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Chapter Function Filled with Fun and Facts
Written by David Hughes   

Did you …

- Ever wonder about who has the dubious distinction of throwing the most pitches in the first inning of a game since pitch counts became a reliable statistic?

- Ever hear the one about Syd Cohen, who also played professional baseball under the alias “Pablo Garcia”? 

- Know that the presence of a Fussell Ice Cream advertisement in a ballpark scorecard meant that you had to be scoring that game in Washington, D.C.?

- Know that the same guy played with Larry Bowa and Denny Doyle, roomed with pro football Hall of Famer Bob Griese in college, and had the dubious distinction of being flattened at home plate in the minor leagues by none other than Mr. October?

- Ever wonder how the terabytes of “Big Data” collected during MLB games can yield useful information for the purpose of putting a lineup together against a particular pitcher in a particular park?

- Know that authenticated, new information about the life and times of Babe Ruth is still surfacing as recently as last year?

Well, if you had attended the Bob Davids Chapter’s 40th Annual Meeting on January 25, 2014, you would have learned the answers to these and many other questions during an entertaining seven hours of presentations, anecdotes, baseball trivia, reminiscences and camaraderie, not to mention lively question and answer sessions with our speakers and presenters.

But first, the Chapter did a little business.  The membership re-elected D. Bruce Brown as President, Don Seaman as Secretary, and Mark Pattison as an At-Large Board Member, all starting two-year terms.

With a paid attendance of 135, the meeting heard Amy Tetlow Smith, summarize the research she did on “Scorecard, Advertisement and Social History,” a presentation that had received an honorable mention at SABR 43 in Philadelphia.  Amy described the systematic analysis of the advertisements she and her husband Dave had catalogued while analyzing thousands of scorecards from the 19th century to the present and how the changing product lines reflected wider societal changes across the country. (Amy's detailed research can be found on the Retrosheet site.) Although Amy’s solo performance proved a tough act to follow, Dave Smith, a perennial favorite, scored his usual big inning with a sampling of his famous insights to milestones and oddities of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. 

Vince Gennaro, SABR’s national president, reprised the award-winning presentation he made at the national convention this year in Philadelphia with an updated rendition of "Analyzing Batter Performance Against Pitcher Clusters."  Analyzing pitchers using five factors, Vince provided examples of how manager could employ such analysis to try to determine the most favorable match-up opportunities for his roster against any specific pitcher in a given ballpark.

Del Wilber, Jr., President of the Perfect Game Foundation, followed with a discussion of his father Del’s decades long career in professional baseball, a career that included experiences as a player, coach, manager, and scout.  Del also described his own athletic career that included a short two-sport stint at Purdue University, and minor league stops in the Phillies’ organization.

After lunch, Vince Gennaro talked about the current state of SABR, and answered questions from the assembled group about the successes of SABR’s recent history and the need for continued improvement in its delivery of service to membership as well as its contributions to the overall baseball community.  Thereafter, Ned Rice of the Baltimore Orioles discussed the application of sabermetric analytics in today’s baseball operations.  Film maker Aviva Kempner discussed additional footage associated with her film “The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg,” along with some entertaining recollections of the adventures of former Washington Senator Syd Cohen (a/k/a “Pablo Garcia”).  Mike Gibbons and Sean Herne, representing the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, noted that the day marked the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s first professional contract.  Mike and Sean talked about the upcoming birthday bash for the Babe (February 6), discussed some newly discovered facts and memorabilia associated with the Babe’s life, and talked about the plans for events that will coincide with the Bob Davids Chapter’s MLB game this year (June 7, at Camden Yards).  To wrap it up, a guest from the Connie Mack chapter, Brian Englehardt gave a research presentation about the history of baseball in Reading, PA, focusing on Lee McPhail and his Reading Brooks.

All in all it was a great way to spend a SABR Day next to the proverbial “Hot Stove.”  Oh, by the way, the pitcher who threw the most pitches in the first inning of a game since pitch counts became a reliable statistic is none other than Bartolo Colon.  Needless to say, it wasn’t his best start that year.

Be of good cheer.  Spring Training is just a few short days away.

Autumn Squibber Falls in Member Inboxes

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

Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 11:35
Chapter Spends a Sun-y Day in Hagerstown
Written 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.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:26
Bonus Chapter Game Outing Sept. 16

The SABR Bob Davids chapter has a block of 18 tickets to the Washington Nationals-Atlanta Braves matchup on Monday September 16 at 7:05. They are in Section 318, and are $20 each. This is a great chance to see a game that we hope will be a very meaningful one, and to join your fellow SABR members at the ballpark. (Note this is a ballgame-only event; there are no speakers or other program.)

Chapter members, check your email for details or contact David Raglin at drags (AT)

Last Updated on Monday, 15 July 2013 12:13
Nationals Park Hosts Davids Chapter
Written by David Hughes   
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. 
Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2013 08:01
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