Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap: July 14, 2014
By Bill McCurdy
Wisdom and love flows through his ancient being as if it were the technicolor stream of all life-blood currents, but, when Larry Dierker SABR Chapter chair Bob Dorrill introduced the diminutive veteran of the Negro Leagues to the large crowd that was privileged to hear him speak this unforgettable night, few of us knew what to expect. All most us knew was that his name was Raymon Lacy – and most us were spelling “Raymon” as though it had the expected “d” at its end. – It did not.
Once handed the mike at the special meeting area we occupied at the Spaghetti Western Cafe on Shepherd Drive, however, the whole room quickly focused entirely upon the small and stoic face that now now took the conductor’s role as to where the mind and soul will travel when we listeners pay close notice to the words a speaker chooses to make his points.
“My brother and I were born in the country near Tyler, Texas,” Lacy said, “and we were raised by a mother who worked like a convict to keep us fed and on the right path until we finished high school.”
Lacy loved baseball from way before the time he and his brother could afford any real equipment.
“We used broomsticks and the like for bats and shucked corn to throw as balls,” Lacy explained. With a barn as our backstop, we took turns pitching and batting. Sometimes we even threw bottle caps because of the swerves they made in the air. It was good preparation for me. By the time I’m hitting against real curve balls, those real pitchers weren’t fooling me. Those bottle caps were a lot harder to hit.”
The details of Lacy’s long and winding road covered more ground than this single pair of ears could retain, but it wasn’t simply the facts of this man’s journey that jumped off the page at us. By the words this man chose, one could almost count and name the stones on the path of this man’s life travels. It was the path of a committed seeker. It was the wisdom that this man had accumulated in his nearly 92 years that still spoke clearly from his aged frame. And once he had finished talking, he moved in almost school teacher fashion to a “next question” searchlight focus on what the crowd wanted to ask of him.
Along the way, Raymon Lacy also earned two college degrees that lifted him down the main line of his career activity beyond baseball as a teacher, principal, coach, and school board member.
In addition to making the Raymon Lacy presentation possible, chair Bob Dorrill also led us through a successful process of filling in many of the critical work assignments with new volunteers to the SABR 44 Plan for the SABR National Convention that is coming to Houston from July 30 through August 03.
To read more and view photos from Monday’s SABR meeting, click here.