Eight members of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter, including San Antonio member Cy Morong who made the trip north, gathered at Iron Works BBQ in downtown Austin on the evening of December 16 to discuss baseball in general and the active 2014 off-season in particular. The group was also treated to holiday cookies provided by Monte Cely.
Discussion topics included the recent signings and deals by the Red Sox, White Sox and Dodgers among others, the possible role for A-Rod with the Yankees and the upcoming Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting. As sometimes happens at these types of gatherings, the conversation took an unexpected turn which resulted in substantive discussion of the career of Ted Williams.
Dan Walsh, one of the chapter's most prolific authors of triva quizzes, presented a quiz on the 2014 season. Jan Larson was the winner and took home a major award.
The next time chapter members gather will be at much anticipated Ninth Annual Winter Meeting on Saturday, January 10 at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX.
Nine chapter members met Thursday, November 18 at Iron Works BBQ in downtown Austin. Off-season discussion topics were wide ranging, including current trade and free-agent market activity, the recently completed playoffs and World Series, the Cy Young voting, and the Astros' new TV contract to appear locally on AT&T u-Verse via ROOT Sports.
Mike Dillon posed a quiz topic that we worked on as a group -- With Albert Pujols recently joining the 500-home run club, could we name all the previous 500 home run hitters? There are now 26 players who have hit at least 500 career home runs. See how many you can name.
Monte Cely covered the status of the 2015 Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting agenda. Wally Moon, 1954 NL Rookie of the Year, and Alyson Footer, MLB network national correspondent, will be our two headliners. The upcoming Winter Meeting will be held Saturday, January 10, 2015 at Texas State University. More details will be forthcoming.
Our next chapter meeting will be Tuesday, December 16 at 6pm back at Iron Works BBQ. A reminder and call for rsvp's will be emailed to chapter members as that date approaches.
A small group of hearty Hornsby members traveled to the northwestern lands of Cedar Park to watch the San Francisco Giants get even with the Kansas City Royals in Game 4 of the 2014 World Series.
Fueled by delicious cheeseburger sliders, cookies and brownies by host Jim Baker along with a mayonnaise-less cole slaw by Raeanne Martinez, five members provided our own commentary to much of the game, which the Giants won 11-4 after trailing early 4-1.
While there was no official World Series trivia quiz, there was plenty of chatter on social media to challenge us. After Giants reliever Yusmeiro Petit (he of the robust .049 batting average) hit a bloop single in the 4th inning, the television broadcast noted that that was the first hit by a reliever in a World Series since Al Leiter did it in Game 4 in 1993 in which the Blue Jays outlasted the Phillies, 15-14.
Jayson Stark of ESPN noted on Twitter the name of the last National League reliever to get a hit in the World Series, so I proffered it as a question. After a few seconds of cranial gear-turning, Ryan Pollack offered, “Jesse Orosco?” Resident Mets fan and expert Jim Baker scoffed and said Orosco was a horrible hitter and couldn’t have been the correct answer, but, of course, it was! Orosco got a hit in Game 7 in 1986! (Later, Raeanne Martinez found Orosco’s career batting average, .169, confirming Baker’s suspicion.)
Speaking of Ryan Pollack, he noted that his first Hornsby Chapter meeting was the year before at the group’s World Series Watch Party. Also, Ryan got married a few weeks after SABR 44 in Houston and watched the stars align to attend ALCS Game 1 in Baltimore – it’s been quite a year for him! (You can read about Ryan’s Game 1 experience by clicking here.)
There was also an update on recently moved-away Eric Robinson, whom we had last heard had moved to West Texas seeking fame and fortune. Raeanne Martinez bumped into him at a book festival in Midland two weeks ago. Eric shared with Raeanne that he met Jim Morris, the relief pitcher who made his MLB debut at age 35 with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999.
Many thanks to Jim Baker for hosting the World Series Watch Party for the fourth consecutive year. As I have always found, watching baseball with my knowledgeable Hornsby pals is the best way to watch baseball.
This was the 95th consecutive month in which the Hornsby Chapter has met.
The November meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet, but we’ll announce the date as we get closer.
(Note: Giants vs. Royals graphic illustration by Jim Baker)
Eleven chapter members and guests met for barbeque in downtown Austin, chatting about teams fighting for playoff spots in the final week of the regular season.
Jan Larson and Gilbert Martinez shared some stories about the last two Astros home games over the weekend. Martinez also did his best to discount the rumor that he fathered Astros phenom Jose Altuve. No one knows for sure, but the rumor appears to have started in West Texas earlier this week.
Baseball conversations focused on some of the favorite teams of the members in attendance. Ryan Pollack is encouraged by the play of his Baltimore Orioles, despite losing some key players to injury and suspension. The key down the stretch, he said, has been pitching and defense, but Pollack noted that the O’s have also benefited from the down years by the Rays and Red Sox.
Dan Walsh said he feels good about his Los Angeles Dodgers winning the NL West.
Mike McNulty and others wondered if the Boston Red Sox will rebound next season. We talked about ESPN writer Jayson Stark’s recent column that posed this question, “Has there ever been a team that lost 111 games or more one year and then won more games than the defending World Series champs the next?” The short answer is no, and, according to Stark, it’s not even close. But, going into games on Tuesday, the Houston Astros had one more win (69) than the Red Sox and was even in losses.
The New York Yankees fans in attendance – Jan Larson and Michael Hammond – both think that their team needs a lot of help if Derek Jeter’s final season is to be extended.
Speaking of Jeter, Larson has plans to be at Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 25. Of greater interest to Martinez (and perhaps few others), Larson will also be at the Astros-Mets game at Citi Field the next night.
Another topic of discussion included the overall improvement by the Astros this season, but some expressed worry about the team’s missteps this season – such as the failure to sign their No. 1 draft pick and two others, and the firing of manager Bo Porter.
The chapter will next meet on Saturday, Oct. 25, for Game 4 of the World Series. As we have done in recent years, we’ll gather for a watch party at the Cedar Park home of Jim Baker. More details to follow, including the names of the teams to play in the aforementioned World Series. Stay tuned for more details.
Ten members gathered at Iron Works BBQ in downtown Austin for the August meeting of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter. Topics of discussion included Gary McIntosh's fantasy baseball league, Jose Altuve's chase for the Houston Astros' team record for hits in a season and Mike McNulty's recent trip to Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Dan Walsh presented a trivia quiz that was won by Jan Larson. The date of the September meeting is TBD. Details will be forthcoming.