Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 11/16/2015

By Bill McCurdy

The monthly meeting of the Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR met in Houston on Monday, November 16, 2015 at the Spaghetti Western Ristorante on Shepherd Drive.

Astros veteran play-by-play broadcaster, baseball historian and author Bill Brown entertained the members with a personal report of his years of service to the “Big Red Machine” days of the mid-1970s Cincinnati Reds.

Bill was followed by a rousing positional report from our also treasured former FOX SW broadcaster, baseball historian and author Greg Lucas on the need for simpler, more meaningful attention to stats that are both easier to grasp and more informative as to what each player actually contributed to victory. The point could easily be made in Greg’s behalf that Babe Ruth’s then record 60 HR in 1927 might have meant nothing to victory – had they hypothetically all occurred in the bottom of as many 9th inning laughter-margin run losses with non body in a futile cause.

Tony Cavender also delivered one of his always timely book reports and we concluded the meeting with a trivia quiz prepared by Greg Lucas. Tom White and Herb Whalley tied as the night’s quiz champions. Because Tom has prepared the next quiz more recently, Herb Whalley will prepare the quiz for our next meeting.

Mike McCroskey did a great job filling in for Bob Dorrill as the evening’s MC. He also led the successful presentation of a proposal we had discussed prior to the meeting. Our 19 attending members gave unanimous straw vote approval to our proposal that the second annual SABR Award to someone who represents the fulfillment of our organizational ideals and service, henceforth, shall be known as “The Bob Dorrill Distinctive Service to SABR Award.”

In the interest of keeping this column short of dissertation length, let’s just say that the man’s energy in all areas of chapter speak for themselves. Had it not been for Bob Dorrill, it’s doubtful that we would have found the mobilizing focus to research and write Houston Baseball, The Early Years: 1861-1961 (2014) nor would we have been awarded the very successful SABR National Convention in Houston that same year – and that doesn’t even include all the effort he puts into managing our SABR-soaked vintage base ball club, the Houston Babies. – The man’s a cyclone of social accomplishment – and most deserving of our recognition of him in this light.

All in all, it was another fine program, thanks to our chapter producer, Jim Kreuz.

Our next SABR meeting is set for Monday, December 7, 2015 at the Spaghetti Western Ristorante on Shepherd.

— Bill McCurdy