The May 14 SABR Houston meeting was held inside the offices of the Houston Astros at Union Station adjacent to Minute Maid Park. Some 48 SABR members and friends attended, although some of our numbers may have been diverted to the wine and cheese function hosted by the Houston Astros in the same building.
Our meeting included five presentations, beginning with Houston Astros President of Baseball Operations Tal Smith, who brought our group up-to-date on the Astros' farm system and the number of excellent prospects coming up through the minor-league ranks. Many of those players were drafted out of high school, and according to Smith, are steadily working their way toward the parent club.
Chapter member Tony Cavender kicked off a new feature at our monthly meetings, presenting a book review of "56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports" by Kostya Kennedy. Tony shared that the book covers not only the famous DiMaggio hitting streak but also includes information pertaining to what took place in America and the world during DiMaggio's playing career. Anyone interested in presenting relevant book reviews in the future should contact the chapter through the website at http://www.sabrhouston.org.
Former St. Louis Cardinal and Houston Buff player Larry Miggins delighted those in attendance at the May meeting with a recording of his musical tribute to Mark McGwire. Larry wrote the song at the conclusion of McGwire's historic 1998 season and recorded the song the following year. Those who know Larry know his love of music and the chapter took delight in serving as the official launch party, albeit a dozen years later, of the recording. To listen to the song, click here.
Larry was followed by Tim Gregg who discussed our brand-new website at http://www.sabrhouston.org that he has developed (noted above) and encouraged us to register for an email address for the site. Tim took multiple photos of the meeting, along with a group picture, which he has already posted. In addition he recorded an oral introduction to the site with Larry Dierker.
Bob Dorrill then outlined a proposal that has been sent to SABR National volunteering both the Larry Dierker and the Rogers Hornsby Chapters as hosts for the 2013 convention in Houston. A number of prominent local baseball people have already agreed to participate and speak at this convention and 3 hotels which have the capacity to room 400 SABR out of town attendees have been identified. The SABR board meeting was held May 20 to consider potential cities and should make a decision on the 2013 convention in early July.
Tom White presented an excellent trivia contest based on the 1963-1969 Astros and Mets, won by Tom Kleinworth. Door prizes provided by Mike Acosta and Scott Barzilla were won by Bill Gilbert, Marsha Franty, Chris Chestnut, Ann Jones and guest Gertjan Paff.
Following the meeting, we spent a glorious afternoon watching the Houston Astros defeat the New York Mets with the roof of Minute Maid Park open under an absolutely picturesque sky and perfect weather conditions.
Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 21 at the Ragin Cajun Restaurant, 4302 Richmond Ave. in Houston, starting at 7 p.m. Speakers will be longtime player and coach Deacon Jones, now working with the Sugar Land Skeeters; Mark Seegers, who will review the book "The Last Boy" about Mickey Mantle; and Bob Dorrill, who will share with the group the "Owners Experience", an outstanding promotion of the Corpus Christi Hooks.