SABR Celebrates at 2011 Houston Baseball Dinner

(L>R) Bobby Heck, Astros Ass't GM, Scouting; Bob Dorrill, SABR; David Gottfried, Ass't GM, Baseball Operations; Ed Wade, Astros General Manager.

Twenty SABR members at two SABR tables were on hand last night to help celebrate the 2011 version of the annual Houston Baseball Dinner, The numbers did not the include the broad scattering of many other SABR people at various other tables throughout the crowd of 1,000 people in attendance at the Hilton Americas downtown on January 14.

The dinner initiated years ago by the late Allen Russell and his wife Jo Russell, along with the help of longtime supporter and former sportswriter Ivy McLemore, was again a rousing success in honoring the spirit and accomplishments of the Houston Baseball community.

Mike McCroskey of SABR sang Our National Anthem to get the evening started. It was the second year in a row that our man Mike carried out that responsibility in fine voice and form. He must have done all right the first time. Otherwise, it’s not likely there would have been a second time. – Nice job, Michael!

In addition to the individual recognition that the dinner usually accords to the top high school baseball players from the area, the HBBD also recognized the Pearland Little Leaguers for their success in 2010 Little League World Series.

Astros Icon and new SABR member Jimmy Wynn and his wife Marie Wynn were on hand at one of the Astros tables.

Here’s how the special awards for the evening went:

Coach Rick Lynch took the Ray Knoblauch Award.

Anthony Rendon of Rice University won the Houston Area Preseason Major College Player of the Year Award.

Barry Waters of the Astros took the Fred Hartman Long and Meritorious Service Award.

Chris Johnson was named as the Astro Rookie of the Year.

Carl Crawford captured the Houston Area Major League Player of the Year Award.

Mike Rutledge received the Allen Russell Distinguished Achievement Award.

Former Astro and current Padre Geoff Blum took the Darryl Kile Award.

Brett Myers was named as the 2010 Astro Pitcher of the Year.

Hunter Pence took top honors as the 2010 Astro Player of the Year.

Meanwhile, about $18,000 was also raised by an auction set up to support the Grand Slam for Youth Baseball scholarship program.

The Houston Baseball Dinner is also our community’s way of turning the corner in the dead of winter each year and looking forward to the new baseball season. As always, it cannot get here soon enough for many of us, so, we’ll just have to keep on staring out the window or over at our computer screens until it gets here.

These other smiling faces from last night will also help remind us of the springtime that’s coming, with baseballs popping leather hard and bouncing even harder off their contact with real wooden bats. There is no “ping” in major league baseball and there is nothing nothing minor league about the smiles that follow.

C’mon clock! Get us to April, when the games really count. Menahwile, stay out of the cold and damp weather as best you are able.

Phil and Nancy Holland, SABR.

Bob Stevens & Son, Robbie Stevens, SABR

Larry Miggins, Former Houston Buff & St. Louis Cardinal, SABR.

John Miggins, Son of Larry Miggins & Charlie Sheen Look-a-Like.

Marsha Franty & Peggy Dorrill, SABR.

Peggy & Bob Dorrill, Deep in the Heart of SABR.

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One Response to “SABR Celebrates at 2011 Houston Baseball Dinner”

  1. Dr. D. Says:

    Nicely done!

    First one I have missed in over a decade – couldn’t get rid of the crud.

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