Monday, January 30, 2017

SABR Day 2017: Connie Mack Chapter hosts Howie Bedell and others

The 2017 edition of the Connie Mack Chapter SABR Day featured a full slate of fun and interesting presentations. Guests included Phillies Alum Howie Bedell and Author Charles Kupfer. Additional presentations were given by several chapter members who covered a variety of topics ranging from the 19th century manufacture of the original “Base Ball” to present day Cuba excursions to see games.

Howie Bedell
The highlight of the day was a personal appearance by former Major Leaguer Howie Bedell. The 81 year old Pottstown native spoke for over two hours regarding his upbringing and career both on and off the field. As a player Bedell spent only spent part of the 1968 season with the Phillies as a player but spent a decade in the organization fulfilling various coaching and player development roles.

Bedell confirmed something that I think many Phillies fans suspect. The Phillies do too much hiring and decision making from within. He cited nepotism as a problem within all organizations but felt as though there was a particular lack of leadership within the Phillies. He cited several examples of individuals that did not have enough commitment to make painful decisions, even if they were the right decisions. A theme throughout Bedell’s career appears to having to be the axe-man when it came to firing people. He was also careful to mention in several cases the ensuing changes worked out better for the person involved. They would get into better careers in other facets of baseball where they were better suited. Jim Bunning was relieved as his job as a minor league manager, but this led to him becoming an agent. This experience may have helped the Future Hall of Famer in getting involved in politics and eventually becoming a senator. Similar stories were mentioned that involved folks such as Dallas Green and Granny Hamner.

The Phillies won the 1980 World Series while Bedell was in the organization, it would the first of three World Championships with three different clubs.  He also won a ring with the Royals as a coach in 1985 and with the 1990 Reds as a member of their front office.

Bedell's time in Kansas City included the development of the slide step for pitchers. The Royals needed a way to neutralize the Cardinals fleet footed running game. The Slide Step was the solution - and it must have worked. The Cardinals only stole 2 bases in the 7 games series (while getting caught 3 times). Compare that with the 314 Thefts the Cards racked up during the regular season. Of course one needs to mention that the Cardinals also lost Rookie Vince Coleman (and his 110 steals) for that series due to injury.

Charles Kupfer on the Orioles 1979-1983
Harrisburg based Professor and author Charles Kupfer discussed his upcoming book “Something Magic: the Baltimore Orioles, 1979-1983” which he was gracious enough to amend to 1982 for purposes of entertaining a room full of Phillies fans. One of the interesting points he brought up was that the Oriole Way is documented in the book “Modern Baseball Strategy” by Former player and manager Paul Richards. Kupfer’s book is due out in May and will be available via Amazon.

Mark Kanter on Cuba
Mr Kanter discussed the SABR Group Travel experience to Cuba that he had this past fall. As could be expected there was a lot of interesting info that went beyond baseball. Among the slides Mark displayed were several of decrepit stadiums that are 60+ years old. Games are played during the day and have sparse attendance, despite a meager three-cent admission. Several SABR members took baseball equipment to Cuba to be given to the teams – the Items were much appreciated. For more details see Mark's article in the Jewish Voice.

Seamus Kearney
Connie Mack Co-Chair Seamus Kearney led a discussion on the career of John Kruk who is returning to Philadelphia this year as a broadcaster. Kruk always brings warm memories to Phillies sports fan and it was very enjoyable hearing al the stories told by and about Kruk over the years.

The Chapters other Chairperson, Dick Rosen, was also scheduled to speak but unfortunately due to time constraints his presentation on Goose Goslin was postpone for a future meeting.

Steven King
Yes SABR has it’s own Steven King who is also a writer. King often covers early 20th century baseball, and this weekend his presentation was titled “Andy Coakley: Man of Mystery”. King related several anecdotes about Coakley using various aliases to get involved in both baseball and non-baseball activities. None of this deception appears to have been malicious, and some of the stories may be puew legend based off of Coakleys previous deceptions. Regardless Coakley is in various local Hall of Fames including Columbia University where he coached for 30+ years which included the tenure of Lou Gehrig.

Ed Morton
Connie Mack regular Ed Morton put together a detailed powerpoint that discussed the birth of the "Base Ball" covering the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Much of the information concerned the relationship between AJ Reach and Spalding as well as another baseball manufacturer Victor.

Phil Williams
SABR Bioproject author Phil Williams detailed a terrible October 1913 evening in Brainerd Minnesota. That night Philadelphia Athletics Pitcher Joe Bush was fresh off a World Series triumph with the club.  All that good fortune turned in an instant as Bush while at home in Brainerd accidentally ran over a pedestrian. Bush was acquitted of any wrong doing and went on to have a very successful baseball career which included winning two additional World Titles, one each with the Red Sox and Yankees.

Matt Albertson
Matt gave a status update on the attempt to get a historical marker placed at the Jefferson Street Ball Park site. The major hurdle remaining is funding. A facebook page related to the project can be found here. If you would like to make a contribution to the project the crowdsourcing site is here.

Extra Innings
In additions to the presentations a raffle was held and lunch was served. Despite a tight schedule there was some time for socializing and catching up on the off-season. I didn’t make an exact count but I estimate 30 members attended 2017 Connie Mack SABR Day.

There is much more detail I could go into but that would require much more time. I could do a weeks worth of postings on Howie Bedell alone.

The Connie Mack chapter of SABR has their next Hot Stove meeting scheduled for February 11th. It will likely be smaller in scope then SABR Day but still should be fun.

Sources and Links
Columbia University
SABR - Jefferson St Grounds
The Jewish Voice
SABR - Paul Richards

Monday, January 2, 2017

Scott Rolen Index

This is our index to postings related to Scott Rolen

2002 Fleer Authentix #86 Scott Rolen - Hall of Fame Ballot
2002 Fleer Authentix #86 - HoF Ballot Verdict
2002 Post #14 - Trade Swag
1995 UD Minor Leagues - Nachos Grande interview 

2018 HoF Candidiates Index

This is an Index to player profiles we may do on the new 2018 HoF Candidates.

Brad Lidge
Kevin Millwood VETO
Jamie Moyer HOF
Scott Rolen HOF
Jim Thome HOF

Chris Carpenter
Johnny Damon HOF
Livan Hernandez
Oliver Hudson
Aubrey Huff
Jason Isringhausen
Andruw Jones
Chipper Jones
Carlos Lee
Hideki Matsui
Johan Santana
Omar Vizquel
Kerry Wood
Carlos Zambrano

My Goal is to cover the Five Phillies related players and selected others. Most likely of the others will be Damon, Vizquel, and Kerry Wood. 

Our indices for Previous first timers are below
2017 HoF Candidates
2016 HoF Candidates
2015 HoF Candidates   
2014 HoF Candidates

Sources and Links
SB Nation

Roy Halladay Index

This is an Index to Roy Halladay related cards and postings.

2017 11 08 - Memorial Posting

1983 Topps CTNW - MLB Fantasy Preview Cards That Never Were
1987 Topps CTNW - MLB Fantasy Preview Cards That Never Were
1998 Bowman Best #136 - Second career start, No-Hitter through 8.2 innings
2009 Topps U&H Propaganda Posters
2010 Topps #MTOG Tales of the Game Roy Halladay - 2010 06 25 Blue Jays play Home Game in Philadelphia
2010 Heritage Then&Now Shutouts with Whitey Ford
2011 Phungo #1 Checklist
2011 Phungo #1 Set Details
2011 Topps #359 Postseason No-Hitter / Retirement
2011 Topps #359 inspired phungo original sketch
2011 Topps Heritage #312 Roy Halladay Shows Perfect Form - Perfect Game Anniversary
2011 Topps Heritage Baseball Sketches - NLDS No-Hitter
2011 A&G NNO - Swag Posting
2011 Topps Lineage - Swag Posting
2012 Phungo #34 - Set introduction
2012 Topps #150 - Base Card
2012 Topps #150 parallel  - Phillies Checker
2012 Topps Chrome #HP94 NL Pitching Leaders - 2011 Pitching Leaders (Wins)
2012 Heritage New  Age Performers - Pack Break
2012 Topps Value Box - Box Break
2013 Phungo #34 - End of Career comparison with Steve Carlton
2013 Topps Chasing History - 200 Wins
2013 Panini Hometown Heroes #158

2010 04 12 Game Photo
2010 10 06 Game Report NLDS No-Hitter
2011 06 10 Game Report / Instant Card Experiment
2012 08 10 Game Report
2012 08 20 Game Report

Sunday, January 1, 2017

1960 Topps All-Star Rookie Cup Team

This is an index to our postings related to Topps inaugural All-Star Rookie Cup team. The subset ran in 1960 to honor the Rookies of 1959. 

1960 Topps #316 Willie McCovey (rc)

1960 Topps
#316 Willie McCovey (including history of the first Rookie Cup Team, Pictured Below)
#317 Pumpsie Green
#318 Jim Baxes 
#319 Joe Koppe (Phillies) 
#320 Bob Allison
#321 Ron Fairly (2019 memorial SABR) 
#322 Willie Tasby
#323 John Romano 
#324 Jim Perry
#325 Jim O'Toole 

The 1960 Topps Rookie All-Stars
The Sporting News 1960 Apr 20

Jamie Moyer Index

This is an Index to our postings related to Jamie Moyer

2008 UD WS #PP-47 Jamie Moyer

2012 Topps #US123 - SuperBowl 50
2011 Phungo #50 - Career win #268, tying Jim Palmer
2009 UD #300 - SuperBowl 50
2009 Ginter #68 - Year of the Tiger
2009 Phungo #50
2009 Phungo #50 - intro of 2009 Phungo Cards
2008 Topps - 250 Career Wins
2008 UD WS #PP-47 - World Series Start (featured above)

Game Report 2014 April 8 - Opening Day First Pitch
Stats 2012 April 4 - 21 Defunct Stadiums in which Moyer has pitched
Game Report 2010 May 7 - versus Chipper Jones
Game Report 2008 September 11 - March to WSC begins
Game Report 2008 September 7 - Shea Stadium Visit

FLO Chart: First Last Only

This is an Index of First Last and Only Cards

Topps Firsts
First World Series Card: 1960 Topps #385 Charlie Neal (1959 WS GM 1)
First NLCS Card: 1970 Topps Tom Seaver
First ALCS Card: 1970 Topps

First League Leader Card

First MVP Card

First All-Star Card

Topps First/Last by Team

First by position

First Action Card

First Cartoon

First by Stat Category

First Batting Gloves

First Batting Helmet
First Sunglasses Card
Ryne Duren
Whitey Herzog

First Catcher with Throwing Hand Tucked

a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions