Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 1/17/2022

SABR’s Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston opened 2022 with its first monthly meeting of the year on Monday, January 17. New Chapter President Joe Thompson recognized President Emeritus Bob Dorrill for his many years of dedication to building our chapter to its current status. Joe was joined by member Bob McCann in presenting Bob with a custom print honoring his eighteen years of leadership.

The hybrid meeting was attended by 23 in-person members and 19 members attending online via Zoom.

Member and retired Houston Astros broadcaster Bill Brown introduced the evening’s featured speaker, Robert Ford. Robert recounted his early interest in baseball, his time at the Syracuse University School of Journalism, and the teams for which he has worked. As a play-by-play man, his goal is to “paint a picture” of the game as it unfolds. He has been with the Astros since 2013 and is widely respected.

Mike McCroskey, the Chair of Special Projects, reported that he is making progress in attempting to organize a regional vintage baseball event. Hopefully, this would draw attention to SABR in our area.

Another guest, Nick Thornberg, summarized his development as a baseball player from high school in the Dallas area, to UTSA, to a rookie contract with the White Sox. He is ready for spring training and grateful to Mike McCroskey for his advice and guidance.

Our third presentation was offered by Bill Brown, Mike Acosta, and Phil Boudreaux who described the role each played in the writing of their recently published book, Houston Astros’ Golden Era. Proceeds from the book, which is available from Amazon, benefit the Houston Food Bank.

Newsletter editor Tony Cavender announced that the next issue will be released in early February. Submissions for the spring edition are requested.

President Joe Thompson asked for suggestions on how we might celebrate SABR Day on 5 February. Local conditions will determine if it will be an in-person event or a hybrid gathering. Tony Cavender presented a trivia contest which was won by Mike McCroskey.

In closing, Joe announced that SABR is offering a course on analytics and that Tal Smith’s excellent presentation at the Bill Gilbert Memorial Winter Meeting (Rogers Hornsby Chapter, January 8) is available on YouTube.

The next regular meeting will be on Monday, February 21, and will feature Dan Walsh speaking about baseball as depicted on postage stamps.

— Marsha Franty