The Rogers Hornsby Chapter met for the 57th consecutive month in August, "breaking" Joltin' Joe's consecutive game hitting streak.
Twenty-one members and guests enjoyed a tight 8-7 game won by the visiting Tacoma Rainiers. The back-and-forth game featured impressive homeruns by Carlos Pequero and Johan Limonta of the Rainiers and Val Majewski of the Express. Rainiers starting pitcher, Nate Robertson, got the win and had once started a game in the 2006 World Series for the Detroit Tigers against the St. Louis Cardinals.
For the 56th consecutive month, the Rogers Hornsby Chapter met to talk baseball, thereby “tying” Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hit streak. In addition, chapter founder Bill Gilbert was presented with the Rajah Award for significant achievements with the Hornsby Chapter. A number of members chipped in and gave input on the design of the trophy, named after Hornsby’s nickname.
An active member of the Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston, Bill moved to Central Texas and, using the SABR member directory, he invited other SABR members in the area for a meeting in December 2003. In January 2006, members signed a petition for chapter recognition and the Rogers Hornsby Chapter was born.
As chapter commissioner, Bill encouraged regular meetings, founded the annual winter meetings at Texas State University that allowed for special guests and research presentations and organized occasional trips to watch Round Rock Express games. Though he stepped down as chapter commissioner last year, he has remained an active and vital part of the Hornsby Chapter.
The plaque on the trophy reads: “Bill Gilbert is hereby presented the inaugural Rajah Award for lifetime achievement.” The SABR logo and the date of the winter meeting in 2011 are also on the plaque. Members intended to present the award at the winter meeting, but when Bill was unable to attend, the presentation was postponed until the July meeting.
At the meeting, fourteen members and guests enjoyed BBQ and discussed a wide-range of baseball topics such as Ichiro Suzuki’s off year and the historically bad season of the Houston Astros, which is one of just three franchises that has not lost 100 games in a season. Most agreed that the Astros appear on track to fall out of that club this season (the other two are the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).
In honor and memory of Joe DiMaggio, Bill Gilbert recounted a time when he and his son saw Joltin' Joe at the airport in Dallas. Coincidently, Bill was reading Roger Kahn's book, "Joe & Marilyn: A Memory of Love," which recounts DiMaggio's relationship with Marilyn Monroe. Bill encouraged his son to ask DiMaggio's for his autograph. DiMaggio, agreed, but when presented with this book, he declined to sign it.
Bill Gilbert brought a trivia quiz about home run and pitching leaders. Dan Walsh, fresh from a Hawaiian vacation, scored the most points with 21. You can take your stab at the quiz by clicking here.
One member brought late-breaking news that Houston Astros Second Baseman Jeff Keppinger had been traded to the San Francisco Giants for two minor league pitchers. Those of us who are Astros fans also noticed that the trade allowed for the call-up of Second Baseman Jose Altuve, who was most recently with the Corpus Christi Hooks and played in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game last week in Phoenix. According to media reports, Altuve could get his major league debut as soon as tomorrow, Wednesday, July 20.
In addition, Dan Walsh and Gilbert Martinez recounted some of their experiences at SABR 41 in Long Beach, California earlier in the month. A native of Long Beach, Walsh especially enjoyed hearing former Dodgers first baseman Wes Parker speak. Walsh and Martinez both thought that super-agent Scott Boras gave a very interesting and insightful keynote address. Martinez brought back some of the extra items from the conference bag to share with members at the meeting, including programs for the Angels and the Dodgers, a book entitled, "How Bill James Changed Our View of the Game of Baseball," a catalog of sports books published by McFarland, among other items.
Fifteen members and guests of the Rogers Hornsby SABR chapter met Saturday, June 25 at Salt Lick in Round Rock for BBQ and then enjoyed an evening of baseball at Dell Diamond.
There was a large crowd at the game, partly due to it being Nolan Ryan bobblehead night. Although it was hot, our seats were in the shade and there was a pleasant breeze at the ballyard. The hometown nine sent the fans home happy with a run in the bottom of the ninth to defeat the Oklahoma City Redhawks 4-3.
Discussion topics included the MLB standings at mid-year, who's hot and who's not, movements in Predictatron, the probability of Ichiro reaching 200 hits this year, prospects for the Astros franchise moving forward, and preparations of chapter members for attending the SABR National Convention in July. Gilbert Martinez reported that his presentation on pitcher "no-decisions" has been accepted and he's on the agenda at the Convention.
Speaking of Ichiro, Frank Rechtorovic presented Gilbert with a framed Japanese newspaper page picturing Suzuki in his days with the Orix Blue Wave. Frank had kept this from an army tour of duty in Japan in the '90s.
A big "Thanks" to Jan Larson for arranging the dinner and game tickets! This was the 55th consecutive month that the Hornsby chapter has held a meeting. A meeting date and location for July will be announced shortly.
Nine members of the Rogers Hornsby SABR chapter met Tuesday evening, May 17 at Iron Works BBQ in downtown Austin.
Those present raised a toast in memory of Hall-of-Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew, who had just passed away earlier in the day. Members recollected their impressions of Killebrew, as well as some of his teammates over the years.
Other topics of discussion included Michael Bass's recent online poll about the top Dominican pitchers. Members were able to come up with the "Top Three" in MLB wins -- Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez, and Bartolo Colon. We struggled with naming the other five Dominicans that had won more than 100 MLB games (that answer is left as an exercise for the reader). The just-announced purchase of the Astros franchise by Houston businessman Jim Crane generated a lot of discussion. It was generally viewed that this would be a positive going forward. The hot start for the Cleveland Indians has Tom Wancho wondering how long the good times will last.
It was decided that the June chapter meeting will be held at Dell Diamond for a Round Rock Express game. Saturday June 25 is the most likely date, with more information to follow.
Twelve chapter members gathered at Iron Works BBQ for traditional Texas barbeque and baseball talk. Chapter "godfather," Bill Gilbert made a triumphant return after an extended stint on the disabled list.
Michael Bass presented a challenging trivia quiz that had been written by Washington Post columnist George Will. Bill showed no signs of rust in taking the first place prize.
Topics of discussion included the Orioles' hot start to the 2011 season but recent woes, Norman Macht's forthcoming second edition of his Connie Mack trilogy, Gilbert Martinez' research project on pitcher no-decisions that he will present at the SABR41 convention and Jim Baker's "predictatron" contest.
Norman Macht also posed a question for discussion, that being whether pitcher wins, losses, saves and ERA are obsolete measures of pitcher effectiveness.
The May meeting will be held at Iron Works on Tuesday, May 17 starting at 6:00 p.m.