2011 Houston Baseball
Dinner: January 14, 2011
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
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.
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
Chris Johnson was named
as the Astro Rookie of the Year.
Carl Crawford captured
the Houston Area Major League Player of the
Mike Rutledge received
the Allen Russell Distinguished Achievement
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