Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 12/19/2016

On Monday night, December 19, in spite of very cool temperatures (for us anyway) and Christmas Week activities, 30-plus members attended our final Larry Dierker Chapter meeting for 2016. It was a good one, at our usual meeting place, the Spaghetti Western restaurant on Shepherd Drive.
We welcomed Gloria Rubac and her daughter to SABR and were very happy to have Jo Russell back with us after a trip to the DL.
Greg Lucas led a spirited discussion on analytics vs analysis and how player performance numbers have changed over the years. As a retired television host and broadcaster, Greg recognizes the importance of establishing guidelines to judge a players ability versus his competitors but Greg feels some of the new metrics go far beyond what is needed. Lots of lively discussion both pro and con.
Tony Cavender presented one of his wonderful book reports that we have become accustomed to. This one was on Roger Angell’s book “This Old Man” which is a composite of his favorite baseball memories and players.
Batting third and knocking the ball out of the park was Tal Smith, who talked about the Baseball Hall of Fame and the election of additional players next month. Tal firmly believes that a player is a Hall of Famer or he is not. To that end the members were asked to vote on each player on this year’s ballot. It should be no surprise that 3 people received over 75% of the votes and all 3 have Houston Astros connections. No one else came close.
Our cleanup hitter was our friend and retired Houston Astros broadcaster Bill Brown. Bill has written a terrific book entitled “Breathing Orange Fire: Jose Altuve,” which is like a diary of the Astros’ 2016 season with emphasis on Jose. A great read and Bill was swamped with requests for autographed copies. Bill has pledged all profits from the book will go to SABR.
Tony Cavender write the trivia contest based on the year 1952, which was won by Greg Lucas. One of the questions was based on our own Larry Miggins. The prize for the winner was a 1977 New York Yankees World Series ring furnished by Dick Bily. 
And if that wasn’t enough, Santa Claus brought a gift for all attendees.
A couple of dates to remember in 2017:
– January 14th: The all-day Rogers Hornsby Chapter Annual Meeting at Texas State. Click here for details.
– January 16th: Our next monthly session at Spaghetti Western.
– January 21st: The Houston Astros FanFest and our SABR Day celebration.
See you all next year.
— Bob Dorrill