The Rogers Hornsby Chapter, serving Central and South Texas, continued its strong streak of monthly meetings, hosted a successful winter meeting and watched minor league baseball and Major League playoff games in 2010, the fifth year since the chapter was founded.
During the year, the chapter met monthly, extending its consecutive monthly meeting streak to 49 consecutive months with a meeting. The chapter also recognized SABR Day in January with a dinner gathering in which baseball memorabilia and stories were shared.
Earlier that month, the chapter hosted the Fourth Annual Winter Meeting at historic Old Main on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, Texas. Thirty-four members and guests enjoyed a visit from Houston Astros Broadcaster Bill Brown, who shared an essay titled “The Greatest Game in Astros History,” which was about the thrilling 18-inning Astros playoff win against the Atlanta Braves in the 2005 National League Division Series.
Norman Macht, Hornsby chapter member, a former SABR board member and author of “Connie Mack and the Early Years of Baseball,” shared audio clips from his interview with Ted Lyons, a 21-year veteran with the Chicago White Sox who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.
There was also a lively panel discussion with Gene Watson, coordinator of professional scouting for the Kansas City Royals; Mike Capps, the voice of the Round Rock Express and recipient of the 2009 Broadcaster of the Year from BallparkDigest.com; and Jim Baker, Hornsby chapter member and former columnist for ESPN.com and Baseball Prospectus.
Other presentations included one by Dr. Fred Worth, a mathematics professor from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He shared stories and photos of baseball player gravesites, including several notable ones in Central Texas. He also brought a binder with photos of graves he has visited. His endeavor is to visit, photograph and mark by GPS gravesites of players, managers and umpires associated with Major League Baseball.
Scott Barzilla, an active member of the SABR Larry Dierker Chapter in Houston, talked about his research, which combines statistical measures of baseball players such as win shares (WS), wins above replacement player (WARP), wins above replacement (WAR), plus those values at the player’s peak. The result is a list of players by position that attempts to quantify a player’s value as compared to other players. This research served as the basis for his book, “The Hall of Fame Index,” published in November 2010.
In addition to the Winter Meeting, the chapter took in a Round Rock Express game against the Iowa Cubs in July and watched Carlos Zambrano pitch in a rehabilitation assignment.
Later in the year, members gather for an MLB Playoffs Watch Party and Cookout. A few members also traveled to Arlington in October to watch Game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees, and Game 4 of the World Series between the Rangers and the San Francisco Giants.
In the second of a three-year term, Hornsby Chapter Member Monte Cely served on the committee to select winners of the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, which recognizes outstanding baseball research in areas other than history and biography. The 2010 recipients are: Timothy M. Gay (Vienna, VA) for Satch, Dizzy, and Rapid Robert: The Wild Saga of Interracial Baseball Before Jackie Robinson (Simon & Schuster); Chris Jaffe (Schaumburg, IL) for Evaluating Baseball’s Managers: A History and Analysis of Performance in the Major Leagues, 1876–2008 (McFarland); and L.M. Sutter (Norton, VA) for New Mexico Baseball: Miners, Outlaws, Indians and Isotopes, 1880 to the Present (McFarland).