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Portland Beavers doubleheader
Written by John Henshell   


Ten members and one spouse attended the Portland Beavers doubleheader against the Salt Lake City Bees Sunday, August 1 at lame-duck PGE Park in Portland. Although it was an informal outing, we did have a trivia quiz with the theme, “prominent major leaguers who played for the Beavers in the past 50 years.” Chapter president Tim Herlich was the winner with 14 of 18 correct answers.
The Bees swept the doubleheader 7-4 and 1-0. Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo homered as SLC jumped to a 7-0 lead after 3 innings in the first game. Lefty Nathan Culp, just recalled from AA, was the victim.
Cesar Ramos pitched a 2-hit shutout in the nightcap. Kevin Frandsen, who was recently sent down by the Angels in spite of a .288 BA, accounted for all the scoring with a solo homer. Portland twice stranded runners on third base, including the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Weather was perfect and the general admission seats were close enough to hear the smack in catcher’s glove and the umpire’s emphatic calls. We marveled at Dusty Ryan’s stats: 31 hits and 40 walks. He singled to raise his BA to .159. We concurred that Nick Green’s official height (6' 0") and weight (180) were considerable hyperbole.
We would do this every year, but alas, professional baseball is leaving the Portland area for the foreseeable future. PGE Park is being converted into a soccer-only facility and the AAA team is expected to be sold and relocated.
5/22/10 Meeting Recap
Written by Mary Groebner   

The Northwest Regional Chapter of SABR (NWSABR) met on Saturday May 22, 2010 from noon until approx 5pm at the Douglass-Truth branch of the Seattle Public Library in the Central District of Seattle.  Approximately twenty-five (25) members and guests were in attendance (some are pictured below).

 Speakers included NWSABR members Stan Opdyke, Mickey Gallagher, Steve Steinberg and special guest Dr. Pierce Scranton (former team physician of the Seattle Seahawks).

Meeting Attendees 5/22

Meeting Attendees 5/22

 The first presenter of the day was Stan Opdyke, who provided insights about the careers of Connie Mack and Vin Scully.  Between the two of them, their careers span nearly the entire history of professional baseball through present day. Stan had published a recent article on these two at Baseball Analysts site Stan recalled Mack’s playing career as a catcher in the 1880’s, his subsequent alliance with Ban Johnson, and his boom-and-bust tenure as manager and owner of the Philadelphia Athletics during the first half of the twentieth century.  Scully owes the start of his broadcasting career to Red Barber, who recommended Scully to Branch Rickey when Ernie Harwell left Brooklyn to become a broadcaster for the Giants.  Scully’s first broadcast was a spring training game in Vero Beach, FL in 1950 against the A’s.  The straw hat-bedecked Mack was in his last year as manager, while Scully was embarking on a broadcast career that is now in its 61st year. Stan’s presentation ended with audio from a 2006 Voices of the Game interview with Rick Rizzs and Vin Scully; Scully noted that as a broadcaster, you have to earn the respect and trust of the fans by reporting the game accurately and avoiding seeing the game with your heart as a fan would.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 May 2010 22:53
2/13/10 Meeting Recap
Written by Mary Groebner   

The Northwest Regional Chapter of SABR (NWSABR) met on Saturday, February 13, 2010, from around 1:00pm until just before 5pm at the Cedar Mill Community Library in the Portland area. Approximately fifteen (15) members and guests were in attendance.

Speakers included NWSABR members Tim Herlich, John Henshell, Mike Rice and special guest/former player and long-time pitching coach Rick Wise.


Rick Wise, at 2/13/10 NWSABR meeting

Rick Wise, at 2/13/10 NWSABR meeting

The meeting began with introductions all around; NWSABR was pleased to welcome two members (Eric and Bob) to their first chapter meetings.

The first presenter of the day was chapter president Tim Herlich, who reprised his national conference presentation ‘21*’ on long-forgotten pitcher Tom Cheney.  This presentation won the Doug Pappas Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2009 SABR National Convention.   On 9/12/62, Cheney threw 21 strikeouts while pitching a 16-inning game (and throwing 228 pitches).  Tim’s presentation reviewed Cheney’s career, as well as noting that various respected publications (Sporting News and SABR’s own list of baseball records) devalue Cheney's achievement.  Tim’s thesis is that this is at least partially due to the fact that Cheney’s lifetime pitching career is not on par with those noted as record holders (Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, etc.); Tim believes this is a disservice and appeals for proper recognition for this baseball record and record holder.


Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2010 08:41
NWSABR at Mariners Fan Fest 2010
Written by Tim Herlich   

The chapter celebrated SABR Day in America by participating in the annual Mariners Fan Fest on January 30 and 31.  Over 16,000 fans attended, and many stopped by the SABR booth hosted by several chapter members.  Nearly 1000 vintage Mariners baseball cards featuring Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Alvin Davis, Omar Vizquel, Harold Reynolds and others were handed out to boys and girls.  Approximately 75 fans requested more information about SABR and the Northwest Chapter.  A big thank you to the Mariners for providing the booth at no cost to SABR, and to the NWSABR members who agreed to staff it during the two-day event.

Tim Jenkins, Tim Herlich, David Alvarez staff the NWSABR booth at Mariners FanFest 2010

Tim Jenkins, Tim Herlich, David Alvarez staff the NWSABR booth at Mariners FanFest 2010

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 February 2010 10:36
1/30/10 Meeting Recap
Written by Mary Groebner   

 The Northwest Regional Chapter of SABR (NWSABR) met on Saturday, January 30, 2010, from 12:00pm until approximately 3:30pm in a suite-level conference room at Safeco Field, Seattle.  2010 Mariners FanFest was taking place at Safeco, and NWSABR staffed a booth at this event.


NWSABR wishes to thank Kevin Martinez (Vice-president of Marketing) and the Seattle Mariners for providing an excellent facility for the meeting, as well as an incredible lineup of speakers. 


Speakers were:  Special Assistant to the GM and SABR member Tony Blengino (12-1), Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair (1-1:30), Assistant GM Jeff Kingston (1:30-2), Director of Pro Scouting Carmen Fusco, Director of Player Development Pedro Grifol, and Director of Amateur Scouting Tom McNamara (2-approx 3:30).   Approximately 25-30 NWSABR members, and guests, attended.


NWSABR Chapter President Tim Herlich began the meeting by making brief comments thanking members for staffing of the FanFest booth,  reminding us of the upcoming (2/13/10) Portland-area meeting and encouraging carpool from the Seattle area, and reminding members of the NWSABR website located at:   Tim passed around stats from the website (139 unique visitors, including one from Japan).  Jim O’Donnell (one of the founding members of the chapter) noted that 2010 is the 30th year of NW SABR existence.  Jim, along with other founding members Jim Price and Doug Simpson met in Seattle sometime in 1980 with the first probable actual meeting held in Portland in early 1981.  Interestingly enough, Rick Wise (who will be a featured speaker at the Portland area meeting on 2/13/10) was the first speaker back in 1981.  This will be Rick’s 3rd return to speak to NWSABR.


Tony Blengino, Special Assistant to GM speaking at 1/30/10 NWSABR Meeting

Tony Blengino, Special Assistant to GM speaking at 1/30/10 NWSABR Meeting

Up first was Tony Blengino, longtime SABR member and new member of the NW SABR chapter (Tony also retains his membership in the Milwaukee-area SABR chapter).  Tony was a return speaker to NWSABR, having addressed the chapter at the 5/16/09 meeting also held at Safeco.   He regaled us with tales of a particularly memorable Rick Wise pitching performance (he saw as an 8 year old, sharing the experience with his mom) as well as when and where he received his first invitation to join SABR.  Tony had been a presenter at past SABR conventions, focusing on statistical performance of minor league pitchers, and continues his interest in the topic.  NWSABR members were filled with questions for Tony.  Some highlights:  his predictions for the Ms performance this year (he expects .OBP to improve by around 15 points given improvements at 3-4 positions) and optimism that we’ve built a very competitive team.  Also noted was that the coaching staff, clubhouse and front office have gained quite the positive reputation around the league; agents were actually calling the Mariners this offseason in hopes that their players would be made an offer to come and be a part of this organization.  Tony gave rave reviews to Ken Griffey Jr., referring to him as the ‘funniest man he’d ever met’, as well as manager Don Wakamatsu 'Wak' who takes the time to get to know each of his players and support them; this really helps the player reach full potential. 


Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2010 09:38
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Chapter Officers

Bob Russon 
Portland, President

Tip Wonhoff
Tacoma, Vice President

Mark Brunke
Seattle, Secretary

Tim Herlich
Seattle, Treasurer