The Casey Stengel chapter meeting retained its usual time-machine vibe: not so much retro as reminiscent. It’s full of guys who remember when the Dodgers and Giants were the local teams, speak with thick New York accents, and dress in sweats. As opposed to the scene at the national meeting, the presentations are decidedly low-tech and tend to focus more sharply on history than on cutting-edge analysis, although many members seem conversant in that language too. It would be great to see more young people get involved in this group, I’d be happy to tell you how.
A highlight for me was hearing some great authors speak. Michael Shapiro, whose THE LAST GOOD SEASON not only tells a suspenseful story of a great pennant race but dares to set the record straight on the Dodgers’ fateful move to California, was especially engaging and afterward signed a beaten-up copy of his book I’d remembered to take along. My brief talk was as part of a panel that included Tony Morante and Al Santasiere, who put together a handsome coffee table book on the history of Yankee Stadium; and Greg Spira, who co-edited MEET THE METS with my co-writer, Matthew Silverman, who was also there selling books. Morante, who has led tours through Yankee Stadium for nearly 30 years, wore a Yankees World Series ring the size of my wristwatch.
I also enjoyed schmoozing with attendees including Steve and Pedro from On the Sportlines; Michael Cesarano, who knows a few things about Mets uniforms; Andrew Schiff, author of a new biography of Henry Chadwick I brought home with me; and Dana Brand, who traded me his book,METS FAN, even-up for mine. I opened up Dana’s book on a bus ride to the in-laws immediately after the meeting, and almost felt like a thief.
More hobnobbing to come when Matt Silverman and I host a “launch party” for Mets by the Numbers Sunday April 6 at Stout NYC in Manhattan. The party is an informal get-together timed to coincide with the Mets-Braves game from Atlanta that afternoon. We’ll have copies on the book on-hand and available to sign. I’d love to meet some of the regular reader/contributors to the web site, hope you can come by.