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

June 2019

Stew Thornley

  • Spring Chapter Meeting
  • Other Events
  • Saints Promotions
  • Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
  • New Members
  • Cow Pies
  • Answer to Toilet Paper Question
  • Words to Live By
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Spring Chapter Meeting
    Thirty-eight members and guests—Howard Luloff, Jim Cox, Lee Temanson, Paul Rittenhouse, Jerry Janzen, Tom Flynn, Brian Madigan, Brenda Himrich, Stew Thornley, Alan Holtz, Kenny Jackelen, Bob Tholkes, Dave Jensen, Frank Kadwell, John Swol, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Rich Arpi, Dave Hoplin, Janet and Steve Bratkovich, Jack Stanton, Bill Axness, Daniel Dorff, Gene Gomes, Sam Haag, Hans Van Slooten, Gregg Nelson, Tom Breen, Bob Komoroski, Paul Spyhalski, Dan Levitt, Tom Rooney, Sarah Johnson, Becca Dorin, Lloyd Kepple, Wesley Ellenwood, and George Rekela—attended the Halsey Hall Chapter 2019 Spring meeting on Saturday, May 18 at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis and heard five research presentations:

    The Bats . . . They Keep Changing! by Steve Bratkovich.

    They Deserved Each Other: The Tempestuous New York Giants Ownership of Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, and Frank McQuade by Dan Levitt

    Baseball Performance Research: Studies of Pitching, Batting, and Baserunning by Sam Haag

    Baseball Diplomacy by Alan Holst

    Baseball for Becca and Other Beginners by Anders Koskinen.
    Anders’s presentation may be downloaded by members: Powerpoint of Baseball for Becca. Kenny Jackelen, the primary developer for baseball-reference.com, was the featured speaker and gave a lively demonstration of the web page and its features.

    Kenny Jackelen

    During the business meeting, the chapter elected Anders Koskinen, Gene Gomes, Frank Kadwell, and Hans Van Slooten to two-year terms on the board of directors. The holdover and new board members will meet June 9 to elect officers for 2019-2020.

    Art Mugalian was not able to attend the meeting as he just had cataract surgery, but he watched on Facebook Live and reported that he is seeing much better out of his right eye. He will soon see better out of his left eye when he has more surgery.

    Facebook Live was once again made available through the efforts of Frank Kadwell and drew viewers from across the country. An archived version will eventually be able to be viewed.

    Jim Cox came up with a way to make the chapter meeting even more special: valuable door prizes. He led a drawing to give a baseball-related gift to one new member (joined in the last 12 months) and one veteran member (more than a year). The recipients of the prizes were Brenda Himrich, who received a book from an author she once (or more than once) slept with, and Kenny Jackelen.

    Howard Luloff wrapped up the meeting in appropriate fashion with his trivia quiz.

    The fall chapter meeting will be Saturday, November 2.

    Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research (oral or poster) presentation at the meeting. Proposals must be sent to Research Committee co-chairs Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson 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. The Research Committee (which also consists of Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Gene Gomes, and Bob Tholkes) will finalize the schedule of research presentations by October 19, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

    Three presentations have already been approved (so hurry):

    • Rich Arpi: 1890s Millers and Saints
    • David Karpinski: This Lineup “Owned” Nolan Ryan
    • A Young Man and His Balls: The Corky Gaskell Story

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    Other Events
    Research Committee Meetings May 20 and July 8
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee will meet Monday, May 20 and Monday, July 8 (the July 8 date is a switch from the previously planned July 15) at 7:00 p.m. at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430. All members are welcome to attend.

    Committee co-chairs provided a report and summary of activities at the spring chapter meeting. The committee held five regular committee meetings over the past six months as well as two additional workshops for the Spread of Baseball in Minnesota project that was created by Rich Arpi. 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 (about 23 are still unaccounted for).

    Two webpages 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.

    Frank White Presentation
    Frank White will be speaking on Black Baseball & Rondo at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 at the Ramsey County Library in Roseville, Hamline Avenue and County Road B. Frank has also been working with the St. Paul Saints on a marker for Phil Reid’s grave. Reid was the manager of the St. Paul Colored Gophers and brought in Rube Foster to pitch for the team a couple of times. With 2020 being the 100th anniversary of the Negro National League being formed by Foster, the Saints are talking about having a game next year in which the Saints would wear replica uniforms of the Colored Gophers. The events could be tied together, a dedication of a new grave marker in the morning and the game with the replica uniforms at night. Frank hopes the Halsey Hall Chapter could be involved in some way.

    Book Club
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, June 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the usual spot, Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 by Les Gerdin, who will be present to talk about the book and answer questions. Winning Baseball is available through amazon.com.

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

    Can You Beat Mayslack’s Meat?
    Jim Cox and Tom Flynn have arranged a special viewing party to watch the Twins play Tampa Bay at noon on Sunday, June 2 at Mayslack’s Bar and Grill, 1428 4th Street NE, Minneapolis 55418, 612-789-9862. Mayslack’s is famous for its roast beef sandwiches.

    Nobody Beats Mayslack’s Meat

    The weekend of June 7-9 brings a trip to Milwaukee to see a Brewers-Pirates game on Friday night and then the Saturday afternoon unveiling of a statue for The Crusher in south Milwaukee, preceded by a quaffing of beverages at Sam’s Tap. Contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, if you are interested in going or would like more information.

    SABR Convention
    SABR 49 will be June 26-30. Join your fellow members in San Diego. The event will include panels with Kurt Bevacqua, Randy Jones, Carlos Hernandez, and Mark Sweeney, and umpires Gerry Davis (who was one of the umpires in the first game at the Metrodome, April 3, 1982 vs. the Phillies) and Greg Gibson, along with Sean Forman, David Neft, and Dave Smith.

    SABR convention in San Diego

    In addition, the program includes research presentations from the following chapter members:

    • Mike Haupert, The Business of Being the Babe
    • Dan Levitt, They Deserved Each Other: The Tempestuous New York Giants Ownership of Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, and Frank McQuade
    • A. J. Richard, You’re Out! Girls Quit Baseball Due to Culture

    SABR 49 Convention Schedule

    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, July 13 at Bunny’s Northeast, 34 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis 55413, 612-545-5659 (in what was the keg warehouse of the Grain Belt Brewery).

    After the May 4 breakfast Bob Komoroski and S. Thornley went to a public appearance by hot-dog-eating champion Joey Chestnut.

    Bob Komoroski with Joey Chestnut Stew Thornley with Joey Chestnut

    The Spy Behind Home Plate
    Jim Cox is organizing a group outing to see The Spy Behind Home Plate, a documentary about Moe Berg, at the Edina Theater, 3911 W. 50th Street, Edina 55424, 952-920-8796. Guests are welcome. The show is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 13 (tickets are $13, $8 for seniors), and the group will go to a nearby food and drink establishment after the game. Please let Jim know, jcox321@hotmail.com, if you plan to go to the show and/or the food/drink establishment, and he will make any arrangements that are needed.

    The Spy Behind Home Plate Trailer

    Emma Charlesworth-Seiler Umpiring in Cedar Rapids July 27
    The chapter is organizing a trip to see the Clinton LumberKings play the Cedar Rapids Kernels at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, and Emma Charlesworth-Seiler will be umpiring. Members may make their own carpool and rooming arrangements with one another. A suggested hotel for Saturday night is the Super 8, off Interstate 80 and 33rd Avenue, 400 33rd Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids 52404. The hotel is about three miles from the ballpark, and rooms are $55 to $60 plus tax. Call the Super 8 at 319-432-7282 to reserve a room.

    We will meet Emma for lunch around noon. Howard Luloff is contacting the Kernels to see if some of their staff can meet with us at the ballpark, and he may also have a trivia quiz. Howard will look into buying tickets in advance (a good idea since it’s fireworks night and may have a big crowd). Let Howard know if you will want tickets at hfan77@centurylink.net, 952-922-5036.

    Other Possibilities
    When you’re the the oldest and most active chapter in SABR, the pressure is always on for more activities. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities, to wit:

    This year’s featured townball game will be the Waseca Braves at the Austin Greyhounds at Marcusen Park in Austin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31 with a pre-game gathering at Piggy Blue’s Bar-B-Que (motto: Where you can eat pig or eat like a pig!) at 6 p.m. Contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, if you are interested in going and letting him know if you can drive and take others or if you need a ride. Note: If the weather forecast looks bad, the outing may be canceled. If that becomes an issue, contact Stew the morning of May 31 to see what the decision is.

    In addition, some members are planning to go to a game at Tink Larson Field in Waseca at 7:30 on Wednesday, June 5.

    Even More Baseball
    Several members are already planning to attend the 2019 Black Sox Scandal Symposium at the Chicago History Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the scandal September 27-29. The weekend will include a trip to a White Sox game, and several chapter members are now working on an article on the predecessor to the White Sox, Charles Comiskey’s St. Paul Saints, which played in the Western League from 1895 to 1899.

    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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    Saints Promotions
    The St. Paul Saints are underway and have opened a new City of Baseball Museum at their ballpark. They also announced some of their special nights during the year:

    July 16—One small step for man, one giant mooning for mankind. Help us celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the first moon landing with Saints moon boxers giveaway.

    June 26—Innovative Office Solutions brings us the annual Toilet Paper Drive. (This one comes with a riddle: Why didn’t the toilet paper cross the road? Answer below.)

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    Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
    Details are getting setter and setter for the Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium, which our chapter will host in Minneapolis on Saturday, November 16. Bob Tholkes is the primary organizer and is working with the chapter Research Committee on the program. The symposium is a joint project of the SABR 19th Century Committee, the Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR, and Hennepin County Library.

    Confirmed presenters:

    • John Thorn, Historian for Major League Baseball
    • Larry Millett, popular Twin Cities author and local historian
    • Stew Thornley, SABR award-winning author and leading Minnesota baseball historian
    • Frank White, historian and author on black baseball
    • Dan Levitt, SABR award-winning author
    • Mike Haupert, SABR Doug Pappas Award winner in 2014 for best convention presentation
    • Kristin Anderson, award-winning teacher at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, and expert on Twin Cities sports architecture

    The committee also hopes to find an establishment where it can host a pre-symposium reception the evening of November 15.

    To get on a list to receive updates, write to sabrMN19c@gmail.com.

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    The Halsey Hall Chapter welcomes Bill Franzen and Thomas Kirsh.

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

    Membership application

    Have you attended a Minnesota college, and would you be willing to contact it about the possibility of integrating SABR into some departments? If so, please contact Membership Committee Chair Hans Van Slooten.

    Hans has written an article on SABR and our chapter for Twins Daily: Interested in Baseball Research? Join SABR!

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    Cow Pies
    Anthony Bush has been researching Randy Johnson’s parents, who lived in northern Minnesota until just before The Big Unit was born and were later buried in Duluth.

    Here is an obituary for Rollen Johnson in the January 9, 1993 Duluth News Tribune:

    Rollen Johnson obituary

    Anthony was investigating when Rollen, a student at Denfeld High School in Duluth, graduated and if his graduation was delayed because of World War II. Apparently he had dropped out of school to enlist in the military. A 1946 city directory indicates he was working at a steel plant and living with his parents. Rollen was married on September 12, 1948 to Carol Hannah Johnson.

    Anthony also came across this article, which says that Rollen and Carol lived in Minnesota until shortly before Randy Johnson was born September 10, 1963:

    Emotions Lift Johnson, M’s Pitcher Fans 10 without a Walk in Win; Visits Dad’s Grave First

    Terry Bohn is working with the Negro League Baseball Grave Marker Project to replace a marker for the grave of Saul Davis with a more prominent stone in Rosehill Cemetery in Minot, North Dakota. Terry wrote a SABR biography of Davis a few years ago. “He was quite a character, having been arrested for bootlegging and transporting women across state lines (from Minneapolis) for the purpose of prostitution,” says Terry. “Somehow I think he and Halsey Hall would have gotten along well together. Saul died in 1992 and has a small grave marker, but as he has no living descendents, the site has not been well maintained.

    “Please check out the website at nlbgmp.com. Any support the chapter and its members might be willing to provide to this project would be greatly appreciated.”

    Joe Niese reports that a date, Wednesday, July 31, has been set for Burleigh Grimes mini-bobblehead night for the Eau Claire Express. Joe says that Charles Clark will be leading a contingent from Clear Lake to the game and hopes to see others there.

    Check this out: a broadcast re-creation of the first loss of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, June 14, 1870 against the Brooklyn Atlantics:

    Cincinnati Red Stockings vs. Brooklyn Atlantics, 1870 (SABR broadcast re-creation)

    Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins had his Julian H. Sleeper House dubbed the “most eccentric museum” in the Twin Cities by the Star Tribune:

    From Tiny Trains to Dog-tooth Necklaces, Here Are the 10 Quirkiest Museums in the Twin Cities

    Lloyd Kepple attended an Asheville Tourists game at historic McCormick Field on April 29, saw former Gophers shortstop Terrin Vavra hit a double and home run, and made a new friend.

    Lloyd Kepple and friend at McCormick Field

    Pete Hepokoski is visiting his son’s family in Haarlem, Netherlands, and plans to attend pro baseball game against the visiting Oosterhout Twins. “I remember Glenn Gostick was involved with baseball over here, so I looked into that online. According to Grand Slam Baseball & Softball Headlines, Gos managed the Dutch National Team in 1965. And according to Wikipedia, his team won the European Baseball Championship that year with a 4-0 record, outscoring their opponents 57-0.”

    Roger Godin wants to know if anyone is interested in starting a library of SABR publications. He has a set of Baseball Research Journals and National Pastimes he is willing to donate to a good home. Contact Roger if you are interested.

    Articles by chapter members:
    June 20, 1931: Old Pete Brings Night Baseball to Jamestown by Thomas E. Merrick

    Herman Hill by Dana Yost

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    Answer to Toilet Paper Question
    It was stuck in a crack.

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    Words to Live By
    Joey Chestnut on the cardinal rule of competitive eating:

    “You heave, you leave.”

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        May 20—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        May 31—Townball, Waseca at Austin, 6:00 (dinner), 7:30 (game). For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

       June 1Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 by Les Gerdin.

        June 2—Viewing party for Minnesota at Tampa Bay game, Mayslack’s, noon.

        June 5—Townball, Eagle Lake at Waseca, 7:30. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

        June 7-8—Brewers Baseball and CrusherFest, Milwaukee. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

        June 26-30—SABR 49, San Diego.

        July 8—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        July 13—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m.

       July 13The Spy Behind Home Plate, Edina Theater, 3:00 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Cox.

       July 27—Clinton LumberKings at Cedar Rapids Kernels. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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

        November 16, 2019—Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium, Minneapolis Central Library. For more information, contact Bob Tholkes, 952-922-5036.

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    Board of Directors 2018-2019
    President—Tom Flynn
    Vice President—Frank Kadwell
    Secretary—Dave Lande
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    Jim Cox
    Bob Komoroski
    Hans Van Slooten

    Membership Committee Chair—Hans Van Slooten
    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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