SABR Night in Sugar Land, 2016

Larry Dierker threw out the first pitch and worked an inning with Ira Liebman in the game broadcast. Larry then received this HR-gift from Mike McCroskey, lower left.

Larry Dierker threw out the first pitch and worked an inning with Ira Liebman in the game broadcast. Larry then received this HR-gift from the pleased Mike McCroskey, lower left.

About 25-30 members of the Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR used their monthly meeting night on Monday, 4/25/16, to enjoy a buffet dinner together down the left line at Constellation Field to watch the Independent Atlantic League home club, the Sugar Land Skeeters, entertain the visiting Lancaster (PA) Barnstormers under pleasant skies and through the balmy breezes.

Our peerless chapter namesake former Astro, Larry Dierker, was also there, even finding time to throw out the first pitch and do an interview and one inning stint on the air of the Skeeters radio broadcast with Ira Liebman, a Skeeters media guy and another SABR member. In redundant mention, but with eloquence, the wonderful broadcaster Greg Lucas, also another front line active SABR member handling the telecast portion of the broadcast.

At one point, Larry Dierker noticed the rear view of a bobble head figure staring out the broadcast booth window at the field.

“Who’s that?” Dierker asked. “…. Bill Clinton?”

“No,” answered Greg Lucas, “it’s someone Milo Hamilton would not want to see.”

(Hint: It was Harry Caray.)

Close-Up of the Dierker Shirt A Gift from Mike McCroskey to our Houston SABR Chapter Namesake.

Close-Up of the Dierker Shirt ~
A Gift from Mike McCroskey to our Houston SABR Chapter Namesake.

Later on, Mike McCroskey of SABR presented Dierker with a tee shirt that he felt depicted Larry’s laid back persona. It featured a “Woodie,” an old station wagon, on the upper left hand shoulder also on the unseen here back side of the shirt. – Hmmm! – Have you ever heard of any guy with a woodie on his shoulder? Here’s a closer look at the pattern on the front of the shirt. It was a great and most appreciated gift to Larry Dierker from Mike McCroskey. – Up top, in the large photo of Larry holding the shirt up, that’s Mike McCroskey with the “home run gift-giver” smile on his face to the lower left, sitting down.

Bob Dorrill SABR Chapter Leader "We all trust our car to this man who wore the star!"

Bob Dorrill
Larry Dierker SABR Chapter Leader
“We all trust our car to this man who wore the star!”

Speaking of smiles, The Pecan Park Eagle was there to present SABR leader, Bob Dorrill, with a gift that we felt symbolized the trust and love that rest of us have for him as the “Sheriff of SABR”. Every member in sight was deputized with a (plastic) silver deputy badge, after we designated the first of these as the “sheriff’s badge” and presented it to Bob. – The gift itself was a tribute to Bob Dorrill’s long term service in marketing for Texaco prior to retirement. It was a replica of the famous Texaco man and a little representation plaque that depicted one of the most famous and effective oil company ad campaigns in the 20th century; “You Can Trust Car to the Man Who Wears The Star.” (The plaque says “with the star”, but “Who Wears The Star” is the correct wording from the song that began The Milton Berle Show (aka “The Texaco Star Theater”) on Tuesday evenings back in the early 1950s. – Oh well, Texaco’s loss was SABR Houston’s gain!

Beautiful Constellation Field Sugar Land Texas April 25, 2016

Beautiful Constellation Field
Sugar Land, Texas
April 25, 2016

The Unnecessary Noise of Our Times

Our only complaint was the blaring noise level of the PA announcer’s over-done, constant voice disturbance that just killed the kind of spring night opportunity for enjoyable discussion of the game in specifics or baseball history in general. I spent most of the game sitting between SABR’s Bob Copus of the Barker Red Sox and Larry and Judy Dierker. We quickly gave up story-sharing. The constant BLASTING voice performance was not only a disturbance. It made laid-back story sharing impossible. We simply had to talk in abrupt bursts – and give up on one of the things that once made a night at the ballpark a lot more fun. For the record, before cell phones and electronic game-playing took over, we used to have this thing we enjoyed. We called it conversation.

Let me be clear. The Eagle isn’t blaming the Skeeters as the inventors of this nuisance ambience. It’s the same story downtown at Minute Maid Park today – and so many other places too. The whole baseball world seems obsessed with the idea that if they don’t constantly do things to keep the fans’ attention, that people will bore of baseball itself and go home. The ironies are – this is only hastening the departure of fans who love the game. We’re going home to watch the game on TV, have conversations, and do other things. And the people wired to their cell phones aren’t paying any attention, anyway.

One has to wonder – if there is still a thing called baseball in 2116 – or maybe, as early as 2066, what will it be like?

Til there is no more chance, some of us will hang around for as long as we can to fight for what made live baseball great in the first place – as a game of unfolding drama, theater, and passionately slow-rising to true loud interest in what actually happens in games that can be followed. People who don’t get the flow and this spirit of the game – or who just do what they see others do as baseball producers – are making a fatal mistake. Silence is not a sign of disinterest among real baseball fans. The ones who don’t care are mostly the ones buried in their cell phones, 24/7. And they will not be blasted into anything at the ballpark.

Have a quiet and reflective Wednesday, everybody!


…. And keep smiling too! ~ It is still – a wonderful world!


Photo Credits: Except for the night ballpark photo by The Pecan Park Eagle, all others are by SABR meeting programmer wiz, James Kreuz. Thanks, Jim! – We also want to give you credit for that foul ball you snared. It was not quite on the level of Willie Mays and “The Catch” in the 1954 World Series, but it must have been pretty darn good. In fact, your personal description of your unwitnessed catch, quite literally, was incredible. 🙂


eagle-0rangeBill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas



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One Response to “SABR Night in Sugar Land, 2016”

  1. Larry Dierker Says:

    Lancaster’s pitcher had a 2-hit shutout and was leading 5-0 after seven innings. They took him out for no apparent reason and the Skeeters almost came back to tie it. This is an independent league for crying out loud. Whom are they saving his arm for. Or has the youth approach of letting everyone play because winning isn’t the most important thing reached the pros?

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