The TCB writing staff is predominantly made up of men that live and die by advanced baseball statistics, sabermetric warriors who cannot be stopped from spreading the meaning of WAR while I sit and ask, "What is it good for?" I have an appreciation for statistics, but am often drawn toward the stories of baseball more than the statistics themselves.
If you find you're more like me than my colleagues, you may well want to head on over to the Royal Sonesta in Houston starting Wednesday and join in on the Society for American Baseball Research's 44th annual convention (SABR 44) running through the weekend.
Although the organization hosts a Spring event in Arizona every year geared specifically toward the numbers, they put one more gathering together each summer to take a long look back at the history of baseball and how it's developed over the years. This year, that look back is focused on the host city of Houston
On the agenda you'll find discussions about the Astrodome, African-American teams in Texas, the history of baseball's drug problem, Hank Greenberg and the 1932 Beaumont Explorers, a historical look at how Houston has used the Rule V draft and quite a few more. It's an interesting array of topics, particularly for someone who likes a good story.
Not only are the presentations intriguing, so are the speakers. It's a who's who list of Astros baseball past and present, from Larry Dierker (for whom the local SABR chapter is named) to Pam Gardner to Tall Smith to Reid Ryan to Jimmy Wynn to Bill Brown.
Given the crazy week in Astros baseball, perhaps the whole team should head to the Royal Sonesta on Saturday morning for the presentation, "An In-Depth Study of Team Chemistry in Baseball." For more information, registration pricing and the complete schedule of events, including an Astros game and a Skeeters game, check out the SABR Houston chapter website.