Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 11/16/2020

SABR’s Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston met via Zoom once again on Monday, November 16, 2020, with 34 members participating. Chair Bob Dorrill welcomed everyone and noted that submissions for the third edition of our newsletter are due in January. Zoom-master Joe Thompson offered five survey questions about the hometown team. The results would be reviewed later in the meeting.

The first speaker, Mike Vance, presented a very engaging talk on “Race after Jackie.” His substantial research provided information on several Black players who entered the major leagues in the late 40s and early 50s. Mike recounted the challenges faced by these brave men and cited several specific examples. He also covered how racial issues impacted the minor leagues and other smaller, regional leagues, particularly those in the South. The questions and observations of those attending showed a great interest in this topic.

Survey results were reviewed as attendees offered opinions and comments on Astros issues, past and present.

Our second speaker, Paul Rogers, spoke about his boyhood idol, Robin Roberts. While following the Hall of Famer’s career from his glory days in Philadelphia, through his playing time in Houston, and to his final playing days in St. Louis, Paul was a faithful fan. That all paid off when Roberts agreed to work with Paul to write a book about “The Whiz Kids” and later to co-write his biography with Paul. According to the latter, Roberts had a great memory and could recount many amusing and/or insightful stories. In sharing some of those stories with us, Paul brought back some fond recollections among the listeners.

Mark Wernick presented a Trivia Quiz that was a potpourri of topics, with 16 challenging questions, most of which required multiple answers. Maxwell Kates emerged the victor of this contest and will present the next Trivia Quiz.

Our next meeting will be held on December 14, a week earlier than usual due to the approaching holiday season, with Jerry Amernic as our guest speaker.

— Marsha Franty