Lucha libre mask grand prize at chapter meeting

Raeanne Martinez shows off her lucha libre mask, the prize for winning Monte Cely’s trivia quiz about the 2018 Caribbean Series. (Photo by Gilbert D. Martinez)

Ten chapter members and guests gathered for a Mexican lunch in southwest Austin on Sunday, Feb. 18, and welcomed back Monte Cely, freshly returned from the Caribbean Series. In return, Monte unleashed a Baseball Latinamericano trivia quiz on us.

Two-time Predictatron champion Raeanne Martinez won her first quiz at a monthly meeting, besting the field with 22 out of 28 points and securing a lucha libre mask as the grand prize from Monte (see photo above). Ira Siegel, like the rest of us, struggled on the quiz, but he did receive the last-place-finisher prize of a two peso note.

As all MLB teams are on the verge of full camp workouts, our discussions related much more to the coming season and less on 2017. The group discussed the most recent free agent signing — Eric Hosmer joining the San Diego Padres for an eight-year, $144 million deal. In some ways, the 11th hour signing suggests the overarching discussion happening in baseball – how to value a player’s worth in a long-term contract? It seems that the days of rewarding a player for past performance are over with as teams appear to prefer shorter term contracts that they think more accurately value a player’s worth in the next few seasons.

Monte also talked about attending the Caribbean Series and watching the team from Puerto Rico win it all. You can read more about Monte’s dispatches about Serie del Caribe 2018 by clicking on this link: http://www.sabrhornsby.org/2017/08/serie-del-caribe-2018/

This was the 135th consecutive month in which the chapter has had a monthly meeting, a streak that dates back to December 2006.

We’ve set the next chapter meeting for 12:45 p.m. Saturday, March 24, at County Line on the Lake on FM 2222 in North Austin. A request for RSVPs will be forthcoming in the mid March.

BasebALZ Season 8 Opening Day

On Monday, January 29 the “Talking Baseball” Alzheimer’s reminiscence program had a successful “opening day” for Season Eight.  This marks three years that the program has been offered at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices here in Austin.  Fifteen participants, caregivers, and volunteers were in attendance.

The theme of this session was Latin American baseball, and in particular Cuba and Cuban players.  Just a few highlights included:

Monte discussed his recent baseball trip to Cuba.

Ira (r) gets ready to lead a discussion and vote on a Latin American all-star team.

Bobby challenges the group to identify a player in the “Stump the Experts” segment.  Bobby threw an “opening day shutout” as he successfully stumped the group.  The answer was early 20th century Cuban pitching great Adolfo Luque.

The group also took a few moments to remember long-time participant and super Red Sox fan – Tom.  He was one of our original members, having been an active participant for all previous seven “seasons”.  Tom passed away earlier this month.

BasebALZ Season 8 sessions will be offered bi-weekly at Alzheimer’s Texas through April.  We are also continuing a monthly program at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Kerrville, as well as a periodic session at AGE of Central Texas.  For more information, see our informational page at:  http://www.sabrhornsby.org/about-basebalz/

 

SABR Day lunch in Austin part of global celebration

(Panoramic photo by Gilbert D. Martinez)

Fourteen chapter members and guests joined SABR members around the globe to celebrate the Ninth Annual SABR Day on Saturday in Austin.

While the group enjoyed a hot Italian lunch at Macaroni Grill in the Arboretum, the lack of free agent signings during the Hot Stove offseason dominated the conversation. Some commented on the Milwaukee Brewers activity – trading for Christian Yelich and signing Lorenzo Cain in recent days, bringing some warmth to the stove

Speaking of the offseason, some of us wondered whether many of the current free agents would sign one-year deals to play this season. With spring training just around the corner, time appears to be running out for these free agents.

The group also discussed the Hall of Fame announcement, revisiting familiar topics such as who’s deserving and who’s not.

In addition, SABR headquarters asked chapter leaders to get feedback about a proposed name change to the organization. The name change – from the Society for American Baseball Research to the Society for the Advancement of Baseball Research – would retain the acronym, but proponents say the new name would more accurately describe the organization as a whole and recognize baseball as an international sport.

Lunch attendees had a variety of views about the proposal, and perhaps in typical baseball fashion, you could describe our views as 1-6-3. 1: Mike Dillon said he was happy either way. 6: Jim Baker, Ryan Pollack, Raeanne Martinez, Monte Cely, Jan Larson and this author – were all in favor of the name change, with some suggesting that if a change was going to be made, perhaps a more dramatic change would be warranted. 3: Tom Wancho, Ira Siegel and Chuck Kaufman preferred the current name and would rather that the name not change.

This feedback will be shared with SABR headquarters. Other Hornsby members may contact me (email: gmartinez46 AT mac.com) with their thoughts.

To see how other chapters around the nation and the world celebrated SABR Day, check out this link: http://sabr.org/sabrday

Our next chapter luncheon will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Serranos (MoPac and U.S. 290 in southwest Austin). More details and request for RSVPs will be forthcoming in early February.

Astros World Series memories, Cuban beisbol and Ted Williams dominate 12th Annual Winter Meeting

Branch B. Rickey (Photos by Gilbert D. Martinez)

Baseball memories dominated the 12th Annual Winter Meeting on Saturday – reminiscing about the Houston Astros’ memorable World Series win, hearing about beisbol in Cuba, learning about volunteer opportunities with RBI Austin and electing just one player in our mock Hall of Fame vote.

Keynote speaker Branch B. Rickey (pictured above), president of the Pacific Coast League, returned to the winter meeting to share anecdotes about his career in Major League and Minor League Baseball. He talked about the difficulty of enforcing rules, such as those that punish players for leaving the dugout during brawls. He also shared some background in how San Antonio will feature a Triple-A team in 2019, and what that means for the other PCL teams.

Anne Keene, author of The Cloudbuster Nine

Nearly 50 chapter members and guests also heard from author Anne Keene (pictured above), the daughter of former professional baseball player Jim Raugh. She talked about baseball in the 1940s and a little-known Navy team that featured Ted Williams. Her father was a batboy on that team, which also featured Johnny Pesky and Johnny Sain. Her forthcoming book, The Cloudbuster Nine, is scheduled to be published on May 1 and can be pre-ordered on amazon.com.

LIsa Carter, digital content producer with KHOU and Texas State alumna

KHOU Digital Content Producer and proud Texas State alumna Lisa Carter (pictured above) shared her perspectives and photos from the 2017 World Series, in which she covered every game in Los Angeles and Houston. She talked about receiving a call from her editor immediately after the Astros won the American League Championship Series, which gave the Astros their ticket to the World Series. Little did she realize that she would be on a plane the next day to cover the first game of the World Series in Los Angeles.

Monte Cely, Caribbean World Series correspondent

Chapter member Monte Cely (pictured above) talked about his week-long trip to Cuba in September with other SABR members to watch baseball and learn about the Caribbean island nation, noting that even though politics may divide our countries, it’s beisbol that unites us. Highlights of his trip included meeting the son of legendary Cuban player Martin Dihigo and Cuban national team star pitcher Pedro Luis Lazo.

Mike Capps, the voice of the Round Rock Express

Award-winning journalist, broadcaster and voice of the Round Rock Express, Mike Capps (pictured above), returned to the winter meeting to give his insight about the Express and outlook for the Texas Rangers in the upcoming season. He said he’s looking forward to adding San Antonio to the travel schedule for the Express in 2019 and beyond. He expressed concern for the Rangers’ chances, especially in a division with a strong Astros team and an improved Angels squad. He suggested that Rangers fans hope that their team can play .500 ball during most of the season, giving them a shot at a Wild Card spot, that Rougned Odor returns to form and that the Rangers find effective starting pitching, whether through trades, free agent acquisition or from the farm system.

As has been the practice at the winter meeting recent years, Jan Larson conducted a Hall of Fame election for everyone in attendance at the meeting. At the end of the meeting, he shared that our meeting participants elected only one player to the Baseball Hall of Fame – Chipper Jones, who was selected on 27 of the 31 ballots. Twenty-four votes (or 75 percent) were needed to be elected. Close calls on our ballots included Jim Thome (19 votes) and Curt Schilling (18 votes). Roger Clemens, Edgar Martinez and Mike Mussina all had 16 votes. Barry Bonds and Vladimir Guerrero had 15 votes each, and Trevor Hoffman had 12 votes. All other names on the ballot were in single-digit vote totals or had zero votes. Also, there were an average of 7.1 selections (out of a maximum of 10) on each ballot. The official Hall of Fame vote is scheduled to be revealed on Jan. 24.

Ira Siegel (right) and Jordan Boessling, volunteers with RBI Austin

Chapter member Ira Siegel talked about his volunteer work with RBI Austin, an affiliate of MLB’s RBI program. In addition, Jordan Boessling, who also volunteers with RBI Austin, talked about working with underserved communities in Austin and helping teach baseball and provide opportunities for young people. More information about RBI Austin can be found at their website: http://www.rbiaustin.org/

Jim Baker, ice-breaker extraordinare

Jim Baker (pictured above) kicked off the meeting with an entertaining group activity – Name the Player, Name the Car, which featured advertisements and promotions of baseball players posing with motor vehicles.

Many thanks to everyone who attended another very successful day of baseball chatter at the Winter Meeting! Also, well wishes are in order for Ryan Pollack, who coordinated the agenda for the Winter Meeting but was unable to attend because of illness. Get well soon, Ryan! And, much appreciation to Raeanne Martinez for arranging and organizing lunch from Which Wich.

This was the 134th consecutive month in which the chapter has met, a streak dating to December 2006.

In honor of the Ninth Annual SABR Day, the chapter is planning on gathering for lunch at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27, at Macaroni Grill at the Arboretum in north Austin. More details of this and other SABR Day events around the country can be found at this link: http://sabr.org/sabrday

More pictures from the winter meeting:

Mark Wernick’s Houston Colt .45’s official program
Jeremy Schmidt brought two baseballs signed by Houston Buffs players
Anne Keene brought Ted Williams memorabilia
Gilbert D. Martinez brought his scorecard from World Series Game 5 in which the Astros outlasted the Dodgers, 13-12, in 10 innings

 

12th Annual Winter Meeting: January 13th, 2018

On Saturday, January 13th we’ll gather at Old Main Building on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, TX for our 12th annual Winter Meeting. We cordially invite all SABR members and their guests to join us.

Our keynote speaker, Branch B. Rickey, president of the Pacific Coast League, will highlight a fun-filled day of baseball talk, pictures, and memorabilia.

Other presentations include:

  • Mike Capps of the Round Rock Express giving us the run-down on the Rangers’ 2017 season, offseason, and future.
  • Lisa Carter from KHOU in Houston discussing how she covered the Astros and the 2017 World Series.
  • Ira Siegel sharing his experiences with RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Austin, an MLB-led effort to keep the passion of the game alive in underprivileged youth.
  • Anne Keene telling us how her father played ball with Ted Williams and Johnny Sain during their WWII service days.
  • Monte Cely regaling us with tales of his recent Cuban baseball adventure.
  • Jim Baker leading us in a fun, challenging guessing game.

Of course we’ll have a mock Hall of Fame voting led by Jan Larson. Does Chipper Jones make your ballot? How about Andruw? Do Jim Thome’s 612 home runs make you want to check the box next to his name? You’ll get to have your say.

Finally, we’re excited to bring you a different kind of event: Baseball Bingo! Get ready to mingle with your fellow seamheads, because you’ll need their signatures on your card in order to win.

Please remember to bring:

  • $10 cash for lunch from Which Which.
  • Any memorabilia you’d like to share or discuss. We’ll have a table for display and have scheduled time for people to present their items to the group.
  • Any baseball-related books you’d like to exchange.

======================================================
Details:
12th Annual Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting
Saturday, January 13th 2018, 9:30 AM – 4:30PM

Old Main Building, third floor. Texas State Campus, San Marcos TX

Directions:

  1. From I-35, take exit 206 (Aquarena Springs Dr.)
  2. Travel west on Aquarena Springs Drive, which turns into University Drive.
  3. After crossing the San Marcos River, you will come to a traffic light. Turn right onto Sessom Drive.
  4. Just before the first light, turn left on State Street and go up a steep road toward Old Main.
  5. Go through a gate (the gate should be up) and continue up the hill.
  6. At the top of the hill, make a sharp left turn and drive up to Old Main.
  7. Look for parking on this road that winds around the side and back of Old Main.

You can find additional parking at the Pleasant Street Garage, located at the corner of N. LBJ and Pleasant Street. To reach this garage, after you pass through the gate, continue up the hill, then down the hill to the stop sign on Pleasant Street. Turn left; the entrance to the parking garage will be on your left.

You do not need a parking pass to park on campus – however, do not park in spaces not marked as parking spaces or in handicapped parking (unless you have the appropriate tag displayed).
The meeting room is on the third floor in Room 320. There is an elevator on the first floor, or you can take the stairs.
=========================================

Tell your friends! Hope to see you there!

Homemade treats complement hot stove talk and Mexican food

Ten chapter members and guests munched on delicious homemade treats and pondered two surprising moves in baseball — Shohei Otani joining the Los Angeles Angels and Giancarlo Stanton landing with the New York Yankees.

Thanks to Linda Cely, the group enjoyed her homemade desserts before, during and after lunch at Serranos in southwest Austin on Saturday, Dec. 9. Thanks so much, Linda!

We talked about looking forward to Astros-Angels matchups in Houston in 2018, which will give us a chance to see the defending World Series champions and the pairing of Mike Trout and Otani with the Angels.

In addition, Gary McIntosh shared some details of the Great American Fantasy League, a board game adapted from Statis-Pro Baseball that realistically simulates the career performances of baseball greatest players, using only stats with their primary teams. Gary shared with us that in their league, the Los Angeles Dodgers recently won Game 1 of the World Series over the Kansas City Royals. To read a summary of that game, click here: http://www.sabrhornsby.org/2017/12/great-american-fantasy-league-season-3-world-series-game-1/

For more information about the GAFL, check out this WordPress site: https://statispro.wordpress.com/

This led to a discussion about all-time best players for various teams. For example, it would seem that Jose Altuve has surpassed Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio at second base, but Gary pointed out that a GAFL manager of the Astros could place Biggio at catcher or outfield. We also discussed which team might best use Nolan Ryan, as his best years were with the Astros, but not with the Mets or Angels.

The group was also anticipating the announcement from the Hall of Fame Veterans Committee, but we had yet to hear at lunchtime about the selection of Alan Trammel and Jack Morris.

Meanwhile, Raeanne and I are still celebrating the Astros’ World Series Championship. I wrote a song, The Twelve Days of Astros! You can read the lyrics on the chapter website by clicking here: http://www.sabrhornsby.org/2017/12/the-twelve-days-of-astros/

For the next meeting, it’s something we’ve been waiting all year for – the 12th Annual Rogers Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting! It will be on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Old Main at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Also, the chapter plans to take part in the 9th Annual SABR Day on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018.

Save these dates! More information to come.

Great American Fantasy League Season 3 World Series Game 1

[Editor’s note: This summary by chapter member Gary McIntosh details the first game of the Great American Fantasy League Season 3 World Series.]

Extra Inning Affairs Continue in Makeup Game #1

By Gary McIntosh

LOS ANGELES–Oct 28.  The redo of game #1 of the GAFL Season Three World Series looked much like many of the playoff games that have been played to get the two teams to this point.  It went 14 innings, with LA tying the game in the bottom of the eighth and finally winning it six innings later.

The Kansas City Royals had gotten a first inning single from Hal McRae, and then LA pitcher Sandy Koufax walked Billy Butler, before uncorking a wild pitch moving both runners up.  So two in scoring position for the Royals and one out.  But Koufax struck out Danny Tartabull, and Mike Sweeney bounced out to short to end the threat.

The strikeout was ominous, and telling, for this game.  Kevin Appier, the KC starter pitched 8.1 innings, striking out 10.  He was followed by 3 relievers, but no Dodgers struck out after Appier left the game.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers threw seven pitchers into the contest, and all struck out at least one, as the Bums staff struck out 17 Royals hitters.  Koufax fanned 7 in five innings and Kenley Jansen nailed down 4 in his 3 innings.

So several potential rallies went by the wayside, controlled by the pitchers.

In the first four innings, after the top of the first, there were no threats.  Koufax retired 12 in a row after the Butler walk.  The Royals hit a couple of drives deep to left but the FD7s were hauled in by Dodgers left fielder Zach Wheat.  Meanwile, Appier gave up a one out walk in the first and a one out single to Koufax himself in the bottom of the third.  He retired 12 of the first 14 he faced.

In the top of the fifth, after Joe Randa struck out, Frank White got the first solid connection that wasn’t caught.  His blast of a 2-1 fastball from Koufax landed in the left field seats, and KC had a 1-0 lead.  Freddie Patek laid down a bunt single, but Koufax struck out Appier and Wilson to end any thoughts of adding to the lead.

Reggie Smith led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, the first of his three hits on the night, but Appier managed to sail through the rest of that inning.

The Dodgers started going to the bullpen from then on.  After lifting Koufax for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth, Alston called on Eric Gagne.  Despite terrible stuff, he retired the Royals in order in the sixth on two fly balls to left and a strikeout.

LA got an infield single from Pete Reiser in the bottom of the frame, but Jackie Robinson lined into a double play on a hit and run attempt.

In the seventh, Jonathan Broxton relieved Gagne, and was greeted by a Mike Sweeney double to right.  George Brett hit for Randa, but struck out, and so did White.  Alcides Escobar hit for Patek, and laid down a perfect bunt.  Runners at the corners with two outs.  Dick Howser decided to leave Appier in the game, and Broxton struck him out, stranding the runners.

In the bottom of the seventh, Babe Herman singled to left.  Two pitches later, he stole second.  Mike Piazza popped to short, and Appier fanned Smith and Wheat to end any threat.

Jeff Pfeffer came on for LA, and retired the Royals in order in the eighth.  And Appier kept sailing along, getting Rafael Furcal on a lazy fly to right and Augie Galan on a grounder to short.  Two down and no one on base

Reiser was up for LA.  He hit a drive to left center field.  Hal McRae was on his horse, but he couldn’t make the defensive play.  The ball bounced just away from his outstretched glove and Reiser had a double (Z 46/65, CD2)

Jackie Robinson was up next.  He singled sharply into left field and the Dodgers third base coach sent Reiser.  Everyone thought he’d be out (46 chance) but the Bums had tied the game as Reiser slid around the tag of Salvador Perez.  It was 1-1.

Ron Perranoski was pitching for LA and he retired KC in order in the ninth.  Junior Gilliam had come in on a double switch in the top of the inning and was now hitting, leading off the bottom of the ninth.  Gilliam laced a double off the wall in left.  Appier struck out Piazza again for out number one.

Smith was up and his second hit of the game was a single to right.  Runners at the corners for the west coasters and Appier’s night was done.  Greg Holland came on for KC.  Holland threw a pitch down low, and it broke into the dirt.  But Perez blocked it, and the runners had to hold.  On a full count breaking ball, Wheat lined a shot to left.  Wilson got himself lined up, making the catch.  Gilliam tagged and steamed towards the plate with the winning run.

Wilson’s throw was on the money.  Gilliam slid in and Perez blocked the plate!  Nestor Chylak called Gilliam out!  Junior was slow to get up, and limped off the field.  We were on to extra innings, and the Dodgers had to make some defensive moves, as Gil Hodges came in at first with Augie Galan moving to third and Robinson back to second base, with Gilliam holding ice to his ankle.

The scoresheet was getting cumbersome.

The boys from KC got a one out single by Escobar, but he was thrown out trying to steal in the tenth. Perranoski faced the minimum through his two innings of work.  Kenley Jansen replaced him in the eleventh and gave up a lead off bunt single and a stolen base to Wilson.  Buit he retired nine in a row, including four whiffs, through the 13th inning.

Dan Quisenberry meanwhile did the same for KC.  He threw the 10th through the 12th, giving up a couple of singles and a walk, but getting two double plays to erase threats. The DP in the 12th was critical as Smith had singled, and stolen second when Wheat couldn’t get the bat on the ball on a hit and run.  Wheat walked and there were two on.  But Furcal’s bouncer back to Quiz was turned into the double play.   Joakin Soria retired the Dodgers in order in the 13th.

So it was on to the 14th.  Jansen was replaced by Jay Howell.  After striking out Johnny Damon, who had replaced McRae, the Dodgers ace gave up a single to Butler.  Another twin killing wiped that out though when Lorenzo Cain grounded to Galan, and the ball went around the horn.

So bottom of the 14th.  Soria still pitching for KC.  Duke Snider walked to lead off the innng.  Soria held him close, and he couldn’t get a jump.  Gil Hodges lad down a great sacrifice bunt, moving Snider into scoring position.  Roy Campanella was up.  Soria’s splitter stayed up and Campy drove the ball into left center.    Snider was around third and the throw was just up the line.  Snider scored, and the Dodgers had won game one, a prolonged game that essentially started the night before, and was washed out.

Game Two will pit Bret Saberhagen against a still to be decided Dodgers pitcher.  Junior Gilliam, hurt on the play at the plate in the bottom of the ninth, will be ok and available for the Dodgers according to the training staff.  What drama awaits as GAFL’s World Series rolls on?

KC  000 010 000 000 00 — 1 8 0

LA   000 000 010 000 01 — 2 11 0

WP  Howell (2-0)

LP  Soria

Sv   none

MVP  Campanella 1 for 2, game winning RBI

Jansen, 3 innings, 1 hit, no runs, 4 strike outs

Appier 8.1 innings, 1 run, 1 walk, 10 Ks

GG  Furcal +1 Z play in first; McRae -2  failed to make Z play on CD2 that fell for double, and was the game tying run; Wilson +2 threw out winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth; White, bottom of 11th L4 converted into a double play

E – none

2b – Sweeney, Reiser, Gilliam

HR – White (1st)

DP – Robinson (L1-3), Hodges (L4-3), Furcal (1-6-3), Cain (5-4-3)

SB – Lopes, Wilson, Smith

CS – Escobar

SH – Hodges

 

Innings:

Appier 8.1

Holland 0.2 (great stuff)

Quisenberry 3.0

Soria 1.1

 

Koufax 5.0

Gagne 1.0 (terrrible stuff)

Broxton 1.0

Pfeffer 1.0

Perranoski 2.0

Jansen 3.0

Howell 1.0

Rest Rules for game #2 on 10/29, off day is now 11/1

Dodgers

Kershaw 1 day rest, eligible 10/30

Koufax 3 days rest, eligible 11/1

Jansen 1 day rest, eligible 10/30

Gagne, 3 inning limit

Broxton, 3 inning limit

Pfeffer, 3 inning limit

Perranoski 2 inning limit

Howell 3 inning limit

Royals:

Appier 3 days rest, eligible 11/1

Quisenberry 1 day rest, eligible 10/30

Holland 3.1 inning limit

Soria 2.2 inning limit

 

December Lunch Meeting

Join us on Sunday, December 10 at 12:30pm at Serranos-Mopac at 5030 Highway 290 West, Austin, TX 78735 (near intersection of MoPac & 290).  M0nte Cely’s wife Linda will be providing her annual batch of holiday cookies, brownies and Jim Baker’s favorite, “buckeyes.”

Please RSVP to Jan Larson at jan.a.larson@gmail.com if you plan to attend.