Larry Dierker Chapter recap – 9/21/2011

On Tuesday, September 20, 25 SABR members of the Houston/Larry Dierker Chapter met for our regular monthly meeting at the Ragin Cajun Restaurant in Houston, first enjoying some outstanding Cajun food, followed by our session at 7 o’clock.

Bob Dorrill led a discussion on SABR activity, including chapter membership, prospective meeting locations, vintage baseball and the necessity to begin making plans for the SABR Day celebration scheduled for January 2012.

Scott Barzilla brought us up to date on the recently completed SABR convention and showed us the poster he had entered, which placed second. He thoroughly enjoyed the convention, the seminars, the visits to various ballparks in the Los Angeles area but mostly the baseball atmosphere and networking with authors he had only read about in the past.

Bill McCurdy brought everyone up to date on the fast-moving Houston baseball historical project he is chairing. Already, amazing discoveries have been found such as Houston being the site of the first night game ever played. There are 12 local SABR members involved in the research phase, including the recently added Houston icon, author Mickey Herskowitz. (For more information on the project, visit

For our first formal presentation, our chapter was privileged to be the first group to see a brand-new art history poster created by artist Randy Foltin entitled “1888-1931 Houston Baseball”. This massive poster contains 39 photographs that made up the origin of baseball as played in Houston and included photographs of long-gone ballparks like West End Park and East End Park, as well as key high school, college and Houston Buff teams. Randy spent a year-and-a-half creating, designing and producing this outstanding poster.

Next came Stan “The Man” Curtis, a local author who has written the book Covering all the Bases. Stan, who grew up in Maryland, has had a lifelong love affair with major league ballparks, starting with Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. He has now visited more than 50 stadiums and his book tells a story (with photographs) about each visit from a fan’s perspective.

We also had two trivia contests, one authored by Tom Kleinworth on “Name that Player” (won by Andy Lopez) and a second based on the Houston Astros in the 1970s prepared by Joe Thompson (won by Mike Vance). You can see we had a busy evening.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 11 at the Ragin Cajun and our featured speaker will be former St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers player Wally Moon. Please mark your calendars to attend.

— Bob Dorrill