March 4, 2006
Present: Ed Bradley, Kevin Barrett, David Smolka, Jeana Weigand,
Kenny Bailey, John Lykowski, Jeff Dell, Marty Skutnik, Stephen Guerra,
Wilbert Turner, Lenny Williams, Christy Delmonico, Michael Garrett,
and Jan Traphagan
GUESTS: Janet Leonard, Bill Maroney, TelecomPioneer (and newly hired
Executive Director of the NBBA as of the END of this meeting).
Present via web conference: Terri Smolka and Tim Hibner
Absent: Joe Wood, Kari Biesendorfer, Dan Kelley, Roy Trujillo, Sam (Shr-Wei
Call to order.
Invocation by John Lyowski
Motion to accept minutes from fall meeting as sent via e-mail, 2nd. CORRECTION:
Quilt for the drawing was donated by NBBA volunteer head scorekeeper,
LYNDA BAGLEY, not by the TelecomPioneers. Motion to accept with change,
report read. Motion to accept report as read, 2nd, passed.
John Ross Endowment Fund report read. Motion to accept report as read,
Budget & Finance
committee report: Three grant applications will be submitted shortly.
Motion to accept report as
given, 2nd passed.
TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE REPORT:
2006 – Strongsville (Cleveland), Ohio: Lions have designated the
event a District project. Jeff Dell will be featured in “Cleveland
Magazine” during the summer. Transportation, volunteers, fields,
PR, hotel and funding were all addressed at the meeting. Specific information
will be going out to team contacts regarding these issues and how to
make hotel reservations at a later date. An arrangement has been set
up with Northwest Airlines. Teams that utilize them for their airfare
will get a 10% discount PLUS for every 30 tickets sold (among all participants)
the NBBA organization will be given one free ticket to use within a year.
If Northwest doesn’t service an area, they are willing to allow
the same deal with one of their “co-share” partners. If
you have any questions, please contact Wilbert Turner.
Guide Dogs for the Blind is being contacted about returning to run
NEW TOURNAMENT FORMAT FOR 2006!! Team contacts will be sent the complete
document. In brief, each team will be seeded for round robin play on
Wednesday based on their performance at the 2005 World Series. Teams
that did not play last year will be seeded last and based on the postmark
date for their team registration. Based on team performance in their
round robin bracket play on Wednesday, teams will be seeded 1-4 in their
Beginning on Thursday, ALL teams will be placed into the National Double
elimination tournament (no championship/consolation breakdown). The
seeding for the double elimination play will be based on your finish
in the round robin, with the #1 seeds from each bracket playing the
#4 seeds from a different bracket and #2 seeds matched up against #3
We have bracketing drawn out for 12 thru 16-team participation. A
new placement bracket has been added to the tournament. This placement
bracket will be for
those teams that are eliminated from the double elimination tournament. Despite
a team being eliminated from the actual tournament, PLACEMENT games will
be played on FRIDAY to determine the seeding for play in the 2007
COME PREPARED TO PLAY AT LEAST 2 GAMES EVERY DAY OF THE TOURNEY!!! Whether
in the round robin, double elimination or placement portion of the tournament,
THE STATS FROM ALL GAMES PLAYED WILL COUNT!!! Questions may be directed via
e-mail to the NBBA Secretary – AFTER team contacts have received the
packet and it has been reviewed!
2007 – Rochester,
Minnesota: The event is shaping up. Local Lions groups have come
on board to support the project.
have been obtained.
2008: No bids at this time.
Motion to accept report as given, 2nd, passed.
**NOTE: An error was discovered in the 2005 World Series offensive All-Star
stats. Two players will be acknowledged at the 2006 World Series for
their achievements in the 2005 event by name and with awards.
Adjourn for lunch. Reconvene at 1 p.m.
Thanks to Christy Delmonico for her assistance in grant writing. She
referred to 3 grants in process: Coors, McCormick and Anshutz Foundation.
Still working on connecting with the IRS to get the scholarship in
Quilt drawing tickets now available for the World Series T-shirt quilt
donated by Lynda Bagley. ANYONE may sell them. They will be distributed
to teams as well as board members. The drawing will take place at the
awards ceremony for the 2006 World Series. Winner need not be present
There will be an item up for vote at the 2006 General Assembly regarding
an addition to the “purpose of the NBBA” Article I.
BALLS & EQUIPMENT:
Arnold Center is still working on 3 “styles” of bases:
current, wireless and pneumatic (air pressurized).
At this time, we have received no guarantee from the Pioneers for team
balls. Motion made to sell 5 balls to each team from 100 of the NBBA’s
stock of balls. Since the NBBA has no stockpile of balls, motion died.
Motion made to sell 5 balls to each team from 100 of the 200 balls
promised to the Cleveland World Series. The shortage would be made
up later. It
was pointed out the NBBA board has no power to direct this reallocation
since these balls are bought and paid for by the local tournament committee.
We do not know if the Pioneers will still be able to purchase 16” kapok “stitched” balls
to continue the ball making process. Roy Trujillo reported at the fall
board meeting that the new balls were “clinched” stitched
Discussion regarding the “pitch” of the balls. The NBBA
will request that the Pioneers work on this issue.
Ball production update memo from Crystal Adams (Qwest VP in charge of
the ball production facility in Denver) was read:
To: NBBA Board Members
From: Crystal Adams
CC: Marty Lee
Re: Beep ball Production Update
Let me start by reaffirming my commitment to beepball. Beepball is part
of the Pioneer Heritage and the Qwest Pioneers are committed to maintaining
that tradition. As you are all aware we are currently transitioning our
beepball production process. The transitions currently underway are quite
significant and include:
• Re-engineering of the circuit board to a surface mount style
• Revamping of the ordering system to allow balls to be purchased through
the Qwest Pioneer e-store via the internet
• Opening of a second beep ball production location in Albuquerque, New
• Change in financial and administrative processes including a new key
contact for the program
These transitions are currently in process but will take time to fully
implement. That being said however, let me provide you with an updated
This journey began as a fact finding mission. We have reviewed the quantity
of orders processed last year, taken inventory of available parts and
supplies and reviewed current processes in place to identify how we can
be more efficient and effective in our future endeavors.
• Roy Trujillo stepped in to assist beepball at a time when the program
was in jeopardy of dying. He has been extremely dedicated to the program
over the years but is at a point where he is feeling burned out. Roy
has been a great help and is instrumental in this transition process.
• The volunteers are incredibly dedicated to the program and the cause
having worked on this project for many years. They are however also
aging and could use additional help.
The production process has been inconsistent in the past for two primary
reasons. Items are ordered in bulk quantities for cost savings purposes
and the average shipping time to receive select parts is often 4 – 6
• The strategy in the past has been to fill requested orders. Last year
509 balls were requested and all orders were filled.
• In an effort to save the end user money and keep the costs down balls
were often shipped using inadequate packaging.
• A complete inventory has been conducted. We currently have parts on hand
to produce approximately 300 balls. Additional batteries and switches
have been ordered.
We have currently received approximately 285 orders for balls. These
orders have already been paid for and include the quantity requested
for the 2006 World Series. Our volunteers feel confident that these orders
will be fulfilled early – mid April
• The circuit board has been re-engineered and the new circuit board will
save approximately 1 hour of time per ball in the production process.
The new ball emits a tone that is slightly different. Samples of the
new ball will be tested the weekend of 3/3 by the Colorado Beepball
team. It is anticipated that the new circuit board will be more durable extending
the life of each ball.
• The volunteer team feels confident that we will be able to produce at
least 750 balls this year. The goal is to complete the orders currently
in place and then begin to take additional orders in mid April.
Although we are still finalizing the process the plan is that orders
of 10 balls or less will be accepted via the web site and that larger
orders will need to be placed through Bob Kurtz – the new lead
on the program.
We will be able to sell both new balls and repaired balls via the Qwest
Pioneer e-store although we are still trying to identify weather we will
be able to ship requested balls via “Free Matter for the Blind”.
The web site will allow individuals to see available inventory and
will automatically identify shipping costs for overnight and ground
methods. Individuals will be able to make a purchase using their credit
card and will be provided a receipt with their order. Requested items
will be packaged and shipped from the same warehouse that currently
handles Qwest Pioneer inventory.
• The price of the balls will increase slightly. The cost for each component
currently is $30.07 per ball. This price does not include the cost
of the sealant, adhesive, plastic tubing, cord and needles to sew the balls
or adequate packaging. It also does not include any allowance for mistakes
or parts failure. Currently the price is $30 for a new ball and $21
for a used ball. In the past there has also been a $5 handling fee for the
first ball and $2 fee for each additional ball. We are still gathering
information to identify final pricing but we anticipate that the per
ball fee could increase to $35 for a new ball and $27 for a used ball.
This new price would include the handling fee and packaging provided
by the warehouse managing the inventory. As is our practice, there
is no profit to be gained by the Pioneers.
I am hopeful that the provided information will address at least some
of you concerns. Please be assured that the situation is being managed
and that the beepball season will be able to move forward uninterrupted.
We will continue to keep the NBBA board informed and will provide ordering
information to all of the teams as we get further through this process.
At the equipment committee meeting, it was estimated that 605 balls
would be needed for 2006 season for the 18 teams registered as of March
and 4 weekend tournament needs, plus 200 more for the World Series
for an estimated grand total of 805. Only parts for 300 are available
200 of which are promised to the World Series, 85 more have been paid
for, apparently prior to the January 26th shut down of order acceptance.
Due to this, we must consider the league to be in “salvage mode” --
use working balls for defense practice only. Batting practice should be conducted
with dead or bad working balls.
Janet Leonard from the Colorado Storm team asked what conclusion could be drawn
about when and how many balls would be available? Stated the Pioneer update
was frustratingly lacking in answers requested by the four NBBA board members
at the Orlando TelecomPioneer National convention. She referred to the above
letter and asked when more batteries and switches were ordered? She noted this
important date was critical to meeting requests and also noted that by doing
so indicated a large monetary commitment that should be applauded.
She questioned the figure of 509 ball orders received and filled last year
and pointed out this was substantially lower than the estimate given by Mr.
Trujillo at the fall board meeting of 1,000 new and 400 repairs. She stated
her team, along with many others, was distressed about this situation and
feels the league is out of time to deal with the issue. After much discussion,
was told all she can do is take the Pioneer response letter back to her team.
Doc Bradley reiterated that the NBBA cannot change the situation or create
a different answer. Feelings cannot be involved in this issue – it’s
business. Change takes time, they are working on it. Let’s work WITH
Crystal and Bill, let the past go and move forward.
Duke University has contacted Tim Hibner regarding research and development
for the ball. Tim has replied and is waiting to hear more from them. Keith
Mead at the Arnold Center wanted to purchase balls to create a “start-up
kit” available from the Arnold Center that would include bases, balls & blindfolds.
HALL OF FAME:
Jan Traphagn, Kevin Barrett & Jerri Orr will be on the Jim Quinn
committee. Two new letters have been received.
Stephen Guerra has been nominated for NBBA Secretary. No other nominations
at this time. The Executive Board plus the board positions currently
held by Dan Kelley, Marty Skutnik, Terri Smolka, Jeff Dell and Roy
Trujillo are up for election at the 2006 World Series General Assembly.
Roy has served 2 terms and is not eligible for re-election.
2006 Spring Board Meeting – PAGE 8
Need to contact Dan Tracy for the original Home Run (fly ball over the
180 foot line) rule to determine if it is 1 or 2 runs awarded if the
player can touch the base in 30 seconds.
Clarification will be made regarding the DH/DF rule. It will be discussed
with the plate umpires as well as coaches/captains on the Tuesday prior
to the World Series.
Competition committee: Due to the new tourney format for the World Series,
no clinics will be scheduled for the 2006 season. Other possible days
for the clinic will be investigated.
Kenny Bailey suggested
that a new plate etiquette involving the Plate Umpire requesting
a “base check” prior to each batter throughout
the entire game (not just the first inning or after equipment readjustments)
might be tried. He’ll submit a written proposal and will test
this procedure in 2006.
POD cast (personal on demand) CD’s on beep baseball are available
from Stephen Guerra. For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or give comments at (206) 202-2541.
Fanfest is in Pittsburgh, PA the second weekend in July. Dave Smolka
and a group from Cleveland will attend.
Pioneer meeting went well. Spoke with Pioneer groups from across the
US and from Canada promoting the NBBA and our teams.
Need to get our own NBBA sign with our logo on it for these types of
events and to use at the World Series each year.
Requested we hang Lions and TelecomPioneer banners at our World Series
Motion to have beep baseball POD cast endorsed by the NBBA, 2nd, passed.
Bill Maroney present for Kari Biesendorfer. Confirmed the commitment
of the Pioneers to the NBBA. Would like to get back to the TelecomPioneers
sponsoring the George Haws Sportsmanship Award. Will inquire about
having a link to Crystal Adams (or someone in ball production) on our
website with our link email@example.com to address the questions,
concerns and potential orders of the balls.
An all member (over 6000) publication with a beep baseball article in
it will go out to all TelecomPioneers in the near future.
Working in the summer of 2006 to have “on-line” registration
available, but this will require a change in the web host. The team
is also working on re-engineering our site keywords to allow more hits
web searches and setting up the site so that web updates can be made
To promote the use of on-line registering, motion made to allow the 2007
TEAM REGISTRATION fee of $25 to be waived if the registration is performed
on-line (this would be for the 2007 season ONLY.) 2nd, passed.
Top 30 NBBA players and 5 best pitchers will be highlighted at the Cleveland
event. Invitations will be sent out to the recipients of the awards
and awards will be presented to those attending the 2006 World Series
awards ceremony and mailed to those unable to attend. Tournament Committee
is to take care of the awards. Kevin Barrett, committee chairman, is
requesting nominations for the awards, along with back up information
to show the nominee meets the criteria. Stephen Guerra will work on
POD cast interviews with all the winners.
for an alternative method of hosting the NBBA’s
fall board meeting. Pros and cons of teleconferencing and web conferencing
were discussed. Motion to have a web conference for the fall board
meeting. Motion withdrawn. Motion to investigate conference options
for a fall
non-physical (no traveling) board meeting and report at the World
Series, 2nd, passed with 4 votes against.
Motion to accept the recommendation of the Executive Committee and
hire Bill Maroney from Denver, Colorado as an “on loan” (salary
paid by the TelecomPioneers) paid (NBBA pays for approved travel
expenses up to $10,000) Executive Director for the NBBA based on
presented by Mr. Maroney and the interview conducted by the Executive
Committee, 2nd, discussion. Motion passed with one vote against.
Bill Maroney is now the Executive Director of the NBBA. He is to
directly to the Executive Committee and all travel expenses will
be approved by the Executive Committee. His period of employment
through September 15, 2006. A review of his performance will be conducted
by that date and the decision regarding his continued employment
will be made at that time.
The Executive Director, in conjunction with the NBBA Board, will address
issues as follows:
2006 Spring Board Meeting – PAGE 10
1) Ball/Equipment Production
a. Current Status/Needs
i. Near-term fixes
ii. Long-term goals
2) Fund Raising
a. World Series
b. League/Team Support
c. Partnership Development
i. Identify Funding Sources
ii. Build Sustainable Support
3) Public Relations
a. Increase Awareness
i. Media Relations
ii. Pioneer Sponsoring Companies
iii. Pioneer Chapters
iv. Community Organizations
b. Recruit Teams/Players
c. Increase Value to Potential Supporters
d. Increase Interest of Volunteers
4) Event Management
a. World Series
i. Manage a Successful Event in 2006
1. Fund Raising
2. Community Support
3. Generate Media Interest
4. Event Logistics
b. Develop a Model for Future Success
i. Sponsorship Plan
ii. Player/Team participation
Mr. Maroney’s “bonus” compensation will be tied to
a percentage of funds raised as the Executive Director. Would be “paid” by
NBBA based on the following proposed structure:
$75,000 raised: $5,000 compensation ($70,000 to NBBA)
$100,000 raised: $10,000 compensation ($90,000 to NBBA)
$150,000 raised: $15,000 compensation ($135,000 to NBBA)
(NOTE: no percentage compensation is given until the $75,000 goal
has been reached. This “bonus” will be paid out
of funds received.)
Due to an inquiry,
clarification was made: because of the nature of the NBBA’s
non-profit organization status, Mr. Maroney can not be both a paid
employee of the Board and a member
of the board
Thus mention of his attending as the board member in place of Kari
Biesendorfer is for this meeting only.
“Power Showdown” is
a game for the blind and visually impaired that is a cross between
ping-pong and air hockey.
about bringing a couple of games to the 2006 World Series for hospitality
use. Motion made to leave the decision in the hands of the Executive
Committee, 2nd. Motion failed. The local World Series host committee
will consider the issue and let Doc know the results.
Homedics in Detroit, Michigan will be donating several prizes to the
drawing. Independent Living Aids will be donating a prize as well.
The Long Island Bombers are hosting an Invitational Regional tournament
the last weekend in June if the ball situation improves.
The Oklahoma League for the Blind asked it be announced they are still
planning on hosting the regional tournament again in Midwest City, OK
June 24-25, 2006. Contact Carol Campbell (405 232 4644) at the OKC League
for the Blind for details.
Motion to reimburse traveling board members and distribute NBBA drawing
tickets, 2nd, passed with one vote against.
Motion to adjourn.