BasebALZ Wrap-up – 2017

The Alzheimer’s Baseball Reminiscence program (BasebALZ) has had a busy and successful 2017:

We continued our monthly programs at the Kerrville (Texas) Veterans Administration Hospital.  A highlight was the November 10th session preceding Veteran’s Day:

The driveway leading to the Kerrville VA hospital.

Volunteers chat with an early arrival.

A full house of participants (Kerrville photos by Ann Walsh)

We conducted a pilot session of BasebALZ at the Austin offices of AGE of Central Texas on October 30.  We had 12 participants in attendance for the one-hour trial reminiscence program.  We had great participation with lots of discussion about baseball, old autos, and the golden age of television.  We hope to be able to continue this partnership in 2018.

At the Alzheimer’s Texas offices in Austin, we held three “seasons” of BasebALZ – 18 biweekly sessions in all.  We wrapped up our most recent “season” – Season Seven – on November 13:

Our Astros fans celebrate the 2017 World Series victory.

We had a full house (21 participants and volunteers) for the season finale.

Every session, Bobby does his best to “Stump the Experts”

The Talkin’ Baseball Band plays “Take me out to the Ballgame” (Austin photos by Linda Cely)

click here for a short video:  video short

After a break for the holidays, BasebALZ will start up again at Alzheimer’s Texas on January 29, 2018.  For more information on the BasebALZ program – visit our information page here.

Opening Day for BasebALZ Season 7

The summer baseball season may be winding down, but a new season of the Alzheimer’s “Talking Baseball” program got underway on Patriots Day, Monday September 11 at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices.  We had a great start to Season Seven, with twenty participants, caregivers, and volunteers in attendance.

… it was standing-room-only …

John kept order,

while Monte and Dave do the “guns up”.

Renee (l) and Bobby (r) brought along guest Bob to help out with “Stump the Experts”.  Bob’s wife is the grand-daughter of John Owen “Chief” Wilson, who was born in Austin and played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals from 1908-1916.  In 1912, Chief Wilson established a major league record that still stands — he hit 36 triples!

A good time was had by all!!

BasebALZ enjoys Alzheimer’s Night at Dell Diamond

Thirteen participants, volunteers and family members attended Alzheimer’s Night at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond on Monday evening July 31.  As often happens when we venture to Dell Diamond, the game went extra innings with the hometown Express taking a walk-off 7-6 win in the bottom of the 11th on a two-out, two RBI double by 3B Will Middlebrooks.

In addition to the exciting game, many of us enjoyed the “$1 hot dogs and sodas” promotion on Harry Potter Night at the ballpark.  Needless to say, a good time was had by all.

BasebALZ Season 6 Wrap-up

Season Six of the BasebALZ program wrapped up on July 10 at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices in Austin.  This “season” marked over two years that the Rogers Hornsby Chapter of SABR has been offering this program for those dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.

We opened the season on May 8 with a record attendance of 13 participants and caregivers, plus nine volunteers:

Over the course of the six bi-weekly sessions, we presented and discussed topics targeted to the interests and memories of our participants.  These included:

Recalling if anyone once used a slide-rule:

Talked about the world’s most valuable baseball card:

Sang some polkas:

Played “Stump the Experts”, where one of our participants presented a short bio of a ballplayer to see if our volunteers could determine who it was.  This became a regular feature of each meeting:

Talked about a trip to “The Field of Dreams” in Iowa:

We recognized our program leader, Jim Kenton, with the presentation of an honorary “Doctor of Baseball Reminiscence” diploma:

Chapter member Dan Walsh wrapped up the closing session with a vote for the “All Star Team of the 1960s”:

A good time was had by all:

After a short summer break, Austin-based BasebALZ will start up again in September.  In the meantime, our volunteers continue to make a monthly visit to the Veteran’s Administration in Kerrville to present BasebALZ there.

More information on the BasebALZ program is here.


BasebALZ Season 6 Sets Attendance Mark on Opening Day

Our baseball-themed Alzheimer’s reminiscence program, BasebALZ, opened “Season Six” on Monday May 8 at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices in Austin.  We had thirteen participants, caregivers and guests in attendance, and we’re expecting more as this “season” progresses.  Nine volunteers from the SABR-Hornsby Chapter and Alzheimer’s Texas were there to deliver and support the program:

BasebALZ leader Jim Kenton opens the session.

In a discussion of “Things from 1960 that we don’t use anymore”, we see if anyone can remember how to use a slide rule …

Season Six of BasebALZ will run through July.  For more information on the BasebALZ program, click here.


BasebALZ wraps up successful 5th season

Our chapter’s Alzheimer’s reminiscence program — BasebALZ — wrapped up a fun and successful fifth season with an outing to Dell Diamond on Monday, April 11.

The completion of Season Five (which ran from January through April) marks two years that the Hornsby SABR chapter has been delivering the baseball-themed Alzheimer’s program in Austin.  Eleven participants and caregivers enjoyed talkin’ baseball, music, TV … and yes, in Texas, even some football.

Besides presentations and discussion, we had some activities such as oiling up some ball gloves …

… autographing some baseballs …

… playing “stump the experts”, where our participants try to stump the SABR volunteers on baseball history …

… and deciding who was going to “pick first” or “bat first” in a simulated game.

Plans are already underway for Season Six, to begin in May, 2017 at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices in Austin.

In addition to the program in Austin, SABR volunteers are delivering the program at the Kerrville Veteran’s Administration hospital on a monthly basis.  Program leader Jim Kenton is also working with the Alzheimer’s Association, the U.S. Army at Ft. Sam Houston, and the VA in San Antonio to start programs in the Alamo City.

For more information on BasebALZ, visit our informational page here.


BasebALZ Completes Season 4 and Season 5 Gets Underway

Season Four of the Alzheimer’s Talking Baseball program, held at Westminster Senior Living in Central Austin, ran from September 12 to November 14, 2016.  Eleven participants and caregivers were in attendance.  The program continues to be a success for all involved.

Dr. Michael Ego, a fellow SABR member and Professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, visited during Season Four to observe the program, conduct interviews, and worked with us to create an informational video about the BasebALZ program.  The video (about 10 minutes) is here.

Season Five got underway on January 23 at the Alzheimer’s Texas offices in northwest Austin.  We had 100% return of our previous season’s participants and caregivers.  Everyone involved had a great time at the “season opener”.

SABR volunteers getting ready for the Season Five home opener at Alzheimer’s Texas

The Season Five announcement and schedule are here:

Basebalz Spring 2017 flyer

BasebALZ wraps up a successful third season

Volunteers from our chapter and Alzheimer’s Texas wrapped up another successful BasebALZ “season”.  Our reminiscence sessions were held at the Alzheimer’s Texas office in northwest Austin.  Eight participants with early-stage Alzheimer’s and their caregivers enjoyed the program and shared their memories with us.

Participants and volunteers capped off the season with a trip to Dell Diamond on June 27 to see an Express game.

June 27 Express2June 27 express3

Pictures outside and inside of the Heritage Suite at Dell Diamond