Next Game Day Slated For Jan. 21


The next Game Day gathering is coming up fast!

Attendees will “manage” baseball teams of the past against other long-gone teams in a well known board game named Strat-O-Matic. ‘Managers’ have the opportunity to lead, for example, the 1927 Yankees versus the 1967 Red Sox, or the 1948 Braves versus the 1955 Dodgers.

No experience required.  Newbies welcome.  Public welcome.  Anyone interested in participating need not own Strat-O-Matic and should contact Karl at

When:  10 am, Sat. Jan. 21

Where: Hubbard Room, Russell Library, 123 Broad St., Middletown, CT 06457

Wirz a NE HOF’er!


C-O-N-G-R-A-T-S to CT SABR member Bob Wirz who will be inducted with Sam Wahoo Crawford and 6 others into the Nebraska BB HOF next month.  Read the press release here….



Four players, two coach/managers, a distinguished service recipient, and a media giant will be honored at the 2017 Nebraska Baseball Hall of Fame banquet to be held in Beatrice on Sunday, February 12.  The event will take place at Aunt Mary’s Event Center, 8th and Court St., the site of the Hall of Fame Museum.  Doors will open at 4:00 pm for socializing, and the dinner will be served at 5:00 pm. The speaker will be Bob Wirz, one of the inductees. His credentials along with the other honorees are listed below.


Bob Wirz, (Media) Halsey native, began his media career in radio and TV at KHAS in Hastings. He moved on to sports writing at The Lincoln Journal, the Wichita Eagle and the Denver Post.  He became the Public Information/Relations Director of the Kansas City Royals from 1969-1974.  He served as Chief Spokesman for Major League Baseball from 1974-85, and Commissioner Bowie Kuhn’s right hand man in New York City. He also worked under MLB commissioner, Peter Ueberroth, before moving into private business. His successful companies have been involved in sports consulting, management, and advertising/promotion. Further, he has owned an Independent Professional Baseball team and written a riveting baseball book, appropriately titled, The Passion of Baseball.


Wahoo Sam Crawford, Wahoo,( player), and was he ever a player. Sam was enshrined in the major league Baseball Hall of Fame in 1957. His lifetime average of .309 ties his major league career record of 309 triples. He had 51 inside the park homers and a total of 97 homers in the dead ball era. He came up just 39 hits shy of the coveted 3000 mark.  The Gray Ink Test method of rating hitters has him rated as 9th best all time ahead of Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.  As a teenager, Sam would tour the Wahoo area in the summers with his friends in a hay wagon beating up on such teams as Valparaiso, Raymond, Touhy, and Ceresco. No wonder he hit .307 in his rookie year with Cincinnati after just turning 19.  He was extremely fast, and legend has it that he would run down rabbits for dinner while on their hay wagon tours.  He said he was proud of his hometown and wanted Wahoo Sam as his moniker.


Steve Cavlovic, (Distinguished Service) Omaha, was an excellent player/manager in his own right who gave back to the game far more than he took from it. His 1947, 48 Metz Legion teams were ranked 8th and 4th respectively.  He was named to the Omaha Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003 and to the Omaha South High Sports Greats Hall of Fame in 2008.  Because of his countless community contributions, his name appears prominently on the Corrigan Senior Housing Complex, the HP Smith Sports Training Complex, and the South High Scholarship Program.  He was instrumental in honoring Veterans at Brown Park in Omaha.


Roger Pollman, (Player) Wymore, punched his ticket to the Hall with dominant play for Lone Elm (on the Ks/Ne border) in the early 50s.  He led the tough GLM (Gage, Lancaster, Marshall) League with a .435 average.  He was versatile as a pitcher and a good fielding first sacker, but was mostly known for swinging a mean stick.  Roger missed a chance to play professional baseball for the White Sox by making the gut wrenching, but family loyal decision to remain on the farm due to the illness of his father.  Check out the video on the NEBBHOF website.  The Emmy Award winning video features, you guessed it, Roger Pollman.


Bob Neesen, West Point, (Player), played for 14 seasons in the competitive Dodge County League and made the All Star Team 11 times.  Bob could do it all as a pitcher, a solid outfielder, and a prolific hitter.  Perhaps, 1976 was his best year where he went 8-2 on the bump with a 1.16 ERA (how did he lose 2?) and hit .417.  He played his college ball at Chadron State where he still holds records for season and career strikeouts.  Bob backed down from no one and was at his best when playing the best.  He was known as the heart and soul of whatever team he played for and was respected by teammates and opponents alike.  Sadly, Bob passed away this past September 27, but thankfully had been notified of his impending induction.


Ron Cullison, Beatrice (Coach/Manager), retired in 2013 after 35 years of successful coaching/managing.  Ron started the Southeast Community College program from the ground up.  His Beatrice Eagle Juniors accumulated 5 state championships, 12 area championships, and over 750 victories from 1989-2007.  He has since worked for Hall of Famers, Bob Steinkamp and Mark Mancuso with the Beatrice Bruins and Wesleyan University respectively, and coached the Nebraska Select Baseball team.  Ron was known to be a tireless worker developing players in all phases of the game.  Perhaps, his most enjoyable stint was helping his son to win championships at Norris.


Paul Eaton, Wakefield (Coach/Manager), guided his teams to 25 state tourney appearances and 18 championships from 1969-2010.  Paul has been selected the USBF/Topps Amateur Baseball Coach of the Year and also presented with the AK-SAR-BEN Good Neighbor Award for Youth Baseball.  He has also coached many state all-star teams.  In 1984 the city of Wakefield designated the baseball park to be named EATON FIELD.  Coach Eaton not only taught the game to his players, but also life skills such as sportsmanship, good behavior, respect for others and gratitude.  Congratulations, Paul.  You have left a great legacy for many people

Jeff Breeling, Omaha (Player), has played baseball for 45 years and played it well.  He played on state championship teams in 1979 and 80.  In 1983 Jeff hit .454 for Northwest High and was awarded the MVP on a team that was named the BEST HIGH SCHOOL IN THE NATION.  He was a three year starter for Iowa State as an infielder and played summer ball in the MINK League (Omaha), the JAYHAWK League plus the NBC Wichita Tournament (Beatrice).  He kept on going playing in Senior Leagues and Over 30 Leagues which included World Championship Tournaments in the Senior Men’s League in Arizona, and the Roy Hobbs League in Florida. This totaled overall, 25 world championship events.

Don’t miss THE event of the holiday season!


Much fun is planned for the Holiday Luncheon on Dec. 17.  Please take a moment this week to email Alan and RSVP.  Alan’s email is

The Luncheon includes 2 guest speakers, a door prize, and a wonderful meal.   (Cash bar for cocktails & soft drinks.)

The buffet includes Pasta Pomodoro, House Salad, Atlantic Salmon, Chicken Francaise and Roast Top Round of Beef.

There will be a 40 minute talk (plus Q & A) with Jason Klein & Pete Tucci.  Pete is the founder of the Tucci Lumber Co., a CT firm that makes game bats for 150+ MLB players including Bryce Harper & Troy Tulowitzki.  Jason is the founder of Force 3 Pro Gear, a CT company that is rapidly gaining professional customers—Tyler Flowers/Atlanta Braves, for one—for their Defender Catcher’s Mask.  That mask is a technical wonder that reduces the severity index of most impacts by 50%.

Pete & Jason spent a combined 16 seasons in the minor leagues as an outfielder and umpire, respectively.  We’ll see what comes of that!

Luncheon Details:

12 noon

Sat., Dec. 17

Angelo’s On Main

Rockledge Golf Course

289 S Main St

West Hartford, CT 06107

Investment:  $30 per person including tax and tip for SABR members and their guests.  Non-members not attending with a member are $35 each.

Alan negotiated a great deal with Angelo’s.  He even succeeded in having the Beef entrée added at no cost!

I hope you can make it.  Invite your +1 if you can.  Please let Alan know as soon as possible.

Thank you very much!


Rhode Island SABR Session To Include 8 Speakers



Len Levin shared details of the upcoming gathering of the Lajoie-Start Chapter.  If You would plan to attend, please RSVP to Len at  Here is Len’s note:




Eight presentations, including three by authors of new books, are slated for our

meeting on Saturday, November 26, at St. Philip’s Parish Center in Greenville,

R.I. The authors are Greg Rubano, whose book is “In Ty Cobb’s Shadow,” a

biography of Nap Lajoie; Herb Crehan, whose new book is “The Unsung Heroes of

the Impossible Dream 1967 Red Sox,” and Jim Kaplan, author of “Clearing the

Bases: A Veteran Sportswriter on the National Pastime.” All the books will be

available for sale.


The other presenters are Rick Harris, David Kaiser, Jay Hurd, Dixie Tourangeau,

and Steve Krevisky. If you want to put yourself down for a backup presentation,

let me know. These will be allowed if time is available. If they don’t make the

program, you’ll get top priority for a spot at our June meeting.


As always, we need an accurate count so the lunch people will know how much food

to prepare. So if you intend to be there, it’s imperative that you send me an



You should all have received the chapter newsletter via email. If you didn’t get

it, let me know and I’ll email you a copy. Also let me know if you want a paper



Again, don’t forget to RSVP.


Len Levin


Brooklyn downs Yanks, Guidry K’s Sox at Game Day


CT SABR members enjoyed 2 hours of BB talk, vintage team board game play and refreshments yesterday at the Game Day gathering.  Strat-O-Matic Baseball was the board game used to pit the 1978 Yankees vs. Red Sox, the 1953 Dodgers vs. Yankees, and two teams of Hall of Famers against each other.

In attendance were Gary Gold, Joe Runde, Alan Cohen, Steve Krevisky, Tom and Matt Monitto, Stan Dziurgot, Larry Howard and Karl Cicitto.

The Strat-O-Matic Company generously donated 13 Old timer teams as gifts to the players.  6 of those teams remain (1909 Pitt, 1911 Phila, 1934 Det, 1940 Cinn, 1941 Bklyn, 1946 Bos -A) and will be gifted at the next gathering.  Thank you, Dan Rozel at S-O-M!

The next Game Day gathering will be our Chapter’s SABR Day event, to be held on January 21, 2017.  Details TBA.

On to the game summaries……

Guidry fans 14 as ‘78 Yanks beat Red Sox, 4 – 2.

Summary by Matt Monitto.

In a rematch of the famous Bucky Dent game, the 1978 Yankees rode a Ron Guidry complete game to defeat the 1978 Red Sox 4-2.

Guidry allowed an RBI single to Rick Burleson in the second inning and another to Jerry Remy in the third, but was dominant after that, striking out 14 batters overall and only allowing two hits in the final six innings.

The strongest Red Sox hitters were unable to connect off Guidry, as Dwight Evans went 0-5 with four strikeouts and Carl Yastrzemski went 2-5 with three Ks. Every Boston hitter except Carlton Fisk struck out.

While the Yankees scored an early run on a third-inning Lou Piniella solo home run, Boston’s Dennis Eckersley held the lead until the sixth inning, when doubles by Bucky Dent and Mickey Rivers and a Thurman Munson single gave New York a 3-2 lead.

The Yankees added an insurance run in the seventh, when Roy White doubled off Tom Burgmeier to score Chris Chambliss.

Guidry struck out the side in the ninth, fanning Fred Lynn, Evans and Yastrzemski to end the game.

Cox dinger off Sain decides it, ’53 Brooklyns rout Yanks 8 – 2.

Summary by Karl Cicitto.

Yankee starter Eddie Lopat glided through the first 3 innings but a blast by Billy Cox off  Johnny Sain in the 8th resulted in a bad day for the Junkman.  The Dodgers routed the Yankees late, 8 -2, in the Bronx.

Lopat retired 9 of the first 10 Brooklyns he faced.  The only one of those batters to reach first was Junior Gilliam, who walked.

Shortstop Rizzuto was injured in his first at bat and was replaced by Andy Carey, who went on to mishandle a ground ball by Robinson in the 4th, a misplay that allowed a run to score and tie the game, 2 – 2.

The Yankee offense was meager.  Mantle went hitless and K’d three times.  The heart of the order – Mickey, Yogi, Woodling – produced 3 hits, all singles, in 13 plate appearances.  The Bombers scratched out one run when Bauer singled in McDougald in the 3rd.  They scored again when a sac fly by Collins plated Berra in the 4th.

Campanella’s 6th inning home run gave the Dodgers a 3 – 2 lead.  In the 8th, Lopat allowed a single by Hodges and a run-scoring double to Robinson, making the Dodger lead 4 – 2.  Johnny Sain, immediately inserted to limit the damage, instead gave up the 2-run home run by Cox.  Ewell Blackwell then relieved Sain and proceeded to walk Erskine, Reese and Gilliam after yielding a base knock, forcing in another run.  By the time Hodges flew out to center, the lead was 7 – 2.  Brooklyn added another run in the 9th on singles by Reese, Furillo and Robinson.

The 1953 Yankee starting 9 included Rizzuto, Bauer, Mantle, Berra, Woodling, Collins, Martin, McDougald and Lopat.  They were managed by Alan Cohen and Joe Runde.

The 1953 Dodger starting 9 included Reese, Gilliam, Snider, Hodges, Campanella, Furillo, Robinson, Cox and Erksine.  They were managed by Gary Gold and Karl Cicitto.

Berra Roughs Up Koufax,  Maddux Silences Opponent in 75th Anniversary Hall of Fame Edition

Summary by Matt Monitto.

In a match between two star-studded Hall of Fame lineups, the HOF-Montreal Expos, led by Greg Maddux’s eight-inning effort, defeated the HOF-Seattle Pilots 5-2.

The Expos got all the offense they would need in the fourth inning, as Yogi Berra hit a three-run home run off Sandy Koufax to take a 3-0 lead. Montreal’s George Kell and Hank Aaron also homered, each driving a solo shot off Early Wynn.

The Pilots, playing from behind most of the game, scored a run in the sixth when Cal Ripken singled in Pie Traynor, then added a run in the ninth when pinch hitter Jim O’Rourke doubled and Stan Musial hit another double to score him.

However, Seattle was unable to muster much offense off Maddux, who struck out nine while allowing eight hits. Koufax allowed four hits in five innings for the Pilots, but Berra’s home run decided the game.

The starting 9 for the Expos included Ozzie Smith, Rod Carew, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Eddie Murray, George Kell, Al Simmons, and Greg Maddux.  They were managed by Larry Howard and Stan Dziurgot.

The starting 9 for the Pilots included Goose Goslin, Charles Gehringer, Stan Musial, Duke Snider, Pie Traynor, Biz Mackey, Lou Brock, Cal Ripken and Sanford Koufax.  They were managed by Tom and Matt Monitto.

Great BB Books. Low Prices. Expand Your Library & Support the Chapter.



Alan Cohen has been busy obtaining and organizing baseball books that will be available for purchase at the Oct. 29 General Meeting at Quinnipiac University.  The complete list is below.  Most of these books are just $1.  Cash or check are accepted.  Please feel free to donate your hard cover BB books for the good of the cause on the 29th if you wish to do so.

Please know that  our chapter members have contributed to several other books (published by SABR) including the recent books on Boston’s First Nine (Joe Williams and Bill Ryczek) and the 1979 Pirates (Alan Cohen) and those titles can be purchased new for $10 to $12 depending on the book. Just let Alan know.

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Strat-O-Matic Game Day 10-15


CT SABR members will gather in Middletown this Saturday to play historic baseball teams in Strat-O-Matic, a stat-based board game well known to Baby Boomer era fans.


Several of us will bring teams from the 1930’s to 2000’s.


We currently have 6 players. 2 more tentative yesses.  If you are interested in joining in please email Karl at  We’ll start with a how-to-play demo.  New players are welcome.


As you may know, Strat-O-Matic makes old-time team sets ranging from the 1905 NY Giants to the 1967 Red Sox.  The company is sending a group of 12 of these teams so that those in attendance can take an old timer team home on Saturday, courtesy of SOM.



Sat. Oct. 15, 10 am start.
Room #3
Russell Library
123 Broad Street
Middletown, CT


Water bottles and donuts will be provided.



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.