Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 2/19/2024

The first Larry Dierker Chapter in-person meeting of 2024 was a great time for all in attendance.  On Monday, February 19, 2024, at the Spaghetti Western Italian Restaurant, thirty-five chapter members and guests met in-person or via Zoom for the February Larry Dierker SABR chapter meeting.  Chapter President Joe Thompson welcomed the nine new members for the month and the four guests in attendance.  

For those who were not able to attend our February 19 chapter meeting, a recording can be found on the chapter’s YouTube page here:

The chapter had a very busy month since the previous meeting.  Several chapter members worked the chapter booth at Astros FanFest.  During FanFest, the chapter held a drawing for a Larry Dierker signed ball.  Joe announced that Carter Pena had won the ball.  Joe also spoke about the chapter’s SABR day event which was held at Jax Grill on February 10.  Twenty-seven people gathered to hear Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart talk about the team.  The video of the event is on the chapter’s YouTube channel.

Joe mentioned that registration for SABR 52 in Minneapolis is now available at  The event will be held from August 7 – 11, 2024 at the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis.  Some of the guests scheduled to speak at the convention include Twins legends Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Bert Blyleven, and Jim Kaat.  The chapter also plans to continue its tradition of a get-together dinner at the convention.  

The main speaker for the evening was chapter member Phil Boudreaux who gave an informative history of baseball’s media deals from the earliest broadcasts to the present day including over-the-air broadcasts of games, regional sports channels, and a new age of streaming of games online. Boudreaux works behind the scenes as the statistician for Astros telecasts. For nearly every Astros home game in his 40 years, Boudreaux assisted many Astros broadcasters, including the current team of Todd Kalas and Geoff Blum. He also worked with former broadcasters Bill Brown, Jim Deshaies, Larry Dierker, Milo Hamilton and Gene Elston. Boudreaux will be inducted into the Houston Baseball Wall of Honor in April at a pregame ceremony on the field.

Boudreaux explained that broadcasting started over 100 years ago with radio, then came television. He worked over 3,000 Astros games for the various television broadcasters over the years, but he started in radio. TV used to be only the MLB game of the week and then the World Series.  In the late 1960s, the Astros started broadcasting one game on Sunday afternoons. He went through the history of broadcasting from regular TV to satellites being used, to cable TV. The presentation concluded with a discussion of new agreements with companies like Amazon taking over the broadcasting rights on one-year agreements for a few MLB teams including the Royals and Rays.

Gloria Rubac gave a book report on Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp about a young girl who could play baseball but had to fight the boys to let her play. The book is recommended for kids 8 to 18 years old.

Fred Soland gave the trivia contest for the month.  The contest focused on baseball players’ nicknames. Some were fairly easy, and others were really hard but there were a couple that were noted if you didn’t know them, you’d be disqualified and asked to leave! That was because the answers were Astros players. Also, who knew that Babe Ruth had 19 nicknames?  Phil Boudreaux won the trivia contest this month and will present the trivia contest for us at our next meeting in March!

The next chapter member will be held on March 18.  Chapter President Joe Thompson will not run the meeting next month because he will have just returned from a faculty-led learning abroad trip to Athens, Greece the previous day.  In his place, President Emeritus Bob Dorrill will run the chapter meeting.  Chapter member Matthew Rejmaniak will talk about the Houston race riot of 1917 and Negro league baseball player Roy Tyler.  Also, the chapter is working on scheduling a very special guest to speak with the group.  

Don’t miss next month’s meeting!

Chapter Notes Provided By Chapter Secretary Gloria Rubac