Eight chapter members went retro in their storytelling over barbeque in downtown Austin on Nov. 19, swapping stories about Joe DiMaggio, the annual baseball awards and game forfeitures in the last 40 years.
We also welcomed new member Keith Ordean, who ventured from Canyon Lake to join us. He grew up in Ohio and often roots for the Cincinnati Reds (though he admits to disliking the Dusty-Baker-as-manager era).
Eric Robinson, who grew up in Fort Worth, sported a sharp cap of the Fort Worth Cats of the Texas League.
As we shared memorable games we experienced either in person or by radio, Tom Wancho recalled listening to the “10-cent beer night” game between the Texas Rangers and the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Stadium in 1974. The Indians had the go-ahead run on third in the bottom of the ninth inning just before inebriated fans rushed the field and attacked Rangers players, leading to the Cleveland forfeit.
This discussion caused Jim Baker to recall other memorable game forfeitures in the 1970s, and he asked, Have there been any others since then?
Gilbert Martinez, relying on his expert memory (also know as a smart phone), found a Retrosheet page that lists details of forfeited games that go back to the 19th century. Click here for the weblink to that page.
To answer Jim’s question, we found that the most recent and only forfeited game in Major League Baseball since the 1970s was a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995. See the above weblink for more details of what must have been a wild night at Dodger Stadium.
This meeting marked the 84th consecutive month in which the Hornsby Chapter has met. More details about the December meeting will soon be forthcoming.
Ten Hornsby Chapter members and guests gathered today to celebrate Norman Macht and bid him a fond farewell before his departure to San Diego later this month.
Many in the SABR community know Norman for his past involvement as a SABR board member and as a baseball historian and author of the definitive biography of Connie Mack. In the Hornsby Chapter, we have been fortunate to have had him as an active member of our chapter since 2006. He was especially involved with our annual winter meetings in January, often contributing creative and fun trivia ice-breakers with a flair for the witty.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that Norman brought a trivia quiz for this special get-together in his honor. Active members of the Hornsby Chapter will notice a special theme of this quiz – the first and last names of the answers were inspired by the names our members! Look for Martinezes, Montes, and a guys named Larson, Cy, Dillion, Bass, Kaufmann, Baker and others. Click here to try your hand at it.
Jim Baker took top prize (a Juan Gonzalez biography) with 10 points and Bill Gilbert was runner-up, scoring 9 points.
Norman also brought two posters depicting the first pitch at Camden Yards in Baltimore on April 6, 1992. One went to one of our newest members, Ryan Pollack, a die-hard Orioles fan.
Norman also shared with us that his most memorable interview was with Ferris Fain, a back-to-back American League batting champion in 1951 and 1952 with the Philadelphia Athletics. Norman said he believes Fain has gone unappreciated.
Steve Braccini brought his signed copy of “Rowdy Richard: A Firsthand Account of the National League Baseball Wars of the 1930s and the Men Who Fought Them,” co-authored by Norman and Dick “Rowdy Richard” Bartell. Steve already had Bartell’s signature and asked Norman for his. Norman kindly obliged.
I know I speak for everyone in the chapter when I say how much we’re going to miss Norman. I’ve noted that we’ll miss Norman’s big bat in our lineup, but after seeing his author’s bio that described his aspirations to be a big league pitcher, perhaps I should be talking about how we’ll miss his big arm in our rotation.
Bat or arm, we’ll certainly miss all of Norman’s contributions to the Hornsby Chapter.
Pictured above are (front) Bill and Evelyn Gilbert, Norman Macht, Raeanne Martinez and Annette Braccini; (back) Ryan Pollack, Jim Baker, Jan Larson, Gilbert Martinez and Steve Braccini.
Hornsby Chapter member Jim Baker hosted his annual World Series watch party on Saturday, October 26. A group of nine members and guests enjoyed sausage and meatball subs and then enjoyed Game Three of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals won by a score of 5-4 in a game that will likely be remembered for years to come for the way the winning run scored - on an obstruction call at third base - in the bottom of the ninth inning. The win gave St. Louis a two games to one lead in the Series.
A dozen Hornsby Chapter members enjoyed conversations about the playoff picture and the brief but heavy rainfall in downtown Austin while munching on Iron Works BBQ on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Topics of discussion included the fine season of the Boston Red Sox, the recent swoon by the Texas Rangers and the National League West Champs Los Angeles Dodgers, who clinched during our meeting.
Gilbert Martinez brought a quiz that challenged members to name, by position, the all-time winningest managers who also had Major League Baseball playing experience. Tom Thayer paced the group with a total score of 20 points (out of a maximum 36 points). For his fine performance, he won a J.R. Richard bobblehead. Try your hand at the quiz by clicking here.
We also scheduled the next meeting of the Hornsby Chapter – it will be at Jim Baker’s house in Cedar Park to watch Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday, Oct. 26. More details to come.
Pictured above: George Springer of the Oklahoma City RedHawks belts a double in the first inning against the Round Rock Express on Saturday, Aug. 24. (Photos by Gilbert D. Martinez)
Ten chapter members and guests gathered at the Dell Diamond for the Round Rock Express’s penultimate home game of the season on Saturday, Aug. 24, and saw the hometown nine drop one to their league rivals, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 6-3.
A few of the Astros fans in the group were eager to see top prospects George Springer and Jon Singleton, and they did not disappoint. With 37 home runs and 41 steals combined in play with the Corpus Christi Hooks and the RedHawks this season, Springer stretched what should have been a single into a double in the first and later in the game picked up his 42nd steal of the year. He’s trying to become the first minor leaguer to hit at least 40 home runs and steal 40 bases since the 1950s.
Jon Singleton, among the players acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies for Hunter Pence in 2011, has been closely watched this year in the Astros’ farm system. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI. In addition to Singleton, the Astros also acquired pitcher Jarred Cosart from the Phillies for Pence; Cosart was called up last month and has pitched well thus far for the Astros.
Midway through the game, a few of us visited with Mike Capps (pictured below), director of broadcasting for the Express, and his booth partner, former major leaguer Travis Driskill. Many thanks to them for sharing their vantage point during the 5th and 6th innings.
Prior to the game, many in the group enjoyed a barbeque dinner at the Salt Lick.
Pictured below: Mike Capps calls it as he sees it in the Round Rock Express radio booth at the Dell Diamond on Saturday, Aug. 24.