On Monday, June 15, 2020, 45 members of Houston’s Larry Dierker Chapter joined in their third Zoom meeting. Chair Bob Dorrill noted that we have 14 new members and 25 of our members live outside of Texas. Credit for much of our member growth can be attributed to the social media presence developed by member Joe Thompson.
The evening’s featured guest was Mike Stanton, who had a 19-year career as a pitcher in Major League Baseball and who now works as one of the Astros broadcasters. Mike is second in MLB history for games pitched with 1,178 and he participated in 6 World Series. Mike recounted many interesting and fun anecdotes of his time with a variety of teams as a relief pitcher. As the result of a coin flip, he did start one game in the majors, pitching four scoreless innings! While his idol was Nolan Ryan, he offered a few comments about his time with the New York Yankees, noting particularly the fun of encountering Yankees legends (Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, and others) at spring training gatherings.
Many members participated by asking questions on a wide variety of topics ranging from the likely impacts of projected rule changes, the use of pine tar, his move to the broadcast booth, the effects of 2020 draft changes, and of course the current stalemate between the owners and the players’ union over the possible resumption of play. This last topic drew much interest. Tal Smith and Greg Lucas contributed thoughts on how this situation might evolve, including the possibility of lengthy legal battles. A significant factor to bear in mind is the role of the egos involved and the determination of each side to emerge “a winner.”
We all look forward to having Mike, who was so generous with his time and so enthusiastic a participant, back with us again.
Efforts to develop a Chapter Newsletter are proceeding under the leadership of Tony Cavender and with the support of several members. A name and an outline for the newsletter’s structure are being established and content is being recruited and offered.
Mike McCroskey presented a trivia quiz based on records related to relief pitchers, including guest of honor Mike Stanton. The quiz, which used a rather unique multiple choice format for each question, was won by Scott Barzilla.
Our next meeting will be on Monday, July 20, and will most likely be a Zoom meeting once again. D.B. Firstman, the author of the book Hall of Name: Baseball’s Most Magnificent Monikers, is scheduled to speak.
(The June 15 meeting was recorded and information on when it will be available for viewing online will be posted soon.)
— Marsha Franty