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

August 2010

Stew Thornley

SABR Convention Coming to Minneapolis in 2012
Fall Chapter Meeting October 16
Member News
New Member
Board of Directors

SABR Convention Coming to Minneapolis in 2012

The Society for American Baseball Research board of directors, at its pre-convention meeting in Atlanta on August 4, awarded Minneapolis the 2012 SABR convention. The Halsey Hall Chapter last hosted the SABR convention in 1988.

In preparation for the possibility of the SABR convention coming to the Twin Cities, the Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee has begun planning a convention publication that will carry articles related to baseball in the Upper Midwest. Anyone interested in writing for the convention publication may submit a proposal, including a description of the subject, to Dan Levitt, 612-377-5154.

A number of Halsey Hall Chapter members are attending the SABR convention in Atlanta, including Tom Swift, Jerry Janzen, Ray Luurs, Barry Bengtsson, Mike and Matt Haupert, Brenda Himrich and her main squeeze, Connie Hill, Howard Luloff, Jim Wyman, Alden Mead, Aaron Gleeman, and Dan Levitt.

At the convention, SABR introduced its new executive director, Marc Appleman, who will succeed John Zajc. Appleman is a sports media professional hailed by SABR president Andy McCue for his “wealth of ideas and marketing savvy.”

Ty Cobb Mausoleum in Royston, Georgia

Royston, Georgia, August 5, 2010: Possibly the largest group of SABR members ever to gather in front of Ty Cobb’s mausoleum.

The Atlanta Braves panel of Phil Niekro, Mark Lemke, Pete Van Wieren (moderator), Bobby Cox, and Ron Gant at the SABR convention August 6.

Atlanta Braves Panel

Fall Chapter Meeting October 16

The 2010 Halsey Hall Chapter fall meeting will be Saturday, October 16 at Community United Methodist Church, 950 Gould Avenue, Columbia Heights 55421-3905, 763-788-9009.

Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research presentation at the meeting. Proposals must be made in writing (e-mail is fine) to Research Committee Chair Stew Thornley, 1082 Lovell Avenue, Roseville, Minnesota 55113-4419, and should include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included. Standard 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. The Research Committee (which also consists of Tom Swift, Dan Levitt, Cary Smith, Bob Tholkes, and Rich Arpi) will finalize the schedule of research presentations by October 2, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

To date, two research presentations have been scheduled. One is Can You Hear The Noise: The St. Paul Gophers 1907-1911 by Todd Peterson. Here is an abstract of the presentation:

From 1907 to 1911, the St. Paul Gophers won nearly four hundred and fifty ball games while spreading the gospel of blackball to places it had never been before. Perhaps more significantly, the Gophers featured a slew of great players and leaders such as George “Chappie” Johnson, Bill Gatewood, Felix Wallace, “Candy” Jim Taylor, and Bobby Marshall, who in no small way paved the way for the generations of black players that were to follow.

The story of the Gophers is important because it illustrates how black athletes were able to survive and even thrive as a growing apartheid enveloped this country. During their five year existence, the Gophers relentlessly barnstormed throughout Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas, successfully taking on the best town teams and semi-pro clubs in the region.

Besides the Gopher-Leland Giants battle of 1909, one of the most exciting championship series of all time, the Gopher story includes a game in 1907, when the great Rube Foster beat the St. Paul Saints of the American Association and a return trip by Foster to the Twin Cities a year later when he no-hit the strong Hibbing club from the Iron Range. There is an incident from 1908 where “Big Bill” Gatewood almost started a race riot in the sleepy town of Stillwater, Minnesota by hitting an umpire with his glove, and a playoff with the Chicago Giants in 1910, when the Gophers ran into a fire-balling hurler from Texas named Joe Williams. In addition to Cyclone Joe, The Gophers competed against such great players as Walter Ball, Pete Hill, Heinie Groh, John “Chief” Meyers, and Burleigh Grimes.

The presentation will focus on the 1909 Gopher team that gave Minnesota its first major baseball championship, while also dealing with the team’s origin and the reasons for its demise. I will also touch on the social impact the club had on the Upper Midwest, and the important role the Gophers played in baseball history all those summers ago.

The other is Integrating Major League Baseball: A Counterfactual Analysis by Mike Haupert, a presentation he, along with Kenneth Winter, recently made at the Jerry Malloy Negro League Conference. The abstract:

Major League Baseball integrated in 1947 after more than half a century of shameful segregation. While this move was a step in the right direction, it was not without its drawbacks. The owners of Negro League teams lost their investment and the league and team executives lost their jobs.

Historians are not in total agreement about whether or not Bill Veeck ever seriously considered purchasing the Philadelphia Phillies and stocking the team with Negro League stars prior to 1947. However, the story raises an intriguing possibility. What would have happened had MLB integrated in a different way? What if instead of signing select players from the Negro Leagues, MLB had integrated by acquiring the Negro Leagues and selecting franchises to join MLB? What if instead of maintaining a lily white front office with integrated players, MLB had instead integrated from the top down?

This research exploits recently discovered financial data for both MLB and Negro League teams along with a baseball software program to propose a counterfactual historical question: what would have happened if MLB had integrated by acquiring the Negro Leagues in 1947 and expanded by adding four black franchises?

The presentation analyzes both on field and front office impacts of such an integration model over a five year period and provides some compelling historical what-ifs and paints a different picture of the winners and losers in the integration of MLB. Clearly integration as it progressed was better than segregation on the whole, but it was not a better outcome for all involved.

Registration for the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies, hosted by Howard Luloff, starting at 9:00. The research presentations will take place in the morning with a featured guest in the afternoon. The business meeting will be held during lunch between noon and 1 p.m.

Attendees, along with other SABR members and family, can head over to the Thornley-Himrich residence (1082 Lovell Avenue, Roseville, 651-415-0791) after the meeting to watch playoffs on television. Map and directions.

Other upcoming events:
The book club will meet Saturday, August 14 at 9:30 a.m. at the Barnes and Noble cafe in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The group is reading a pair of books on umpires, As They See ‘Em Time: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires by Bruce Weber and The Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires by Larry R. Gerlach.

The next Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on September 11 (which is also the birthday of the mayor of Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Mark Johnson) at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

The Research Committee will meet Sunday, September 12 at 6 p.m. at Perkins, off 50th Street and Minn. Hwy. 100, in Edina.

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Member News

Dave Laliberte had an article, “Natives, Neighbors, & the National Game: Baseball at the Pipestone Indian Training School,” published in the Summer 2010 Minnesota History magazine of the Minnesota Historical Society. Dave has received the McFarland-SABR award for “Myth, History and Indian Baseball: An Unexpected Story of the Game in Minnesota,” research that he presented to the Halsey Hall Chapter at its meeting in the spring of 2008.

The Negro Leagues Committee has announced the winners of the 2010 Jerry Malloy Negro League Art Competition for Outstanding Negro League Art. One of the winners is Todd Peterson for “Nor Favor to the Men of Skill.” Todd was also featured in a Kansas City Star article that was reprinted in the July 25, 2010 St. Paul Pioneer Press. The article notes Todd receiving a Yoseloff Baseball Research Grant for tracking box scores and game accounts for blackball playoff games from 1866 to 1952. Todd returned to his home state from Kansas City for an August 5 signing in Wayzata of his new book, Early Black Baseball in Minnesota: The St. Paul Gophers, Minneapolis Keystones and Other Barnstorming Teams of the Deadball Era.

Rex Hamman has a new web site for The American Association Almanac.

Seth Hawkins at Target Field

Above: Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins made his initial appearance at Target Field on July 19. It was the 75th stadium in which he has seen a regular-season major league game. Dr. Fan has been to every stadium used by Major League Baseball since 1947.

Below left: A chapter member, after receiving the Tony Salin Memorial Award from the Baseball Reliquary in Pasadena, California, for commitment to preserving baseball history, had the chance to meet A Day in the Bleachers author Arnold Hano. Below right: Chapter member Brenda Himrich (the wife of the aforementioned chapter member) met Clyde “Lefty” Wright outside his barbecue stand at Angel Stadium and got an autograph of a picture of Wright celebrating his 1970 no-hitter.

Stew Thornley and Arnold Hano Brenda Himrich and Lefty Wright

New Member

The Halsey Hall Chapter welcomes Allan Burdick.

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    August 14—Book Club Meeting, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., As They See ‘Em Time: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires by Bruce Weber and/or The Men in Blue: Conversations with Umpires by Larry R. Gerlach. For more information, contact Tom Dolen, 651-483-8617, or Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825, amugalian@comcast.net.

    August 15—Halsey Hall Chapter Board Meeting, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Kevin Hennessy, 651-651-492-2298, kwhennes@ties2.net.

    September 11—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.

    September 12—Research Committee Meeting, Perkins, Edina. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-45-0791, stew@stewthornley.net.

    October 16—Fall Chapter Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, Hfan77@webtv.net.  

Board of Directors 2010-2011
President—Kevin Hennessy
Vice President—George Rekela
Secretary—Bob Tholkes
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Fred Buckland
Scot Johnson
Cary Smith

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

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

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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