Six Hornsby Chapter members met at the County Line by the Lake for a Saturday afternoon lunch and to talk baseball. A wide range of topics were discussed including the Astros' slow start, the PED suspension of Marlins' second baseman Dee Gordon as well as the pros/cons of some of the Sabermetric statistics, in particular WAR.
Jim Baker, the proprietor of the Predictaron, conducted a drawing to determine the membership in the "Raeanne Martinez" and "Michael Bass" divisions for the purposes of the contest.
Watch this space for an announcement on the date/location for the May meeting and mark you calendars for June 25 when we have our first chapter outing of the season to the Dell Diamond for the Express vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
Ten chapter members gathered in southwest Austin on Saturday to discuss a wide range of baseball topics – from the Chisox brouhaha involving Adam LaRoche to Goose Gossage’s recent comments about sabermetrics and bat flipping.
Also, Bill Gilbert gave an update and shared impressive statistics from his grandson, Caleb Gilbert, a freshman right-handed reliever for Louisiana State University.
The group also discussed the new slide rules implemented last month, spurred in part by Chase Utley’s leg-breaking slide in last year’s National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets.
Gilbert and Raeanne Martinez shared that they’ll be in St. Petersburg in June for a journalism teaching workshop. Coincidentally, the Rays will host the Houston Astros that weekend, so one can be sure that the Martinezes will catch a game or two.
The chapter is planning an outing to the Dell Diamond in June to see the Round Rock Express; more details to come.
Meanwhile, the next chapter meeting will be at County Line on the Lake (2222 and 360) on Saturday, April 30. More details as we get closer to the date.
Fifteen SABR Rogers Hornsby Chapter members and family met at Hoover's in east Austin, Texas, on Saturday, February 20, 2016, for our monthly meeting.
With Spring Training upon us, everyone is looking forward to the rapidly approaching baseball season. A few topics of discussion included:
Astros' reliever/closer controversy precipitated by recent published comments from Luke Gregerson.
The possibility of Ichiro Suzuki reaching the 3000 hit plateau this season. He currently has 2935 MLB hits.
Barry Bonds' appearance at Miami Marlins spring training as hitting coach.
Monte Cely's recent trip to la Serie del Caribe - the Caribbean World Series - in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Monte presented a quiz on the Series and Dominican Beisbol. You can take the quiz here. Jim Baker took the grand prize, a Dominican national team ball cap, with a near-perfect score of 19 out-of-20.
Our next chapter meeting will be Saturday, March 19 at 12:30pm at Serranos-Mopac in South Austin, 5030 Highway 290 West, Austin, TX 78735 (near intersection of MoPac & 290). More details will be forthcoming.
Seven chapter members joined SABR members across the nation and around the world to recognize SABR Day on Saturday, Jan. 30.
We talked about the Astros’ recent pickup of Doug Fister, weighing the pros (proven record with the Tigers and Nationals) and the cons (struggled last season when he was demoted to the Nats’ bullpen). Fister has incentive to do well in this one-year contract, but if he doesn’t, the Astros still have other options at starting pitching.
Meanwhile, Jim Baker, Predictatron impresario, shared that he wasn’t surprised when the winter meeting predicted the Astros to win the World Series later this year. He said he figured this would happen because of the many Astros fans in the group. Jan Larson added that the Astros have improved enough as a team that the prediction shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whatever happens, the humble author of this summary hopes we’re right!
Thirty-nine members and guests enjoyed a full day of baseball discussions – including a presentation about Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, reviews and previews of the upcoming season for the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers and a historical review of baseball players in Central and West Texas – at the 10th Annual Winter Meeting of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research on Saturday, Jan. 9, at Texas State University.
Evan Drellich (pictured below), Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, shared his views in covering the team the last three years, including an inside look at the Astros clubhouse through the highs and lows of the surprise season in 2015.
Mike Capps (pictured below), the voice of the Round Rock Express, gave his assessment of the farm system for the Rangers.
Kathleen Sullivan (pictured below), coordinator of the Honors Academy at Richland College in Dallas and author of “Our White Boy” with Jerry Craft, shared stories from her book about Craft, who was a Jacksboro rancher and the first white man to play baseball in the semi-professional West Texas Colored League during the summers of 1959 and 1960.
Eric Robinson (pictured below), educator and writer living in Denton, discussed his research about black baseball players in Texas, with a focus on the central part of the state, including Waco, Austin and San Marcos.
C. Paul Rogers III (pictured below), former dean of the SMU Law School and author of two books with Robin Roberts, told of interviewing and spending time with his childhood baseball idol. Rogers is also the president of the Ernie Banks-Bobby Bragan DFW Chapter of SABR.
Jim Kenton (pictured below), Hornsby Chapter member, gave an update about the very successful first year of BasebALZ, a partnership with the Central Texas Alzheimer’s Association that uses baseball memories as part of a reminiscence therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. Kenton said that a second season is planned for this year and hopes that other SABR chapters follow our lead in implementing this popular and meaningful form of therapy.
For the second year, Jan Larson organized the Hall of Fame vote by the meeting participants. Last year, the group elected only Ken Griffey Jr. to the Hall, with Mike Piazza coming one vote short of election by our group. With the 2016 Hall vote fresh in our minds, the group on Saturday elected two players to the Class of 2017: Jeff Bagwell (94.3 percent) and Ivan Rodriguez (77.1 percent). Tim Raines just missed election in his last year on our ballot with 74.3 percent. Other notable vote totals include Trevor Hoffman and Edgar Martinez (both with 57.1 percent), Roger Clemens (54.3 percent) and Barry Bonds (51.4 percent). Jan Larson and Raeanne Martinez are shown below compiling the results.
Jim Baker, coordinator of Predictatron, led the group in creating a Hornsby Predict-O-Rama ballot for the 2016 baseball season. In just 25 minutes, Baker assembled predictions in each of the divisions by polling the group via applause and shows-of-hands. As a result, this group ballot predicted the Houston Astros and the Toronto Blue Jays battling in the American League Championship Series and the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants clashing in the National League Championship Series. We predicted the Astros versus the Giants in the World Series, with the Astros winning it all, one year ahead of the predicted Sports Illustrated magazine cover prediction. Are we going to be right? Only time will tell.
We also had two excellent trivia quizzes. Former SABR board member Norman Macht sent a presidential quiz involving names of presidents and baseball players. You can try that quiz by clicking here.
Also, Ryan Pollack, who coordinated this year’s winter meeting, had a sabermetric-centric trivia quiz involving the 2015 season in which each team was the correct answer for one of the 30 questions. Jeremy Schmidt won the quiz with 21 correct answers and took home a Yogi Berra bobblehead. You can try that quiz by clicking here.
Speaking of Jeremy Schmidt, for the second consecutive year, he brought baseball cards as door prizes to raffle off at the end of the meeting. Jim Baker, Mike McNulty and Ira Siegel were the winners of the cards, which were of Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ozzie Smith. Many thanks to Jeremy for his generosity.
Also, many thanks to Raeanne Martinez for coordinating with Which Wich to ensure that box lunches were delivered to our meeting in historic Old Main.
Looking forward, our next get-together will be to recognize the 7th Annual SABR Day on Saturday, Jan. 30. More details to come. Many thanks to everyone who participated in this year's winter meeting! Hope to see you next year!