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May 25 meeting at Seattle Pacific University
Written by Mark Brunke   

 The Pacific Northwest Chapter of SABR held a chapter meeting on Saturday, May 25, 2013 at the Seminar Room of the Main Library of Seattle Pacific University. The meeting was attended by 25 members from around the state of Washington and several who drove up from the Portland area. The meeting was run by chapter President Rick Solomon and hosted by SPU faculty and SABR member Bill Woodward. 

The meeting started with brief introductions from attendees and covered some Chapter business. There will be a chapter meeting in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, August 17. The next chapter meeting in Seattle will be on November 2, 2013. That meeting will return to the SPU Library.

The meeting started with a review of what to expect at SABR 43 from Neal Traven. Local members who will be presenting in Philadelphia include Tim Herlich, Mark Armour, Steve Steinberg, and Bill Mullins.

Bill Mullins was provided the first presentation, "Flight of the Pilots". Bill's talk distilled the subject matter of his recently published book Becoming Big League: Seattle, the Pilots, and Stadium Politics. Bill's presentation showed a wheel of misfortune that covered Major League Baseball, big city and stadium politics, ticket prices and bad decisions.

Steve Steinberg was next, with "Casey Stengel's Baseball: The Greatest Character of the Game". Steve covered Casey's entire career, providing great insight into the lesser known aspects of his National League playing days with Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. Casey hit the first home run in Ebbets Field history.

Melissa Booker was next, and spoke about Booker T. Washington's connection with baseball, "Baseball's Quiet Ambassador". Melissa covered Booker's early life including his education at Hampton and the various accomplishments he then had in his life. She then covered how baseball was central to Washington's philosophy about the importance of physical activity and health. This philosophy had a major impact on one of Washington's Tuskeegee students, William Clarence Matthews, one of the pioneering African American athletes of the 20th century. Matthews was an early challenger to the color line, in 1905.

Our host, Professor Bill Woodward, then spoke about about "Population Shifts in Major League Cities Since 1950". Bill's presentation looked at the population increases and decreases in MLB cities over time along with the changes to their game attendence. Bill spoke of the different things that have impacted cities and their population over this time as well, such as the importance of air conditioning, jet air travel, and the interstate highway system as he examined how many people can support a team, and in what ways.

Mike Rice provided the final presentation, looking at "Four Unnamed Pitchers Through Their Statistics: Who is the best?" Mike provided stats for the four different pitchers, asking members which pitcher they would like of the four, and then quizzing the members on who they thought these pitchers might be. All four were great. Mike used numbers set at per 162 games for their career, then showed their ERA+, career WAR, and then looked at their best WAR years, and when and where those were in their particular careers. 

Following the several members attended the game between the visiting Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners. 

See you at our next meeting!

Last Updated on Sunday, 23 June 2013 09:40

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Chapter Officers

Bob Russon 
Portland, President

Tip Wonhoff
Tacoma, Vice President

Mark Brunke
Seattle, Secretary

Tim Herlich
Seattle, Treasurer