Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 11/11/2013

Thirty-two SABR members and friends of the Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter gathered at the Westin Hotel (formerly the Inn at the Ballpark) Monday, November 11, 2013, to hear Mike Elias, Director of Scouting for the Houston Astros, tell us about his well-defined and well-executed career path to his present position at age 31.

Thanks to his Yale education, an internship with the Phillies (where he met his mentor Tom House) while recovering from arm injuries, and the realization that he was not good enough to pitch beyond the Ivy League, Mike devoted his engeries to learning pitching mechanics and spotting baseball talent. Hired by St. Louis, he quickly progressed through their organization as a scout, area cross checker and assistant scouting director working directly for Jeff Luhnow. Mike wears his success well as demonstrated by the hardware on his ring finger. It is no wonder Jeff brought Mike with him to the Astros where they have a plan to enjoy equal success. Thanks to Jim Kreuz for inviting Mike to our meeting.

Also on the program was Ira Liebman, voice of the Sugar Land Skeeters, who brought us up to date on the team’s outstanding 2013 accomplishments and plans for 2014. Tony Cavender made another excellent book report, this time on American Pastimes which includes columns by Red Smith, and Bob Dorrill led the group in a discussion on who might be elected to the Hall of Fame next month by the Veterans Committee. It was the consensus, as expected, that Messrs. Cox, La Russa and Torre should do well.

Mike Vance prepared a “college level” trivia contest focused primarily on the Red Sox and Cardinals with Bill McCurdy once again providing the most correct answers. Tom White and Tony Cavender were not far behind. Trivia and door prizes were furnished by Ira Liebman and Greg Lucas.

And not to be outdone, Larry Miggins told a few yarns about his experiences with Honus Wagner while Larry was attending the University of Pittsburgh.

We don’t have a firm date for our December meeting but will advise as soon as it is determined.

Please join us at our regular monthly meetings. There is always something for everyone and from time to time, a few surprises.

— Bob Dorrill