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.

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.

 

Bill Gilbert swings a big bat at April meeting

Eleven members and guests met for Mexican food and baseball chatter in southwest Austin on Saturday.

Topics included the start of the new season, including the good baseball thus far by the Houston Astros (in sharp contrast to their start in April last year), Manny Machado’s spike-ful slide into Dustin Pedroia’s calf the night before, and the New York Yankees’ surprising start in a so-called rebuilding year.

Dan Walsh provided a quiz based on the two 2016 editions of SABR’s Baseball Research Journal. Bill Gilbert trounced the competition with a score of 9 out of 12 (note: previous report of 11 of 12 was author’s error). Tom Thayer took second with 8 points, and Jim Baker took third with 5 points. Others may or may not have scored any points on this quiz, but they could not be reached for comment after the meeting. Dan also provided trivia prizes – Bill won a mini-bat with Babe Ruth’s signature; Tom won a baseball trivia book; and Jim won a replica of an advertisement for Ken-Wel brand gloves. Many thanks to Dan for the quiz and prizes.

Next meeting will be dinner and a ballgame at the Dell Diamond on Saturday, May 6. Watch for information about tickets from Jan Larson in the coming weeks.

 

 

March Lunch Meeting Wrap-up

Twelve Hornsby chapter members and guests met for lunch on Saturday, March 18 at the Third Base restaurant at US183 and Anderson Mill Road.

Topics of discussion included the World Baseball Classic and performance of the remaining teams – Japan, Netherlands, Puerto Rico and the pending USA-Dominican Republic elimination game.  Of special interest was the “international extra-inning” rule that attempts to shorten games by placing runners on first and second with no outs, beginning in the eleventh inning.  Spring Training was another hot topic, with chapter members discussing the performance – so far – of their favorite teams.

Jan Larson provided the quiz, a review of general baseball history and records.  The results were hotly-contested and Jim Baker walked away with the valuable prize – a Mark Saccomanno Corpus Christi Hooks bobble-head.

The April chapter meeting is TBD, but April 22 appears to be a likely date.  More information will be forthcoming.

February Lunch Meeting Wrap-Up

Fourteen members and guests gathered at the birthplace of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter, County Line by the Lake barbecue, on Saturday, February 18 to consume meat and to talk baseball.  With spring training beginning in Florida and Arizona, everyone is looking forward to the start of the 2017 season.  When asked about his outlook on the upcoming season, lifelong Indians fan Tom Wancho explained that he was “cautiously pessimistic.”

Monte Cely recently returned from his annual pilgrimage to the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) held this year in Culiacan, Mexico.  He answered questions about his trip and also provided a Serie del Caribe/South of the Border-themed trivia quiz.  Jan Larson won the prize in a tie-breaker over the always formidable Raeanne Martinez and took home a replica of the caps worn by the Mexican Pacific League champion Aguilas de Mexicali in the Series.

Our March meeting has been tentatively set for Saturday, March 18 at a new, but somewhat familiar venue, Third Base Sports Bar/Restaurant located at 13301 US 183 in Austin.  Watch this space for more information.

Chapter celebrates 8th Annual SABR Day

Thirteen chapter members and guests joined SABR members across the country to help celebrate the Eighth Annual SABR Day.

The two most recently elected members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame were on our minds as Craig Lukshin wore his autographed Tim Raines Montreal Expos jersey, and I wore a Jeff Bagwell t-shirt featuring a silhouette of his distinctive crouching batting stance. Other notable attire included Ira Siegel’s Eddie Gaedel Society t-shirt.

Our next meeting will be on Saturday, Feb. 18, with a location to be determined.

Chapter celebrates 10 years of consecutive meetings

Thirteen members and guests celebrated 10 years of chapter monthly meetings at Stiles Switch BBQ in north Austin on Sunday, Nov. 13.

The Hornsby Chapter has had at least one meeting each month since December 2006, extending its consecutive monthly meeting streak to 120 months.

At Saturday’s meeting, we discussed a wide range of topics, including the dramatic end of the World Series, the offseason trade market and whether bullpen use in the postseason will change how managers utilize their relief pitchers in the coming season.

We also offered our condolences to Cleveland fan Tom Wancho. Last time most of us saw him was at the World Series Game 4 watch party at Jim Baker’s house in Cedar Park when the Tribe took a 3-1 lead in the World Series. Alas, winning three is no guarantee to win the clincher.

In addition, Jim Baker, Predictatron coordinator, presented Jan Larson with an official Rogers Hornsby Chapter certificate for winning the 2016 Predictatron contest. Baker also presented Bill Gilbert with a certificate for his 2008 win, Raeanne Martinez for her back-to-back wins in 2014 and 2015, and Gilbert Martinez for his win in 2010.

baker-to-bill-gilbert predictatron-certificate

Please mark your calendars for the 11th Annual Rogers Hornsby Chapter Winter Meeting, which is set for Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, on the campus of Texas State University in San Marcos. Hope to see you there!

Meanwhile, our next monthly meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Serranos in the Southpark Meadows shopping center (corner of I-35 and Slaughter Lane) in south Austin.

Watch Party summary

Thirteen Hornsby Chapter members and guests gathered at the home of Jim Baker to watch Game Four of the 2016 World Series and enjoy a pot luck dinner featuring Jim’s world (well, at least locally if not regionally) famous meatball sandwiches.

Among the group of mostly Cleveland Indians supporters, at least for this game, was long suffering Indians fan and Cleveland native, Tom Wancho, who enjoyed the Tribe’s 7-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.  The win pushed the Indians’ lead in the Series to three games to one.  The streak of sixty eight seasons of heartbreak and futility for Clevelanders can be ended with one more victory.  Will it happen?   Only time will tell.

The November chapter meeting will once again feature a weekend lunch an an Austin area establishment.  Watch this space for details.

Mexican Baseball Fiesta wrap-up

On the evening of Saturday, September 24, fourteen Hornsby Chapter members and guests enjoyed pre-game BBQ at the Salt Lick restaurant followed by Game One of the “Mexican Baseball Fiesta” at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas.  The “Fiesta” featured the Águilas de Mexicali (Mexicali Eagles) versus the Naranjeros de Hermosillo (Hermasillo Orange Growers) of the Mexican Pacific League in a two game “fall training” series.  One of the coaches for the Naranjeros is Mario Mendoza; he of the (in)famous “Mendoza Line.”

photo-1

Although the skies were threatening prior to game time, nary a drop of rain fell and by the time the tarp was removed from the field, lines added, players warmed up and ground rules covered in what is apparently not atypical in the Mexican league, the first pitch of the game, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. actually took place at 7:30.

photo

With some of the “color” typical in Mexican League games, including a mascot hamming it up on the field and continuously playing music (piped in for this game as opposed to the live performances in regular season games) the Naranjeros left the field at the end of the game with a 3-0 win.

The next Hornsby Chapter get-together is scheduled for Saturday, October 29 at the home of Jim Baker where we will enjoy and critique Game Four of the 2016 World Series.  More information will be forthcoming.

August Lunch Meeting Wrap-Up

Eleven Hornsby Chapter members got together for a Saturday afternoon lunch meeting at the Macaroni Grill in the Arboretum in Austin. Jim Baker provided a very challenging quiz (some contestants were shut out) on the subject of Italian Major Leaguers. Tom Thayer, however, came through with a monster performance and took home the top prize.

Other topics discussed included Gilbert and Raeanne Martinez’s recent trip to Japan and Okinawa, the Yankees’ release of Alex Rodriguez and call up of young players, the chapter’s involvement in the BasebALZ project.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock when we take in the Hermosillo vs. Mexicali game.  We have reserved a block of tickets.  Click here for more details.  Note:  For college football fans, the Texas Longhorns do not play that day.