Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 12/13/2011

On December 13, 2011, a large crowd of 36 members and friends in the Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter gathered at the Ragin Cajun Restaurant, 4302 Richmond Ave. in Houston, Texas, to hear former Houston Astros player and current Astros broadcaster Jim Deshaies talk about his 25 years in major league baseball. Jim arrived a little early in order to be interviewed by a young girl in attendance who is writing a paper for her school on why left-handed pitchers appear to have more success in getting left-handed hitters out than right-handed pitchers. Leslie promised to provide us with a copy of the finished product. She would make a great SABR member.

Jim delighted those present with numerous stories about his playing career, starting with his debut with the Yankees in 1984 (I need a uniform) to the magical season of 1986 and finally to the time when his pitching skills started to erode and what he did to try to extend his career. Jim also discussed how he got into broadcasting and told an amazing story about pitcher Mark Portugal, pitching coach Bob Cluck and fireworks in Cincinnati. He closed by reading his adaption of the poem “Casey at the Bat”. Good stuff.

Chris Chestnut follolwed with a paper on “Popping Out For the Cycle” based on remarks made by Mr. Deshaies during the season. Other discussions centered on the recently conducted Larry Dierker Roast, 2012 Hall of Fame candidates, and an update on the Houston Baseball History Project by Bill McCurdy.

Jo Russell advised that the Houston Baseball Dinner date has been changed to Friday, February 10, and we were advisied this morning that the Astros’ Fan Fest will now follow on February 11.

The trivia contest penned by Mike McCroskey was won by who else but Tom White.

We were saddened to learn that the father of SABR member Dave Raymond passed away the same day as our meeting.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 10 at the Ragin Cajun.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

— Bob Dorrill