President’s Column: Communication is Key to Re-Energizing Membership

It’s my pleasure as president to welcome you to a new NEO STC year that promises to be unique and exciting. Your officers and committee chairs met throughout the summer to plan some educational and fun activities. Our mission is twofold: improve communication so members can enjoy the full benefit of their membership and to re-energize the base so we can attract additional members.

As for communication, there are two new sites to keep you in the loop of NEO STC happenings.

  • Check out our redesigned website at www.neostc.org.
    Thanks to the hard work of webmaster Julianne Forsythe, the website has a fresh appeal and is easy to peruse chapter information. Yes, there is an event calendar to plan your own calendar.
  • Slack, a collaborative social application that is an NEO STC member exclusive benefit.
    Thanks to vice president Tricia Spayer, our chapter has subscribed to Slack. The site works as an online meeting gathering; allowing you to chat directly with officers and members. Plus, you can read RSS feeds from STC international and other chapters. I’ve already used some tips for my daily work that I read about in the STC notebook. We encourage all members to join our Slack team site. Log into slack.com and check out the instructions here: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/209038037-Slack-for-Windows.

Hopefully with Slack and the NEO STC website, you will be better informed of this year’s activities. And, speaking of important dates, Bernard Aschwanden is our guest for our first meeting of the year, Saturday, Sept. 22, at Devore Technologies. Okay, it’s a Saturday, but folks we have perhaps the best presenter/teacher that STC has to offer in Aschwanden for little cost.  Adobe is paying for his travel expenses.

So, one member has asked, why does the meeting cost $50 (per STC member)? First, Bernard is providing an all-day presentation on topics that you would usually pay hundreds of dollars at the STC Summit or other conferences. The cost for non-members is $195 so tell your friends to join NEO STC. Second, we have to pay to use Devore’s computer facilities for all day as opposed to an hour. A catered lunch is provided for onsite attendees.

Even without the tasty food, I promise that Bernard’s resourceful, humorous presentations will invigorate your skillset. The morning presentations are followed by hands-on training in the afternoon, so you can stay all day or choose which part of the day to attend. Seats are sure to fill up, so don’t delay. Click the link at http://neostc.org/cmswp/events/bernard-aschwanden/.

Another important date is Wednesday, Oct. 17. Membership chair Mario Morelos needs volunteers for a membership drive. Volunteers will receive a few phone numbers of current and former members to inform them of our programs and social events. Volunteers can call the contacts at their leisure when time permits in their day. Please contact Mario (mario@localingua.com) to volunteer.

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In past President columns, Paul Holland shared his admiration for the graceful ladies that sailed our oceans blue. While I also share a love for the water as a boater, it’s the green diamonds of summer that captured my heart early on. I’m speaking of baseball in general and the Cleveland Indians specifically. As a former batboy for the Indians, a.k.a. the Tribe, we’ll share some history and behind the scene moments that, hopefully, will heighten your passion for our nation’s pastime.

So let’s start with how the Cleveland baseball organization become known as the Indians after monikers such as Spiders, Blues (short for Bluebirds), Broncos, and Naps. A little history. Cleveland’s first championship team was the 1895 Spiders of the National League. However, by 1899 the Spiders were the worst team in baseball, with a 20-134 record. The following season the team was renamed the Lake Shores but changed to the ‘Blues’ upon joining the American League in 1901. The Blues gave way to the Broncos before the arrival of Napoleon ‘Larry’ Lajoie, arguably the most consistent fielder and hitter of his day. The second baseman hit over .300 for 10 straight seasons. Cleveland fans, in a Cleveland Press newspaper contest, voted to rename the Broncos to the ‘Naps’ for their star Napoleon in 1902. He became the team’s player-manager two seasons later.

Fast-forward to 1915 when Nap Lajoie (pronounced La Zhwa but sounded mostly like Laj-way) was traded to the Philadelphia A’s. Cleveland needed a new name, and the fans, voting in a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper contest this time, chose ‘Indians’ after a player that had been gone from the team for 16 years, yes, nearly two decades.

You see, a Penobscot Indian named Louis Francis Sockalexis so impressed the fans while playing for the 1897 Spiders, that Clevelanders started then calling the team the ‘Indians’ in honor of Sockalexis.  His strong arm, speed on the base path, and hitting (averaging .400 in 1897) made the ‘Deerfoot of the Diamond’  one of the greatest fan attractions in the National League.

Interestingly, Sockalexis may not have been the first Native American to play pro baseball. That account apparently goes to James Toy, a half-Sioux player in the 1880s. However, the tenacious spirit of Sockalexis, the ‘Indian,’ continues today to permeate the wigwam at Progressive Field.

Note: For more information, please see Indians Baseball, 100 Years of Memories by Jack DeVries.

By President Bob Young