Campbell’s Everyday All-Star Team: Syd Mandelbaum

Campbell’s Chunky Soup and the New York Giants football team have named Syd as one of their Everyday All-Stars. Syd responded to the honor by saying: “I always felt the need to give back to the United States to say thank you for giving my parents a new lease on life. I’m a scientist by training and when I felt I could make a difference, I wanted to do it by fighting poverty in the United States and elsewhere. This is our 27th year and we have fed over one billion people.”
Read more at the Giants’ Lifestyle Page.

2016 Lena and Joseph Mandelbaum Humanitarian Award


Join us in celebration as we honor Beth and Lenny Fliegel,
Recipients of the Rock and Wrap It Up! Lena and Joseph Mandelbaum Humanitarian Award

Monday May 2, 2016, 6:00 PM
Kombert Caterers at Temple Avodah
3050 Oceanside Rd, Oceanside NY 11572
Musical Guest: Jenna Rose

Tickets begin at $125. Please see the reply card for additional donation levels.

Reply card 3-17-16-1

How I Introduced a New Homerun Measurement to Baseball

Candlestick Park CC Wikipedia

Syd reminisces about the early days of his relationship with Rock and Roll and technological innovations.

Diane and I worked in Candlestick Park during a Giants vs. Dodgers opening week baseball game. I  perfected it at Yankee Stadium in November 1990.

New applications are always exciting in any business. My video measuring system has so many areas that it can help advance current applications; each day is an exciting one for me. Late September, 1990 I was listening to a controversy on the radio of a homerun hit by Jesse Barfield. He said it traveled one distance, and someone else said it traveled another. Hearing this, it quickly occurred to me that if I had our video measuring system at the stadium, I would be able to settle the argument and tell exactly how far the ball traveled. This got me thinking that I could tell anyone who cared any distance in the stadium, regardless of it being a homerun, double, a throw to second base or third, even how far a outfielder ran for a ball.

I called the Mets to try this system out and they were busy in a pennant chase and told me they had no time. I called the Yankees and was able to get their stadium operations manager, Tim Hasset, to allow me to try my idea out at the stadium. I was just introducing it to different microscope dealers throughout the country and knew that it could work in looking at microchips under a video microscope. At the stadium I found that it did not work. I found out that I could not just point a camera at the field and do a measurement. Disappointed, but not disheartened, I left and went back to my office. I then realized that if I had an overhead view of the playing field, shot at 90 degrees, and then placed through my system onto a tv monitor, I would be able to work our system. My only caveat was how to calibrate. It then occurred to me that the standard in all stadiums was the distance from first to third base, 127 feet, and the distance from home to dead center field, 408 feet at Yankee stadium. I new in my heart that it would work.

I waited for three months and then wrote letters to all stadiums. None responded. I called up three, and George Costa, VP of stadium operations at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, expressed more than a passing interest. I also found that IBM was running a continuous promotion at 18 ballparks where they give $10,000 to the charity of choice to the player who hits the longest homerun in that stadium. The team must put on their scoreboard “IBM Tale of the Tape measured to {distance}”. What I also found out was that this was sometimes inaccurate and worked on a stadium survey done of the outfield areas, and transferred to a grid in the scorebox. It did not offer any field distance, just whatever went into the stands. I knew we could offer more, and hopefully enhance the game of baseball for its fans.

I knew that I would be going to San Francisco on school board business, the National School Board Association meeting. I called George Costa and told him that I would be there the week of April 16. He told me that opening game was the 16th, I told him that I had meetings I had to go to and could not make it. He then asked if I could come and show him the system after the conference and work a game. I quickly said yes. I called all over the West Coast and was able to get an aerial photograph of Candlestick. Thank g-d for fax machines. Bay Graphics faxed me the photos and I chose the one with the best view of the stadium. I also contacted my microscope dealer in SF; they would loan me a tv monitor. I seemed to be set.

My contact with the Grateful Dead goes back many years. Three years before visiting Candlestick Park I became friends with Dennis McNally, the publicist and backstage tsar of the band. He helped me to get to Mickey Hart, when I wanted Mickey to come back to his alma mater, Lawrence High School, which he graduated from in 1961, and Mickey did! Dennis had also helped me when I was at a concert and wanted to take my daughters to a clean bathroom, or go backstage to get a soda or meet members of the band; Dennis was always there. I helped him over time by getting Mickey great pr and getting a tv anchorman in Buffalo to do a complimentary piece on the Dead when then were in town. Dennis would always see me in colorful casual attire and in a relaxed concert mood. I would always see him wired and tight as a drum, the whole world on his shoulders backstage, working his ass off. In Buffalo, I noticed that Dennis wore an SF Giant tee shirt with a Dead logo on it. I stored that in my head. In Nassau Coliseum, in March, I saw Dennis and told him I would be out to the coast next month. He said to call him. At that point, things just clicked. I called George Costa back and asked him if I could get two tickets for the Giant homeopener for Dennis McNally. As luck would have it, they knew each other from some past experience. George said he would put them away for Dennis and would not accept money from me. I called Dennis and told him the good new; he was ecstatic. He would be taking his wife Suzan, an even bigger SF Giants fan than Dennis.

Opening day passed and it was cold and brutal, but Dennis went that Monday night April 16. That next day the school board meetings ended. I got to the stadium one pm to speak to George and he had bad news. He said that his people did not want to replace the Tale of the Tape at the stadium and they were afraid that they would loose $10,000 worth of charity.

I told them that IBM knew of us and we were not a threat to them. We also did not need to be mentioned: we were there to enhance the game, not change it. George called his boss and they said they wanted to now see the system in operation and that I should come by that evening and work the game. They gave me a luxury box with 10 tickets and told me it was mine for the night. I quickly called my microscope dealer and told him to bring a sales rep, and I would leave them tickets at my hotel. I then called Dennis and asked him how the game was the night before. He said they were the best seats he had ever had but it was freezing. I then told him I had 6 extra luxury seats, in an enclosed box, and he was welcomed to them. He almost died at that moment. He said he would take them and bring people from the Dead organization. I told him I would drop them off. I got to the ballpark at 6 and was set up by 6:30 pm. I knew from the moment I was there that it would work. The test came in the fourth inning when George Costa just happened to be in the booth, as serendipitous a situation as ever had occurred. The moment I finished the demonstration, Will Clark hits a blast into the stands. I quickly identified where the ball landed and measure the distance to 383 feet. I told Terence Lundy, my dealer in SF, to tell ESPN to announce that the distance was optech measured. No sooner had he left the room then I see flashed on the scoreboard “IBM Tale of the Tape measured to 379 feet”. George looks at me and says, “Syd, I believe your numbers.” Dennis McNally who has witnessed this event smiles and says, “Syd it’s real nice seeing you working and in suit and me sitting here, not worrying about anything, nice role reversal.” I laughed and said it was the first time I had ever seen him sitting still for more than five minutes. We both laughed. George said he was definitely interested. I knew it had a place in baseball.

NYC Mardi Bra Launch Dec. 7


The New York City launch of Rock and Wrap It Up!‘s Mardi Bra initiative will be held at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on December 7, 2015 at 6 pm. Admission will be a minimum donation of 2 boxes of feminine hygiene products. American Idol finalist Robbie Rosen will perform. Stars Gabriella Pulice and Julia Lambert will lend their support.

Mardi Bra was originally launched in February 2015 on Mardi Gras night with the help of Sharon Osbourne in Los Angeles, who tweeted about the night and made substantial financial donations. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne were 2002 recipients of Rock and Wrap It Up!’s  Lena and Joseph Mandelbaum Humanitarian Award. Mardi Bra will launch nationally in 20 cities across North America on Mardi Gras night 2016.

Though optional, as with the LA event, women are encouraged to wear bra, bathing suit and athletic tops. Festive beads will be given to all participants. Former WNBA Superstar Susan Wicks will help chair the event.

RWU research has shown that other than food, feminine hygiene products are the most requested items by shelters and pantries assisting in helping indigent teens and women.  RWU asks that each woman purchase a second box when they buy for themselves each month and donate it to help the Mardi Bra program. Additional collection sites are needed, especially in High Schools and Middle Schools, where the program is named Hannah’s Project. Financial donations will also be accepted in lieu of product

Brooklyn Bowl is the ultimate night out, with its groundbreaking integration of premiere music, 16 lanes of bowling, a bar featuring locally crafted beers, and food by the acclaimed Blue Ribbon restaurant group. Located in the beautiful, 19th-century Hecla Iron Works building, the venue — aka “rock and roll heaven” (Village Voice) — boasts a sound system and amenities that “no other local rock club can offer” (The New York Times).

Wearing its homegrown values on its sleeve, Brooklyn Bowl is as committed to locally made products — serving award-winning beer from the adjacent Brooklyn Brewery — as it is to environmental sustainability — it’s the first L.E.E.D.-certified bowling alley in the world. And the food? “Epic,” says Eater. In other words, Brooklyn Bowl’s unprecedented combination of top-flight music, bowling, beer and food is “like nailing a spare on a four-ten split” (The New Yorker).

BioCycle magazine features Rock and Wrap It Up!


The June 2015 issue in a piece by Marsha W. Johnston titled Sports Teams Build Food Recovery Awareness.

“Growing numbers of professional sports teams and organizations are capturing edible food in their venues for donation, while continuing to divert food scraps to composting programs.” READ MORE

According to Celeste Madtes of The JG Press, has a vast online archive of over 2,000 BioCycle articles and is recognized internationally as the Organics Recycling Authority. You can subscribe online.