June 2008

The Halsey Hall chapter of SABR enjoyed another fun, engaging, productive year in 2007/08.  Our projects, events and initiatives are outlined below.                                                                                      
Book Club (Art Mugalian)

The Halsey Hall Chapter book club formed in August 2002 and has met bimonthly, with only a few exceptions, since then. The club's purpose is to meet and discuss baseball books of common interest to club members. In that time, members have read and discussed books of history, biography, Sabermetric analysis, and fiction. In the past year, we have read Peter Golenbock's biography of Billy Martin, John Schuerholz's account of his career as a general manager, and Brad Snyder's penetrating narrative of Curt Flood's legal challenge to baseball, among others. The group usually meets on the first Saturday of every other month at a local coffee shop. All SABR members are invited to attend.  ore information is available on the Halsey Hall website or on the SABR website, or by emailing Art Mugalian at

            Research Committee (Cary Smith)

The Halsey Hall Chapter began a research committee in 2005 to facilitate research among members.  Procedures for this committee are on the chapter’s web page at  The committee also created a white paper to help researchers find information sources.  The committee holds  bi-monthly research roundtables that have drawn 4-8 people and is in charge of soliciting proposals for research presentations for the semi-annual chapter meetings.  The committee requires that a written proposal (including e-mail correspondence) be submitted and include a brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included in the presentation.  The research committee also provided the initial impetus to the Minnesota Baseball Players Biography Project as a way to broaden the chapter's research involvement.

            Minnesota Baseball Players Biography Project (Stew Thornley)

In 2007, the Halsey Hall Chapter decided to do a book of biographies related to Minnesota baseball.  The biographies would be ones that would eventually be posted on the SABR BioProject web site.  The chapter considered different themes before settling on Minnesota natives in baseball.  We did not have strict definitions of who would qualify for inclusion based on prominence or on being a Minnesota. 
Rather, for people who were born elsewhere but raised in Minnesota or vice versa, we looked at them on a case-by-case basis.  For example, we did not include Aaron Sele or Roger Maris, who were born in Minnesota but raised elsewhere.  We did include Tim Laudner, Bob Johnson, and Dick Siebert, who were born elsewhere but raised here. 
We are not going to include every Minnesotan who played in the major leagues nor are we going to limit it to those people.  Many Minnesotans who didn’t play in the major leagues are prominent in other ways in baseball and will be included.

Nodin Press of Minneapolis has agreed to publish the book, which has the working title of Minnesotans in Baseball: Players and Personalities from the North Star State.

While the chapter and individual authors look forward to the publication of the book, projected for spring of 2009, the most valuable part of the project has been to get more chapter members involved in research and writing.  There are 25 contributors, including many who have not previously done research or writing to any great extent.  It is the chapter’s hope that this project will get them started and keep them going in doing baseball research.

            Membership Committee (Stew Thornley)

The committee attempts to promote membership within SABR and the Halsey Hall Chapter.  When the chapter receives a notice of new SABR members from the SABR office, it will contact members within the chapter’s geographic region to welcome them to the chapter and invite them to submit information so the new member can be introduced in the chapter’s newsletter.

            Newsletter (Stew Thornley)

The chapter continues to publish a monthly newsletter in an on-line format.  When the newsletter is posted to the chapter’s web site each month, a notice is sent to all chapter members with e-mail addresses through the SABR site.  Hard copies will be mailed to anyone willing to pay an annual subscription fee.  The newsletter address is

            Nominating Committee (Bob Tholkes)

The Nominating Committee, as instructed by the chapter board, approached only the minimum number of members needed to fill the three available positions on the board, and all three members accepted.

            Quicksteps Vintage Base Ball Club (Bob Tholkes)

The Quicksteps, Minnesota’s premier vintage base ball club, first took the field in 1994.  Based in the Twin Cities, they were organized to provide an outlet for the energies and enthusiasm of members of the Halsey Hall Chapter (Minnesota) of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  Clad in 1860-style uniforms and using authentic reproductions of equipment from that era, the Quicksteps have played more than 100 matches over thirteen seasons in five states, taking on “picked nines” organized for various occasions , “real” baseball teams, Civil War re-enactor groups, and historic teams from Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  The Quicksteps aim to entertain and to familiarize spectators with base ball as it was played in the milestone year of 1860, when a uniform code of rules and practices was first in use.  The Quicksteps in 2007 and 2008 appeared for the third and fourth consecutive years at the Metrodome.  The club played eleven events over the course of the 2007 season, with a total estimated attendance of 1,000, and have sixteen events arranged for 2008. 


            Regional meetings (Howard Luloff, Events Committee, Chair)

The Grace University Lutheran Church was once again the site for the Halsey Hall Chapter's Fall and Spring Meetings.  The Fall Meeting was highlighted by chapter member Armand Peterson moderating a panel of former Minnesota amateur baseball players.  The Spring Meeting featured former major leaguer and current St. Paul resident Bob (Rocky) Johnson.  Attendance ranged from 25-30. 

Also, the chapter held its annual Hot Stove Meeting in February at Kevin Hennessey's residence in St. Paul. 

             Breakfast meetings (Mark Johnson)

The Halsey Hall Chapter's Hot Stove Saturday Morning group has now met bi-monthly for 10 consecutive years.  During 2007-2008 we met in July, September, November, January, March and our last meeting in May was our 61st.  We average 11+  members at each breakfast with a total of 68 for the year.

    (John Gregory, Webmaster)

The chapter website carries the chapter newsletter, the Holy Cow, information about the chapter’s history, activities, and members, and includes a calendar and a link to the national SABR website.

            Halseyhallgroup (Stew Thornley, monitor)

In 2002, the Halsey Hall Chapter started an e-list
( as a forum for discussion about chapter issues.  It was intended to be a local version of brsp.  However, there were few posts directly related to the chapter, and it soon evolved into a forum for general baseball discussion.  Within the last year, the moderator for the Halsey Hall Chapter e-list started a new e-list (with no connection to the chapter) for general baseball discussion.  The chapter e-list has reverted to its original intent and will be used for announcements of chapter events, general discussion on chapter issues, and a place for meeting agendas and minutes to be posted.

Twins Fest (Rich Arpi, coordinator)

The Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR participated in Twins Fest 2008, the fan festival sponsored by the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome, during the weekend of January 25-27.  The Twins have graciously given the Halsey Hall Chapter a free table for the last ten years or so and the chapter has taken advantage of the opportunity to display SABR newsletters and publications such as the National Pastime and Research Journal, convention publications, and other special publications.  We have handed out numerous membership brochures and talked to fans.  We have talked up the activities of the local Halsey Hall Chapter, particularly our vintage base ball team, and the advantages of being a national member.  While it is difficult to know the exact impact, we have recruited several very active members through Twins Fest, and it is the best opportunity of the year to gain wide exposure to baseball fans and to our most likely base for new memberships without a great deal of cost or effort.  Members helping out this year included  Chuck Bloomquist, Roger Godin, Brenda Himrich, Cary Smith, Joe O'Connell,  Howard Luloff, Gregg Omoth, Stew Thornley, Ray Luurs, Lee Temanson, and Rich Arpi.

Board of Directors

As of the June 1, 2008 election, the Board of Directors for 2008/09 consists of:

President – Art Mugalian
Vice President – Lee Temanson
Secretary – Armand Peterson
Treasurer – Jerry Janzen
Directors -- Stew Thornley, Gary Hackenmueller, Doug Ernst

Submitted by Dan Levitt, President, Halsey Hall Chapter, 2007/08.