Skip to content
You are here: Home Chapter News
Jennifer Ettinger to Appear at Ebbets Field Flannels
Written by Tim Herlich   

Jennifer Ettinger, baseball artist and NWSABR member, will have her work on display at Ebbets Field Flannels (EFF) from December 2010 through February 2011.  An opening night reception ppen to the public will be held at the EFF store, 408 Occidental Avenue South, on Thursday night, December 2, from 5 to 8pm.  Both Jennifer and husband Max Weder will be in attendance.  Jennifer's art can be seen at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver BC and on her website,

11/6/10 meeting in Seattle recap
Written by John Henshell   

NWSABR held a meeting Saturday, November 6 from noon to 5:00 at Seattle Pacific University. We had three member presentations and one local celebrity guest presentation.


Art Thiel of, which now exists solely as a Web-based newspaper, was our special guest and first speaker. Art has been a columnist for the P-I for many years, and is the author of “Out of Left Field: How the Mariners Made Baseball Fly in Seattle.” He and Mike Gastineau co-authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports.” Art and fellow columnist Steve Rudman are currently preparing a new Web site called NW Sports Press ( They expect the site to debut before the end of the year.


Art mostly talked about the Mariners and gave us some insight into the personality and character of the people who run the organization. He presented the opinion, expressed in a recent column, that the Mariners are following a good cop/bad cop trend in hiring managers.


Our guest told the history of the relationship between Chuck Armstrong and Ken Griffey, Jr. He believes Armstrong's lack of courage led to the unraveling of the 2010 season. If the M’s president had been willing to acknowledge that the former superstar had nothing left to contribute on the field, Griffey would not have returned for a second last exit. As a team leader in 2009, Griffey supported Wakamatsu. When Wakamatsu was forced to bench Griffey, the veteran soured. Thiel says many of his teammates turned against the manager in support of the popular faded superstar. He attributes Chone Figgins' disappointing first half and expressed frustration to trying to over-achieve to justify his big free agent contract.


After devoting a generous amount of time to his talk, Art answered many questions from members, and even stayed through a meeting break to continue the discussion and answer more questions.


Jeff Bower made the first member presentation. His entertaining and informative topic was “The Worst Offensive Teams since Expansion.” Jeff used advanced statistical analysis to rank each team in offensive ineptitude. He presented information about the top 10 in a countdown (or the bottom 10 in reverse order, depending on how you wanted to see it).


The 2010 Mariners were an obvious inspiration for the research, but were only the seventh worst team, according to his methodology. They weren’t even the Mariners worst offensive team; the 1983 team was worse. An early Blue Jay team was the most punchless team of the past 50 years.


John Henshell followed with the presentation, “Will Justin Smoak be a successful major league hitter? What history says.” He researched all players from 1973 through 2007 and found that Mike Schmidt was the only player to hit as poorly as Smoak (.209 in 235 AB at the time of the trade to Seattle) in his first extended shot in the major leagues who became a superstar, and Brandon Phillips is the only other player to become a star.


Only 18 rookies hit below .210 in the 35-year period, and only 102 rookies hit below .230. No one in the first group got his lifetime BA as high as .270, and only seven in the larger group got into the .270s. With the possible exception of five caught PED users who were excluded from consideration, none hit as high as .280. The median lifetime average for this group is .233. Two-thirds of all sub-.230 hitters were middle infielders or catchers.


Among other first basemen with low BAs as rookies, Greg Brock appears to be the most similar to Smoak. Jason Thompson is also very similar, and his career appears to be the best-case scenario for Smoak.


Following a discussion of chapter business and event planning, Mark Armour made the final presentation of the day. He discussed the building of the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals. Mark presented a strong case that Bing Devine made all the best player personnel decisions for the eventual world champions, while everyone else in the organization with input or veto power made or would have made moves that would have hurt the team.


Our next meeting will dovetail with FanFest at Safeco Field. The event is scheduled for January 29, which the national office is promoting as SABR day in America. Then, we will meet in Portland February 19.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 November 2010 15:07
NWSABR Meeting in Vancouver B.C. 8/21/10
Written by John Henshell   

Canadian and U.S. NWSABR members were among the large turnout at Nat Bailey Stadium in downtown Vancouver B.C. The meeting was hosted by member Max Weder of Vancouver. Chapter president, Tim Herlich, and vice president, John Henshell, briefly addressed the group.

Ian and Colin Dixon were our featured guest speakers. Ian played in the Yankees organization from 1961 to 1964, the last years of the team’s lengthy glory era. He voluntarily retired to go to college. Ian felt his best chance to play in the majors was as a pitcher, but the Yankees gave him a better offer to play 3B.


Colin, Ian’s son, also played 3B. He was in the Red Sox organization from 1989 to 1995. At 42, he looks fit enough to still be playing. Today, he is a financial advisor. Both Dixons are from the Vancouver area and still live there.


Ian was a charming speaker and told some great stories about both well-known and obscure Yankees. He told about his lifelong friendship with Roy White. Details are also recounted in Tom Hawthorn’s column here: The story of Ian and Roy’s encounters with racism in the U.S. south are particularly touching.


Ian talked about spring training in Florida. Growing up in B.C., he had never experienced heat and humidity like Florida’s. He had trouble sleeping and stepped outside for some fresh air. While he was outside, Mickey Mantle also left the hotel. “I guess Mickey had some trouble breathing, too,” Ian deadpanned. Then a limo with a beautiful woman inside arrived. Mantle got in the limo and presumably broke curfew. Ian noted how the players were in awe of Mantle’s hitting prowess.


Colin’s experiences and stories were equally fascinating. Colin was disappointed that the Red Sox provided little instruction to their minor league players in his era. He sat down on the bench next to Ted Williams during spring training. “How are you doing, Ted?” he asked. Williams replied, “Where are ya from, kid?” Colin told him, and Williams said, “They got some great fishing up there.” Not knowing that Williams was famous for fishing, Colin asked, “Do you fish?”


They talked fishing for 15 minutes. Colin said only later did he realize he should have asked Williams about hitting.


Colin also addressed steroids, which were just coming into vogue when he played. He said the one way to identify a probable user is to look for hitters who fearlessly crowd the plate. He mentioned a former teammate who went on to great success with the Houston Astros as an example.


We had many questions for Ian and Colin, and they were answered with candor. Max concluded the meeting with a trivia quiz.


After the meeting, most of the group went to the home of Max and Jennifer Ettinger for pizza, beverages, and more baseball talk. The day of baseball activities was concluded with the Vancouver Canadians game against Boise that evening. A few pictures from the August 21 events are here:


Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 September 2010 10:04
Welcome New Members
Written by Tim Herlich   

Please welcome the following new members who have joined NWSABR since 5/1/10:

Name                          Residence                     Date Joined

Ken Spurgeon           Chelan WA                     9/1/10

Bill Fisher                   Eugene OR                    7/26/10

Tip Wonhoff               South Bend WA             7/2/10

Jeff Holloway             Vancouver BC               6/21/10

PJ Ross                     Bellevue WA                  6/21/10

Robert Bofors           Portland OR                   6/16/10

Robert Haraldson   Vancouver BC                5/23/10

Don Rennels           Lincoln CA                       5/11/10


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.
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 7 of 14

Upcoming Events

No current events.

Chapter Officers

Bob Russon 
Portland, President

Tip Wonhoff
Tacoma, Vice President

Mark Brunke
Seattle, Secretary

Tim Herlich
Seattle, Treasurer