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

April 2018

Stew Thornley

  • Town Ball to be Featured at Spring Chapter Meeting April 21 with Book Exchange
  • New Member
  • The Jim Grant Show
  • Cow Pies
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Town Ball to be Featured at Spring Chapter Meeting April 21 with Book Exchange
    Todd Mueller, author of Town Ball Parks of Minnesota, will be the featured speaker at the 2018 Spring Halsey Hall Chapter meeting Saturday, April 21 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 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.

    The meeting will have five research presentations:

    • Establishment of the Joe Jackson Scholarship by Warren Woods
    • From Deadball to Techball: The Evolution of Baseball Innovation by Dan Levitt
    • Trends in Postseason Starting Pitching Effectiveness and Use by Anders Koskinen
    • Correcting the Record (Impact of Performance Enhancing Drugs) by John Koskinen
    • Baseball Career and Life of William Porter “Spike” Shannon by Rich Arpi

    The meeting will feature a baseball book exchange. Bring baseball books you’re willing to part with and/or take books you like. Those bringing books will be asked to take away any of their unclaimed books (unless someone would like to organize a donation of the unclaimed books for a library or other recipient).

    During the business meeting, the chapter will elect three members to a two-year term on the board of directors. Jim Cox, Jerry Janzen, and Dave Lande have entered their names as nominees for election to the board of directors. Anyone interested may contact nominating committee chair Stew Thornley, 652-415-0791. Nominations made also be made during the business meeting.

    Here are candidate statements:

    Jerry Janzen
    I have served several terms on the Board as your Treasurer. I would to offer my time and energy for another term on the Board as your Treasurer.

    Jim Cox
    My baseball background
    My earliest, most vivid baseball memory began in late spring, 1960. As a 12 year old Iowa boy, I announced to my dad that the Pirates would win that year’s World Series. Because Elroy Face, a pitching phenom that spring, would lead the way, along with Roberto Clemente. Dad, of course, chuckling, explained that spring training games were not how to predict season results! Did I ever enjoy it, when Mazeroski hit that epic Game 7 Series winning homer off the Yankees! Better yet, I was getting away with listening, via my transistor radio, during 4th grade class, due to the teacher’s slight smile, and wink (I’m sure!), when she saw what I was doing.

    Many of my fondest early memories, nostalgically, are learning baseball lore from Dad’s favorite memories. Such as late 19th century greats Wee Willie Keeler (“Hit ‘em where they ain’t!”), Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance (the old Cubs double play threat) and early 20th century greats such as Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Walter “The Big Train” Johnson, and of course Babe Ruth.

    More recent favorite memories are the World Championships by the Twins, ‘87 & ‘91, and the Giants ‘10, ‘12, and ‘14. I’ve been a Twins fan since they arrived in MN for the ‘61 season and the Giants since the mid ‘60’s. Dad took my twin brother & I to one Twins game, in ‘61 or ‘62.

    Playing sand lot “work up” games, Little League, and High School ball, I was always the “all hustle, good field, no hit” guy. Good enough to letter 5 years (despite just 1 hit!) before graduating in ‘66, in small town, rural Iowa.

    Thanks to a StarTribune article publicizing the Fall, 2016 Chapter Meeting presentation by Pete Gorton about the great John “Cannonball” Donaldson, I joined SABR that Fall.

    I am a Halsey Hall Chapter Board candidate absolutely wanting to help preserve and enhance the Chapter’s proven ability to attract and delight baseball fans and researchers. Contributions to the Chapter so far include volunteering at Chapter table for Jan. ‘17 Twins Fest, Book Club and Hot Stove breakfasts, member of Research Committee, and originating the idea for our “Hall of Famers Before the Twins” display for the Jan. ‘18 Twins Fest table. (More on that: see Feb., ‘18 “Holy Cow,” look for Willie Mays photo.) At our successful “Baseball Research” seminar, in Feb. ‘18, my Library of Congress demonstration included the 1905 “Spalding’s Minneapolis Amateur Base Ball Year Book.” I also look forward to a Chapter group attending the May 20 vintage base ball game, e.g., look for flyers at the April Spring Meeting and contact me for details!

    My wife and I moved “back home” to the Twin Cities in July, 2016, from OR, as part of our retirement plans. Fully retired this past December, I thoroughly enjoy having much more time to do “What I really want, not what I have to.” Including SABR! My entire life, since early teens, has included volunteering and leadership roles. Most recently, serving on a banking Board for 10 years and a founding volunteer for an American Cancer Society annual fund raiser, in honor of my daughter, who passed away from cancer, netting $1 million during those 7 years.

    Thank you, I look forward to serving as a Board member!

    Dave Lande
    Baseball has brought me many great memories. Following are a few of the more personal of those memories.

    1. My earliest baseball memory is of my dad taking me to watch the Williston Oilers play in the Manitoba-Dakota (Man-Dak) League. The Man-Dak league was a semi-professional league that existed in the 1950s with teams in Manitoba and western North Dakota. The most notable Oiler alumnus is Jerry Adair, who played for them for a year before signing a contract with the Orioles.
    2. For Christmas during my freshman year in college, my mother surprised me by giving me a big book entitled “The Baseball Encyclopedia.” I never knew where she found the book (we lived in Fargo at the time), but once I removed the book out of its slipcase and opened it up, I was hooked! Little did I know at the time that this would open up a life-long fascination with baseball statistics and information. I still have this encyclopedia, which will have its fiftieth publishing anniversary next year.
    3. My wife, Pam, grew up in North St. Paul as the oldest of five daughters. Her dad, a very good town baseball player in the 1930s, watched his two favorites sports on television—baseball and golf. As the oldest daughter, Pam would sit next to him watching baseball as he explained the nuances of the game to her. To this day, baseball continues to be her favorite sport and, boy, does that make me a very lucky husband.
    4. The lowest hit baseball game I ever saw in person was a complete game two-hitter thrown by Dave Goltz on a brisk Saturday afternoon at Met Stadium in the mid-1970s. But that wasn’t the coldest baseball game I’ve ever attended. That distinction belongs to a game I attended on a weekday evening on the 1980s at Comiskey Park while we were visiting Chicago. I knew I was in for a chilling experience when I saw many Chicago natives entering the park carrying rolled-up sleeping bags under their arms. The weather that evening was quite cold and very misty—I lasted until the 8th inning.
    5. For the past few years, we have a family get-together on the Saturday before Father’s Day. Most of the children (all adults now) and grand-children are able to attend. I have two requests for them on this occasion – (a) don’t bring a gift and (b) bring your baseball glove so we can throw a baseball around in the back yard. They haven’t disappointed their old man yet.

    As a nine-year SABR member, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all it has to offer˜baseball fellowship, quarterly Baseball Research Journals and information available at our fingertips on-line. The spring and fall chapter meetings with the accompanying member presentations have been especially enjoyable. It’s time for me to reciprocate and give back to SABR. When an opportunity presented itself last year, I joined the chapter Research Committee and my goal is to build on this involvement by joining the chapter board.

    Other upcoming events:
    Signs of Spring: Glimpses of Twin Cities Ballparks will be hosted by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Wednesday, March 28 at the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, St. Paul 55102. The description for the program reads, “With baseball season just around the corner, we’ll look back at two ambitious projects for Twin Cities sports: the Athletic Parks of the 1880s. They were simple structures, by today’s standards, but architects Gilbert & Taylor (St. Paul Athletic Park) and the Orff Brothers (Minneapolis Athletic Park) were involved in the projects. Using the oldest known photographs of Twin Cities ballparks, we will visit and explore these two sports spaces.” The program is from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., and attendees are invited to come early and/or stay late and enjoy the view of the river and have a drink at the club’s bar, which reportedly has F. Scott Fitzgerald’s initials carved in it (by F. Scott Fitzgerald, not some cretin with a knife who goes around carving other people’s initials into historic bars). Admission is $15 and a couple of chapter members have already gotten tickets, which can be obtained at Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

    Editor’ Note: I have already purchased a ticket but cannot go. The Preservation Alliance said it would be okay for someone else to use the ticket. Just show up and say you’re Stew Thornley.

    Season Opening Viewing Party
    The Twins open the season at Baltimore Thursday, March 29 at 2:05 p.m. (Central time). 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. For more information, contact T. S. Flynn.

    Tom Sheehan Birthday Commemoration, Viewing Party, and Grumpy’s Gang Get-Together of Baseball Enthusiasts
    Tom Sheehan’s 134th birthday is coming up and will be commemorated at Grumpy’s Bar and Grill, 2200 4th Street Northeast, Minneapolis 55418 on Saturday, March 31. People will start gathering by 5 p.m. to talk baseball and death, imbibe, and watch the Twins and Orioles on television. Tom Sheehan won’t be there, but one of his descendents will be. For more information, contact Thomas Sheehan Flynn.

    Research Committee
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee will meet Monday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. (dinner at 6:30) Bakers Square, 1881 West Highway 36 in Roseville (frontage road on north side of Highway 36 to the west of Fairview Avenue). The Research Committee consists of Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, and Bob Tholkes.

    Book Club
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, April 7 at 9:30 a.m. at the usual spot, Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Down to the Last Pitch: How the 1991 Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves Gave Us the Best World Series of All Time by Tim Wendel.

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

    Vintage Base Ball
    Chapter members plan to venture to Pettitt Park in Lake St. Croix Beach Sunday, May 20 for a vintage base ball game between St. Croix and the Afton Red Sox at 12:30 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Cox.

    Road Trip
    This year’s Northwoods League outing will be Saturday, July 21 to see the St. Cloud Rox at the Willmar Stingers at Bill Taunton Stadium. The game is at 7:05 p.m., and Howard Luloff is arranging pre-game activities with the Stingers.

    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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    New Member
    The Halsey Hall Chapter welcomes Clarence Kuhn.

    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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    The Jim Grant Show

    Mudcat and His Kittens

    Twins fans remember Jim “Mudcat” Grant and his band, Mudcat and His Kittens. Do you remember his television show on WTCN-TV, which he co-hosted with Frank Buetel? Two episodes of this show are available through the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection and are worth checking out:

    Peabody Awards Collection Archives: The Jim Grant Show, 1965

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    Cow Pies

    Badass Bob Komoroski of the ASU 10

    The ASU 10

    The ASU 10 (or the NINE Ten): Scott Peterson, Jon Leonoudakis, Bob Komoroski, Jay Goldberg, Lee Lowenfish, Donna Gietschier, Larry Gerlach, Steve Gietschier, Sam Regaldo (and not pictured because she was taking the picture, Debbie Pierson)

    Chapter member Bob Komoroski became an unwitting participant in a nefarious group when he attended the NINE conference in Arizona and then went with nine other participants to an Arizona State baseball game. Bob’s eyewitness account:

    After purchasing our $12.00 reserved seat tickets at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, we attempted to enter the park expecting the usual security routine: cursory patdown and displaying all metal objects to security personnel before entering the ballpark. That was not a problem for me, since all I had brought along was a sweatshirt and had the usual metal objects in my pocket, those being a phone and keys.

    After clearing security, and, before having my ticket scanned, I noticed that several members of our group had been stopped by security and were being denied admission. As I recall, one gentleman had a small messenger bag with a scorebook and two of the women had what I would consider to be normal size purses. We were told that NO bags of any kind were allowed inside, the only exception being small, clear plastic pouches and very small purses. Interestingly, the clear bags were made available to season ticket holders. There were no facilities to check items either. Since several from our group were being denied entry, we decided to practice group solidarity. It was decided that if one couldn’t go, we all wouldn’t go. We attempted to plead our case to two different security people and attempted to elevate our concerns to a higher authority at the stadium, but were denied. They said that our only option was to return the bags to our vehicle. That was not an option since we were dropped off at the venue by our hotel’s van service. After discussing our situation with an ASU security person, he responded with the standard, “If we make an exception for you, we’ll have to make an exception for everyone” response. We were also told that these policies were outlined on the ASU baseball website. They also stated that there were absolutely no refunds, so we were each out $12.00. Apparently this policy is new this year, and, there is a brand new sign on the far side of the ticket windows listing prohibited items, one of which is, get ready: tortillas. Yes, tortillas! I have been to ASU games before at Phoenix Municipal; however, those were before the new policy went into effect. After our unsuccessful attempt to elevate our concerns to a higher stadium security authority we called our hotel’s van service and returned to our hotel.

    In short, members of our group have visited hundreds of college, minor and major league ballparks but never before have we encountered such a restrictive policy as the one that exists at ASU. Even MLB parks allow large purses and backpacks provided they can be searched by security. They realize the importance of good customer service while maintaining a high level of security and safety for their fans.

    I find it curious why ASU takes such a hard line on this issue?

    Jon Leonoudakis wrote, “I spent an eternity diplomatically going over the situation with management types trying to find a solution. But their only answers were: ‘them’s the rules and tough luck, Charlie.’ No one from ASU wanted to think out of the box to find a happy ending. ASU preferred to send home ten paying customers angry, losing ten customers for life, never mind the concession $ they would have made since we planned to have dinner at the park.

    “There are so many things wrong with their bone-headed policy and how poorly they handled the situation, it led me to believe some of the folks in charge there swallowed a whole jar of stupid pills.”

    Lesson: Don’t take tortillas to Arizona State.

    Published recently:

    July 15, 1954: Down by five runs in ninth, Braves rally to win (SABR Games Project) by J. G. Preston

    1938 Rails Basketball Remembered: Eighty Years Since First District 26 Championship, Near-Miss State Tournament Bid by Anthony Bush. Anthony is going to have an article on Dorothy Arnold, Joe DiMaggio’s first wife in an upcoming Rootprints, the newsletter of the St. Louis County Historical Society.

    Anthony also completed a record book on the Proctor Rails, which is available as a PDF: Proctor Rails Record Book 2018, 2nd Edition.

    T. S. Flynn had two game stories—“June 20, 1925: Cuyler, Carey, and Co. Steamroll Brooklyn” and “October 15, 1925: Game Seven of the 1925 World Series”—published in Moments of Joy and Heartbreak: 66 Significant Episodes in the History of the Pittsburgh Pirates, which SABR members can download for free.

    Greg Maddux (SABR Bio Project) and game-project stories October 3, 1970: Slam, Errors, Give Orioles Playoff Opener and October 1, 1974: Pete Mackanin Saves Official Scorer’s Dilemma by Stew Thornley

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        March 28—Signs of Spring: Glimpses of Twin Cities Ballparks, 6:30 p.m., University Club, St. Paul. For tickets ($15 each), go to Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

        March 29—Season Opening Viewing Party, 2:00 p.m., Eastlake Craft Brewery, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Tom Flynn.

        March 31—Tom Sheehan Birthday Commemoration et al., Grumpy’s Bar and Grill, Northeast Minneapolis, starting at 5:00 p.m. For more information, contact T. S. Flynn.

        April 2—Research Committee meeting, Bakers Square, Roseville, 7:00 p.m. (dinner at 6:00). For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

       April 7Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Down to the Last Pitch: How the 1991 Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves Gave Us the Best World Series of All Time by Tim Wendel.

        April 21—Spring Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        May 5—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m.

        May 20—Vintage Base Ball, 12:30 p.m., Pettitt Park, Lake St. Croix Beach. For more information, contact Jim Cox.

        July 21—Northwoods League: St. Cloud Rox at Willmar Stingers, 7:05 p.m. (pre-game events starting mid-afternoon), Bill Taunton Stadium. For more information, Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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    Board of Directors 2017-2018
    President—Tom Flynn
    Vice President—Frank Kadwell
    Secretary—Brent Heutmaker
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    Gene Gomes
    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—Stew Thornley and Frank Kadwell
    Social Media Director—Tom Flynn

    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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