Larry Dierker Chapter meeting recap – 9/20/2021

On Monday, September 20, 2021, the Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston, Texas, held its second hybrid meeting, with some members attending in person while others joined on Zoom.

Chair Bob Dorrill opened the gathering by introducing two new members: Carl Owens and Christian Smith.

The featured speaker of the evening was Clayton Trutor, a history professor and dedicated SABR member and chapter leader.  He spoke about his forthcoming book, Loserville: How Professional Sports Remade Atlanta and How Atlanta Remade Professional Sports. His extensive research recounts the pursuit of professional sports during the 1960s and 1970s. Multiple factors (economic, political, social, demographic, and cultural) came into play as Atlanta became home to all four major sports. Early on, other cities followed suit, but the bubble burst a decade later when local journalist Lewis Grizzard coined the term “Loserville” to describe the state of professional sports performance and attendance.  Trutor examines the relevant causes (owners, demographics, et al.) that brought about both the rise and the fall of Atlanta’s initial foray into this area.  As we know, the tide turned and Atlanta’s professional sports teams have become quite successful since those low points.  Trutor’s book is due to be published in February by the University of Nebraska Press; in the meantime, it is available for pre-order at the usual sites.

The next item on the agenda was a book exchange which allowed those in attendance to select some new titles for their collections.

The trivia quiz was presented by Tal Smith.  Its theme was World Series facts and Tal divided his intriguing twenty questions into four categories: general history, managers, pitchers, and players.  The contest resulted in a tie between Mike McCroskey and Fred Rodgers.  Mike ceded the victory to Fred, who will present the next quiz.

The date of the October meeting will depend on the playoff schedule.

— Marsha Franty