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April Meeting Summary
Written by Jan Larson   
Friday, 18 April 2014 06:28

Nine chapter members gathered at Iron Works BBQ in Austin for the April meeting of the Rogers Hornsby chapter; the chapter's 89th consecutive monthly meeting.

With the season underway, there were ample topics for discussion.  Subjects covered, in no particular order, included the new major league replay rule (with several suggestions on how to "fix" it),  Pythagorean winnning percentage, Jan Larson's trip to Australia for the major league "Opening Series," the fast start by the Milwaukee Brewers and the slow start by the Arizona Diamondbacks, the apparent early season lack of offense and preponderance of shutouts and managers that never seem to be on the hot seat no matter how poorly their clubs perform.

Tom Thayer presented a quiz entitled "Things That Don't Happen Any More."  The quiz may be found at this link.

The next meeting on Saturday, May 3 will be the first of two official chapter outings this season to see a Round Rock Express game at the Dell Diamond.  The game against the New Orleans Zephyrs is scheduled for a 6:05 p.m. start.  We will meet for a late lunch/early dinner at 4:00 p.m. at the Salt Lick BBQ adjacent to the Dell Diamond parking lot at 4:00 p.m.  Anyone wishing to sit with the group (and receive discounted tickets) should contact Jan Larson at prior to Tuesday, April 29.

March 2014 Meeting Recap
Written by Monte Cely   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:35

 A small but enthusiastic group of eight SABR members met at Iron Works BBQ in downtown Austin for the Hornsby Chapter March meeting.  The group is anxiously awaiting the start of the 2014 season, and topics of discussion included:  the status of replay and appeals; opening day in Australia; betting lines on the upcoming season (the Dodgers are favored to take it all); how free agent acquisitions are doing with their new teams; and much more.

Dan Walsh presented the quiz, entitled Alphabetic Home Run Leaders.  Tom Thayer and Eric Robinson tied for the lead with 11 correct answers out of a possible 26, with Tom taking the tie-breaker for the valuable first prize.  Try your hand at the quiz, it's located here.

Two reminders:

The Hornsby Chapter Predictatron ballots are due to Jim Baker by midnight on Sunday, March 30.  Don't miss out on the chance to participate in this season-long contest.

The Round Rock Express will host the Rangers' AA affiliate, the Frisco RoughRiders, in an exhibition game featuring Texas Rangers' prospects.  Game time is 7:05pm on Tuesday April 1 at Dell Diamond.  Tickets are $5.  For those interested in attending, we'll meet in section 116 (behind the third base dugout) to enjoy the pre-season action.

Next meeting -- will be Thursday April 17 at 6pm back at Iron Works in downtown Austin. 

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 March 2014 21:45
Recap of February Meeting
Written by Monte Cely   
Sunday, 23 February 2014 09:59

Seventeen (17) members, guests, and family converged on Bill and Evelyn Gilbert's house in Lakeway for the February 2014 meeting of the Rogers Hornsby chapter.

With spring training underway, the baseball discussions were far-ranging.  Topics included:  recent free agent and international signings, the advent of more instant replay and the no-collisions-at-home effort, status of the Astros and Rangers squads, Monte Cely's recent trip to Venezuela for the 56th Caribbean Series, and Jan Larson's upcoming trip to Australia for the MLB "opening day" in Sydney.

Dan Walsh won the quiz, on Venezuelan baseball, the prize being a Venezuelan national team ballcap and a "lucky" two bolivares banknote (worth three cents on the black market).  See how you do on the quiz, it's here

A big "thank you" to the Gilberts for hosting this event and for all the wonderful food and drink. 

Our next chapter meeting will be Thursday March 20, 6pm, back at Iron Works in downtown Austin.  More details will be forthcoming.


Last Updated on Sunday, 23 February 2014 10:07
SABR Day Lunch Meeting
Written by Jan Larson   
Saturday, 25 January 2014 18:10

Ten members and guests gathered for Saturday lunch at the Macaroni Grill in the Arboretum in Austin to discuss baseball and to celebrate SABR Day.  Topics discussed included the recent signing of Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka by the Yankees, the signing of free agent Robinson Cano by the Mariners, Monte Cely's upcoming trip to Venezuela for the Caribbean Series and miscellaneous other off-season baseball topics.  The date and location of the February monthly meeting has not yet been determined.  More information will be forthcoming in the near future.

Eddie Robinson and Matt Kata highlight winter meeting
Written by Gilbert Martinez   
Tuesday, 14 January 2014 17:47


(Pictured above: Eddie Robinson, right, and C. Paul Rogers III. This and all photos on this page by Ryan Pollack)


Two former Major League Baseball players with a combined nine decades of professional baseball experience were the headliners for another great day of baseball talk at the 8th Annual Winter Meeting of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter on Jan. 11, 2014.


In addition, 55 members and guests -- our largest winter meeting attendance ever -- got a preview of the upcoming national SABR conference in Houston from Bob Dorrill, chair of the Larry Dierker Chapter, which is hosting the conference July 30 to Aug. 3.


Eddie Robinson recounted his time in baseball, including as a member of the 1948 World Series Champion Cleveland Indians, and later as a scout and general manager. He was also in the Houston Colt .45s front office as head of player development when the team signed future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan. Robinson signed copies of his book, "Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball," and was joined by co-author C. Paul Rogers III, professor of law and former dean of Southern Methodist University School of Law. Rogers is also the chair of SABR's Hall-Ruggles Chapter in Dallas-Fort Worth.


Robinson shared many interesting stories about his baseball experiences, including the time relatively early in his career when Rogers Hornsby advised him on hitting. Pondering whether he should try to guess what pitchers were about to throw, Hornsby told him no -- that he should hit what he sees.That, coupled with other advice about working the count, helped him improve as a hitter, he said.


Former MLB player Matt Kata (pictured on right) also shared stories about his time playing for Vanderbilt and later as one of the "Baby Backs," the infusion of young players on the 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks, which made a run for the playoffs when the team suffered a number of injuries. He also talked about the pressure of playing second base in Randy Johnson's perfect game against the Atlanta Braves in 2004.


Kata spent 14 years in professional baseball, including time with the Phillies, Pirates, Astros and Rangers in addition to the Diamondbacks and with the Triple-A Round Rock Express. Today, he is the manager for baseball outreach for the Express, helping with the team's community outreach and working with Ryan-Sanders Sports Turf Services, which recently replaced the turf at Texas State's baseball field.

Mike Capps, director of broadcasting and the voice of the Round Rock Express (pictured below), returned to give us a preview of the 2014 Express and Texas Rangers. He expressed hope that the Rangers would pursue Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. And he warmed the hearts of Astros fans in the audience when he said he thought the Astros would avoid another 100-loss season.


 Jan Larson (pictured below on left) recounted details of his trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown last summer. In the afternoon, Chuck Kaufman (pictured below on right) discussed his recent trip to Cuba, which included watching Cuban baseball games. Jim Baker opened the meeting by sharing details of his first Major League Baseball game and asked members of the audience to share theirs.


We missed having Norman Macht with us at this winter meeting. Macht is the author of the definitive biography of Connie Mack; the third and final volume is set for publication soon. For a number of years, he has opened our meetings with creative trivia questions. Having recently relocated to California, Norman sent these icebreakers: 1.Take a Hall of Fame pitcher, add an "S" to his name and get a Hall of Fame outfielder who was born in Shiner, died at 30 and is buried in San Antonio; and 2) Take a Hall of Fame outfielder, remove the "S" from his name and get a first baseman who batted .389 with two home runs for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1970 World Series (Scroll to the bottom to check your answers).


Also, special thanks to all of our presenters. Monte Cely, who helps run the Hornsby Chapter, deserves special thanks and recognition for assembling the meeting agenda and lining up another great panel of presenters.


 Much thanks for these fantastic photos by Ryan Pollack, who volunteered his time to photograph the meeting. Here's his website:


Below are more photos from a great day of baseball talk.



















(Answers to Norman Macht's icebreakers: 1. Cy Young/Ross Youngs; 2.Willie Mays/Lee May)



Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 22:11
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