Talking Baseball – In Conjunction with All-Star Week Activities

Saturday, July 9, 2016
9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
San Diego Central Library


Join us on Saturday, July 9, as the Ted Williams Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) will present Talking Baseball at the San Diego Central Library’s Neil Morgan Library Auditorium (located on its ground floor).

This free public event is sponsored by Bank of America, PostalAnnex, Elite Services and Hunt Auctions. Tickets and reservations are NOT required. This event will provide an eclectic assortment of baseball speakers, singers, documentary, and a no-hitter. Each topic is planned to start on the hour, so you can pick and choose those topics of interest, or you can stay all day.

The Central Library is located at 330 Park Boulevard. There is free two-hour parking (with validation) in the Library’s underground garage, and the nearby Petco Park’s tailgate lots offer longer term parking at a modest fee.

Here is the lineup for the day:

9:30 a.m.: “Welcome” from Ted Williams Chapter President Dan Boyle
10:00 a.m.: Jacob Pomrenke, “The Black Sox Scandal: A Cold Case, Not a Closed Case”

Nearly 100 years after the fixing of the 1919 World Series, the Black Sox Scandal remains one of the most important and yet misunderstood episodes in baseball and American history. In recent years, a lot of new information has been discovered that changes what we thought we knew about “baseball’s darkest hour.”

When Eliot Asinof wrote the classic Eight Men Out in 1963, he told a dramatic story of undereducated and underpaid Chicago White Sox ballplayers, disgruntled by their low pay and poor treatment by team management, who fell prey to the wiles of double-crossing big-city gamblers offering them bribes to lose the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Shoeless Joe Jackson, Buck Weaver, Eddie Cicotte, and the other Black Sox players were all banned from organized baseball for life. But the real story is a lot more complex … for instance, they were actually one of the highest-paid teams in baseball.

We now have access to crucial information that changes what we thought we knew about the fixing of the 1919 World Series — including rare film footage from that fateful fall classic, legal documents (including grand jury testimony and trial transcripts) from the criminal and  civil court proceedings, and accurate salary information for major-league players and teams. All of these new pieces to the Black Sox puzzle provide definitive answers to some old mysteries and raise other questions in their place.

Jacob Pomrenke is the Director of Editorial Content for the Society for American Baseball Research. He is the editor of the book Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox (2015) and he serves as the chair of SABR‘s Black Sox Scandal research committee.

11:00 a.m.: Bob Kendrick, Negro League Baseball Museum president


12:00 p.m.: Joe Rathburn, San Diego baseball singer/songwriter performs baseball songs

Since PETCO Park opened Joe Rathburn has entertained fans before each Padres home game with an emphasis of original and traditional baseball songs at The Tin Fish Restaurant.

Joe’s latest song “Opening Day”, was released this spring. This song is destined to become baseball’s answer to White Christmas, the perennial that gets trotted out each year in the lead up to the season openers of all the leagues. It’s about baseball, it’s about spring, it’s about celebrating both.

Joe Rathburn is a lifetime/full time musician, hailing from San Diego, California.

Joe’s music can be placed in the genre called Positive Music. His tunes have purpose, and carry with them more than just chord changes, grooves, catchy melodies, and hooks for the sake of their cool factor. They speak to the heart and mind of the listener directly. They uplift the soul in an instantly tangible way, while remaining fun, interesting, and non-preachy.

1:00 p.m.: Matt Nokes narrates video of Jim Abbott’s 1993 NY Yankees no-hitter vs. Cleveland Indians

Jim Abbott’s story already was well known by the time he took the mound for the New York Yankees on Sept. 4, 1993. The pitcher born with one hand had established himself as an Olympic gold medalist in college in 1988, and an All-Star with the Angels in 1991 before a trade brought him to the Bronx.

He came into his 27th start with a 4.31 ERA, and was coming off his worst outing of the season, having allowed seven runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings against the same Cleveland Indians. The Yankees, while not quite the juggernaut they would become in subsequent seasons, were in the thick of the old AL East pennant race, just a game back of first-place Toronto. The Yanks needed a better game from Abbott, and boy, did he deliver.

As the video of Abbott’s no-hitter is shown, his catcher that day will provide insight as to the game he was calling behind the plate.

Matt Nokes played eleven seasons in Major League Baseball for the San Francisco Giants (1985), the Detroit Tigers (1986–1990), New York Yankees (1990–1994), the Baltimore Orioles, and the Colorado Rockies (1995). He was primarily a catcher and batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

2:00 p.m.: Matt Thompson, “Ted Williams: A Tip of the Cap” one-man show

This one man show chronicles San Diego native baseball great, Ted Williams, from his formative years with the Pacific Coast League Padres to the Boston Red Sox then from his dramatic run at .406 and the Korean War. Through this first person perspective we share in Ted’s strengths and failures as a ballplayer,  husband and father.

3:00 p.m.: Filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis screens his new documentary, “Hano! A Century in the Bleachers”

Jon Leonoudakis, a brilliant documentary filmmaker, will screen his film entitled Hano! A Century in the Bleachers.

Leonoudakis’ subject, the legendary sports writer Arnold Hano is a gregarious, witty, colorful character with a remarkable memory for details and a lifetime of fascinating stories about his personal journey from a Depression-era boyhood to his encounters with Hall of Fame athletes, politicians, movie stars, writers, and everyday Americans.

4:00 p.m.: The Baseball Reliquary presents folk singer Ross Altman’s baseball songs

The Baseball Reliquary will present Ross Altman of Los Angeles who will provide original baseball songs.  Altman is an accomplished musician and can play both six and twelve-string acoustic guitars, a long-neck five-string banjo, and the harmonica.

The Baseball Reliquary is a nonprofit, educational organization dedicated to fostering an appreciation of American art and culture through the context of baseball history and to exploring the national pastime’s unparalleled creative possibilities.

Ross Altman has a Ph.D. in English. Before becoming a full-time folk singer he taught college English and Speech. He now sings around California for libraries, unions, schools, political groups and folk festivals.

5:00 p.m.: Gene Locklear, former Padres outfielder discusses his life as a native American Indian artist and professional baseball player

Gene Locklear is a full–blooded member of the Lumbee Indian Nation.  Gene’s native culture and life experience provide him special insights into the Native American themes he paints — the plight, pride and spirituality of the Indian people.

As a professional athlete, Gene spent 10 years in Major League Baseball playing for the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, and the New York Yankees.

Few artists, if any, can paint Sports or Native American art with the authenticity — let alone the soulful style — of Gene Locklear.

Locklear originals range in size from several inches to over 6 feet, with murals over 30 feet. Gene uses oils, acrylics, acrylic washes, and pencils. Reproductions of Gene’s work are also available in limited edition prints directly from his galleries.

Locklear is the official MLB 2016 All-Star Game artist.

While at the Library stop by and visit our Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, home of the SABR baseball research collection, which can be viewed on the 8th floor of the Library during regular business hours. The Baseball Research Center opened in 2001, with an initial collection of books and microfilm donated by our Chapter. In the years since, it has grown to more than 3,000 publications, books, and journals, and 300 microfilm reels.

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Posted in All-Star Week 2016, Fan Focus, Uncategorized

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