November meeting filled with talk of Astros victory and Cuban baseball

Bill Gilbert and Gilbert Martinez recall the Astros thrilling postseason (Photo by Ryan Pollack).

Fourteen chapter members and guests wore gear representing seven professional sports teams – the Astros, Dodgers, Mets, Orioles, Cardinals, Cienfuegos Elefantes, and Cleveland Browns – and the chapter’s BasebALZ Alzheimer’s reminiscence project at the November chapter meeting on Saturday.

Monte Cely, donning an Elefantes cap, created and shared a trivia quiz about Cuban baseball history, which Dan Walsh won. For his efforts, Dan was awarded a Minor League Baseball signed by the son of National Baseball Hall of Fame member Martin Dihigo. Jim Baker (in his usual Mets gear) and Chuck Kaufman tied for second, receiving a Che Guevara bookmark and Cuban peso, respectively.

Monte also shared some details from his trip to Cuba with the SABR Cuban Ball group in September. Two dozen SABR members spent a week in Cuba, attending baseball games and taking in Cuban culture.

Other topics included the MLB Awards (such as Jose Altuve’s dominant selection as AL MVP over Aaron Judge), the postseason and thrilling (for some) World Series. We also briefly discussed Bill James’ essay about the Altuve/Judge MVP vote and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), which appear to be his first public statement about that particular statistic. Here’s a link to his critique: https://www.billjamesonline.com/judge_and_altuve/

Astros fans Bill Gilbert, Raeanne Martinez and this author wore Astros championship gear recognizing the team’s dramatic postseason run. Linda Cely, who often bakes a tray of desserts for chapter holiday gatherings, wore a Cardinals shirt. Ryan Pollack, analyst and writer for The Hardball Times and coordinator of the chapter’s annual winter meeting, was clad in an Orioles shirt. Tom Wancho, who joked that the group should expand conversation topics beyond baseball, wore a Cleveland Browns shirt. Dodgers fan Jerry Miller donned a 1988 World Series Champs shirt. Man of many caps Jan Larson was nearly unrecognizable when he appeared cap-less.

Ira Siegel wore a shirt with the logo for BasebALZ, the Hornsby Chapter’s reminiscence project, which just completed its seventh season of programming. Read more about those activities by clicking here: http://www.sabrhornsby.org/2017/11/basebalz-wrap-up-2017/

Predictatron impresario Jim Baker presented this author a framed certificate for winning the chapter’s regular season Predictatron by virtue of successfully selecting the Houston Astros as 2017 World Series Champs. Had the Los Angeles Dodgers won the Series, then runner-up Bill Gilbert would’ve taken the Predictatron title. As a result of winning their divisions, Gilbert Martinez and Wells Oliver will have the Predictatron divisions named in their honor for the 2018 season.

This was the 132nd consecutive month in which the chapter has met, a streak dating to December 2006.

Meanwhile, planning for the 12th Annual Rogers Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting in San Marcos continues. Save the date: Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. We hope to see you then at Texas State’s Old Main building!

We’ve also set the date for our next monthly chapter meeting. It will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10, at Serranos (5030 W. U.S. Highway 290) in Southwest Austin.

Gilbert Martinez with the certificate recognizing his 2017 Predicatron Championship (Photo by Charles Kaufman).

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