We’re Back ~ and SABR’s the Word

    When Irish Eyes Are Smiling     Larry and Kathleen Miggins

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling
Larry and Kathleen Miggins


Morti Update

Morti’s doing as well as expected. All he does is sleep, eat, and smile lovingly at the rest of the family every day, but, at least, he’s not being put down for pretty much following my schedule, give or take a blog column or two. As long as he seems to be pain free in his decline, we would much prefer to see him breathe his last in his own little bed than go through another of those awful, almost fatal trips we took to the vet six days ago. I can’t thank all of you enough who expressed your understanding and support in this matter. And I will never forget each of you who did so. The actions that people take in matters like this one speak loudly for them – and about them. I also appreciate those of you who simply offered your implicit support with a knowing look or a smiling hello in person. I got the message from even that subtle a contact. There’s no one out there among you that I know who “owns” an animal who misunderstands the point. These little, or not so little, creatures are not simply possessions. The also give and receive love as members of our families. Thank God for all the “Mortis” of this world.  I’d hate  to seriously consider how much worse our chances for peace on earth would be without them.

SABR Last Night

Larry Miggins was present for the first time since he fell and broke his leg last November. Accompanied by son John Miggins, Larry came in a wheel chair, but he both looked and sounded great. As per usual, Larry told some wonderful baseball and Irish stories, but I would not even begin to try and recapture here in the linear context of typed print their heart, their humor, or their Miggins’ storytelling signature. In other words, “you shoulda’ been there.” Larry did share with us that his enthusiasm for the Vin Scully cover story article in the May 16, 2016 issue of Sports Illustrated that is now on seller shelves everywhere did prompt him to do something he’s been meaning to do anyway. He called his old high school classmate, Vin Scully, yesterday to “catch up” on things – and to thank him for including the story off Vin’s incredible high school classmate prediction that he would be there someday to broadcast Larry’s first MLB home run. And, of course, as wild as it seems improbable, Vin Scully was the rookie junior man on the Dodger radio broadcast crew when Larry Miggins stepped to the plate at Ebbets Field  as a raw member of the St. Louis Cardinals to face Preacher Roe on May 13, 1952. – And it happened – just as Vin Scully had called the shot and game coverage. “It was the most significant home run of my career,” Larry said, “and it was an event that seriously directed the rest of our lives.” – Larry’s son Robert Miggins of San Antonio also will be traveling to Los Angeles this summer with the President of HEB Foods to attend a Dodger game and meeting with Vin Scully at the stadium during the latter’s last season in the broadcast booth. What a wrap for Scully – 66 years in the booth (and 67, once he finishes his career with the 2016 season) as a baseball play-by-play solo genius – and it all began – as it shall shall soon enough conclude – with another Miggins on board as the second of two baseball family career book ends in the life of the great Vin Scully.

Joe Perez was on deck as President and Owner of the OTW (Over the Wall) Bat Company here in Houston to lay out the history, science, and business of a small Houston operation that has found its way into the swing of competition with the big boys in this field. Colby Rasmus of the Astros is OTW’s most famous local customer, and, as Perez pointed out, it didn’t hurt business at all when Colby became a client last season and then went into that playoff tear with all the home runs. – After all, these are “over the wall” people and that kind of action is good for business. The contents of this presentations were altogether comprehensive and articulately presented. All we can hope to do is give you a smattering of them. – OTW mainly uses maple and ash tree wood. – Most big leaguers are superstitious and demanding of precision in each bat they order – The MLB clubs pay for their player bat orders. – Colby Rasmus probably takes a couple of dozen bats with him on nine-game road trip. – Wood absorbs moisture like a sponge. – During spring training in Florida, a bat may gain 3 oz. of weight from the morning dew. – Too much weight slows the bat speed. – A heavier bat of 44 oz. could not afford the 3 oz. gain. – 46 oz. is the legal upper limit of bat weight. – In arid Arizona, bats lose weight due to the absence of air moisture. – They become brittle and more susceptible to breaking. Members of our SABR chapter have been invited to tour the OTW Bat Company and, hopefully, those of us who are interested will take up Joe Perez on his invitation.

A SABR Chapter Charter Bus Trip to See the Corpus Christi Hooks on Saturday, June 11th is being explored by Mike McCroskey. The trip would include a 3-hour ride from Houston to Corpus Christi, leaving about 1 PM and arriving in time for a tour of Whataburger Park, an included in the price meal, a Hooks game that starts at 6 PM and an immediate return to Houston when things ended. (Although, I’m assuming that, if we ran into a game that was 15-0 after six, we might be free to leave early.  We should be back in Houston some time after midnight. – The cost slides, depending on how many people sign up. – If 30 people sign up, I think Mike said the cost would be $125.00 per person. The big thing now is time. If you are interested, please e-mail Mike McCroskey soon at:


Jim Kreuz reported on his enjoyable experience attending a baseball Saturday program in Austin with the Rogers Hornsby Chapter in which SABR’s Paul Rogers of Dallas made a measurable impression on everyone. We are hoping to have Paul join us in Houston too one of these fine SABR weekends.  – Tony Cavender‘s Trivia Quiz was won by Tom White and Mike Vance, with the latter agreeing to prepare a quiz for June’s meeting.

Our Larry Dierker SABR Chapter Meeting Schedule through August 2016:

  1. Monday, June 27, 2016, 7:00 PM ~ Spaghetti Western Ristorante on Shepherd Drive at Eigels, south of I-10 West. (Program TBA)
  2. July 2016 ~ No Meeting Scheduled to conflict with too many summer travel plans.
  3. Saturday, August 27, 2016, 4:00 PM ~ Minute Maid Park, Union Station Board Room, Astros President Reid Ryan, Speaker, followed by the Blue Jays @ Astros game. Cost: $35.00 per person. *
  • Jo Russell and Mike McCroskey are in charge of reservations and collections and may be contacted through the earlier e-mail provided for Mike.

Sales, Trades, and Outright Releases

Bob Dorrill, Mike Vance, Joe Thompson, Jim Kreuz, and Tom White brought  collectibles to buy, sell, or giveaway. It went well for most of us members of the hands out and hungry crowd. We went home with some nice and valuable collector’s trinkets – something I needed like another hole in the head. Bottom Line: It was fun.

Have a great Tuesday afternoon, everybody, and stay dry!


Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas




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2 Responses to “We’re Back ~ and SABR’s the Word”

  1. stanfromtacoma Says:

    Back in 2009 I wrote an Internet article built around Vin’s first broadcast for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Bill your post today is truly serendipitous.

    When I was a kid I read a book by Connie Mack titled My 66 years in the Big Leagues. You mention this is Vin’s 66th year with the Dodgers. I was not aware of that until you wrote it.

    Vin’s first broadcast for Brooklyn was in spring training of 1950 at.Vero Beach. The manager for the team the Dodgers played that day was Connie Mack. Talk about full circle. Connie Mack was born in 1862. He was 7 years old when the first professional team was formed; 14 when the National League came into existence. The entire history of professional baseball is contained in the lifetime of two men. It is staggering to think how many professional baseball games and how many professional baseball players those two lives have encompassed.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      I made one math error, Stan, Counting this last final season, Vin Scully will leave the mike this fall with 67 years of play-by-play broadcasting genius work under his belt. Not many people are that good – or that fresh – at anything they do for 67 years. I’ve always felt that most people who keep their creative passions alive keep themselves alive as contributors to the gift of life, And Vin Scully is one of the few that have blown the wheels off the idea that there is anything like a time to quit that fits everybody like a pair of one-size-fits-all baseball cap.

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