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

December 2019

Stew Thornley

  • Tink Larson Dazzles Fall Chapter Meeting November 2
  • Upcoming Events
  • Bob “Rocky” Johnson Dies
  • Big Turnout for Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
  • Metropolitan Stadium Games Still Available for Book Project
  • New Member
  • Cow Pies
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Tink Larson Dazzles Fall Chapter Meeting November 2
    Tink Larson was the featured speaker at the Halsey Hall Chapter fall meeting Saturday, November 2 at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis.

    Tink Larson

    Tink talked about growing up on a farm, throwing a ball off the barn, and not playing in a real game until ninth grade. He played baseball at Mankato State University and went to umpire school, where one of his classmates was John McSherry. He became teaching and coaching at Waseca High School and took the team to four state tournaments, winning it in 1990. Around that time he also became the school’s athletic director. He was a head coach for more than 50 years at various levels—high school, VFW, American Legion, and Waseca’s town team and has been an assistant coach since 2011 for various teams, including Minnesota State, Mankato (formerly Mankato State). He got married to his current wife, Judy, at home plate at the Chicago Cubs’ spring-training stadium in Mesa. Tink has three children and two grandchildren. One of his sons, Mike, has been a scout for 30 years, including the last 6 with the Twins.

    More than 30 members and guests attended—Brenda Himrich, Jim Cox, Corky Gaskell, Dave Lande, Jerry Janzen, Stew Thornley, Howard Luloff, Rich Arpi, Frank Kadwell, Lee Temanson, Sarah Johnson, John Gallo, Daniel Dorff, Bob Tholkes, Paul Spyhalski, Jeff Lenz, Roger Godin, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Dave Jensen, Gene Gomes, Sam Van Tassel, Doug Skipper, Bill Axness, Gregg Nelson, Steve Ginader, Doc Quain, Dan Levitt, Bill Franzen, Bob Roscoe, and Lloyd Kepple—and heard the following research presentations:

    • Rich Arpi: 1890s Millers and Saints
    • Corky Gaskell: Making a 19th Century Base Ball
    • Bob Tholkes: Time of Game in the Amateur Era, 1860-1865

    Ryan Barland of the Minnesota Historical Society was at the meeting and talked about the Minnesota Baseball Oral History Project. These interviews will be on the Society’s Oral History page. Those interested in baseball oral history may also check out the SABR Oral History Committee and the SABR Oral History Collection.

    Jim Cox again led a door-prize drawing and presented a number of baseball and sports gifts he had collected.

    Team B Prevails in Nice Trivia Contest
    By knowing that Muddy Ruel scored the winning run in the 1924 World Series (pictured below), Rich Arpi’s Team B nailed the Final Jeopardy question to beat Team A 69-11.

    Muddy Ruel scores the winning run int he 1924 World Series

    Thanks to Frank Kadwell, the meeting was available on Facebook Live, and it can be viewed again:

    Facebook Live: November 2, 2019 Halsey Hall SABR Chapter Meeting

    The Halsey Hall 2020 Spring Chapter Meeting will be Saturday, May 2 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Howard Luloff has lined up former local sportscaster Tom Ryther as the featured guest. Ryther will bring copies of his book, The Hummelsheim Kid.

    Did You Know?
    When you attend a chapter meeting at Faith Mennonite Church, you are at the site where Minneapolis’s first organized team played in 1867. The team played on the fairgrounds that existed on the south side of Franklin Avenue (extending to 24th Street) between 24th and 30th avenues:


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    Upcoming Events
    Book Club
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, December 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the usual spot, Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Hardball: The Education of a Baseball Commissioner by Bowie Kuhn. The book for the February 1 meeting (same time and place) is K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner.

    Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections

    Research Committee Meetings December 9, January 6, February 10, and March 2
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee will meet Monday, December 9, Monday, January 6, and Monday, February 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Brookdale Library, Study Room I, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430. The March 2 meeting will be in Study Room J at the Brookdale Library. All members are welcome to attend.

    A number of members have been researching the first games played in each of the Minnesota counties, and the committee would like to have information for each of the counties (29 of 87 are still unaccounted for). See the MN Counties list.

    Two other web pages have information on the spread of baseball, Pre-pro Baseball and Pre-pro Clubs and Games in Minnesota. In addition, a Google Docs spreadsheet is online, Minnesota Spread of Baseball Project, 1857-1923.

    Anyone wanting to get involved may contact committee co-chairs Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, and Sarah Johnson.

    Research page updated:
    The Research Committee page has been updated and includes a list of research projects by members. If you would like research added, contact me, (Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791).

    As always, check out the chapter’s Baseball Research Primer as a source for any research you are doing.

    Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning
    The next Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on Saturday, January 4 at Bunny’s Northeast, 34 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis 55413 (behind the keg warehouse of the old Grain Belt Brewery), 612-545-5659.

    The chapter will likely have a booth again at Twinsfest, January 24-25. Stay tuned for more information.

    Minnesota vs. Duke February 29
    Howard Luloff is organizing an outing to the Minnesota-Duke baseball game at U. S. Bank Stadium at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 29.

    Keep up to date with chapter activities on social media:

    SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page

    Halsey Hall Chapter Twitter page

    Regular Events

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    Bob “Rocky” Johnson Dies
    Bob “Rocky” Johnson died November 12. Rocky (a name he got because of his resemblance to Rocky Colavito) was thrice a featured guest at chapter meetings and also was on the player panel at the 2012 SABR convention in Minneapolis.

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    Big Turnout for Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium
    The second-highest total number of attendees, 69, for the SABR 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium came to Minneapolis November 16 and heard an all-star lineup of speakers:

    • John Thorn, Historian for Major League Baseball, Rival to Savior: The Western League Saves the National League from Suicide
    • Stew Thornley, SABR award-winning author and leading Minnesota baseball historian, Minnesota’s Baseball Roots: History and Highlights
    • Frank White, historian and author on black baseball, Black Baseball in Minnesota in the Nineteenth Century
    • Dan Levitt, SABR award-winning author, Economics of Minor League Baseball, 1876-1900
    • Mike Haupert, SABR Doug Pappas Award winner in 2014 for best convention presentation, The Serious Business of Play: Developing Professional Baseball in the Upper Midwest in the 19th Century
    • Kristin Anderson, award-winning teacher at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, and expert on Twin Cities sports architecture, Home Field Disadvantage: Twin Cities Ballparks and Community Conflict
    • Bob Tholkes, 19th century expert and instigator of the symposium, Hurrah for Cecil O. Monroe
    • Larry Millett, popular Twin Cities author and local historian (pictured below), The Booming 1880s: The Twin Cities Come of Age

    Larry Millett

    The attendance was boosted by an article by Curt Brown (prompted by Gene Gomes) in the November 3, 2019 Minneapolis Star Tribune on Elmer Foster: Minneapolis-born Baseball Star Was a Most Colorful Character

    Many folks deserve encomiums for making this event successful (and I’ll probably miss a few here): Bob Tholkes for getting it all started and making it all happen; Gene Gomes and Brian Madigan for developing the partnership with Hennepin County Library for the event and Gene for getting Curt Brown to write the article on Elmer Foster; Sarah Johnson and Brenda Himrich for leading the Research Committee, which oversaw the symposium, and for co-moderating the event; Jim Cox and Dave Lande and Hans Van Slooten and Anders Koskinen and Tom Flynn and Bob Komoroski and Dan Levitt and Rich Arpi and all those who met regularly for several months to plan this.

    Special thanks to Howard Luloff for his usual fine timekeeping to keep us on track. Howard is the best person the Halsey Hall Chapter has ever had at performing this important (and sometimes unpopular) job.

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    Metropolitan Stadium Games Still Available for Book Project
    As part of the SABR Baseball Games Project, the Halsey Hall Chapter is organizing a project to write additional stories about memorable games played at Metropolitan Stadium. It will be similar to the Milwaukee County Stadium Greatest Games book, and members can check out the articles in there to get an idea of their format.

    The stories should be between 1,000 and 1,569 words and will be due in mid-2020.

    So far approximately more than 90 games have been identified to be included in the book. Some have already been written or assigned to SABR members, but many are still in need of authors:

    • 5/8/1960 (Game 2), Dave Mann steals home on a double steal with Carl Yastrzemski going all the way from first to third and getting two stolen bases on the play.
    • 7/17/1964, Right-fielder Lu Clinton throws out Earl Battey at first in the fifth inning.
    • 6/6/1965, Jerry Zimmerman hits first career home run.
    • 4/16/1966, Dean Chance breaks up Mudcat Grant’s no-hitter in the sixth, goes the distance, Angels win on J. J. Warner’s two-run homer.
    • 7/4/1969, Twins jump on Catfish Hunter, who had held them without a runner in a game the previous year, and win the opening game of a big series versus Oakland.
    • 7/5/1969, Reggie Jackson homers off the top of the scoreboard, but the Twins get two from Harmon Killebrew and beat Oakland 13-1.
    • 9/21/69, Harmon Killebrew hits two homers, but the Twins miss chance to clinch division when John Kennedy—who homered off the Twins in his first major-league plate appearance in 1962—breaks a 3-3 tie with a home run with two out in the ninth. Interesting catcher-unassisted double play in this game.
    • 9/7/1970, Game 2, Hal Haydel gets win and homers in debut.
    • 6/21/1971, Vida Blue, amid great interest, wins 15th game.
    • 6/22/1974, Jim Kaat of White Sox beats former team in 10 innings and Kaat and Vic Albury both go the distance.
    • 9/10/1974, White Sox tie game with 3 in ninth; Twins tie game in extra innings 3 times before winning in 15th.
    • 9/5/1978, Steve Trout wins first game in majors, helped by Disco Dan Ford’s baserunning gaffe, trotting home backwards partway and not stepping on the plate until the trailing runner, Jose Morales, crossed and was called out for passing Ford.

    If you are interesting in writing about any of these games, contact me, stew@stewthornley.net.

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    New Member
    The chapter welcomes (or re-welcomes) Jeff Lenz.

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

    Membership application

    Chapter membership chair Jim Cox has been at work building the membership and contacting past members to see about them signing up again. He would love to have one or two other people on the committee with him. If you are interested, contact Jim: jcox321@hotmail.com.

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    Cow Chips
    Grumpy’s Bar, the unofficial headquarters of the Minneapolis Association of Base Ball Enthusiasts, was profiled in Mpls.-St. Paul magazine in November: Grumpy’s Is the Best Bar in the Twin Cities

    The new SABR book, The Babe, has contributions from chapter members Mike Haupert, Steve Smith, T.S. Flynn, and S. F. Thornley. An an electronic version of the book is available free to SABR members.

    A new edition of the newsletter of the SABR Official Scoring Committee is now on-line.

    Former Twins All-Star Kurt Suzuki Gets a Celebratory Hug/Grope

    Kurt Suzuki getting tits grabbed by Donald Trump

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       December 7Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Hardball: The Education of a Baseball Commissioner by Bowie Kuhn.

        December 9—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Brookdale Library, Study Room I. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        January 4—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m.

        January 6—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Brookdale Library, Study Room I. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        January 24-25—Twinsfest, Target Field. For more information, contact Doug Skipper, 612-876-1408.

       February 1Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner.

        February 10—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Brookdale Library, Study Room I. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        February 29—Gophers vs. Duke, 7:00 p.m., U. S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        March 2—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Brookdale Library, Study Room J. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        May 2—Spring Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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    Board of Directors 2019-2020
    President—Dave Lande
    Vice President—Hans Van Slooten
    Secretary—Anders Koskinen
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    Jim Cox
    Gene Gomes
    Frank Kadwell

    Membership Committee Chair—Jim Cox
    Events Committee Chair—Howard Luloff
    Research Committee Chairs—Brenda Himrich and Sarah Johnson

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Webmaster—John Gregory 
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell and Stew Thornley
    Social Media Directors—Tom Flynn, Twitter; Bob Komoroski, Facebook

    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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