Skip to content
You are here: Home Chapter News Event recaps NWSABR 8-6-11 Meeting Recap
NWSABR 8-6-11 Meeting Recap
Written by John Henshell   

NWSABR held a meeting Saturday, August 6 from 1:00 to 5:00 in a suite at PK Park in Eugene. As the Eugene Emeralds were our hosts, registration was required, and 13 of the 17 people who registered attended the meeting.

Jim Watson and Dan Schlewitz made member presentations. Matt Dompe and Onalee Carson of the Emeralds spoke about their careers and job duties and enthusiastically answered our many questions.

Jim is a member of SABR’s Ballparks Committee. He is also involved in a local organization that is trying to save Civic Stadium (see He shared several lists of ballparks built between 1910 and 1946. Civic Stadium is one of the few wooden parks that were built with WPA assistance and haven’t been demolished. Civic Stadium was built in 1938 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It could be sold or preserved for a variety of possible civic uses. Jim showed pictures of how historic parks have been preserved for uses other than pro baseball after they had been replaced for that purpose.

PK Park opened last year. It is shared by the Emeralds and the University of Oregon baseball team. Onalee informed us that the Emeralds are drawing well– a 14-game winning streak helped. The team experienced growth in sponsorships and ticket sales both years. We concurred that the stadium and setting are very attractive, and it has been successful.

On the other hand, it has artificial turf and brown carpeted baselines. Jim and other members pointed out that it is away from downtown and out of walking distance for many residents. Civic Stadium has charm and historical significance, including serving as a home park for many future major league stars, such as Mike Schmidt, Mario Soto, Larry Bowa, Eric Davis, and Mike Sweeney.

Some of the preserved wooden ballparks are being used for amateur sports. Those of us from the Portland area winced when Jim mentioned soccer as a possibility. Jim has mixed feelings about certain possible uses and welcomes your thoughts.

Dan analyzed the post-WWII rosters of the original 16 teams to determine if player movement is greater in the free agency era than in the pre-agency era. He said, “The research started out of hearing people say, ‘Well, in my day, we always knew the lineups for every team and players didn't hop around from team to team like they do today.’ The research involves finding out much of that is true and how much of that is really conventional wisdom.”

Dan focused on teams that had the same regular player at a position for three or more years. He looked at the same number of seasons before and after free agency. His conclusion is that roster churn has not increased. In fact, team consistency is a tad greater in the latter era.

Dan also found that teams are most likely to retain players at key defensive positions and least likely to retain players at the opposite end of the defensive spectrum. History shows that supply-and-demand is a factor in player retention.

Not surprisingly, Dan also learned that teams with the greatest consistency were successful. However teams with the greatest churn weren’t necessarily unsuccessful.

Matt and Onalee wear Emeralds shirts and many hats. Each is a jack or jill of many trades, with both having heavy responsibility for sales.

Matt’s title is Director of Corporate Sales. He is also the PA announcer and will get to broadcast some games. He has spent six years in professional baseball. His interesting experience includes high-level work for the Australian baseball league. This is Matt’s first year in Eugene. Matt said many people break into professional baseball by attending the job fair at the winter meetings.

Onalee has loved baseball since she was a little girl. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the game delighted us. She is Director of Tickets and Community Outreach. She works directly with the players, handles public relations, makes presentations in the community, and can be seen helping throughout the park before and during games. Onalee is in her second season with the Emeralds after working for the Boise Hawks. As a reporter, she had an opportunity to cover the St. Louis Cardinals in spring training. She was intimidated by the prospect of interviewing Tony LaRussa, but found that working with him was easy. Albert Pujols was pleasant to interview, too.

Mark Brunke talked briefly about his baseball history blog: It covers the Seattle Indians’ 1924 season.

John Henshell previewed a presentation about the 1970 NY Yankees. He told the details of how Horace Clarke broke up three no-hitters in the ninth inning in a one-month span.

We concluded the meeting with live trivia. Dan Schlewitz served as quizmaster and Ken Ross and Mel Poplock umpired. Many of us correctly answered several questions.

This was our first meeting in Eugene was since 2000 and our first south of Tigard since we met in Salem in 2002.

After the meeting, 16 members and family members watched the Emeralds play the Tri-City Dust Devils. Those of us who were interested stood in a long line to get free Mat Latos replica jerseys. Latos won 14 games and finished eighth in the NL Cy Young voting last year. He won just three games in a couple of stints with the Ems, but his statistics were good.


The home team lost 1-0. Weather was perfect, the game was short, and the Emeralds remarkably professional operation is typified by the fact that the complete play-by-play is on the team’s Web site:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 08:38

Upcoming Events

No current events.

Chapter Officers

Bob Russon 
Portland, President

Tip Wonhoff
Tacoma, Vice President

Mark Brunke
Seattle, Secretary

Tim Herlich
Seattle, Treasurer