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

Special Spring into Spring 2019 Edition

Stew Thornley

  • Spring Chapter Meeting Set for May 18
  • Other Events
  • Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
  • The Fix Is On
  • Name’s the Same
  • New Members
  • Cow Pies
  • Answer to Name’s the Same
  • 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.

    Four 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

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

    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
    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.

    Sixth Annual Opening Day Viewing Party
    The Twins open the season Thursday, March 28 at 3:10 p.m. Come to the viewing party at Eastlake Craft Brewery, 920 E. Lake Street, #123 in Minneapolis. This is in the Midtown Global Market, which is the old Sears building, at 10th Avenue South and East Lake Street. The party goes from noon to 10:00 p.m. For more information, contact T. S. Flynn.

    Research Committee—Spread of Baseball March 29; Meeting April 22
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee will meet at Brenda Himrich’s on Friday, March 29 to work on the Minnesota Spread of Baseball project. The group will gather at 6 p.m. at 1082 Lovell Avenue, Roseville 55113-4419: Directions to the Himrich Kompound

    The Research Committee will meet Monday, April 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430. All members are welcome to attend.

    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, May 4 at Bunny’s Northeast, 34 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis 55413, 612-545-5659 (in what was the keg warehouse of the Grain Belt Brewery).

    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.

    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.

    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. The symposium is a joint project of the SABR 19th Century Committee, the Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR, and Hennepin County Library.

    Bob announced several presenters are already confirmed:

    • John Thorn, Historian for Major League Baseball, is the preeminent historian of baseball. He conceived and edited Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game. Along with Pete Palmer he created and edited the encyclopedia Total Baseball. He was an on-screen presenter and chief consultant for Ken Burns’s PBS series Baseball. Thorn appears frequently on ESPN, the MLB Network, the History Channel, and other television outlets. He is the author of Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game and co-author of The Hidden Game of Baseball. A longtime Society of American Baseball Research member, Thorn founded and for many years chaired SABR’s nineteenth Century Committee.

    • Larry Millett. Larry Millett has successfully combined his interest in journalism, architectural history, and mystery fiction. A native of Minneapolis, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English from St. John’s University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. He began working as a general assignment reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press in 1972 and became the newspaper’s first architecture critic after a year of study on a fellowship to the University of Michigan.

      Millett’s first book, The Curve of the Arch, appeared in 1985. Since then, he’s written ten other works of nonfiction, including Lost Twin Cities, which has been in continuous print for more than twenty years and ran frequently in documentary form on Twin Cities Public Television. His latest book, about the lost Metropolitan Building in Minneapolis, will be published in 2019.

    • Stew Thornley. In 1988, Thornley received a baseball research award jointly sponsored by Macmillan Publishing Company and the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) for the research for On to Nicollet: The Glory and Fame of the Minneapolis Millers.

      His second book, Holy Cow! The Life and Times of Halsey Hall was named the Best Regional Book of 1991 at the Midwest Book Achievement Awards. Both On to Nicollet and Holy Cow! were finalists in the Minnesota Book Awards.

      Thornley’s speech/slide presentation on the Polo Grounds at the 1998 SABR convention was voted the convention’s best research presentation.

      Stew also published Land of the Giants: New York’s Polo Grounds (2000), Baseball in Minnesota: A Definitive History (2006), and edited Minnesotans in Baseball (2009).

      Stew has served as an official scorer for MLB since 2007.

    • Dan Levitt. Award-winning writer Daniel R. Levitt is the author of Ed Barrow: The Bulldog who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty. His previous book (co-authored with Mark Armour), Paths to Glory, How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, received a highly favorable critical reception.

      For their research in producing Paths to Glory, in 2004 Dan and Mark Armour won The Sporting News SABR Baseball Research Award, an award honoring those individuals whose outstanding research projects have significantly expanded our knowledge or understanding of baseball. Dan has been interviewed on more than a dozen radio shows and has participated in book signings with authors Michael Lewis, Bill James, and Rob Neyer.

      Dan has also published numerous well-respected and well-received articles and short biographies. In an essay in the 1996 Baseball Research Journal, he established that Ferdie Schupp should rightfully be credited with the single season ERA record. In the article “Pitch Counts,” published in the 2000 Baseball Research Journal, Dan introduced new and convincing evidence that today’s pitchers throw just as many pitches per season as their Deadball era counterparts despite fewer innings pitched. In Deadball Stars of the National League, Dan contributed biographies for Vic Willis, Pat Moran, and Noodles Hahn.

    • Mike Haupert is Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He has been a member of SABR since 1984. He has served on the Seymour Medal Committee and is currently co-chair of the SABR Business of Baseball Committee. He has done extensive research on the economics of baseball and is a regular presenter at the annual SABR conference. His 2014 presentation on William Hulbert received the Doug Pappas Award for best oral presentation.

    • Kristin Anderson teaches courses on the history of art and architecture in the Department of Art at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. In 2005, she received the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning award for Excellence in Teaching.

      Her courses include art history and architectural history surveys as well as more specialized offerings like American Art, Scandinavian Art, and Women and Art. She also teaches a popular course, The Designed Environment, about the architectural and urban history of the Twin Cities.

      Kristin’s current writing and research is focused on sports architecture, and she is co-authoring a book on the history of sports facilities in the Twin Cities for the University of Minnesota Press.

      A popular speaker in church and community settings, Kristin also gives tours and presentations at Target Field, focusing on architecture, sustainability issues, women in baseball, and art at the ballpark.

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    The Fix Is On
    The opera The Fix is coming to the Ordway Theater in March, and a panel discussion on the opera and the 1919 World Series was held in the Delta Club at Target Field on Wednesday, March 6 in front of a snowy field scheduled to host Opening Day 22 days later.

    Snow at Target Field March 6, 2019

    The Fix on the Target Field Scoreboard
    Panel discussion for The Fix

    For an inside look at the opera, check out The Fix: Behind the Scenes.

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    Name’s the Same
    The judge in Joe Jackson’s 1924 civil trial against the White Sox and a charter member of the Halsey Hall Chapter.

    Answer below

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    New Members
    Les Gerdin lives on Spectacle Lake, between Cambridge and Princeton, with his wife, Meredith, with whom he just passed his 50th anniversary. They have two sons and five grandchildren in Eagan and Plymouth. “I just helped two of them by advising them and providing tools to make their Pinewood Derby cars for their Scouts races.”

    Les recently wrote Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 and has met with Twins president Dave St. Peter to discuss the ideas he thinks will help the Twins win more. “ I am a passionate fan of the Twins and would very much like to see them succeed big time in the 2019 season.”

    Les loves all kinds of sports and still plays racquetball, tennis, pickleball, and golf.

    Born in 1945, Les shares his April 10 birthday with Ken Griffey Sr., Corey Kluber, Bob Watson, Andre Ethier, Tom Lundstedt, Wes Stock, Frank Lary, Chuck Connors, Roger Wolff, Roy Hofheinz, Ross Youngs, David Halberstam, Don Meredith, Omar Sharif, Paul Bearer, Angelo Poffo, Vernon Presley, Jim Bowie, Blaze Starr, and Daisy Ridley.

    Alan Holst is a charter member of the Halsey Hall Chapter and has returned to SABR after a career as a diplomat in the foreign service. Alan was born in Minneapolis and lived in several small towns in Minnesota, graduating from high school in Buffalo. He’s also called California, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin home, and currently lives in Beaverton, Oregon (the home of Nike.)

    He has been married to Minako since 1990, and they have a daughter, Sakura, and two sons, Mickey and Daisuke.

    Alan holds a degree in cinema from UCLA, taught English in Japan (where he met Minaki), and lived on the Red Lake Indian Reservation as a child. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1994 and retired from the State Department in November 2017 after serving in Japan, the Philippines, Mexico, Bolivia, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon, plus a few years in Washington, D.C. Owner of a Nolan Ryan rookie card (which he originally kept because it was Jerry Koosman’s rookie card as well) Alan is also a comic book fan and collector. A frequent actor during his student days, Alan returned to the stage in March for the first time in more than 40 years in a production of The Diary of Anne Frank.

    Alan served as co-coordinator of the 1988 SABR Convention in Minneapolis, when the upstart local team he was part of made it to the trivia finals, and was the host and producer of Baseball Roundtable, the Chapter’s first foray into broadcasting. He also introduced the “Dead or Alive” segment to the chapter’s trivia contests.

    “The identity of the visiting team is lost in the mists of time, but I saw my first Twins game in 1961, when you could still see cows grazing beyond the left field bleachers. Significant baseball events I’ve witnessed include every home game of the 1987 World Series, game 6 of the 1991 Series, a game between the Hiroshima Carp and Hanshin Tigers in front of a frenzied Hiroshima crowd, and a 1976 promotional ‘game’ in Hollywood between the actors from The Bad News Bears and The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings.”

    Other baseball highlights include “meeting a gracious Rich Rollins during a childhood visit to the dentist, meeting an affable Cecil Fielder and his gigantic 9-year-old son, Prince, following a Twins game, sneaking into the NBC booth at a Twins game to surprise Tony Kubek and Bob Costas, seeing Wrigley Field for the first time on the first Telstar broadcast, playing asa yakyu (‘morning baseball’ starting at 7 AM!) while teaching in Japan because the long local workdays precluded recreational team sports in the evening, attending Embassy receptions in Japan for visiting MLB All Stars and teams, spending a week with Ken Griffey Jr. managing his youth outreach tour of the Philippines, and, best of all, watching his sons play Little League.”

    Born in 1953, Alan shares his January 17 birthday with current and former chapter members Josh Leventhal and Glenn Gostick as well as T. J. Bohn, Louis Santop, Pete LaCock, Trevor Bauer, Joe Jiminez, Chili Davis, Darrell Porter, Don Zimmer, Hank Leiber, Mayo Smith, Lum Harris, Mark “Country” Littell (also born in 1953), Arnold Rothstein, Ben Franklin, Muhammad Ali, Al Capone, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Jim Carrey, Andy Kaufman, Shari Lewis, Dwyane Wade, Jacques Plante, Jeremy Roenick, Vidal Sassoon, Maury Povich, Cus D’Amato, Buddy Dial, Steve Harvey, J. C. Caroline, and Michelle Obama.

    Wesley Ellenwood teaches filmmaking at Augsburg University and is working on a documentary of the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints. A native of Lexington, Minnesota, Wesley now lives in St. Paul with his 13-year-old German Shepard, Zoey.

    “My first game was in either 1963 or ’64. My best friend Tedd invited me to a Twins game. His Dad picked me up and Tedd and I sat in the back seat and did’'t stop talking about the players and stadium until we took our seats. The game’s first crack of a bat from that day is a sound I’ll always remember. And my significant baseball moment was in 1986. I was working in New York City and a friend was able to get tickets (way up in the nose bleed seats) for he and I to the second game of the World Series at Shea Stadium. I should have brought binoculars because it was close to impossible to see the action on the field with the naked eye. I rooted for the Mets. The game was electric. The Mets lost. But I can say I saw Dwight Gooden and Roger Clemens pitch.”

    Wesley is producing a documentary, Sibling Rivals: The Millers & the Saints and has a website with more information: Sibling Rivals: A Baseball Documentary

    The Halsey Hall Chapter also welcomes Aaron Hutchison, who shares his September 26 birthday with fellow chapter members Debbie Shattuck and Dana Yost as well as Tom Asmussen, Dave Duncan, Mel McGaha, Bobby Shantz, Dave Duncan, Mel McGaha, Bobby Shantz, David Martinez, Brooks Pounders, Sean Doolittle, Bob Coleman, Rich Gedman, Steve Buechele, Chris Archer, Olivia Newton-John, Marty Robbins, Dru Sjodin, George Gershwin, T. S. Eliot, Winnie Mandela, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, Julie London, Johnny Appleseed, George Raft, Edmund Gwenn, Lynn Anderson, Melissa Sue Anderson, Donna “Elly May” Douglas, Serena Williams, Andrea Dworkin, Kent McCord, Victoria Vetri, Frank “Mr. Zero” Brimsek, Vic Heyliger, James Kilroy (was here), Jack LaLanne, Archibald Willingham Butt (went down on the Titanic), and Charles Hartwell “Tick” Bonesteel III.

    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
    Tom Flynn recently acquired a photo from a Detroit Tigers spring training game around 1970:

    Tigers spring training game

    Not knowing the name of the player shown, Tom put out a call on Twitter for help and received replies from Keith Olbermann, who finally deduced that the outfielder leaping against the fence was Rick Renick of the Twins. Others on Twitter think it may have been March 7, 1970 in Lakeland with Renick going up for a home run by Willie Horton.

    Jim Cox shared some memories of Carl Pohlad. Jim worked at Marquette Bank, owned by Pohlad, in the 1970s. “The year was ‘73 probably, it was a Friday mid-afternoon. Margaret [Pohlad’s secretary] waved me into Carl’s office. When he saw it was me, he stood up, tossed me his car keys. ‘Willie’s not here. I need a ride to the airport, let's go.’ What a thrill, driving that car! Got even better upon his getting out of the car. I asked, ‘What do I do with the car?’ His answer, ‘You might as well enjoy your week end with it.’

    “While hustling back to my desk at the bank, my mind was racing. ‘Who do I call?’ I figured I was pretty lucky when my 1st choice picked up her phone at her downtown Mpls. office. She was nearly as astounded as I was, blurting out ‘Yes!’ I left on the spot, picked her up, had great weekend!

    “For years I clearly remembered what that car was. Can’t anymore. Seems like it was Jag.”

    “I was recruited by Northwestern Bank Southwest at the end of ‘77. One afternoon on one of my last days working at Marquette, Margaret, called to tell me, ‘Carl wants to talk with you. Come over to meet now with him.’ Carl shook my hand, thanked me for my seven years, and said, ‘If you ever want to come back to work for me, just call me.’ Some 42 years later, I regard that as the highest kudos and compliment I ever earned.”

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    Answer to Name’s the Same
    John Gregory

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

        March 28—Sixth Annual Opening Day Viewing Party, noon to 10 p.m., Eastlake Craft Brewery, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Tom Flynn.

        March 29—Spread of Baseball Meeting, 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

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

        April 22—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

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

        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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