Sunday, June 26, 2005

Weekend Update

Subtitle this "The Victor Hall Show"

Friday night the B-Mets were comfortably leading 8-4 going into the ninth against the visiting Erie Seawolves (or "Seawolfs" on the small scoreboard), but the bullpen went into meltdown, coughed up 4 runs to make it 8-8. Erie's reliever gave up three single, broken up by a strike out by Mike Jacobs, then Victor Hall, who has been skimming along the Mendoza line, drove in the game-winning run.

Saturday, let's just forget Saturday, an ugly 13-7 loss.

Sunday the B-Mets were being shut out 3-0. Mike Jacobs led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Chase Lambin moved him along with a double. Sparkplug David Bacani drove in Jacobs with a single, breaking up the shut out. The unlikely Victor Hall homered, clearing the bases, giving the B-Mets a 4-3 win.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Chase Watch

The B-Mets have been on the road and I've been away on a business trip, so I haven't been paying attention. With the boys back in town, I remembered to check Chase Lambin's stats.

But he wasn't to be found on the B-Mets website!

Could it be?

Yes! There he is, on the Norfolk Tides' roster, called up on June 17.

But this is the minors, so when I got to the park tonight, Chase was in the lineup, batting sixth.

People come and go so quickly here.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Cooperstown Symposium

Gathering of the Faithful (some of them Fenway Faithful, of course) in Cooperstown for the annual symposium on Baseball and American Culture this past week, was great as always.

In a way it's a like a homecoming, returning to a place where memories reside, even if you've never physically been here before. And as this is my sixth consective symposium, it's a chance to see old friends, catch up on their views of baseball and the (academic) world. This year had the largest attendance since I started going and many of these attendees were here for the first time, bringing new life and new perspectives to the event.

There are certain presenters one can expect to see talking about certain topics, like Roberta Newman on marketing, advertising and/or the Dodgers, Bill Simons on the effect of ethnicity on our views of the game, or David Ogden on the dearth of African American youth involved in baseball.

The first words out of most attendees mouths are "Are you presenting?" and if a positive response if given "What are you talking about? When and where?" We scramble through the agenda upon arrival, searching for familiar names and interesting topic titles, mapping out the next three days' activities, bemoaning the fact that concurrent sessions guarantee you'll miss a couple of great talks. (A recurrent complaint is that attendees are given only the titles of presentations which may or may not give a clue as to the true topic which would help in selecting which to attend.)

Jonathan Eig, the key note speaker, delivered an engaging synposis of his quest to write the true story of Lou Gehrig, a task that had its roots in a grade school assignment. While giving highlights of the Iron Horse's life, he provided insight on his research process including visits with people who knew Gehrig and his quest for Gerhig's personal letters.

A couple highlights from this year's symposium included:

*Mike Brady's account of a course he team teaches as a road trip, taking a busload of folks on a ten-day trip to visit ballparks, major and minor, and meet with baseball people, (Hank Aaron had to cancel on them at the last minute.) It sounds like the trip of a lifetime.

*Joseph Stanton reading several of his poems about the team from his book Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball , a delightful evening that he capped off with a poem about Bob Gibson ("don't lean too close to this poem").

*The jersey Babe Ruth was wearing when he called his shot in the 1932 World Series was displayed and the story of its authentication was detailed by the gentlemen from Grey Flannel Auction.

*George Gmelch, former minor leaguer, talked about the changing world of professional baseball, comparing his days as a Tigers' farm hand with today's life in the pros. George, an anthropologist, wrote about exploring the new world of baseball in Inside Pitch

*Jean Hastings Ardell, a can't miss presenter, talked about the effect of Title IX on girls' and womens' involvement in the game, which she also addresses in her marvelous book Breaking in Baseball: Women and the National Pastime. I'm looking forward to picking up the conversation at the SABR convention in Toronto in August.

For the first time I was a true spectator at the town ball game. In the past I've played, or stood on the sidelines, far from the action, too involved in discussions to watch the game. This year I found a happy medium, enjoying conversation and follow the game. The tasty picnic was wrapped up, per usual, by the Mighty Casey, a treat no matter how many times Tim delivers.

This respresents only the tip of the symposium iceberg, three days of baseball- related conversation and fun; I can't wait for next year, to get back together at the HOF to listen to and talk with other presenters and particpants, with everybody else who has a story to share, which every one of the people at the event has.