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

SABR MVP Chapter 2022-2023

April 2024

Editor:
Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Upcoming Stuff
  • Twins Legal Counsel Mary Giesler to Speak at May 18 Chapter Meeting
  • Registration for SABR 52 Now Open
  • Glenn Renick’s Baseball Card Quiz
  • Ed Edmonds Part of 11 Men In
  • Writing Opportunities through TwinsDaily
  • New Member
  • Cow Chips
  • Answers to Glenn Renick’s Baseball Card Quiz
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Upcoming Stuff
    Gary Gillette is hosting what has become a semi-annual event for SABR members in the vicinity of teams in the American League Central Division. On Thursday, March 28 from 6:30 to 8:15 p.m. Central time, SABR members will provide an outlook for the Tigers, Royals, White Sox, Guardians, and Twins, the latter being covered by Gene Gomes and John Buckeye.

    AL Central Chapters Meeting Registration

    Earlier that day, the Twins Daily crowd will gather to watch the Twins at Royals opener at Forgotten Star Brewing Company, 38 Northern Stocks Drive, Fridley 55421, 763-657-7231. Gametime is 3:10 although pre-game debauchery begins at 2:00. Organizer John Bonnes (who recently had the high honor of finishing second in the KFAN Preposterous Statement Tournament) elaborates, “Get ready for some fun and games! Alongside cheering on the Twins, you’ll have ample opportunities to mingle with fellow fans. We’ll be hosting our silly ‘Six of a Kind’ baseball card game and Last Fan Standing challenges, offering chances to showcase your knowledge and win exciting prizes. But that’s not all—be sure to arrive early for your shot at big door prizes, awarded at both the first pitch and last out. And stay tuned for more surprises and announcements coming your way soon! This event is shaping up to be an absolute blast, and we can’t wait to celebrate the start of the Twins season with you!” The event is free. “No need to purchase tickets,” John pontificates. “Simply show up, check-in at the front desk, and we’ll make sure you’re set up with everything you need to win great prizes and everything else you need for a memorable Twins season opener!” Northern Stocks Drive and Forgotton Star are just off East River Road south of Interstate 694. “It’s time to break out of hibernation and reconnect with fellow fans over the love of baseball and beer,” John ejaculates.

    The next joint convocation of SABR and the the Minneapolis Association of Baseball Enthusiasts will be at at Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th Street NE, Minneapolis 55418 (one block east of University Avenue and three blocks south of Lowry Avenue) on Saturday, March 30. The gathering begins anytime after 5 p.m. and goes as long as anyone wants to stay. Many members of Grumpy’s Gang participate in a free and family-oriented year-long competition that begins April 1. If you would like to learn more about joining the fun, contact stew@stewthornley.net.

    The next Book Club meeting will be Saturday, April 13 at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall at 9:30 a.m. The book selection is Steve Gietschier’s Baseball: The Turbulent Midcentury Years, which was recently named the 2024 recipient of the 2024 Seymour Medal for the best baseball history or biography published during the previous calendar year. Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections.

    The next Research Committee meetings, via Zoom, will be April 15 and May 13 at 7:00 p.m. Research Committee members are co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes as well as Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Mike Haupert, Bob Tholkes, Daniel Dorff, Darryl Sannes, Tom Swift, David Karpinski, Glenn Renick, John Buckeye, Terry Bohn, Ed Wehling, John Gregory, Art Mugalian, Ed Edmonds, and Bob Komoroski. Let Dave or Gene know if you would like to attend and/or join the committee.

    The Halsey Hall Chapter will host a program about the 100th anniversary of the first world championship of the Washington-Minnesota franchise from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville (northeast corner of Hamline Avenue and County Road B). The event is free and open to the public and will include presentations on Walter Johnson, Clark Griffith, and the 1924 World Series with video clips of the World Series and of Johnson.

    Matt Hodson of the Minnesota Twins will be there to talk about the team’s plans to have a special day to honor the 1924 champions on August 11. The event will include door prizes.

    The Halsey Hall Chapter will again participate in the annual History Day event on April 20 and award a prize for the best baseball project. Rich Arpi and Bob Tholkes will be judges.

    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball (and a wedding involving Brenda Himrich attended by many chapter members 28 years before), will be at Manning’s at 22nd and Como in southeast Minneapolis on Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m.

    Keep up to date with chapter activities on social media:

    SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page

    Halsey Hall Chapter Twitter page

    Please visit both pages, and, if you haven’t yet, “Like” the Facebook page and “Follow” the Twitter page and set your notifications to be alerted to new posts. (The Facebook page now has 274 members. Bob Komoroski has established rules —essentially, don’t be a dink.— The page is still public although Bob has set up a series of questions for new members to cull out spammers, trollers, and other wankers.)

    Also:

    Regular Events

    Video Archives of Past Events

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    Spring Chapter Meeting May 18

    Twins Legal Counsel Mary Giesler to Speak at May 18 Chapter Meeting
    Mary Giesler, the legal counsel for the Minnesota Twins, will be the featured speaker at the spring chapter meeting. Mary, who will enlighten us on the legal issues in the operation of a major-league baseball team, will also be speaking in June (along with several other chapter members) at the annual Baseball and the Law Class that SABR member Lou Schiff conducts on behalf of the Hamline Mitchell Law School.

    The meeting is Saturday, May 18 Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Registration begins around 8:15 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. People can pay by cash (with correct change appreciated) or check at the door.

    The morning will consist of research presentations by chapter members. Mary will speak after lunch, and she will be followed by Howard Luloff’s Improved and Still Almost New Jeopardy trivia quiz and door prizes. During the business meeting over lunch, the chapter will elect three members to two-year terms on the board of directors (term to begin July 1). The terms of Bob Tholkes, Jerry Janzen, and Ed Edmonds (who was elected mid-term to fill a vacancy) are expiring. Members in good standing are invited to indicate their interest and submit a statement.

    Ed Edmonds will be running for a full term on the board. Here is his candidate statement:

    As a relatively new member of the Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research, I am pleased to offer a few words on why I am seeking a full term on the Chapter’s Board of Directors. First, I will dedicate myself to assisting the officers, the other Board members, and all members of the Chapter in never relinquishing our MVP Chapter status. The fact that we were the only Chapter given this designation last year solidifies that this Chapter stands out as the “best” in all of the SABR. This is not to say that there are not many great chapters, but the Halsey Hall Chapter has consistently been extremely active in providing a wide array of activities for our members dedicated to the history of baseball. We never want to give up that honor.

    As part of my service, I want to see that we both maintain that wide array of offerings while increasing them. As a life-long baseball card collector, one of my goals is to create a baseball card component to our Chapter activities. As an author, researcher, and presenter on baseball topics to our chapter, at the national SABR annual meeting, the Nine Spring Training Conference, and the Cooperstown Symposium, I hope to assist our members in their own research, writing, and presentations.

    The morning will have up to four research presentations. Three have been approved by the Research Committee so far:

    Terry Bohn: Who Was That Guy? Identification of Unknown Minor League Players
    According to Baseball-Reference, since 1876 more than 23,000 men have played at least one game in Major League Baseball. Full names and biographical information such as birth, death, and burial dates and locations are known for the vast majority of them. There remain a handful of brief 19th century players that the SABR Biographical Research Committee is still working to identify.

    However, there are still tens of thousands of minor leaguers who are still known only by their last name. This presentation will explain the methods and resources I use to identify these players by finding a first name and then, if possible, linking them to a known player in the Minor League Database along with the process used to make updates and corrections to Baseball-Reference. I will discuss some of the challenges in this type of research as well as some of the surprising and interesting findings.

    John Swol: The Best Twins Teams According to WAR
    This originally started out as a post that I was going to do for my Minnesota Twins historical website, Twinstrivia.com, but I decided it might be fun to turn it into a short presentation at SABR. This presentation isn’t meant to tell you who the best Twins teams have been over the years. My presentation here is just to show you how the numbers can sometimes be deceiving, that having the best players doesn’t necessarily mean that team will win the World Series. It also will not tell you what is more important, the hitting side or the pitching side.

    The WAR formula doesn’t have all the answers and no formula ever will. Baseball is an evolving sport and the statistical side of it has been changing right along with the game. Let’s dive right in and see how the WAR formulas have looked at Minnesota Twins teams from over the years.

    Ed Edmonds: The Search for the “Truth”—Trying to Uncover the Real Early Life of Larry MacPhail
    While researching a chapter for a book on the legal careers of the eleven lawyers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I encountered detours, misstatements, and challenges when trying to research the early life of Leland Stanford “Larry” MacPhail (or is it McPhail?). Starting with the year and location of Larry’s birth through the institutions that he attended (or did not—the United States Naval Academy—was it George Washington or Georgetown where he completed his legal education?) through the when, where, and for whom he practiced law, I will present both what I think is the truth as well as my research methods.

    One presentation slot is always reserved for a first-time presenter until four weeks before the chapter meeting (April 20). If a slot remains after that, any member can submit a proposal until May 4, two weeks before the meeting, when the Research Committee will wrap up the schedule of presentations. Proposals may be sent to Research Committee co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes and include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included. Standard oral presentations are 20 minutes (with an additional eight minutes for questions) although the duration may be longer or shorter depending on the needs of the presenter and of the schedule.

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    Registration for SABR 52 Now Open

    SABR 52 LogoThe SABR convention is coming. Are you? The event is scheduled from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. The Core Four (John Buckeye, Daniel Dorff, Gene Gomes, and a retread) encourages members to indicate your interest to be a volunteer by sending a note to Jessica Smyth, jsmyth@sabr.org.

    We can use people during the day on Tuesday, August 6 to assemble swag bags at the hotel (Hyatt Regency at 13th and Nicollet). During the convention, warm bodies are needed for a whole plethora-load of things: greeters, timekeepers for researcher presentations, staffers at the registration table. Let Jessica know if you have a particular interest in any of those things or if you’re up for anything.

    The convention will include a panel on Black baseball moderated by Frank White, an umpires’ panel, and one of more player panels, which will include four Hall of Famers: Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Jim Kaat, and Bert Blyleven. During the convention, the attendees will have a choice between a tour of Target Field or a St. Paul Saints game, which will feature a tour of the Saints’ City of Baseball museum and a pre-game meeting with the game’s official scorer, Sarah Johnson.

    Registration is now open with early-bird registration rates available through June 7.

    Students in high school or college who are between 19 and 29 can apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend the convention with registration fees, lodging, and transportation covered. Applications are due May 7. Get this info out to any baseball aficionados who qualify: Students, apply now for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 52 in Minneapolis

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    Glenn Renick’s Baseball Card Quiz
    The March Research Committee meeting included a visual quiz submitted Glenn Renick. Of it, Glenn writes, “Baseball has been used to promote other products and organizations for almost as long as baseball has existed. One of the most popular and longest enduring forms of promotion and advertising has been in the form of baseball cards. When Peck & Snyder’s sporting goods store put out a trade card showing George and Harry Wright with their Cincinnati Red Stockings Base Ball Club in 1869, the store rode on the coattails of the game as it rose to become America’s Pastime. Enthusiasts have been collecting baseball cards ever since. Here are some examples of baseball cards that were used to promote various companies, organizations, and their products. See if you can match each card to the logo or package for the product that produced the card. Here is a hint. Below the answer line for each card you will see the year when it was released. Good luck!”

    Baseball Card Quiz, Part 1

    Baseball Card Quiz, Part 1

    Baseball Card Quiz, Part 1

    Quiz answers below

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    SABR at NINE
    Bob Komoroski has been a regular attendee at the annual NINE Spring Training Conference for many years. He has submitted this report on the recently completed conference, which included participation by some chapter members:

    Always eclectic, always, entertaining, and always informative, the annual NINE Spring Training Conference convened in Tempe, AZ this month with a full slate of presentations and an afternoon of field research at Scottsdale's Salt River Field’s at Talking Stick with the Arizona Diamondbacks hosting the Chicago Cubs.

    The conference opened on Wednesday evening with quite possibly the most bizarre baseball panel discussion I have ever encountered. Titled, “Boys, Baseball, and Bank Robbers,” it was a panel that included former major leaguers Rick Dempsey, Larry Yount, and Robin Yount, and several others who were a part of the Canoga Park all star team, which represented Southern California at the 1963 PONY League World Series in Washington, Pennsylvania. The real story here, was not the extraordinary talent on the field, (truth be told, young Robin was only eight years old and was the unofficial batboy and mascot to his better known older brother Larry), but the fact that their head coach had a secret second life as a bank robber. In all, the coach, along with his partner, were responsible for 13 bank heists in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas. As one might expect, the coaches’ exploits came as a complete surprise to the young players and their parents. It’s rather surprising that, to this day, this has largely remained a local Southern California story, and received little subsequent attention. But, I guess it’s not surprising since the two suspects were arraigned on November 22, 1963. To this day, it remains a much discussed topic in Southern California bars and homes, with some people maintaining that it’s pure myth. There is currently a documentary in production and we were privileged to view out-takes during the panel discussion.

    Eric Berg

    Once again, the Halsey Hall Chapter was well represented, as our own Eric Berg (above) and Dan Levitt gave presentations.

    Eric Berg, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bemidji State University, presented “Target Field as a Symbol for Social Change.” His presentation examined how Target Field and the Twins have responded to social change, particularly from a gender and racial perspective, since the venue opened in 2010. Some of the issues he examined included the move toward restroom equity for women (Target Field includes a much greater number of women’s restroom facilities than the Metrodome), as well as several promotions directed at women such as “Wine, Women, and Baseball.” He also examined the continuing controversy of marketing baseball apparel (caps, jerseys, etc.) in traditional feminine colors (pink) to women and girls.

    Eric also discussed the removal of the Calvin Griffith statue and the Twins response to the death of George Floyd through signage in the ballpark (“End Racism” and “George Floyd” on the outfield walls). Also included, was a look at the Twin’s outreach to minority communities through youth baseball initiatives and honoring the heritage of Black baseball in Minnesota.

    In his continuing examination of John McGraw, Dan Levitt presented, “John McGraw’s Florida Land Investment Fiasco.” This presentation focused on McGraw’s involvement in a failed mid1920s Florida real estate development named Pennant Park in Sarasota where the New York Giants held spring training.

    Capitalizing on the popularity of the team, with McGraw acting as front man, ads were placed in major newspapers in the Midwest and Northeast and lots were sold through multiple sales offices. Like many real estate ventures of the period, the plans were grandiose, as McGraw and his partners, had hopes of capitalizing on the team’s fame and notoriety. With an ocean front, Sarasota Bay location and planned streets named after players, one main street was named Christy Mathewson Way, another after Roger Bresnahan. Lots were priced up to $5,000, not a small sum for 1920s Florida, and sold poorly. The project collapsed in 1927 Florida real estate bubble which lead to a sharp decline in property values. Today, the current site is the location of the IMG Sports Academy and much of the land remains undeveloped.

    New Members
    New to the Halsey Hall Chapter: Brennan Larsen

    Our chapter has welcomed 23 new members since June 1, the beginning of the SABR fiscal year reporting period, and has 188 members.

    Know a potential member? Here are resources for getting that person happily involved in SABR:

    Membership application

    Get more out of your membership experience by checking out SABR Member Benefit Spotlight Series.

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    Writing Opportunities through TwinsDaily
    TwinsDaily, a web site with news, forums, blogs, and videos with the participation of many SABR members, has a new initiative that offers opportunism for members. TwinsPlayers.com has profiles of differing lengths and styles of former Twins. Like Wikipedia, it allows people to write new entries and/or edit and add to existing ones.

    John “Twins Geek” Bonnes, one of the head gurus of TwinsDaily and co-host of the Gleeman & the Geek podcast, writes, “It looks like any new players that are added climb into Google’s top 10 search for that name very quickly. For instance, a search for ‘Lyman Bostock’ brings up his player page as the eighth overall result, and it was just created six days ago. And a search for ‘lyman bostock twins’ is already the 3rd result. So the internet will be finding their work.”

    A tutorial on how to contribute and participate is at How To Use The Minnesota Twins Players Project. John Gregory will be serving as the liaison from our chapter on this project. Contact him at John Gregory.

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    New Member
    New to the Halsey Hall Chapter: Brennan Larsen

    Our chapter has welcomed 23 new members since June 1, the beginning of the SABR fiscal year reporting period, and has 188 members.

    Know a potential member? Here are resources for getting that person happily involved in SABR:

    Membership application

    Get more out of your membership experience by checking out SABR Member Benefit Spotlight Series.

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    Cow Chips
    Roger Godin was named the recipient of the Jim Fullerton Award by the American Hockey Coaches Association. Roger has been the team curator from the Minnesota Wild from the team’s beginning and was the first executive director of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. While in the latter role, Roger was one of four presenters—talking about the 1922 St. Louis Browns, a topic he later turned into a book—in 1981 at the first gathering of SABR members in Minnesota.

    The SABR Games Project has new game stories from members:

    The March 2024 edition of Keltner’s Hot Corner, the newsletter of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter, is on-line:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner, March 2024

    This issue includes a profile by Mary Shea of Sister Toni, Toni Ann “Peanuts” Palmero, who played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s travel teams and still lives in Wisconsin.

    Past Keltner’s Hot Corner newsletters:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner

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    Answers to Glenn Renick’s Baseball Card Quiz

    Answers to Baseball Card Quiz

    Glenn added this information about the connection between the Worch Cigar Company, Washburn Crosby Company, Wheaties, the Minneapolis Millers, and Halsey Hall:

    WLAG radio went on the air on September 4, 1922, becoming the first commercial radio station in Minnesota.

    In 1924 WLAG declared bankruptcy and went off the air on July 31. The Washburn Crosby Company bought the assets of WLAG and began broadcasting on October 2 as WCCO. Washburn Crosby dubbed WCCO the ’Gold Medal Station” using the name of its premier product, Gold Medal Flour.

    By 1926 WCCO was broadcasting Minneapolis Millers games, announced by Jerry Harrington and Sy Seymour and sponsored by The Worch Cigar Company. I

    n 1933 CBS took over full ownership and management of WCCO. Also in that year, Worch dropped sponsorship of Millers games in mid-season, leaving them without advertising revenue for the broadcasts.

    After an appeal to their old owners, WCCO completed an arrangement with General Mills (formerly the Washburn Crosby Company) for Wheaties to become the sponsor of Minneapolis Millers broadcasts starting in 1934 and hired Halsey Hall to replace Harrington and Seymour, who went back to announcing non-sports events. This springboarded Hall’s career in sports broadcasting. It also served as the model for Wheaties to sponsor baseball broadcasting across the United States, allowing it to become the number-one selling cereal in the country.

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    Calendar
        March 28—Opening Day Watch Party, Forgotten Star Brewing Company, Fridley. Gathering begins at 2:00 and the game at 3:10 p.m.

        March 28—American League Central Division Preview, 6:30-8:15 p.m. Central Time via Zoom.

        March 30—SABR/Minneapolis Association of Baseball Enthusiasts Hang-out, Grumpy’s Northeast, around 5 p.m. or so.

        April 13Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Baseball: The Turbulent Midcentury Years by Steve Gietschier.

        April 14—Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 7:00 p.m. For more information on attending, contact Rich Arpi.

        April 15—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        April 17—Program on 100th Anniversary of the 1924 World Series, 6:30 p.m., Ramsey County Library, Roseville.

        May 11—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Mannings’s, Minneapolis.

        May 15—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        May 18—Spring Chapter Meeting, 8:45 a.m., Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, or Bob Komoroski.

        August 7-11—SABR Convention, Minneapolis.

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    Board of Directors 2023-2024
    President—Rich Arpi
    Vice President—Bob Tholkes
    Secretary—Daniel Dorff
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    John Buckeye
    Ed Edmonds
    Howard Luloff

    Events Committee Co-Chairs—Howard Luloff, Bob Komoroski
    Research Committee Co-Chairs—Dave Lande, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Co-Chairs—Stew Thornley, John Buckeye
    MVP Chapter Committee Chair—Gene Gomes

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Ass. Editors—Jerry Janzen, Brenda Himrich, and John Buckeye
    Webmaster—John Gregory
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell, Hans Van Slooten, and Stew Thornley
    Social Media Directors—Bob Komoroski, Facebook; Hans Van Slooten and Tom Flynn, Twitter

    Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page

    Past issues of The Holy Cow! are available on-line.

    Chapter History

    Chapter Procedures and By-Laws

    Society for American Baseball Research

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    Resources

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