I had circled the date on my calendar a couple months back when I first got word that fellow chapter member John Racanelli had secured Bobby Dernier for our March 20 meeting. It’s definitely not every day that we host a genuine Major Leaguer, much less a Gold Glover and fan favorite of Dernier’s caliber. (Okay, fine, it’s NEVER happened before.)
But then, Holy Cow! There he was, the Deer, coming to us from his “room of memories” in Kansas City with an enviable career highlights montage on the wall behind him.
The meeting began as awesome as expected, with John introducing Bobby to the group via a career retrospective slide show reaching as far back as Bobby’s days with the Helena (Montana) Phillies, the first of a few stops where Bobby teamed with “Daily Double” partner Ryne Sandberg. And then…
Oh, hey, did somebody say Daily Double?
Yes, that’s right. Ryne Freaking Sandberg decided to stop by. Oh, and he stayed for nearly two full hours.
As the rest of us watched in amazement, Bobby and Ryno spent the afternoon catching up, talking baseball, and even talking a little bit of golf while John occasionally tossed in a question from his notes or the audience chat. Of course, most of the chat area wasn’t filled with questions. Rightly so, it was filled with comments declaring the event the greatest SABR meeting of all-time.
While you may have missed out on the fun firsthand, you can still watch the video.
You can also read Bobby Dernier’s SABR bio written by John himself or the Sandberg bio by Tim Herlich.
You can even try to collect the extremely limited edition “Double Duty Hit and Run” baseball card commemorating the Zoom.
The only thing you can’t do is put together a better meeting than John did. Great work, amigo! And thank you to Bobby Dernier and Ryne Sandberg for an afternoon we will never forget.