Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
Board of Directors Meeting, August 8, 2004
At the home of Bob Tholkes

Present: Stew Thornley, Howard Luloff, Rich Arpi, Carey Smith, Gregg Omoth, Rex Hamann, Tom Swift, Bob Tholkes, Chuck Blomquist.

The minutes of the June 6, 2004, Board of Directors Meeting were approved.

Consent Agenda

The following reports were filed prior to the meeting.

Treasurer’s Report

Rich Arpi

$812 in the treasury.

Web Site

Dean Thilgen

Jumpline has been our website host since we initiated halseyhall.org.  They provide a reliable and fast website, but their high cost is a strike against them.  At the time of this report, I am still searching for another hosting service that can save the chapter some money.  The Jumpline renewal comes on the 6th.

Plans for the Minnesota Baseball History section of the website continue.  My hope is that this will add real value to halseyhall.org, and make the site not only a place to promote the chapter, but deliver content that only our chapter website can do (in other words, strut our stuff).  I envision this section to come together in two phases, first to introduce Minnesota baseball history and highlight much of the work of the local chapter members.  The second phase will come under the banner of the 2007 sesquicentennial of regulation baseball in Minnesota.

Content for phase one (2004-2005):
- A listing of Minnesota baseball collections on display and/or in publicly-accessible collections at museums and historical societies.  This is an easy way for the chapter to perform some outreach to our comrades in local history (and perhaps reward us in turn).  It’s my hope to include photographs of some of the objects (such as the photo on the home page right now) and buildings (such as the St. Cloud hall of fame museum site).  I will be soliciting help through the local history list at MHS (see below).
- Minnesota baseball photographs, from all periods and playing levels.  This is going to take some work and will be on-going.  I will be soliciting help through the local history list at MHS.  It can also be a place to show off some of the great historic town ball parks in Minnesota.  Now that I have a nice digital camera, I hope to photograph some fields and grandstands.
- Bibliography(ies) of Minnesota baseball books and articles.  Work has started on this, and we (Rich and I) are debating the best way make it easy to find the citations.  We may divide it up by professional and amateur, and then perhaps contemporary vs. historical.
- Links to Minnesota baseball history on the web, including the photographs online at the MHS website, other SABR sites, etc.
- Book reviews of Minnesota baseball books and/or highlights of chapter member articles and books (scans of covers, etc.)

Proposed content for phase two (2006-2007):
- A timeline of Minnesota baseball history.
- A reprint of the 1938 Minnesota History article (I will e-mail Sally at MHS Press for permission).
- Transcribed news articles from the 19th century history project.
- Chapter member articles, biographies of Minnesota players.

Proposed letter to Minnesota Local History Listserv (local and county historical societies in Minnesota):

The Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research seeks your help.  Our group is preparing a section on our website to chronicle Minnesota baseball history.  Although our own project is primarily engaged in original research of bat and ball games played in Minnesota during the 19th century, the website will highlight all eras of Minnesota baseball and playing levels.

We will have a web page listing Minnesota baseball objects in publicly-accessible collections, especially any on exhibit.  Here’s an opportunity to promote your Minnesota baseball collection on the web, and perhaps, inform and attract baseball fans and historians wishing to take a closer look.  Photographs, uniforms, gloves, balls, bats, shoes, ephemera, any baseball item with a Minnesota connection are eligible for listing.

To enhance our history web pages, we also seek scans of the earliest Minnesota baseball photographs.  If you have pre-1901 Minnesota baseball photographs in your collection, we’d like to hear from you.  If they are unidentified or minimally identified, our project team may be able to help.

Lastly, a bibliography of Minnesota baseball books is being compiled for the website.  If your historical society has a locally-produced baseball history book in its collection, please contact us.

Dean Thilgen, chapter webmaster, dean@halseyhall.org
Respectfully submitted,Dean Thilgen


Events Committee
Howard Luloff

I did look into a couple of places in St. Louis Park but they were out of our price range.   We might as well stay at The Church.  As I write this, I’m now declaring a open call for research presentations.  Here’s the tentative lineup for our October 23 Fall Chapter Meeting: 

8:30-9:  Registration
9-9:15:  Opening Remarks and Introductions
9:15-9:45:  Research Presentation #1
9:45-10:15:  Research Presentation #2
10:15-10:30:  Break
10:30-11:  Research Presentation #3
11:11:30:  Research Presentation #4
11:30-12:  Research Presentation #5
12-1:  Lunch and Chapter Business Meeting
1-2:30  Featured Guest. (Could be extended depending on number of guests)
2:30-4:  Trivia and Other Things

This, of course is subject to change. 

On the subject of featured guests, I read in Shooter’s column online that Jerry Koosman is currently living in Osceola, WI.  Considering that it’s the 35th anniversary of The Miracle Mets and that he also pitched for the Twins, I’m considering the possibility of booking the former pitcher.  I understand that you’re considering Howie Schultz and I have no objections to having him as a guest.  Any word on the former Saint and Laker? 

Book Club

Tom Swift

The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club met on Saturday, July 31, to discuss “Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy” by Jane Leavy.  Regulars present included Rich Arpi, Jim Sexton, Art Mugalian, Greg Omoth, Stew Thornley, Tom Swift, visiting longtime member Alan Holst, first-time attendee Dan Vatterott, and new SABR members Kyle Eliason and Josh Leventhal.  As usual, a lively discussion ranged from various themes in the book to topics related and not.

The chapter book club’s next meeting will be at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 9, at the Barnes & Noble Galleria coffee shop in Edina, located one block south of Southdale shopping center.  For directions, call 952-920-0633.  The book to be read is “The Numbers Game” by Alan Schwarz, recently published in hardcover.  Schwarz is the senior writer of Baseball America magazine, a weekly columnist for ESPN.com, and a frequent contributor to The New York Times.

Review from Publishers Weekly: “Sports journalist Schwarz brings to the fore this intelligent, smartly researched and often hilarious look at the use of statistics in baseball, which Schwarz definitively shows to ‘date back to the game's earliest days in the 19th century.’ It will delight any fan who memorizes the numbers on the back of trading cards or pores over newspaper box scores.  The book’s success is rooted in its focus on the people ‘obsessed with baseball’s statistics ever since the box score started it all in 1845,’ rather than being about the statistics themselves.  The reader is presented with enthusiastic but unvarnished looks at such key figures as Henry Chadwick, whose love for numbers led to his inventing the box score grid that remains, Schwarz shows, ‘virtually unchanged to this day’; Allan Roth, the numbers man hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers who was as important to the team's success as its famed GM Branch Rickey; and the all-but-forgotten work of George Lindsey, one of the first people to apply statistical analysis to weigh various baseball strategies.  Delivered in a delightfully breezy and confident style, this volume also serves as an excellent alternate or parallel history of the sport, as we see how the statistics influenced the game itself — such as the banning of the spitball — as much as they were used to detail individual games.”

The Halsey Hall Chapter book club meets bi-monthly, usually on a weekend of even-numbered months.  The book club was started in August 2002 and has drawn anywhere from five to 12 members at any event.  The club meets either in a coffee shop or at the home of a book club regular.

The first book selection was “Hitter,” a biography of Ted Williams written by Ed Linn.  The club has since read an eclectic mix of baseball nonfiction and novels, including “The Great American Novel” by Philip Roth; “The Power and the Darkness,” a biography of Josh Gibson by Mark Ribowsky; “Walter Johnson: Baseball’s Big Train” by Henry Thomas; “Play for a Kingdom” by Tom Dyja; “Moneyball” by Michael Lewis; “The Duke of Havana” by Steve Fainaru; “A Whole Different Ball Game” by Marvin Miller; and “Paths to Glory,” co-authored by chapter member Dan Levitt.

The book club is open to all chapter members, whether or not they have read the book (there are no quizzes).  Future book selection suggestions are always welcome.

For more information about the book club, contact moderator Tom Swift via e-mail or phone, information found in the online SABR directory at www.sabr.org.

Quicksteps Report
Bob Tholkes

The Quicksteps played matches on July 3 (Milan, MN), July 5 (Prinsburg, MN), July 24 (Stillwater) and August 2 (Fridley). All were lost on the field, but most events were enjoyable. Earlier, the team drew 300 spectatpors to an event in Brooklyn Park (June 18). The 2004 season continues to be a strong year for attendance by our standards. An estimated 1,100 have attended the events to date, with events remaining on August 21 in Sleepy Eye and September 11, in Mantorville. New Quickstep Doug Ernst reported that he has joined SABR.

The following topics were discussed at the Meeting.

Scheduling of chapter meetings and other events:

 There was extensive discussion of possible conflicts in scheduling for chapter meetings, breakfast meetings and book club. It was decided the next breakfast meeting would be September 11.

The Book Club will meet bimonthly with dates set not to conflict with the Board Meeting. The next meeting will be October 9.

Discussion and planning of the October 23 Fall Chapter Meeting:

Howard Luloff will continue to develop the program and will keep the Board informed. To make sure the Fall Meeting is self-supporting, a fee of $12:00 per attendee was tentatively approved to cover food costs, space rental fees and other expenses. Every effort will be made to get members to RSVP for the meeting so we have some idea of how many to plan for.

Unfinished Business

Procedure for electronic notification of the newsletter being posted to the web site: After a significant amount of discussion, a motion was approved to retain the $12.00 fee for paper copies of the Halsey Hall Chapter newsletter and eliminate the $6.00 fee for electronic (email) notification when the new edition of the newsletter is posted on the web site.

It was also suggested that we send a flyer about Chapter meetings along with the Newsletter to members without email.

Approval of procedures: Procedures for the following functions: events committee, business meetings and elections, president, treasurer and secretary were adopted. The procedures are now available on the chapter web site.

New Business

Discussion of possible proposal to host SABR convention: The options – date and location – were discussed in detail. It was generally agreed that we should get the details on the procedure for preparing a proposal to host the SABR convention. It was decided, as well, that we could host the convention no sooner than 2007. Stew Thornley volunteered to compose a letter to SABR discussing the Halsey Hall Chapter as host and the Twin Cities area, including Rochester, as the venue. The draft of the letter will be discussed at the next Board Meeting. Bob Tholkes volunteered to form a volunteer committee to work on the project.

Set date, time, and location for next board meeting: The next Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors Meeting will be Sunday, October 3, at 5:00 p.m. or one hour after the Twins game, whichever is later. Chuck Blomquist will host the meeting.