Yesterday morning I attended “Talkin' Baseball,” a monthly get together in Columbia, Maryland for area baseball fans, many of whom are SABR members from the Washington-Baltimore area. Dave Paulson, who has done a fabulous job putting the event together, proudly announced Saturday’s meeting started Talkin Baseball's 10th year of bringing fans together on the second Saturday of each month.
The guest speakers are mostly authors, but yesterday the gang of a dozen or so were treated to a private screening of the documentary The Game Comes Home, The History of Baseball in Washington, D.C.. Jeff Herberger, who directed the film and Willy Meaux, writer and researcher, were on hand to discuss their labor of love.
The pair found rare film clips and photos from the National Archives and The Library of Congress. They also interviewed players such as Mickey Vernon from the Senators/Nationals, announcers, writers, authors, fans and Washington baseball historian Phil Wood. The film shows historical footage of Walter Johnson throwing sidearm, the winning run scoring in Game Seven of the 1924 World Series, Presidential first tosses, and action at Griffith Stadium and RFK Stadium. Brad Snyder is interviewed and discusses Josh Gibson and the Homestead Grays.
If baseball fandom is a set of concentric circles, I would put fans/historians like Meaux and Herberger in the center. They talked about their passion for watching the game, simple pleasures like a parent and a kid playing catch, and giving your heart to a team.
Bob Short, who doesn’t belong anywhere near the center circles, is discussed, which shows you they put in both the good and the bad. The two-hour film is not for everyone, but certainly would have an audience. It's not easy for filmmakers to find distributors, so it could be a while before fans see this film. There’s hope it can be shown at the SABR National Convention in Washington in 2009.
Note: This meeting of Talkin' Baseball was held at the East Columbia Branch of the Howard County Library at 6600 Cradlerock Road. Next month, they revert back to their usual place at the Owen Brown Community Center, 6800 Cradlerock Way in Columbia. The updates are provided for SABR members on the Bob Davids Chapter mailing list. You can also check The Squibber or email me if you have any questions.