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

December 2010

Stew Thornley

Spring 2011 Chapter Meeting Set for May 14
The Moustache Gang
New Members: Allan Burdick and Arlo Lyle
Book Club to Meet December 11
In Case You Were Wondering . . .
Board of Directors

Spring 2011 Chapter Meeting Set for May 14

The 2011 Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be Saturday, May 14. The meeting will be held during the day, and the group will attend the Twins-Blue Jays game at night.

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 April 30, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

SABR Day in America January 29
As part of SABR Day in America, the Halsey Hall Chapter will have its annual Hot Stove League get-together at Kevin Hennessy’s (608 Grand Avenue, St. Paul 55102-2610, 651-492-2298) on Saturday, January 29 at 7 p.m. This is an informal gathering to talk baseball while snacking and watching baseball videos. The event is free, but donations for the food will be accepted.

SABR at Twins Fest
The Halsey Hall Chapter will again have a table at Twins Fest January 28 to 30. Anyone interested in helping to staff the table may contact Rich Arpi, 651-739-6986.

The Moustache Gang
Roger Godin and Stew Thornley

Roger Godin (right) and your trusty crusty editor were among the 1,136 men and possibly women who set a Guinness World Record for the most people with moustaches gathered in one spot, breaking the previous mark of 156. The event—part of the Movember movement, a moustache-growing charity to raise funds and awareness for men’s health—took place on the ice after a Minnesota Wild hockey game on November 26 at the Xcel Energy Center. Roger braved the trek onto the ice even though it was less than a week after he slipped on the ice and hit his head while leaving an open house at the home and museum of fellow Halsey Hall Chapter member Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins. Roger is the author of several books, including The 1922 St. Louis Browns: Best of the American League’s Worst St. Louis Browns and, recently, Red, White and Blue on Ice: Minnesota’ Elite Teams and Players of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.

On the subject of books by Halsey Hall Chapter members, Phil Lowry has had Baseball’s Longest Games: A Comprehensive Worldwide Record Book, has been published by McFarland & Company.

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New Members: Allan Burdick and Arlo Lyle

Allan Burdick is the son, grandson, and dad of men who played amateur baseball in Minnesota, and he is researching their baseball careers. His grandpa, Lester, pitched with town teams near Dodge Center and Waseca. Allan’s wife recently came across an item in the Dodge County Record of June 19, 1902 with news of a win by Wasioja over Dodge Center. The article read, “Burdick, pitching for Dodge Center, wrenched his arm in the third inning, which was partially responsible for the lead Wasioja got at the time, a lead which our boys were unable to overcome!” Allan says this refers to either Lester or his great uncle, Lee.

Allan’s dad, Allan Sr., played for West High School in Minneapolis in the late 1920s and may have been the city conference batting champion. He also went to spring training with the Minneapolis Millers. Allan’s son, Steve, played on the 1982 and 1983 Edina American Legion teams that went to the Legion World Series and that won the championship in 1983.

“The family athletic genes missed me, but I’ve been a fan for many, many years going back to the doubleheaders at the old Nicollet Park,” says Allan. A highlight for him was attending a Yankees-Dodgers World Series game at Ebbets Field in the 1950s. For reasons he doesn’t recall, one of Allan’s favorite teams were the Whiz Kids, the Philadelphia Phillies, which won the 1950 National League pennant and got swept in the World Series by the Yankees.

Born in 1937, Allan shares his April 3 birthday with J. D. Drew, Guy Hecker, Wally Moon, Mike Lansing, Tim Crews, Chris Bosio, Darrell Jackson, Gomer Hodge, Bob “Hawk” Taylor, Virgil Grissom, Marlon Brando, Lyle Alzado, Boss Tweed, Doris Day, Washington Irving, Eddie Murphy, Sally Rand, and Picabo Street.

Arlo Lyle is from Arkansas (Fort Smith and then Booneville) and finished high school at the Arkansas School for Math and Science in Hot Springs. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma and his master’s degree in artificial intelligence from the University of Georgia. He moved back to Tulsa and began working as a software engineer at Level 3 Communications and now works for Level 3 out of his home in Hopkins, Minnesota, where he moved with his wife, Ashley (whom he met at the University of Tulsa and married in June 2009) to be closer to Ashley’s family.

At the University of Georgia, Arlo completed his master’s thesis on the topic of comparing machine learning (a field within artificial intellgence) techniques for projecting season-ending statistics for players based on historical data. “While doing background research for my thesis I read a number of books on baseball statistics and sabermetrics, and this has remained an on-again, off-again passion of mine.” Arlo has a blog, SaberNerd, on this topic. He has also become interested in the historical aspects of baseball and is reading Leonard Koppett’s Koppett’s Concise History of Major League Baseball. Arlo recently got Strat-O-Matic Baseball and would like to find a group open to beginners.

Arlo grew up watching and listening to the Cardinals with his dad. “Ozzie Smith was my childhood idol and I love listening to Mike Shannon call games.” He went to a handful of Cardinals games when he was a small child, a couple of Royals game, a Rangers game, a Cardinals exhibition game in Oklahoma City, a Twins game in the Metrodome, and the second Twins exhibition game against the Cardinals at Target Field last April. “Now that going to baseball games doesn’t involve driving several hours I plan to start going more often.”

Arlo is also a big trivia fan, especially with pop culture topics instead of the traditional academic ones. He also enjoys crossword puzzles, Scrabble, and movies and television, and he has a diverse taste in music. Though baseball is his favorite, Arlo enjoys watching almost any sport. He became a fan of curling during the past two Winter Olympics and hopes to give it a try.

Born in 1983, Arlo shares his July 26 birthday with Sad Sam Jones, Norm Siebern, Ellis Kinder, Hoyt Wilhelm, Greg Colbrunn, Pete Ward, Sibby Sisti, Freddie Fitzsimmons, George Bernard Shaw, Carl Jung, Aldous Huxley, Jason Robards, Stanley Kubrick, Mick Jagger, Helen Mirren, Kevin Spacey, Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Piven, Kate Beckinsale, Vivian Vance, Vitas Gerulaitis, Henry L. Williams (University of Minnesota gynecologist and football coach), and Mary Jo Kopechne.

Paul Manocchio, introduced in the November 2010 The Holy Cow!, noted that Richie Zisk graduated from high school in his hometown of Parsippany, New Jersey, but that he was drawing a blank on another alumnus who played in the majors. Paul finally thought of it—Joe Orsulak. Rod Nelson found a couple other major leagues from Parsippany: Mike Madsudian and Paul Mirabella.

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Book Club to Meet December 11

The next meeting of the chapter’s book club will be Saturday, December 11 at 9:30 a.m. at the Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The selection is Miracle at Coogan’s Bluff by Thomas Kieran.

Last month’s The Holy Cow! contained a list supplied by Doug Kenison of all fo the book selections of the chapter’s book club. The listing of Under the Bleachers by S. Butts was an unfortunate typographical error (as was Yellow River by a Mr. Dailey).

In Case You Were Wondering . . .

World Series announcers sometimes try to impress viewers with the importance of an upcoming game with such statements of, “The winner of Game 1 goes on to win the World Series 65 percent of the time” or something like that.

The statement, without any comparisions for the percentages for winning other games, is meaningless since the winner of any particular game in a best-of-seven series is going to be the overall winner more often than not.

Below are the winning percentages in each game for the World Series champions. This is for the best-of-seven series with tie games totally eliminated. (For example, the 1912 Series went 8 games because of a tie in Game 2; I threw out the tie and renumbered the other games so that Game 8 is Game 7.) Of course, the winner of Game 7 wins the World Series 100 percent of the time (35-0). Here are the records of World Series winners for other games:

  • Game 1: 64-38, 62.75%
  • Game 2: 68-34, 66.67%
  • Game 3: 70-32, 68.63%
  • Game 4: 75-27, 73.53%
  • Game 5: 55-27, 67.07%
  • Game 6: 41-17, 70.69%
Overall, the Series winner had a record of 408-175 for 69.98%. Adding in the 20-11 record for World Series winners of the four best-of-nine series, the record is 428-186 for 69.71%. Here are the records for all World Series, including the best-of-nine Series, through 2010:
  • Game 1: 66-40, 62.26%
  • Game 2: 70-36, 66.04%
  • Game 3: 71-35, 66.98%
  • Game 4: 78-28, 73.58%
  • Game 5: 58-28, 67.44%
  • Game 6: 44-18, 70.97%
  • Game 7: 38-1, 97.44%
  • Game 8: 3-0, 100%

For those wondering, the only team to win a Game 7 and not win the World Series (other than the New York Giants in 1912 when the best-of-seven series was extended to eight games because of a tie) was the Chicago White Sox in 1919.

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    December 11—Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Miracle at Coogan’s Bluff by Thomas Kiernan. For more information, contact Tom Dolen, 651-483-8617, or Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.

    January 8—Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    January 23—Research Committee. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    January 29—Hot Stove League Meeting as part of SABR Day in America, 7:00 p.m.. For more information, contact Kevin Hennessy, 651-492-2298.

    February 13—Halsey Hall Chapter Board Meeting, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Kevin Hennessy, 651-492-2298.

    May 14—Spring Chapter Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

    Summer 2012—SABR Convention, Minneapolis  

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 

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