Ned: Mike, my vague recollection is that we first met at an IABC conference in Toronto. I recall something about egg rolls and deviled eggs. And Clemons was pitching for Boston in the Dome. What do you remember?
Mike: I remember it like it was 12 years ago. It was my second time in the SkyDome in Toronto. The first time I was there, I was standing on the observation deck of the CN Tower looking into the SkyDome and noticed thousands of people heading into the stadium. So I thought, “cool, the Blue Jays are playing,” and went to the stadium as well. Turned out it was a Billy Graham Crusade.
NED: How was he?
MIKE: Pretty sharp. He gave up a homer in the third inning but struck out six and had good placement.
Ned: Mike is it true that you and I have agreed never to laugh at each other's jokes? How's that going?
Mike: Ned, I have never laughed at one of your jokes. However, I did smirk once and another time I had to suppress a guffaw.
Ned: Do you think you will see anyone at the conference who will remember you?
Mike: People still come up to me and remember me as the organizer of the Baseball Strategic Interest Group. I organized trips to Major League Baseball games at several conferences, including San Francisco and Oakland, Boston, Toronto and Los Angeles (if the IABC Conference ever comes to Cleveland I will nail down an Indians game for us). I remember bringing a guy from New Zealand to a game in Oakland. He knew nothing about baseball. It was a revelation. When you can take someone from a different culture and expose them to a new world—well, that’s what being in IABC is all about. Now, instead of just talking about Lord of the Rings he also talks about the physics of the curve ball.
Ned: Mike, didn't we go see the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine when the conference was in LA. Is there anything to go see in New Orleans?
Mike: We did go see a Dodgers game at Chavez Ravine. And we learned that ravines are a terrible place to play baseball, so we went to Dodger Stadium instead, which was much better. New Orleans does not have a major league baseball team; however, they do have an AAA team, the New Orleans Zephyrs. Unfortunately, the Zephyrs are on an road trip during the conference. I am hoping to visit the D-Day Museum while I am there. New Orleans has a unique historical role in World War II—it was where the Higgins boats, the landing craft used at D-Day and other invasions, were developed and built. The museum is a pretty cool place—I was there several years ago. Some of the docents there are D-Day veterans, so it’s like being part of living history.