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

October 2020

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Halsey Hall Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting Set for November 7
  • Membership
  • Minnesota History Day May 1, 2021
  • Chapter Authors in Baseball’s Biggest Blowout Games
  • It Finally Happened: A Four-Base Over-the-Fence Error
  • MUST SEE: Pitching and Prairie Dogging
  • Cow Pies
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Halsey Hall Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting Set for November 7
    The Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be held on-line on Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A link will be sent to all chapter members before the meeting. Members may begin gathering on the site at 9:30 to chat.

    Three research presentations have been approved, including one that was postponed from the spring:

    • Stew Thornley: Andy Oyler’s Two-foot Home Run—Is It Okay to Destroy a Legend?
    • Corky Gaskell: Doc Adams: His Life and Accomplishments
    • Dirk Lammers: None-and-Done: The Moonlight Grahams of No-hit debuts

    Other Events

    Cover of The Baseball Bat

    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, October 3 at 9:30 a.m. in some manner (perhaps virtually). The book selection is The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today by Stephen M. Bratkovich. Steve has also written Bob Oldis: A Life in Baseball.

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

    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be on hold for a while, either until it is safe to gather indoors again or when it is possible to meet outdoors.

    The Research Committee will meet on Zoom October 12 and November 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    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 Minnesota 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 co-chairs Brenda Himrich or Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, or co-chair-in-waiting Gene Gomes.

    The Research Committee consists of Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Gene Gomes, and Bob Tholkes.

    Keep up to date with chapter activities on social media:

    SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page

    Halsey Hall Chapter Twitter page

    Please visit both pages, and, if you haven’t yet, “Like” the Facebook page and “Follow” the Twitter page and set your notifications to be alerted to new posts.


    Regular Events

    Video Archives of Past Events

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    Free student memberships available: SABR, at its 2019 End of Year Campaign, pledged to donate 10 percent of all member gifts back to the Chapters the donors are affiliated with in the form of free student memberships. Halsey Hall Chapter members donated more than $2,800 during the campaign, resulting in 11 free student SABR memberships. The chapter has committed to pay for four additional student memberships if that many are interested.

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

    Membership application

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    Minnesota History Day May 1, 2021
    This year, the Halsey Hall Chapter sponsored a prize for Minnesota History Day, an annual project based competition for high school students. Sarah Johnson, who coordinated our chapter’s participation, will be a judge again and invites other members to serve as judges as the chapter again will sponsor a prize for the best baseball presentation. The 2021 competition will be Saturday, May 1, and the theme is “Communications.” For more information or to volunteer, contact Sarah, miss_sarah_johnson@yahoo.com.

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    Chapter Authors in Baseball’s Biggest Blowout Games

    Cover of Baseball’s Biggest Blowout Games

    Several members of the Halsey Hall Chapter, including Brent Heutmaker and Joel Rippel, have articles in Baseball’s Biggest Blowout Games, which is available to be downloaded free by SABR members. Brent wrote about two Twins wins, 21-3 over Boston in 1994 and 20-1 over the Chicago White Sox in 2009; Joel wrote about a Padres 17-1 win over the Astros in 1996.

    Another member wrote an overview of Twins blowout wins as well as a 1961 game in which the Twins lost 20-2 to Kansas City. Fred Bruckbauer made his only appearance in the majors and did not retire a batter, ending up with a lifetime earned-run average of infinity Bruckbauer was the second player in the majors who was born in New Ulm, Minnesota, and the second player born in New Ulm to have a career ERA of infinity. The author found the most interesting story of the game to be Norm Bass, who was credited with his first major-league victory. The brother of Los Angeles Rams halfback Dick Bass, Norm later played in one game for the Denver Broncos of the American Football League. Thirty-five years later, Norm got a gold medal in table tennis in the Parapan American Games and got a bronze medal at the 2000 Paralympics. The author thinks Bass would be a fascinating topic for the SABR BioProject but is too damn lazy to write it himself so he encourages others to consider writing it (and will help anyone interested in getting started on the project).

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    It Finally Happened: A Four-Base Over-the-Fence Error
    As defined in Rule 5.05(a)(9), a batter is entitled to a home run if a fielder deflects a fair fly ball into the stands or over the fence in fair territory. But does an official scorer have the option to call a four-base error if the judgment is that the fly ball is one that could have been caught with ordinary effort? The interpretation from Elias Sports Bureau at the first-ever meeting of official scorers in 2012 was that such a judgment can be made. It took more than eight years for this to happen.

    On August 9, 2020 Nick Solak of Texas hit a fly ball to right that was deflected over the fence by Angels outfielder Jo Adell. Lary Bump, the official scorer, charged Adell with an error rather than crediting Solak with a home run.

    Angels Right Fielder’s Embarrassing Blunder Turned a Routine Fly Ball into a Rangers ‘Home Run’

    Ever Seen a 4-base Error? Now You Have

    Four-base errors have been called before on balls that have stayed in the playing field, but this is believed to be the first time such a call was made on a ball that left the playing area in the major leagues.

    Such a play has happened at other levels, including in a 2017 college game between Air Force and New Mexico, as chronicled in the June 2019 newsletter of the SABR Official Scoring Committee newsletter.

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    MUST SEE: Pitching and Prairie Dogging
    Pitchers have been known to soil themselves on the mound, at least figuratively. Did one recently do it literally?

    Mother Nature Calls while Chapman is Pitching, a Breakdown

    Aroldis Chapman Pooped His Pants during a Game?

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    Cow Pies
    Sarah Johnson was the official scorer at CHS Field September 8 when the Saints beat Fargo-Moorhead 4-3. She has been the official scorer for a number of amateur games, including the NCAA Regional at Siebert Field in 2018. This was her first professional game.

    Sarah also had a game story published in the SABR Games Project: April 6, 2015: Torii Hunter Returns to Twins as Paul Molitor Makes Managerial Debut.

    Tom Merrick had a game story published: July 19, 1960: Juan Marichal Shines in Giants Debut with One-Hit Shutout and 12 Strikeouts

    Armand Peterson had a biography published for the SABR BioProject: Milt Nielsen.

    Frank White, in response to a SABR member’s question about the first Black player in the American Association, provided a list of the first players of color with various Minnesota minor-league teams:

    Minneapolis Millers
    Ray Dandridge, 1949-1952
    Dave Barnhill, 1949-1951
    Willie Mays, 1951
    Henry “Hank” Thompson
    Artie Wilson, 1951
    Amado Ibanez, 1953-1955
    Ray Noble, 1953
    Ramon Monzant, 1954-1956
    Fernanco Osorio, 1954
    Monte Irvin, 1955
    Lou Ortiz, 1955
    Willie Kirkland, 1955-1956

    St. Paul Saints
    Roy Campanella, 1948
    Dan Bankhead, 1948
    Jim Pendleton, 1949-1951
    Joe Black, 1951
    Edmundo “Sandy” Amoros
    Bob Wilson, 1952-1953, 1958
    Edward Moore, 1954-1955
    Charlie Neal, 1954

    St. Cloud Rox
    Ozzie Virgin, 1953
    John Kennedy, 1953
    Willie Kirkland, 1954
    Tony Taylor, 1955
    Leon “Big Daddy Wags” Wagner, 1955
    Andre Rodgers, 1955
    Orlando Cepeda, 1956
    Ino Rodriguez, 1956
    William De Jesus, 1956
    Matty Alou, 1958
    Lou Brock, 1961

       October 3Book Club via Zoom, 9:30 a.m., The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today Stephen M. Bratkovich.

        October 12—Research Committee meetings, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

        November 2—Research Committee meetings, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

        November 7—Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting, 10:00 a.m. (with social at 9:30). For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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    Board of Directors 2020-2021
    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 Co-Chairs and Co-Chair-in-waiting—Brenda Himrich, Stew Thornley, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Chair—Frank Kadwell

    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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