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The Newsletter of the Halsey Hall Chapter
Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

April 2009

Julio Becquer to be Featured Speaker Spring Chapter Meeting May 2
Johnny Blanchard, Two-Time Chapter Guest, Dies
Words to Live By for Researchers
New Members
Board of Directors

Julio Becquer to be Featured Speaker Spring Chapter Meeting May 2

Julio Becquer, who played in parts of seven seasons in the major leagues, will be the featured speaker at the Halsey Hall Chapter Meeting on Saturday, May 2. Becquer, a native of Havana, Cuba, was a member of the Twins in 1961 and is remembered for a grand slam he hit with two out in the bottom of the ninth to beat the White Sox 6-4 in the first game of a Fourth of July doubleheader that year.

The meeting will be at the Grace University Lutheran Church, 324 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, 612-331-0125. Parking is in lot AA, across Harvard Street from the church. The group will attend the Twins-Royals game in the evening.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies, hosted by Howard Luloff, starting at 9:00. The research presentations will be:

  • The 1950s St. Paul Saints by Joe O’Connell.
  • Blix Donnelly by Gregg Omoth.
  • A presentation by Cary Smith on archival collections.
  • Accuracy in Research: The Virtue of Skepticism by Stew Thornley.

Julio Becquer will speak and then answer questions starting at 1:00. Howard Luloff will lead a baseball trivia contest at 2:30.

During the business meeting at lunch, four new members will be elected to the chapter’s board of directors. Anyone interested in running for a two-year term may contact Nominating Committee Chair Dan Levitt at 612-377-5154, danrl@attglobal.net.

Candidates may want to plan to attend the chapter board of directors meeting on a Sunday evening in early June. At this meeting, the incoming board members and holdover board members will elect, from among themselves, a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer to a one-year term that will begin July 1. (A description of the duties for these offices is at http://halseyhall.org/bylaws#procedures.) Other than the elections at this board meeting, only the outgoing and holdover board members will be allowed to vote on chapter business because the board term of the incoming members will not begin until July 1.

Registration for the meeting is $8, which includes lunch. There is also a meeting-only price of $5. Those wanting lunch must RSVP to Howard Luloff at 952-922-5036, hfan77@webtv.net, by April 25.

Tickets for the Royals-Twins game are $22 each. To attend the game, send a check payable to Halsey Hall SABR by April 18 to Howard Luloff, 2509 Princeton Court, St. Louis Park 55416.

Johnny Blanchard, Two-Time Chapter Guest, Dies

Johnny Blanchard, who was twice a featured guest at a Halsey Hall Chapter meeting, including last fall, died of a heart attack at the age of 76 on March 25. Blanchard signed with the New York Yankees after graduating from Central High School in Minneapolis in 1951. News reports at the time said he was the best three-sport athlete from Minneapolis since Tony Jaros. Blanchard played with the Yankees in all or parts of eight different seasons. He hit 21 home runs in 1961, one of six Yankees to hit more than 20 home runs that season. Blanchard hit two more homers that fall in the World Series as the Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games. He is one of the subjects profiled in the Minnesotans in Baseball book that will be coming out this spring.

Words to Live By for Researchers

Physicist Dick Feynman: “The researcher should not only detail what’s he’s done, but, in fact, he should list every reason he can think of for why his conclusion could be wrong. Yes, when we present our work, we do so because we believe we’ve come to a conclusion that’s good. But to make that conclusion, we have to think of all the other ways we could have done it, and reject them as inferior; and, our audience has to have the information to do the same.”

Bill James in The Politics of Glory: How Baseball’s Hall of Fame Really Works on applying tests to a statement or argument: “What does this mean? Who said this, and when did he say it? Was he in a position to know what he was talking about? Did he have a bias? Was he a friend or teammate? Did he say this at the time, or did he offer this generous judgment years later? In what context did he say that?”

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New Members

Jim Hoey is originally from Taconite, Minnesota, and attended Greenway High School in Coleraine. He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona and Bemidji State University and a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

As an eight-year-old, Jim listened with his grandpa on a Zenith radio to Pedro Ramos shutting out the Yankees in the Twins’ first game in 1961. From then on he was hooked, and Jim’s highlights as a fan include attending the seventh game of the 1987 World Series and then celebrating in the streets downtown until 3 a.m.; being at Fenway Park on his honeymoon in 1990 when the Twins turned two triple plays in a game; catching a grand slam hit by Kirby Puckett on August 12, 1994, the last game before the strike canceled the rest of the season; participating in a 10-day baseball trip with other fans that included attending the induction of Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield into the Hall of Fame in 2001; being named one of the Top 10 Twins Fans in a contest celebrating the team’s first 40 years in Minnesota; and standing next to Calvin Griffith as Roy Smalley popped out to end the last game at Metropolitan Stadium.

Jim, who has spent time as a sportswriter, enjoys writing and hopes to produce a Twins trivia and record book. He will be retiring after more than 30 years as a social studies teacher in April 2010, just in time to enjoy his season tickets for Target Field.

Jim shares his May 14 birthday with fellow chapter member Frank Marx as well as Ed Walsh, Earle Combs, Tony Perez, Bob Thurman, Dennis Martinez, Dick Howser, Roy Halladay, Sophie “The Trophy” Kurys, Hosken Powell, Suzy Kolber, Dave LaRoche, Alex Pompez, J. L. Wilkinson, Richard Deacon, Bobby Darin, and George Lucas.

Also new to the Halsey Hall Chapter: Dave Lande


    April 11—Book Club Meeting, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., The Politics of Glory: How Baseball’s Hall of Fame Really Works (aka Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame? Baseball, Cooperstown, and the Politics of Glory) by Bill James. For more information, contact Tom Dolen, 651-483-8617, or Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825, amugalian@comcast.net.

    May 2—Spring Chapter Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, Hfan77@webtv.net.

    May 9—Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153, baseballbooks@comcast.net.

Halsey Hall Chapter
Board of Directors 2008-2009
President—Art Mugalian
Vice President—Lee Temanson
Secretary—Armand Peterson
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Doug Ernst
Gary Hackenmueller
Stew Thornley

The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Webmaster—John Gregory 

Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page: http://halseyhall.org

Halsey Hall Chapter E-list/Message Board: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/halseyhall

Past issues of The Holy Cow! are available at http://halseyhall.org/pubs/holy.html


Chapter History: http://halseyhall.org/officers_history.html

Chapter Procedures and By-Laws: http://halseyhall.org/bylaws.html

Society for American Baseball Research: http://sabr.org

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