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Day two of SABR 38 in Cleveland: a new hope
2008-06-27 21:18
by Bob Timmermann

Day one ended with the discovery that my digital camera had a small piece broken on it. Unfortunately, this piece made the camera go into a mode where it took pictures.

However, my friend Phil offered to pick up a new one for me at a Wal-Mart near the hotel where he's staying. Little did I know that my big investment in a digital camera five years ago had left me with a obsolete piece of equipment and Phil bought me a replacement that was cheaper, smaller, and better. I don't know why this surprised me, but it brightened my mood.



I started off the day at presentation by Norman Macht about researching the validity of the story that the St. Louis Browns were going to be moved to L.A. in 1942, but the plan had to be scrapped because of World War II.

The plan was that the schedule would be adjusted so each team would three trips west to L.A., two by train and one by plane. The teams would fly their players out in pairs on 21 different flights from Chicago. Risk assessment was not the strong part of this plan.

Macht claimed that there seemed to be little or no (closer to no) mention of this plan in the local newspapers of St. Louis or Los Angeles. And neither the AL archives (which apparently aren't open to the public) or the PCL archives (which were "sold to a collector to from Phoenix" not that anyone knows who that person was) shed any light on the topic.

However, when pressed by a questioner to say if the proposed move to L.A. by the Browns was a reality, Macht thought the answer was yes. So, I'm not sure what the big deal was.

I then switched gears and listened to a presentation by David Zavagno on using medical imaging to determine if baseball construction has changed markedly over time and that has caused an increase in home runs. The answer to this was "probably yes." I'd go in to this more, but, well, it's complicated. And I only understood part of it.

After lunch, I saw two more presentations. My friend Yoichi Nagata gave his talk about the 1935 Tokyo Giants tour. Yoichi has written a book about this and, if given enough time, I will learn to read Japanese and finish the book. Right now, I'm still looking at the cover art. Yoichi put in a lot of work on this book, tracking down boxscores in over 100 different local papers throughout the U.S.

Rob Fitts followed Yoichi and spoke about the life of Wally Yonamine, the first American born player to play baseball in Japan after World War II. It's a good story and Rob worked on a biography will Wally that came out this week. You can order it at

After that, it was time to go to Progressive Field again. And this time I went with friends! And I got in for free!

It rained again at Progressive Field.



The game didn't get started until 8:06. C.C. Sabathia was on his game, striking out 11 and giving up just four hits in eight innings of work.


The game featured the matchup of baseball's two biggest players: Sabathia (6'7", 290 lbs) and Adam Dunn (6'6", 275). And I fit them both in the same frame.



Cleveland won 6-0. Grady Sizemore homered to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead and then the Indians broke the game open with five runs in the sixth against three Reds pitchers. The battle for the Ohio Cup now stands Reds 3, Indians 1. With two games left! I will miss the last two.


I'll try to get in a report tomorrow night. I also plan on getting a real dinner tomorrow. I was so hungry when I got back that I ordered room service. Room service! People in my family don't order room service. We'd rather go out and strangle a rat and eat it than order room service.

Good club sandwich though.

2008-06-27 22:46:50
1.   SoSG Orel
The Dodgers charge $12 for a strangled rat.
2008-06-27 23:19:23
2.   Eric Enders
All you have to do is tick off Dave Kingman and you can get one for free.
2008-06-28 05:09:02
3.   RIYank
Oh, in Fenway strangled rat costs only $9.50. They call it "chili".

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