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Home > Chapter Publications > Holy Cow! Newsletter > 2006 newsletters > July 2006 issue


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

August 2006

SABR Convention in Seattle
Committee News
Book Club and Lexington Park Plaque Ceremony August 12
Library Tour August 26
Comings and Goings
In Other News . . .
Subscription Renewals Due July 1
Board of Directors

SABR Convention in Seattle
The Halsey Hall Chapter was well represented at the 2006 SABR convention in Seattle in late June and early July with the following list of attendees: Scot Johnson, Kyle Eliason, Deano Thilgen, John Gregory, Rich Arpi, Connie Hill, Tom Goldstein, Bob Tholkes, Dan Levitt, Barry Bengttson, Jim Wyman, Steve Hoffbeck, Aaron Gleeman, Ray Luurs, Tom Swift, Kevin Pittelko, Stew Thornley, Howard Luloff, and Brenda Himrich.

Dan Levitt had an article on the building of the 2001 Seattle Mariners in Rain Check: Baseball in the Pacific Northwest, the convention publication.

Seattle Pilots Panel Jim Bouton
Some highlights from the SABR Convention in Seattle—Above left: a panel of former Seattle Pilots Steve Hovley, Jim Pagliaroni, Mike Marshall, and Jim Bouton. Above right: at the request of Brenda Himrich, Jim Bouton concluded his keynote address with the final verse of “Proud to be an Astro.” Bottom left: Steve Hoffbeck (right) receives The Sporting News-SABR Award from Steve Gietschier of The Sporting News for Swinging for the Fences. Bottom right: John Gregory found himself in the show at the Pike Place Fish Market as he had a bottle knocked off his head by a flying salmon.
Steve Hoffbeck receiving award John Gregory in fish show

Committee News

The chapter’s Research Committee held its bi-monthly roundtable in July. Cary Smith presented a list of on-line databases, including a web site that contains historic documents related to Walter O’Malley.

Some of the documents reveal insights from O’Malley on how seriously Horace Stoneham was considering a move to Minnesota of his New York Giants. Cary and the committee plan to expand the list of databases and put it on the chapter web site. The next Research Roundtable will be Sunday, September 10 at 6 p.m. at the Perkins Restaurant, 4917 Eden Avenue in Edina.

Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research presentation at the Fall Chapter Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, October 21. Proposals must be made in writing (e-mail is fine) to Research Committee chair Dan Levitt, 2205 Newton Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55405-2431, danrl@attglobal.net, and should include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included.

Standard 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. Generally, up to five presentations may be accommodated, and these will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Research Committee (which also consists of Cary Smith, Tom Swift, Deano Thilgen, and Stew Thornley) will finalize the schedule of research presentations two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

Events Committee chair Howard Luloff is looking into a site for the chapter meeting and into securing former players as guests. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the opening game of the World Series, and members are invited to the Himrich/Thornley home to watch the game that night (as well as to frolic with their cats, Jeter and A-Rod).

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Book Club and Lexington Park Plaque Ceremony August 12

A ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12 for a plaque to mark the site of Lexington Park in St. Paul. The plaque will be in the plaza area of the new TCF Bank branch on Lexington Avenue, south of University Avenue. The Halsey Hall Chapter purchased this plaque in 1994 after raising money from former players and fans. It was installed on the side of a building on the site. The chapter got the plaque back a few years ago before the building was demolished and donated it to TCF Bank. All chapter members are welcome to attend the ceremony as well as a pre-ceremony reception that will begin at 10:30. Lexington Park was home to the St. Paul Saints from 1897 to 1956. After the ceremony, the group will continue to soak in the site with some fine dining amid appealing ambiance at the restaurant on the corner of University and Lexington.

Because of the plaque ceremony, the meeting of the chapter’s book club will be moved up by a half-hour, starting at 9:00 instead of 9:30, at the Barnes and Noble in the Galleria in Edina. The book club selection is The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns by Peter Golenbock.

Library Tour August 26

Ted Hathaway of the Minneapolis Public Library gave a tour of the library to a pair of fellow chapter members on July 19 with an emphasis on resources for baseball researchers. These folks will now give a tour of the library to other interested chapter members on Saturday, August 26. Meet in the main lobby at 10 a.m.

Comings and Goings

Ray Luurs, after a nearly four-year hiatus in the Rocky Mountains, is moving back to Minnesota from Colorado. Pete Hepokoski, who moved to the Philadelphia area in 2002, has retired and is coming back west. However, he will overshoot the Twin Cities by about 1,700 miles. Pete and Mary are going to settle on the west coast. Their new address is 5425 SW Alta Mira Circle, Portland, Oregon 97239-2795.

Stew Thornley and Fr. John Hissrich
Pittsburgh SABR member Father John Hissrich, sporting Pirates rather than Padres garb since he was on vacation, spent five days in the Twin Cities and visited a local SABR member before a game at the Metrodome. Despite the disturbing image, combined with reports of a rising crime rate in Minneapolis, Fr. John was not really whacked in the head with a bat.

In Other News . . .

Aaron Gleeman was quoted in Patrick Reusse’s “Between the Quotes” column in the July 18, 2006 Star Tribune: Newspaper of the Twin Cities regarding his analysis of the recent trade between the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals.

Dan Levitt, along with Seattle SABR member Steve Steinberg, attended an auction of sports memorabilia at Southeby’s in New York on June 24. Dan and Steve were interested in several lots from the document archives of Jacob Ruppert, Ed Barrow, and the New York Yankees. Two lots in particular interested Steve, who is co-authoring a book on the 1921 season, and Dan, who is writing a biography of Barrow. They had the chance to pore through the documents two days before the auction and hoped to be able to purchase the lots at the low end of their projected selling prices, which were between $8,000 and $12,000. Their plan was to split the cost, use the information for their writing projects, and recoup some of their investment by making copies and selling the most valuable items.

“On Saturday we went to the auction and signed up for and received a numbered paddle to hold up,” Dan said. “The bid started at about 45 percent of the low estimate, or $3,500. We held up our paddle early so we could say we were participating in the action. Unfortunately the lots went for well over their maximum estimate [one for $14,000 and the other for $25,000].”

Dan added that he and Steve made a concerted effort to keep their bidding paddles out of sight during the auction of a uniform worn by Walter Johnson, which sold for around $300,000.

Pete Gorton made a presentation on John Donaldson at the Jerry Malloy Conference in Kansas City. It was essentially the same presentation Pete gave at our chapter meeting in May, focusing on Donaldson’s career before the establishment of the Negro Leagues, the period of 1911 to 1919, which is widely considered Donaldson’s prime.

“I was anticipating fireworks regarding the Negro Leagues Special election in February, and there was,” said Pete. “It was somewhat surprising that without exception the exclusion of Donaldson from the inductees was seen as a miss by the committee.” The discussion around Donaldson dominated the question-and-answer section of the committee. When someone asked where to go next as Negro League researchers, Larry Lester, co-chair of SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee, pointed to Pete and said, “Do exactly what Pete Gorton is doing. Continue to dig up data on candidates, and in the future we will pool our efforts toward the Hall of Fame.”

“Needless to say I was pleased with this response,” Pete said. “I foresee a date in the near future, after the induction, when Negro League researchers will wonder what to work on next. This is where I want them to focus on—Donaldson and join the effort we’ve already begun. I think 40 to 50 percent of Donaldson’s career remains to be found and we could use all the help we can get.

“Overall the Malloy was a good time. The passion for this niche of the researching baseball community was pretty well represented. The rifts that have developed over the years remain, and several prominent researchers did not come to the event. I continue to battle this divide and embrace both sides. We need to get along.”

Pete added that he really enjoyed the panel with members of Satchel Paige’s family. “All the surviving members of Paige’s family spoke together about many interesting aspects of Paige’s life. Most of them concerned life away from baseball, which I hadn’t ever heard much about. We also met with a gracious Buck O’Neil and we realized first-hand the anger and disgust of the general public in Kansas City regarding his exclusion [in last winter’s Hall of Fame election]. There is a fairy tale atmosphere in Kansas City regarding the Negro Leagues in general. Lots of blown out of proportion stories and nostalgia, which is cute but not substantial.”

Rex Hamann continues to publish the quarterly American Association Almanac, a journal devoted to the American Association from 1902 to 1952. Subscriptions are available for $16 a year, $28 for two years, or $150 for a lifetime. Those wishing to subscribe may submit their payment to Rex Hamann, 14201 Crosstown Boulevard NW, Andover, Minnesota 55304-3311.

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Subscription Renewals Due

Subscriptions to receive a printed copy of The Holy Cow! in the mail are expiring. Due to a snafu in the mailing the last few months, those who want to continue receiving a printed copy for the next year may do so for the reduced price of $8 (the regular price is $15). Send a check for $8, made out to Halsey Hall SABR, by July 1 to Kevin Hennessy, 608 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55102-2610.


    August 12—Book Club Meeting, Barnes & Noble, Edina, 9:00 a.m. [note change in time], The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns by Peter Golenbock. For more information, contact Tom Dolen, 651-483-8617.

    August 12—Lexington Park Plaque Ceremony, TCF Bank, Lexington Avenue south of University Avenue. Reception begins at 10:30 a.m., dedication ceremony at 11:00. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, stew@stewthornley.net.

    September 9—Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 612-822-9638, mtjohnson10@mn.rr.com.

    September 10—Research Roundtable, Perkins Restaurant, 4917 Eden Avenue, Edina, 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact Dan Levitt, 612-377-5154, danrl@attglobal.net.

    October 21—Fall Chapter Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, hfan77@webtv.net.

Halsey Hall Chapter
Board of Directors 2006-007
President—Bob Tholkes
Vice President—Howard Luloff
Secretary—Armand Peterson
Treasurer—Kevin Hennessy
Jodi Elowitz
Dan Levitt
Art Mugalian

The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Webmaster—Deano Thilgen 

Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page: http://halseyhall.org

Halsey Hall Chapter E-list/Message Board: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/halseyhall

Past issues of The Holy Cow! are available at http://halseyhall.org/pubs/holy.html


Chapter History: http://halseyhall.org/officers_history.html

Chapter Procedures and By-Laws: http://halseyhall.org/bylaws.html

Society for American Baseball Research: http://sabr.org

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