. Bill made an overarching point:  We blame baseball for not being better about integration but seldom credit the game for integrating before everyone else did everywhere else.

There were some announcements between speakers. Alan mentioned that four new SABR books would be out soon about the Pirates, Rockies, Mets and Rangers.  Tom Monitto announced a Strat-O-Matic event (The next one is on May 5.)  Steve proposed a chapter project that would create a calendar of CT born MLB player birthdays.  Bill Ryczek talked about his upcoming 19th Century radio broadcast of the famous 1870 Red Stockings-Atlantics game.

Greg Rubano spoke about his book, In Ty Cobb’s Shadow: The Story of Napoleon Lajoie, Baseball’s First Superstar.  Greg clarified the pronunciation issue with Lajoie’s name by explaining that Nap’s neice said that despite many alternatives the family pronounces it “Lajoy”. Greg established how towering a figure Lajoie was. In 1901, Nap helped the new American League establish credibility as he became the #1 draw. He was beloved from Woonsocket to Cleveland. He was among the few with his image on a decal bat and perhaps the first player to appear in a Coke ad. He received more HOF votes in 1936 than Cy Young — and Speaker, Hornsby and Sisler.  Lajoie was baseball’s biggest star until a comet named Cobb arrived. Greg is involved in the legacy of Lajoie beyond the book.  He also wrote a young readers book about the star and has worked in the community to send the message of how humble origins are not necessarily a barrier to transcendent success, as was the case with Nap.

George Pawlush presented on his upcoming book, Dawn and Dusk of the Colonial League, a league which operated from 1947 to 1950 as a Class B minor loop in Waterbury, Bristol, New London, Stamford and Bridgeport. George showed slides of the ballplayers, most of whom did not reach the Bigs, with the notable exception of Preston Gomez, Ruben Gomez and Carolos Bernier. George also featured men who succeeded but not as players including MLB umpire Ed Sudol, NBA Ref Sid Borgia, and NBA Commissioner J Walter Kennedy.  The Colonial League story is that of a circuit that constantly hovered on the edge of financial collapse while bringing a fine article of baseball to such old CT parks as Muzzy Field in Bristol, Municipal Stadium in Waterbury and spanking new Candelite Stadium in Bridgeport, complete with a midget racing track on the diamond’s perimeter.  The book is a great blend of post-war baseball and local CT history.

Last but not least, the book sale as set up by Alan Cohen and more than a dozen books found new homes.

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HOF’ers Star at Strat Event

Dickey Maddux

by Matt Monitto

A pair of March 24 Strat-o-Matic games between Hall of Famer superteams ended the same way: in attempted ninth-inning comebacks that fell short. The Yankee Thunder team won both matches, defeating the HOF “Grays” 7-6 and the HOF “Expos” 9-6.
 
Greg Maddux starred for Yankee Thunder in the first game, allowing only one run on four hits through his first eight innings of work, while his offense took a 7-1 lead thanks to home runs by George Brett, Cal Ripken Jr. and Bill Dickey. However, the HOF Grays saw their first four batters in the ninth knock Maddux out of the game, as Eddie Mathews struck the first blow with a two-run home run. Dennis Eckersley entered in relief and gave up a bases-loaded double to Jackie Robinson, reducing the deficit to one, but with two on got Mickey Mantle to pop out and struck out Johnny Mize to end the game.
 
Yankee Thunder continued their streak of strong pitching and explosive offense in the second game, as Randy Johnson struck out 11 over eight innings while Ernie Banks clobbered two home runs. Again, Yankee Thunder took an early lead taking a 5-2 lead into the seventh. However, Rod Carew’s RBI double and Hank Aaron’s two-run home run brought home three runs for the HOF Expos to even the score. But in the bottom of the eighth, Yankee Thunder brought home four runs thanks to a Carlton Fisk two-run triple and Banks’ second home run of the game. The HOF Expos mounted a two-out rally in the top of the ninth, loading the bases and bringing the winning run to the plate, but Eckersley got Eddie Murray to ground out, completing the sweep.
Join us for our next chapter Strat game event on May 5.  Details are at this link: http://www.smokyjoewood.com/events

SABR-L Daily Email Connects & Intrigues

One of the side benefits of being a SABR member is that you can sign up to receive an email everyday at about 6 pm that is a collection of that day’s announcements, discoveries and help requests from SABR members all over the USA (and beyond.).  The email is called SABR-L.

Where else could you go to read three short bursts about how fouling off pitches is a modern art that goes back to the day when foul balls did not count as strikes?  Or that  a group has formed to erect a statue of Louis Sockalexis in Maine?

You can access a copy of yesterday’s SABR-L by clicking this link: SABR L Email Sample

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Join SABR today!  Get SABR-L.  Get free books.  Contribute research.  Get published.  Hang out with BB obsessed people, just like you!

Just go to this url to join:  http://sabr.org/join

 

 

Media Panel Expands for Sat

Calire ++

Two-time Pulitzer nominee Claire Smith has joined the Media Panel for the March 17 meeting at Quinnipiac. The meeting will feature the media panel, three authors and a performer.

The media panel will include:

–Claire Smith, two-time Pulitzer nominee and 2017 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner.
–Tom Yantz, award winning sportswriter, Red Sox & MLB beat, HOF voter
–John Altavilla, award winning sportswriter, Yankee & Mets beat, not to mention NFL & NHL
–Jack O’Connell, journalist & the man who announces HOF inductees annually for BBWAA
–Jeff Otterbein, 27 years Courant Sports Editor who led coverage of 5 Yankee and 3 Red Sox championships, pioneered extensive coverage of women’s sports and led his staff into the digital age. The panel discussion is in Jeff’s honor.

We have a reasonable expectation that the above panelists will all appear but please know that the line-up is subject to change.

Remember, please, we will start at 11 AM.

Three outstanding authors will speak on Saturday!

Bill Nowlin will talk about his new book, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox. Yawkey never won a championship but the author takes us through the many achievements of Grove, Foxx, Ted and Yaz. Nowlin also addresses the racism subject. Copies available at the meeting. More info on this book here: https://www.amazon.com/Tom-Yawkey-Patriarch-Boston-Red/dp/0803296835

George Pawlush will speak about his new book, Dawn and Dusk of the Colonial League, about CT’s old Colonial League, which operated from ‘47 to ‘50 as a Class B minor league in Waterbury, Bristol, New London, Stamford and Bridgeport. George researched this book for more than a decade, interviewing players and executives before they passed. The book is a blend of local history, post-war BB, labor strife, bouncing paychecks, a team bus with no brakes and much fascinating detail. It will be available on Amazon soon.

Greg Rubano will talk about his book, In Ty Cobb’s Shadow: The Story of Napoleon Lajoie, Baseball’s First Superstar. Greg tells the tale of Nap’s rise from the mills to adoration in three MLB cities, only to be eclipsed by a meteor named Cobb. More info on this book at: https://www.amazon.com/Ty-Cobbs-Shadow-Baseballs-Superstar/dp/0692649867

And it all starts at 11 AM!

Last but now least, talented SABR member Mickey Tangel will appear in character as 19th Century player Lipman Pike, BB’s first Jewish star. Small but mighty, the 5’8”, 158 pound Pike once hit 6 home runs in a game for the Athletics against the Alerts. The original Hebrew Hammer.

There will be a pre-loved BB book sale, water bottles, crunchy things, and without a doubt there will be cake.

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: Start time is 11 AM. This is earlier than past meetings.

A donation of $5 is suggested and the public is welcome. Come and enjoy good fellowship and baseball. The meeting will be held at Quinnipiac University, College of Liberal Arts, building #1, Hamden, CT. 11:00 am to 3 pm. For more information contact Steve Krevisky at SKrevisky@mxcc.commnet.edu. For address and directions, click here:

Nap, Lip and Otto Headline March 17 at Q.U.

 

 

yawkey

 

A great line-up of presenters is scheduled for CT SABR’s March 17 general meeting at Quinnipiac.  (Early 11 AM Start!)  We’ll have a media panel in honor of retired Courant Sports Editor Jeff Otterbein with BB HOF voters on the panel and surprises. Bill Nowlin will talk about his new book, Tom Yawkey: Patriarch of the Boston Red Sox.  George Pawlush will speak about his new book on Connecticut’s old Colonial League, which operated from ‘47 to ‘50 as a Class B minor league in 5+ CT towns. Mickey Tangel will appear in character as 19th Century player Lipman Pike, BB’s first Jewish star.  Greg Rubano will talk about his book, In Ty Cobb’s Shadow: The Story of Napoleon Lajoie, Baseball’s First Superstar.  Bill Ryczek will have a special presentation, subject TBA. There will be refreshments and a pre-loved BB book sale. A donation of $5 is suggested and the public is welcome. Come and enjoy good fellowship and baseball. The meeting will be held at  Quinnipiac University, College of Liberal Arts, building #1, Hamden, CT. 11:00 am to 3 pm. For more information contact Steve Krevisky at SKrevisky@mxcc.commnet.edu.  For address and directions, click here:  Directions Quinnipiac