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

March 2019

Stew Thornley

  • Spring Chapter Meeting Set for May 18
  • Other Events
  • Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
  • The Fix
  • New Members
  • Are You Smarter Than an Official Scorer?
  • Cow Pies
  • Are You Smarter Than an Official Scorer? Solutions
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Spring Chapter Meeting Set for May 18
    The Halsey Hall Chapter 2019 Spring meeting will be Saturday, May 18 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis.

    Registration for the meeting is at 8:30 with research presentations beginning at 9:00. A business meeting will be held during lunch with a featured guest (possibly someone from the Minnesota Twins front office) to follow. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. The meeting only is $5. Those wanting lunch must RSVP to Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

    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 May 4, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

    Three presentations have been approved:

    The Bats . . . They Keep Changing! by Steve Bratkovich. The article is based on Steve’s article in the recent SABR Baseball Research Journal. Steve is requesting that attendees bring any baseball bats they have: old, current, game-used, broken, aluminum, wood, etc.“This ‘participation’ is critical,” Steve says, “since most of my bats (show and tell) are from the 1960s and are Little League or American Legion baseball. Attendees will NOT have to speak, just bring them for my ‘props.’”

    Baseball for Becca and Other Beginners by Anders Koskinen.

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

    During the business meeting, the chapter will elect four members to a two-year term on the board of directors. Anyone interested in being a candidate may contact nominating committee chair Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    One candidate for the board has stepped forward so far, Anders Koskinen. All candidates will be invited to submit a candidate statement to be published in the May 2019 newsletter.

    Jim Cox has come up with a way to make the chapter meeting even more special: valuable door prizes. He will lead 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). Members will note their status (new or veteran) on the attendance list when checking in. The drawing will be held during the lunch break. You must be present to win.

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    Other Events
    The Halsey Hall Chapter had a table at Twinsfest at Target Field (Rich Arpi at the booth in the photo below). Many thanks to Doug Skipper for once again organizing our participation and showing up, even though he had a knee replaced recently.

    Rich Arpi and the Halsey Hall SABR display at Twinsfest

    Doug thanks those who volunteered to staff the booth: Tom Flynn, Bob Komoroski, George Rekela, Jim Cox, Sarah Johnson, Howard Luloff, Jeff Lenz, Rich Arpi, Joe O’Connell, Dave Lande, and Damian Schaab. Each braved frigid weather to venture to Target Field and represent the chapter. Doug adds, “Thanks also to Brenda Himrich for providing tickets to help members gain admission and to Hans Van Slooten for providing membership materials.

    “And many thanks to the Twins for allowing us to be a part of the event, and to promote the chapter.”

    Research Committee Meeting March 4
    The Research Committee will meet Monday, March 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430. All members are welcome to attend.

    The On-line Baseball Research Tools Panel Presentations workshop, planned to be at the University of Minnesota, ran into a few snags and will not happen in March. The research committee will try to schedule it for another time. Meanwhile, members can still find a list of on-line tools on the chapter’s Baseball Research Primer.

    Book Club
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, April 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the usual spot, Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son by Paul Dickson.

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

    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, March 2 at Bunny’s Northeast, 34 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis 55413, 612-545-5659 (in what was the keg warehouse of the Grain Belt Brewery).

    Pre-Draft Hot Stove Grumpy’s Gathering of Baseball Enthusiasts
    Join your fellow fans to talk baseball at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill, 2200 4th Street Northeast, Minneapolis 55418, on Friday, March 22. Gathering begins at 5 p.m. and continues as long as people can walk a straight line.

    Saints Game June 9
    Jim Cox is organizing a group to watch the St. Paul Saints play the Milwaukee Milkmen at 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 9 and will be buying tickets on Saturday, March 16. The tickets are $18 each ($17 for seniors and youth) plus tax and will be behind the first-base dugout. If you are interested in joining him, let Jim know at jcox321@hotmail.com, 503-680-9672, before 8 p.m. on March 15 (or before five other people respond since there is a limit of six tickets he can buy).

    Trip to See Emma
    This might be tricky to line up, but it will be great if we can pull it off to go with the exciting news that Emma Charlesworth-Seiler will be starting her third year of umpiring in professional baseball, this season in the Midwest League. She will keep us apprised of her schedule, and we maybe able to organize a trip to see a game she works in Cedar Rapids or some other league city within driving distance.

    Emma Charlesworth-Seiler

    Other Possibilities
    When you’re the most active chapter in SABR (and the first regional organization to organize into a SABR chapter) the pressure is always on for more activities. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities, to wit:

    The weekend of June 7-9 may bring a trip to Milwaukee to see a Brewers-Pirates game on Friday night and then the Saturday unveiling of a statue for The Crusher in south Milwaukee, followed by a quaffing of beverages at Sam’s Tap.

    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. (See below for information about a local panel discussion on the opera being made about the scandal.)

    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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    Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
    Details are set 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. Gene Gomes has secured the Minneapolis Central Library as a collaborator in the symposium with one of the benefits being the use of the Pohlad Auditorium in the library for the event. Bob said he expects John Thorn, the historian of Major League Baseball, to speak, along with Kristin Anderson, Rich Arpi, and others.

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    The Fix
    The opera The Fix is coming to the Ordway Theater in March, and a panel discussion on the opera and the 1919 World Series will be held in the Delta Club at Target Field on Wednesday, March 6. The event is $10. The reception starts at 6 p.m. with the panel discussion from 7 to 8:30. John Bonnes will be the moderator, and the panel includes a local chapter member. Go to the Minnesota Opera site for tickets for the panel discussion. Howard Sinker, stage director Eric Simonson, and composer Joel Puckett are also on the panel.

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    New Members
    Jeff “Schwartzy” Schwartz is from Columbus, Ohio, and has lived in Fargo, North Dakota, since July 1989. He and his wife of 37 years, Cindy, have two children. Son Chris and his wife, J. C., and their daughter, Cecelia, live in Fargo; daughter Lainey lives in Taylorsville, North Carolina.

    Schwartzy is the senior associate director of athletic communications at North Dakota State University, (a “long title for sports information, ” he says). He oversees the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame, volleyball, wrestling and softball.

    “I played a great deal of sandlot ball growing up and even played a year of college baseball as an outfielder, but never really developed (or had) the skills. I have been involved with baseball in my work career. As a sports information director, I worked with two-time No. 1 draft pick Tim Belcher in my formative years as a SID at Mount Vernon Nazarene. Kind of funny, I worked with the Twin Cities media leading up to the draft and ended working for STATS, LLC, as a reporter covering games in the old Metrodome. While the Cincinnati Reds dominated the Ohio media (700 WLW was easier to find than Cleveland stations then) while I was growing up, I have always been a life-long fan of the Cleveland Indians for some reason. I am glad things have turned around for Indians, kind of balances out how bad the Browns have been.”

    Jeff thinks the first game he attended was in 1967. Though unsure of the year, he remembers the event well. “My Dad and I went to Jet Stadium on Mound Street in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Jets were the farm team for the Pittsburgh Pirates and I remember watching players like Manny Sanguillen, Bob Robertson, Dock Ellis, Freddie Patek, and Dave Roberts play. Pretty cool ballpark to watch a game. My favorite player during that time was Roberto Clemente—and Clemente remains my all-time favorite today.”

    As far as significant baseball events he has witnessed: “One game that stands out for me, first game of a doubleheader Friday, August 3, 1973, at Riverfront Stadium. Don Wilson and the Houston Astros shutout Cincinnati 1-0 in 10 innings. Wilson pitched all 10 innings, allowed only four hits and struck out nine. That performance by Wilson really made an impression. Originally, I had bought tickets to go see one of my favorite players, Reds shortstop Davey Concepcion. However, Concepcion dislocated his ankle against Montreal on July 22. Man, was I disappointed. Concepcion did bounce back and was the reason I followed the Big Red Machine.”

    Jeff shares his December 25 birthday with Rickey Henderson, Manny Trillo, Al Jackson, Nellie Fox, Pud Galvin, Lloyd Brown, Al Jackson, Jo-Jo Moore, Hideki Okajima, Rick Renteria, Charlie Lea, Wallace Johnson, Ned Garver, Morrie Rath, Ben Chapman, Quincy Trouppe, Humphrey Bogart, Ken Stabler, Cab Calloway, Larry Csonka, Jimmy Buffet, Sissy Spacek, Barbara Mandrell, Isaac Newton, Rod Serling, James Holehouse, Clara Barton, Noel Picard, Anwar Sadat, Jesus H. Christ, Ed “Big Guns” Hochuli, Karl Rove, and Lou the Chihuahua.

    Dana Yost is originally from Minneota, near Marshall in southwest Minnesota. He has lived in Cottonwood, Minnesota; Forest City, Iowa; and currently in Morris, Minnesota. Dana and his wife, Rae, have a son, Luke.

    Dana was a daily newspaper editor for 29 years, until 2008. Since then, he has written five books.

    A life-long Twins fan, the first game Dana remembers going to was at Met Stadium in 1971, not long before Harmon Killebrew hit his 500th home run. He still has the commemorative 500th home run mug the Twins (anticipating that Harmon would have reached the milestone by then) gave out at the game.

    Dana played high-school baseball for a team coached by his dad, who had played for a traveling U. S. Air Force team in the 1950s, on which he was teammates with Johnny Blanchard.

    Among the events Dana has seen are Rod Carew getting four hits in a 1977 game against the Yankees; the Twins’ win over the Royals, featuring Al Newman’s great first-inning double play; to clinch a tie for the division title in 1987; the first two games of the 1987 American League Championship Series; Nolan Ryan’s 300th win in 1990; Game Seven of the 1991 World Series; Harmon Killebrew’s Hall of Fame induction in 1984; Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield’s Hall of Fame induction in 2001; and the last Twins game played in the Metrodome (the 2009 playoff loss to the Yankees).

    As for other notable stuff, “I have played Strat-o-Matic regularly since 1974. I was on the board of directors of the Minnesota Associated Press Association for several years. I’m a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee for poetry. I love to read, especially history, biography, and everything by Hemingway, Le Carre, and Graham Greene. For about the first 10 years of my journalism career, I worked in sports. I covered mostly local sports in Division II college towns with minor-league teams. But I was able to interview several major leaguers in that time, including Killebrew, Tony Oliva, and others. Killebrew, far and away, was the most polite and most decent pro athlete I have ever interviewed. ”

    Born in 1961 (on the day Roger Maris hit his 60th home run), Dana shares his September 26 birthday with fellow chapter member Debbie Shattuck as well as Dave Duncan, Mel McGaha, Bobby Shantz, David Martinez, Brooks Pounders, Sean Doolittle, Chris Archer, Olivia Newton-John, Marty Robbins, Dru Sjodin, George Gershwin, T. S. Eliot, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, George Raft, Donna “Elly May” Douglas, Serena Williams, Frank “Mr. Zero” Brimsek, and Johnny Appleseed.

    Forrest Peiper lived in Mitchell, South Dakota, until he was 13. His family then moved to the Twin Cities. From ages 17 to 34, he lived in the San Francisco Bay Area before coming back to the Twin Cities. He now lives in St. Louis Park. He and his wife have a son and daughter-in-law, who live in Chicago and are Cubs fans.

    Retired since 2010 from the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis, Forrest now grows and hybridizes lilies, is involved in the North Star Lily Society, and has a small lily business. When not gilding the lilies, he plays golf.

    Growing up, Forrest watched the Mitchell Kernels in the Basin League. He saw his first major-league game in 1965, after his family moved to Minnesota, and went to the second game of the 1965 World Series. In California, he eventually settled in as an A’s fan and had season tickets for Oakland games in 1986. The next year, back in the Twins Cities, he had partial season tickets for the Twins in 1987 and got to go to the World Series.

    Forrest has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. One of his housemates at California was Bob Tiemann, a noted SABR member who worked for the St. Louis Cardinals and wrote baseball books. “I went to grad school and pursued a different direction. My interest in baseball and mathematics has always remained although other business and hobbies have taken up my time. ”

    Born in 1951, Forrest shares his November 22 birthday with Joe Nathan, Harry Rice, Wally Tauscher, Austin Romine, Ricky Ledee, Dick Bartell, Lew Burdette, Adam Ottavino, Lyman Bostock, Rich McKinney, Greg Luzinski, Charles de Gaulle, Wiley Post, Boris Becker, Mariel Hemingway, Billie Jean King, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Rodney Dangerfield.

    The Halsey Hall Chapter also welcomes Les Gerdin and Alan Holst.

    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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    Are You Smarter Than an Official Scorer?
    Here are a few questions on a quiz, developed by a member of the Major League Baseball (MLB) Official Scoring Advisory Committee and presented to official scorers at their annual meeting at MLB headquarters in New York in January.

    1. Situation: Tie game, runner on third in the last of the ninth. Batter hits a drive to left-center that bounces and goes over the fence. Winning run scores. Is the batter credited with a single or double?

    a. Double, because the ball bounced over the fence and he is entitled to two bases.
    b. Single, because only one base was needed for the winning run to score.
    c. Double, but only if the batter continues running until he reaches second base.

    2. The home team is ahead by a run in the top of the ninth. The visiting team has runners at first and third (the runner at first representing the go-ahead run). The home team does not hold the runner at first and makes no effort to retire him as he takes off for second. Is this a stolen base or defensive indifference?

    3. Sometimes the solution to a conundrum is not an answer; rather, it can be, “What are the questions?”

    Take this situation: Boomgarden is on third with one out. Rein hits a grounder to the third baseman, Dinkcraft, as Boomgarden breaks for the plate. Dinkcraft comes home with the throw but sails it over the catcher. Boomgarden scores and Rein ends up on second.

    Without seeing the play, or at least with not having more detail, you are not expected to supply the answer. What you are being asked is to supply the questions a scorer must ask to reach a decision. Or, put another way, what are the options the scorer has for this play?

    Answers (and questions) below

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    Cow Pies
    Cary Smith discovered this on YouTube: 1931 Little World Series, St. Paul Saints vs. Rochester Red Wings, Game 8

    Trevor Bauer’s 2018 Charitable Donations:
    An MLB Pitcher has Launched a Charity Campaign That Is Filled with Sex and Marijuana References

    Trevor Bauer Is Donating $420.69 Every Day For 69 Days, And Then $69,420.69 On The Final Day

    Hans Van Slooten was mentioned in a story in the February 13, 2019 New York Times: From a Church in Philadelphia, Sports Reference Informs the World. Hans had been the primary developer for baseball-reference.com until the Minnesota Twins lured him away to join their analytics department. Hans was also mentioned in Sid Hartman’s column in the February 17 Star Tribune.

    Articles by and about chapter members:
    Joel Rippel has an article, The History of Sports Journalism in Minneapolis, in the Vol. 78, No. 1 issue of Hennepin History, a publication of the Hennepin History Museum.

    September 30, 2018: Twins Honor Mauer behind the Plate in His Final Game by Brenda Himrich and Stew Thornley.

    Tom Flynn had a pair of articles in the SABR publication Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates:

    New Books:
    Available on Amazon and other fine booksellers:

    Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 by Les Gerdin

    Winning Baseball

    The Polo Grounds: Essays and Memories of New York City’s Historic Ballpark, 1880-1963

    Winning Baseball

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    Are You Smarter Than an Official Scorer? Solutions
    1. b. Single. Unless a batter hits a home run out of the playing field (Rule 9.06[g]), the batter can be credited with only as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the game-ending run. This is the case even with an automatic extra-base hit.

    9.06(f) Subject to the provisions of Rule 9.06(g), when a batter ends a game with a safe hit that drives in as many runs as are necessary to put his team in the lead, the official scorer shall credit such batter with only as many bases on his hit as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run, and then only if the batter runs out his hit for as many bases as are advanced by the runner who scores the winning run.
        Rule 9.06(f) Comment: The official scorer shall apply this rule even when the batter is theoretically entitled to more bases because of being awarded an “automatic” extra-base hit under various provisions of Rules 5.05 and 5.06(b)(4).

    2. Stolen base, according to Elias Sports Bureau, which made this ruling in a July 23, 2015 Kansas City at St. Louis game. Because the potential run by the runner on first was significant, the runner was credited with a stolen base rather than considered to have advanced on defensive indifference.

    3. Obviously, there has to be an error on this play since Rein reached second. But is it an advancement error only, or is it for both missing the out at the plate and for allowing Rein to get an additional base?

    Is there a run batted in?

    Is Boomgarden’s run earned?

    The options the scorer has are these:

    Fielder’s choice, no run batted in (RBI), run is unearned. This would be the case if the scorer believed that Dinkcraft, with ordinary effort, could have been able to put out Boomgarden at the plate. This can be a tricky determination since the play requires a tag, but if the scorer believes a good throw would have arrived at the plate with plenty of time for the catcher to make the tag, this would be an appropriate decision. In this case the error would have two effects: failure to put out Boomgarden and allowing Rein to get to second.

    Fielder’s choice, RBI, run is earned. In this case, the scorer decided that it was uncertain if even a good throw could have retired Boomgarden. Thus, the effect of the error is only for allowing Rein to advance to second.

    Hit, RBI, run is earned. If the ball were softly hit and the scorer determined that Dinkcraft’s only chance at an out was at the plate, it would be appropriate to credit Rein with a hit and RBI; the error would be for allowing Rein to advance to second.

    Official scorers have to do more than come up with answers. Sometimes they first have to determine the questions.

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        March 2—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m.

        March 4—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        March 22—Pre-Draft Grumpy’s Gathering of Baseball Enthusiasts, 5:00 p.m., Grumpy’s Northeast.

       April 6Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Leo Durocher: Baseball’s Prodigal Son by Paul Dickson.

        May 18—Spring 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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