Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 6/19/2017

We had a great turnout of 41 SABR members and friends on Monday, June 19, 2017, for our Larry Dierker Chapter meeting in Houston. Thanks to all who came, including new member Bob Andrews plus Bob McCann and Phyllis Mira who agreed to join our group.

We had a number of highlights, including a terrific talk from Wayne Chandler about his lifetime love of baseball and his unique experience working with Judge Hofheinz in public relations and implementing many of the cartoons shown on the famous Astrodome scoreboard.

Next came Chris Chestnut with another of his wonderful statistical analysis presentations, this time on the very few games where game-winning home runs were hit when no other runners reached second base. As I recall, this has happened fewer than the number of perfect games or hitting for the cycle.

Mike Acosta hit a grand slam when he made a special presentation to Tal Smith that included a shadowbox of items related to what was once “Tal’s Hill” in Minute Maid Park. Mike followed up with comments on the proposed Houston Astros Hall of Fame and then discussed plans and timelines for the start of construction on the Astrodome to make it a multi-purpose building.

Bill McCurdy also made a special presentation to Tal Smith, commemorating Tal’s time at Duke University, and then he presented Larry Dierker with an original cartoon drawn by Bill’s brother.

Larry asked for time to address our chapter and provided some heartfelt remarks about his career and what he thought was really important to the game of baseball, especially the impact and importance of fans on the game.

There is no meeting scheduled for July but we meet again on Saturday, August 19 at Minute Maid Park. We have secured 40 tickets for the game following our meeting, which cost $44 and they are selling fast. If you plan to join us, please send your check made out to the “Houston Astros” to Tom Plemons, 16011 Mill Point Drive, Houston, TX 77059. First come, first served.

If you already have tickets and plan to attend the meeting, please let us know immediately as the Board Room only seats 60 and we don’t want anyone to be disappointed.

— Bob Dorrill