Early in August, Tal Smith generously donated over sixteen boxes of books from his personal collection to the chapter. Mike McCroskey brought two of the sixteen boxes to this month’s meeting. Before the meeting began, President Joe Thompson announced that all in attendance could go through the boxes and pick out the books that they wanted. It was announced that in the coming months, more boxes will be brought to each meeting so chapter members can pick out the books that they want. The chapter would like to thank Tal Smith for his generous donation to the chapter and all he has done for the chapter over the years.
An energetic group of thirty-seven (37) chapter members and guests gathered in person on September 25, 2023, at the Spaghetti Western Italian Restaurant and via Zoom for the September 25 chapter meeting. President Joe Thompson welcomed all members and guests to the meeting. After welcoming everyone and making a few chapter announcements including reminding all that the most recent edition of the chapter newsletter was now available for all to read, Joe welcomed the main speaker of the evening.
On Sunday, September 24, the chapter hosted a surprise 90th birthday party for Tal Smith at the Table at Madeley in Conroe, TX. Tal was surprised when he walked into the establishment and saw everyone who was there. Members of Tal’s immediate family, including Randy Smith, and several chapter members and their families were there. Included in the crowd were several former Astros players and their families including Larry Dierker, Terry Puhl, Scipio Spinks, and Craig Reynolds. The chapter would like to thank Mike McCroskey for putting this event together and to everyone involved for keeping the birthday surprise a secret. Chapter member and KHOU anchor Jason Bristol filmed parts of the event. A report of the event was shown on KHOU later that night.
The featured speakers were Brett Chancey and Eric Huysman of the “Locked on Astros” podcast. Their thirty-minute podcast is available on your favorite platform for podcasts. Some that were mentioned were Facebook, and Spotify, and can also be subscribed to on YouTube. The podcast includes a daily look into the Astros, along with player interviews. Brett and Eric have been working together on the podcast since the 2020 season. The “Locked on Astros” podcast is one of the most popular Astros podcasts around. In 2020, the podcast had over 100,000 downloads. In 2022, the podcast had over 1.3 million downloads. To date in 2023, the podcast had already had 1.15 million downloads. Some interviews that Brett and Eric mentioned were with Alex Bregman and Yanier Diaz. Their goals through their podcast are to educate, entertain, and divert. Brett and Eric mentioned that they have really enjoyed interacting with Astros fans.
Greg Moore was the next speaker of the evening. He gave a thorough book review on Evan Drellich’s “Winning Fixes Everything.” The book digs into the cheating ‘scandal’ and the behind-the-scenes of the Houston Astros personnel conflicts. Greg mentioned that the book featured a lot of unnamed resources. Greg also mentioned that Drellich suggests that other teams such as the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and others also had their own systems of cheating.
The baseball trivia winner for this month was John Lloyd who will prepare the contest for next month.
The next chapter meeting will be held on Monday, October 16. It will be either an Astros playoff watch party or a discussion of memories of 1963-1964 for a new project that Bill Brown is participating in. Bill spoke of the project and invited all who would like to participate to please come to the October 16 meeting. It will be an exciting meeting/watch party next month. Do not miss it.
Be well everyone and Go Astros!
Meeting Recap prepared by Phyllis Mira, Gloria Rubac, and Joe Thompson
A recording of the September 25, 2023, chapter meeting can be found on the chapter’s YouTube page here.