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

June 2020

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Dan Levitt Elected to SABR Board of Directors
  • Halsey Hall Spring Chapter Meeting Virtually Set for June 13
  • Abby Altman Receives Halsey Hall Chapter History Day Award
  • Save or No Save?
  • Hot Stove Saturday Social-Distancing Seventh-Inning-Stretch Scooter and Stroll
  • New Member
  • Cow Pies
  • Better than Rubbing Dirt on It?
  • Answer to Save or No Save?
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Dan Levitt Elected to SABR Board of Directors
    Dan Levitt finished first out of five candidates to become a director on the Society for American Baseball Research board of directors. In addition, Leslie Heaphy was re-elected as vice president and F. X. Flinn as treasurer.

    Some things you may not know about Dan:

    He was born in New York. His folks grew up in St. Paul and went to the University of Minnesota. Dan’s dad, a physician, did his residency in New York, when Dan was born. The Levitts moved back to Minnesota when Dan was eight months old, and Dan, with a few exceptions, has lived in Minneapolis ever since then.

    He started playing baseball at Luxton Park when he was in second grade and played through high school. He started going to Twins games with his mom’s parents in the 1970s. “They would never let us (my brothers and me) buy ballpark food—my grandmother used to bring bags of carrots and celery. And I still like vegetables.”

    Dan left Minneapolis for Madison and, at the University of Wisconsin, got his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and his master’s in business. His career has been on the financial side of the commercial real estate industry. He has been with Ryan Companies US, Inc. for more than 25 years and is its senior vice president, capital markets.

    Dan learned about SABR when he was in high school and was on a family trip to the Hall of Fame, which had SABR Baseball Research Journals in the gift shot. He joined SABR while he was in college in 1983.

    ’My first foray into actual baseball research came in the mid-1990s. Around 1995 I came across an entry in an old sports encyclopedia that credited Ferdie Schupp with the single season ERA record of 0.90 in 1916, more recently usually credited to Dutch Leonard for his 0.96 ERA in 1914. After further research it was clear that Schupp was the acknowledged leader at the time and for many years thereafter. Based on the tenet that we don't retroactively re-award titles because of changes in the qualifications for league leadership, only actual errors in the playing record, I concluded that Schupp should still be recognized as the ERA leader for 1916 and consequently, the single season record older (Schupp pitched only 140 innings that season). I decided to write up my findings and submit the article to SABR. It was a thrill when my article was published in the 1996 BRJ.

    Dan is married and has two sons. Here are some of his SABR activities:

    • Twice Halsey Hall Chapter president
    • Longtime member of the SABR nominating committee, including a stint as chair ֩
    • Book review editor Deadball Era Committee Newsletter
    • Co-chair Business of Baseball Committee
    • Editor 2012 The National Pastime for the Minnesota convention
    • Coordinator baseball employee database project
    • Longtime member and contributor to the Statistical Analysis committee, including starting the Yahoo e-group.
    • Henry Chadwick Award Winner
    • Bob Davids Award Winner

    Other non-book baseball stuff

    • Occasional MLB Network TV commentator
    • Coauthor MLBPA key event timeline for their 50th Anniversary
    • Outfielder for the chapter’s vintage baseball team
    • Frequent presenter at chapter and national conventions

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    Halsey Hall Spring Chapter Meeting Virtually Set for June 13
    The Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be held on-line on Saturday, June 13 at 9:00 to 11 a.m. A link will be sent to all chapter members before the meeting. Members may begin gathering on the site at 8:30 to chat. The meeting will have two research presentations:

    • Paul Spyhalski—What in the Sam Hill Took So Long? Integration (or Lack Thereof) in the Southern Minny League, 1948-1957
    • Dan Levitt—John McGraw and the Creation of the Modern Sports Environment

    The meeting will include the election of three members to the chapter board of directors for 2020-2022. The candidates to date are Jim Cox, Daniel Dorff, Jerry Janzen, and Dave Lande. Nominations will also be open during the meeting. Below are statements from candidates.

    Jim Cox
    I am pleased to volunteer to stand for re-election to Chapter Board for another two years. As an incumbent Chapter Director, I served as Membership Chair the past year—and look forward to continuing the semi-annual Chapter Meetings Door Prize gifting inaugurated in Spring, 2019, whenever the in-person Chapter Meetings are able to resume. Our highly successful 19th Century Base Ball Symposium in Fall, 2019 was hugely enhanced by the Minneapolis Central Library serving as Host & Exhibitor - with whom I am grateful to have been a liaison in their creating the wonderful Exhibits.

    Thank you, in advance, for your consideration & vote!

    Jim Cox
    SABR Member since Fall, 2016

    Daniel Dorff
    My name is Daniel and I would like to serve on the board of directors.

    For the past four or so years I have attended the Halsey Hall Spring and Fall Chapter Meetings. About a year ago I became a SABR member and since then helped research the earliest games in various counties around Minnesota and attended both the SABR Minnesota 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium and the 2019 SABR Black Sox Scandal Centennial Symposium. Lately I have been enjoying the watch parties with fellow SABR members on Fridays.

    Daniel Dorff

    Dave Lande
    Baseball, for me, continues to be the greatest American sport. It’s the source of many wonderful memories such as:

    Watching the Williston Oilers play in the semi-pro Man-Dak League on the ‘50s.
    Receiving “The Baseball Encyclopedia” as a Christmas gift.
    Watching Dave Goltz throw a two-hitter at Met Stadium.
    Watching Game 7 in ‘91 from the second deck with my 11-year old son.
    Catching a foul ball at Ft. Myers in 2019.
    Being able to attend major league games in 18 different stadiums, several of which are no longer standing.

    When I joined SABR, I thought knew a lot about baseball. But boy, did I meet people in SABR who know a lot more about baseball than me and that for me has been the greatest benefit in being a SABR member for these past 11 years. Being a member of the Halsey Hall Board of Directors for the past two years (first as secretary and then as president) has allowed me to give back to the chapter and the people who make the Halsey Hall Chapter perhaps the most active chapter in all of SABR. There are many people who make significant contributions to the successful activities of the Halsey Hall Chapter and it’s my hope that I’m able to continue to be a part of those contributions as a member of the board of directors.

    Jerry Janzen
    I have been treasurer for 10 years. I know how to do the job and am willing to continue but I am willing to step down if there is someone else interested.

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    Abby Altman Receives Halsey Hall Chapter History Day Award
    This year the Halsey Hall Chapter sponsored a prize for Minnesota History Day, an annual project-based competition for high-school seniors. Sarah Johnson coordinated our chapter’s participation and reported:

    With a theme this year of “Breaking Barriers,” the prize went to Abby Altman, a senior at Highland Park High School in St. Paul, for her exhibit on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Her exhibit was chosen from a range of projects involving baseball and other sports. Abby will receive $150, an invitation to present her exhibit at an upcoming chapter meeting and information on other student opportunities to get involved in SABR.

    Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend by Abby Altman

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    Save or No Save?
    To be eligible for a save, a pitcher must satisfy one of the following conditions: enter the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitch at least one inning; enter the game with the potential tying run either on base, at bat, or on deck; or pitch at least three innings. (Prior to 2007, the three-inning save eligibility required “effectiveness.”)

    On June 10, 1982, Minnesota had an 8-4 lead over Kansas City in the top of the ninth. The Royals had a runner on third with one out when Ron Davis relieved Pete Redfern with a 3-0 count on John Wathan. Davis’s first pitch was a ball, completing the walk to Wathan, which was charged to Redfern. This put the tying run on deck, one of the criteria necessary for a save for a pitcher pitching less than one inning. Davis completed the inning (although in true R. D. fashion, he made it interesting by giving up a double and single in between the final outs), and the Twins held on for an 8-7 win.

    Did Davis get a save?

    Answer below

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    Hot Stove Saturday Social-Distancing Seventh-Inning-Stretch Scooter and Stroll
    The May edition of The Holy Cow! included a picture of Sarah Johnson posing in front of her future residence on the intial Saturday Morning Stroll. Below is a picture of the future residence of Brenda Himrich and her husband.

    Grave of Brenda Himrich and Stew Thornley

    Brenda was not present (at least not above the ground) for the photo. In case you’re wondering, that is a cremation plot. It’s not large enough to fit entire bodies—unless you tamped down on them real hard, of course. In addition to walking around Lakewood Cemetery, the group has scootered and strolled around Lake of the Isles and Bde Maka Ska.

    A hearty quartet outlasted the weather and celebrated Halsey Hall’s birthday with a walk around Lake Nokomis May 23. Weather permitting, the scooter-strollers will circumvent Lake Nokomis again on Saturday, May 30. Those interested may gather at 11 a.m. in the morning at the home of Art Mugalian, 5033 18th Avenue South. As we get into June, the Lake Nokomis walk may culminate with a lunch of Juicy Lucys at the 5-8 Club if outdoor seating is permitted there. The Saturday morning strolls will continue indefinitely at 11:00 although the one on June 13 will be at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon to allow for the chapter meeting in the morning.

    Contact Brenda’s husband if you would like to be notified of future strolls.

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    New Member
    The Halsey Hall Chapter welcomes Hal Campbell.

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

    Membership application

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    Cow Pies
    Anthony Bush had an article published on the 1980 Proctor Rails baseball team published in the May 7, 2020 Proctor Journal on page 11: 1980 Rails Baseball: Impossible to Forget. On page 10 of the May 14 Journal, he had another article on the Rails: Sixty-seven Years Since the Last Time There Was No Rails Baseball.

    Dan Levitt and another chapter member have research articles that will appear in 50 at 50: The Society for American Baseball Research’s Fifty Most Essential Contributions to the Game.

    Several chapter members have had articles published in the SABR BioProject and Games Project, respectively:

    Sarah also had a guest column related to the above game story in the April-May-June (Daisy Duck Family Edition) 2020 newsletter of the SABR Official Scoring Research Committee.

    Mike Haupert wrote the first of a three-part series of the ownership history of the Chicago Cubs as well as an article on the sale of Babe Ruth to the Yankees in the Spring 2020 “Outside the Lines,” the newsletter of SABR’s Business of Baseball Committee newsletter.

    A chapter member was part of a feature on Nicollet Park that aired on KSTP-TV on May 4: So Minnesota: Baseball Historian Discusses Long-gone Nicollet Park.

    Dan VanDeMortel is a recipient of the 2020 McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award for “White Castles Drawn in Crayon,“ a story of the shooting death of Barney Doyle at the Polo Grounds in 1950, which appeared in an anthology, The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, which was compiled and edited by a chapter member.

    Frank White was quoted in Rachel Blount’s story in the May 12, 2020 Star Tribune about Toni Stone: Toni Stone of St. Paul Was First Woman to be a Regular in Men’s Pro Baseball

    Frank is also adding stories to his website, Minnesota Black Baseball Project, and will soon have a profile of Harold “Babe” Price.

    Cookie Was Hung
    Anthony Bush found this nugget in the June 21, 1961 Duluth News Tribune:
    “Cookie Hung in Effigy, The Minnesota Twins defeated Baltimore Tuesday night but before the game was over Twins’ Manager Cookie Lavagetto was hung in effigy—from a bridge. Clyde Brand, 348 Swan Lake Road, reported a life-like dummy resembling Lavagetto was found hanging from the MD&IR bridge at Grand Avenue near Carlton Avenue. Lavagetto follows University of Minnesota football Coach Murray Warmath as the favorite subject for such local pranksters.”

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    Better than Rubbing Dirt on It?
    Old Twins fans may remember Doc Lentz coming out to spray ethyl chloride on a player, and Halsey, Ray, or Herb would let us know that Doc was freezing the bruised area to numb it.

    However, a researcher at Keele University in England claims to have found a more effective method of pain relief, one that athletes may be well-practiced in:

    Pain Experiment Shows There Really Is Something Soothing About Saying The ‘f’ Word

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    Save or No Save?
    Davis was originally credited with a save; however, the decision was later reversed and the save removed since the tying run was not on deck at the exact time that Davis entered the game. Surprise: Davis was upset.

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        June 13—Virtual Spring Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Dave Lande, 651-770-8666. Rescheduled from May 2

        June 14—Townball: Elko Express at Rochester Royals, Mayo Field. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036. Tentative

        July 11—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m. Rescheduled from May 8

       August 1Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse by Tom Verducci. Rescheduled from April 11 and June 13

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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

    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, Hans Van Slooten, 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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