Last Saturday, January 26, 2013, SABR Members Nationwide met for an informative afternoon of baseball, food and more baseball. This was true for approximately 50 members of the Lefty O’Doul Chapter, who met in Oakland, California for the annual event. President Marlene Vogelsang sparkled as she asked each member to introduce themselves and tell us about their favorite baseball memory. And we sparkled too! Wonderful stories filled the room, one story leading to another. Imagine someone talking about attending the same game you did back in 1958, or finding out the van company you hauled baseball bats for in Seattle, WA back in 1960 was owned by the Godfather of another member, sitting next to you, who lived in California at the time.
Guest speaker Rick Tittle, radio personality and announcer, gave us an earful of fun information about the ins and outs of Oakland baseball, but also of Bay Area sports in general. He’s an encyclopedia of knowledge and we sat like sponges waiting to absorb every word, humorous at times and fall-down-funny at others. Rick’s the Host on SportsByline USA, also 95.7 The Game, and KQED 88.5 FM. You can view his Facebook Fan Page here, ”Titillating Sports with Rick Tittle“.
Notable mentions from the afternoon were the announcement that Paul Hirsch, Lefty O’Doul Member for years, and National Board Director for SABR, will be leaving us for Southern California. Also Nancy who’s been a member since 1982, longest chapter member in attendance and introduction of Sherry who was an announcer for the SF Giants at Candlestick Park. And I was rather impressed that two actual relatives of Lefty O’Doul, Tom and Pat, were members and seated almost next to us.
Members presented their ideas and ongoing research for the “SABR BIO PROJECT” which is an ongoing effort to research and write comprehensive biographical articles on people who played or managed in the major leagues, or otherwise made a significant contribution to the sport. I was so inspired by their presentations I came home, immediately wrote the Committee Chairman, and was assigned a ballplayer born in Santa Cruz , CA in 1913. I can’t wait to get started. If anyone has any information on “Les Scarsella” please drop me a note. This is going to be fun!
It was a beautiful day at the Red Lion Hotel in Oakland, California. What could be better than spending the afternoon talking about and listening to some of the most knowledgeable people in baseball. If you’re interested in joining us or just want to find out more about the organization, check it out ~” Society for American Baseball Research. We’d love to hear from you.