This year’s SABR convention, always an exciting event with about 700 people milling around or rushing here and there, also takes place in the country’s most exciting city — New York City, June 28-31,2017. I know that every time I go to the SABR Convention I will be reunited with people I have known and respected for years, but I will also meet others whose new knowledge and ideas will bowl me over.
Sometime this Spring I will join Morris Eckhouse, a former head of SABR, at the Baseball Heritage Museum at the newly refurbished League Park in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I want to contribute my stories of the past to the planned celebration of League Park. The date has not yet been determined.
I will introduce Mark Horner's film, "Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball," in a screening at the annual conference of SABR's Nineteenth Century Committee, held April 21-22, 2017, in Cooperstown, N.Y. I previously gave the keynote address at this converence in 2010.
Every year the NINE Conference, held this year in Phoenix from March 1-4, ends its deliberations with the banquet that features awarding the Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal, presented annually by SABR for the best book of baseball history or biography published in the previous year. I will present that Medal to the winning author in a brief speech explaining why the book won the competition.
I spent time in the Boston Red Sox dugout with Coach Rick Gedman, Shirley Burkovich (who played with the women of the 1940s in their professional league — “A League of Their Own"), and Donna Cohen, a Boston attorney and great Red Sox fan who presented the Women's Fantasy Camp from Jan. 11-15, 2017, in the Red Sox park at Fort Myers. (Photo courtesy of umpire Perry Barber)
Jan. 13-14, 2017, I attended the final two days of the Women's Red Sox Fantasy Camp, where I was the guest of the Sox via Donna Cohen, who presented the camp. I spent most of my time in the dugout at Jet Blue Park in Fort Myers, Florida, wearing my new Red Sox baseball cap and taking copious notes. I learned a lot, and as a result plan to write a new introduction to my women's baseball manuscript.
Perry Barber, the well-known (woman) umpire took me to the camp, where she was the director of the umpiring staff. Shirley Burkovich and Mary Moore, veterans of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, were there. So were Marti Sementelli and Stacy Piagno, top current women players, as part of the camp's staff.
I met several veteran Red Sox retired players and active coaches (ever hear of a guy named Luis Tiant?), and my hand was licked by Homer, the team mascot, who is a huge bulldog. The whole thing wound up with a terrific banquet. As Janet Mitchell, a player, put it later, "What a blast!"
I was interviewed by the Naples Daily News for an article published on July 11, 2016, about my involvement with "Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball." You can read the article and view the video:
On July 11, 2016, the Carlisle, a senior community in Naples where I live, will present "Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball," the television documentary produced by Mark Honer of Kansas City. I will introduce the film.
I wrote abut this documentary in my blog of Jan. 17, when Mark and his videographer came to the Carlisle to interview me for his film. I wrote about it again, in my blog of May 2, when the documentary had its premiere in Kansas City.
Now I can announce the film is having its Naples premiere, and if you live in this area, you're welcome to attend the occasion at 11:30 a.m. on July 11 in the building's theatre. Admission is free.
The Carlisle is at the corner of Airport Road and Orange Blossom in North Naples. The film runs for 40 minutes. And you will find it riveting.
Baseball historian Phil S. Dixon and I after the "Town Teams" film premiere.
I attended the premiere of "Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball" and participated in a panel discussion on April 28, 2016. For more about the experience, including more photos, read my blog entry.
On Friday April 28, 2016, I’ll be in Kansas City. I’ve been invited to attend the premiere of “Town Teams: Bigger Than Baseball,” a new documentary on early baseball produced by Mark Honer of DHTV Producers. The film will be shown at 7:00 p.m. at the B & B Theater on Midland Drive in Shawnee, Kansas.
One reason I’m invited to attend his premiere is that I’m one of the baseball historians who appears in the documentary. Early this year, Mark and his videographer traveled to Naples to interview me for the film. During the interview I spoke about the importance of baseball parks in early America, explaining that they were of signal importance in building a town’s local pride and attracting other forward-looking events like the expansion of the railroads.
Mark, the producer and writer, will be at the premiere to explain his work. After the film is shown, two other baseball historians and I will form a panel to answer questions.
The two others are Mark Eberle, whose new book on Kansas City baseball history is in press, and Phil Dixon, who has published six books on the Negro Leagues and specializes in the Kansas City Monarchs.
On April 17, 2016, I'll be speaking to the Unitarian Congregation of Greater Naples on the topic "Undaunted Boldness; Women Play Baseball." The title comes from Emerson, whose essay on heroism made me realize that although Americans treat their male professional baseball players as heroes, it's the women players who deserve the title, for what they go through in order to play the game they love. The PowerPoint presentation takes place at 9:15 a.m. in the Forum, the special venue that the Congregation has set aside for presentations by members who speak on topics that are their specialties and that relate to social problems like discrimination. "Undaunted Boldness" is the working title of my next book on this subject.
The 44th Annual SABR convention was held July 30 - Aug. 3, 2014 in Houston. Here are some photos from the event, including me with Emma Amaya.
In April 2014 I traveled to Cooperstown, New York, to attend the annual Ivor-Campbell Conference on 19th Century Baseball. I had been asked to present the keynote address at this Conference. On April 15 I spoke on 19th century amateur baseball, pointing out that I have always been more interested in the colorful experiences of the amateurs than of the professionals.
Left to right, Joanne Hulbert, Chair of SABR's Committee on Baseball and the Arts, who made a presentation; me, the keynote speaker; and Alma Ivor-Campbell, widow of the scholar after whom the Committee is named, who was interviewed by the Chairman, Peter Mancuso, at the meeting. (Photo courtesy of Dixie Tourangeau)
Dinner at the Otesaga Hotel, my back is front and center, as I am engaged in conversation with a participant in the meetings. Joanne Hulbert and Alma Ivor-Campbell are seen conversing. (Photo courtesy of Dixie Tourangeau)
I presented the Dr. Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal to Dr. Gerald C. Wood, author of Smoky Joe Wood: The Biography of a Baseball Legend, at the annual NINE Spring Training Conference banquet on March 15, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz.
Pictured with me, from left, are Professor Wood and Marc Appleman, director of the Society for American Baseball Research, whose committee selected this biography as the best book of baseball history published during 2013. (Photo courtesy of SABR)
On Jan. 26, 2014, I celebrated SABR Day with the Lefty O'Doul Chapter at the San Francisco Public Library. I spoke as part of a panel that was in conjunction with the "Line Drives and Lipstick" exhibition. An enthusiastic audience of about 90 people learned a great deal about women's baseball history.Below, me and Monica Nucciarone, author of Alexander Cartwright, The Life Behind the Baseball Legend, and a group dinner at Lefty O'Doul's restaurant.
Here is the video of the presentation, courtesy of the San Francisco Public Library. To access only my own presentation, click on the timeline at 12:39 minutes.:
On Nov. 19, 2013, I presented a "Show and Tell Afternoon" at The Carlisle, exhibiting the 13 of my 28 books that are still in print. (Photos courtesy of Lee Webb and Amanda Stith)
In September, I took a trip through the Midwest that included several speaking events. On Sept. 7, 2013, I spoke to the retirees of the famous All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League ("A League Of Their Own") at their annual reunion, which was held in the Chicago area. On Sept. 10, 2013, I spoke at Cleveland State University, which is my undergraduate university. And on Sept. 11, 2013, I addressed the Cleveland Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.
From July 30-August 4, 2013, I attended the annual convention of the Society for American Baseball Research in Philadelphia and took part in the meeting of the Women in Baseball committee. I spent time at the McFarland Publishing table to sign copies of my books.
On March 16, 2013, I presented author Rob Fitts (center) with the Dr. Harold and Dorothy Seymour Medal at the annual NINE Conference in Tempe, Ariz. With us is Marc Appleman, Executive Director of SABR. At the conference I spoke about women's baseball scholarship and the changes that have occurred in the last 20 years in this field. (Photo courtesy of SABR)
On March 11, 2013, at the South County Regional Library in Estero, Florida, I made a presentation called "How Baseball Made Me a Feminist." This event was co-sponsored by Lee County and NOW, the National Organization for Women. Read the press release.
On Nov. 20, 2012, I presented an illustrated lecture about my latest book, "Drawing Card: A Baseball Novel," at The Carlisle. (Photo courtesy of The Carlisle)
I gave a private presentation on "Women Play Baseball" at The Carlisle on Oct. 10, 2012. My next presentation, on Nov. 20, 2012, is open to the public. (Photo courtesy of The Carlisle)
From left, Leslie Heaphy, Laura Day, Dorothy Mills, Cecilia Tan. (Photo courtesy of SABR)
On Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Minneapolis, I was part of a panel discussion about women in baseball during SABR's 42nd annual convention.
The moderator was Ann Carroll, a sports reporter for Fox Sports North. Participants were Laura Day, an executive vice president of the Minnesota Twins baseball club; Cecilia Tan, former baseball player and now Publications Director for SABR; and Leslie Heaphy, Professor of History at Kent State and also Chair of SABR's Committee on Women in Baseball.
As I sat on this panel, it struck me that all the other participants were less than half as old as I am. While discussing women's progress -- and lack of it -- over the years, I mentioned that I had socks older than the talented young women who joined me on this panel. The reporter for mlb.com must have liked that remark because he included it in his story.
In honor of Women's History Month I gave a presentation at The Carlisle Naples in March 2012. The activities director of the residence later honored residents who had presented programs throughout the year. Here are some photos from those events.
"How Baseball Made Me Into a Feminist" was the title of a presentation I made on Jan. 29, 2012 at the Forum in the Unitarian Universality building in Naples, Fla. Read the full text here.
In June 2011, I was a speaker at the annual Association for Women in Sports Media convention, held in Charlotte, NC. An excerpt from my speech: