September 21, 2010

Tuesday evening 24 SABR members were treated to a lively program led by Houston Astros Professional Scout Scipio Spinks, who now is the newest member of our Chapter.

Scipio, a baseball lifer, entertained us with stories about Harry "The Hat" Walker, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson and Satchel Paige. Scipio started his career by strucking out 20 batters in his first professional game in N. Dakota and figured he was on his way. Then again, come the last day of spring training in 1969, the final cut came down to either Scipio or Bob Watson. When called in by Harry Walker, he received a lecture on how to hit a curve ball. After 10 minutes Scipio said "but I'm a pitcher". The skipper said "makes no difference"; and sent him to Oklahoma City.

Scipio also talked about scouting and what he looked for in a prospect abd how he tried to relate to those he worked with. He is very pleased with the progress being made by the younger Astros.

Next came a research presentation by Chris Chestnut on "One Time Winners of Twenty Games" where, since 1901, there have been 804 twenty-win seasons by 398 pitchers but only 219 have won twenty games in a season once. This number includes three HOFers; Jim Bunning, Dennis Eckersley and Don Sutton. The Astros have had 5 pitchers who won twenty games once (Dierker, Scott, Lima, Hampton and JR Richard). Ten pitchers won twenty in their first season, one won twenty in his last season (Mussina) but only Henry Schmidt won twenty in his first and last seasons.

Bob Dorrill then reviewed SABR 40 held in Atlanta and attended by 400 plus SABR members. Highlights included a discussion on the Altanta Braves progress from Worst to First in 1991 led by Bobby Cox, Phil Niekro, Ron Gant and Mark Lemke and a presentation on Shoeless Joe Jackson and whether or not he participated in the 1919 World Series fix. As researchers have recently determined the book and movie "8 Men Out" is a fabrication and clearly does not reflect accurately the details on how the fix took place.

In all there were 41 research presentations, 14 poster presentations and 17 committee meetings from which to choose. The goodie bag included 3 new books and there were a number of side trips available to the participants. It was a fun activity.

During the convention we were approached about the possibility of our chapter hosting SABR 43 in 2013. While many details would have to be worked out, there seems to be interest from our group in taking on this project. Feedback will be appreciated.

The trivia contest prepared by Matt and Dick Rejmaniak was won by Mike McCroskey and Tom White.

Our next meeting will be on October 12th at Molly's starting at 7 pm. 713.927.1976 2437 Bay Area Blvd.,#271, Houston, TX 77058
site designed and maintained by Turn-Key WebWorks