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

December 2013

Stew Thornley

Member News

The Halsey Hall Chapter welcomes several new members.

Brian Madigan lives in St. Louis Park, is married and has two boys (ages 4 and 2) and works for a non-profit firm, Perspectives, Inc.

Brian grew up in South Dakota and got to Twins games occasionally. He got to a game against the White Sox at Met Stadium when he was a year old. The first game he remembers was against the Rangers at the Metrodome in 1988. He was a big Rangers fan and made it to the Twin Cities several times to see his team, including once when Nolan Ryan won his 296th career game (June 17, 1990).

Brian lived in the Twin Cities from 1997 to 2000 and attended many games and also attended an open tryout with the Twins. He had played American Legion baseball, but in the tryout, Brian says, “I could only muster a weak ground out to Tony Oliva as he threw batting practice.”

Back in South Dakota, Brian worked at a Sioux Falls radio station that was a Twins affiliate. He ran the control board for games and also got to meet John Gordon, Harmon Killebrew, and Dan Gladden when the Twins Caravan came to town. He also had Mike Veeck on an afternoon show he produced to promote the Sioux Falls Canaries. As part of the promotion, Brian got to catch for one batter in a pre-season game (and also got to meet Doc Edwards. “The batter grounded out after three pitches, and I unofficially retired.

After his boys were born, Brian moved back to the Twin Cities in 2006. “I decided to keep a family tradition going back to my grandfather in the 1930s of being White Sox fans. Now I mostly catch the Sox-Twins when I can.

Brian has worked as a reporter and producer for newspapers and television and radio stations and received an award for a radio show he produced. He’s also worked as a political consultant for a few campaigns and has run the Twin Cities Marathon four times.

As for how he got into SABR, “Tom Flynn told me it would be fun and I’d like it. He’s pretty smart about a lot of things. And he was right.”

Brian shares his March 27 birthday with Matt Harvey, Effa Manley, Buster Posey, Michael Cuddyer, Miller Huggins, Tom Quinlan, Dick Ruthven, Wes Covington, Steve Sundra, Johnny Gill, Ed Cushman, Lynn McGlothen, Randall Cunningham, Mariah Carey, Maria Schneider, Quentin Tarantino, Gloria Swanson, and David Janssen.

Born and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Patrick Fineran has lived in Bloomington for almost five years. He is an operations analyst within Wells Fargo’s document custody department and his expecting his first child in March (along with his wife).

Patrick had success in a number of sports—football, basketball, lacrosse, and hockey—but describes his baseball career, which ended after his freshman year in high school, as not as good. However, it became his favorite sport as a fan. “I grew up in a divided household, with my mother a big Brewers fan and my father, a native of Philadelphia, being a fan of the Phillies. I sided with the Phillies.

“My earliest baseball memory is grabbing the sports section and looking through box scores to see how many strikeouts Curt Shilling had the night before. In 2008 I went to Milwaukee and saw Cole Hamels strike out 11 Brewers over 7 innings and take a loss. Then later that year, a friend who is a Brewer season-ticket holder, let me come to Game 3 of the NLDS with him in which the Phils lost. My friend offered to bring me to game 4 as well, but I declined, being far too superstitious to risk forcing a game 5. But, the best game I’ve ever been to was Game 163 at the Metrodome [in 2009]. I would say I’m a pretty big Twins fan now (don’t have to worry about them playing the Phils that often), but at the time of the game, I had just moved to town and was just hoping for the best possible game. I was not disappointed.”

Patrick is also learning to juggle. “Almost there!”

He first learned of SABR while looking for baseball statistics. After a little more reading about SABR and about the Halsey Hall Chapter, he joined.

Patrick shares his September 3 birthday with Matt Capps, Domonic Brown, Eric Plunk, Luis Gonzalez, Eddie Stanky, Johnny Keane, Mort Walker, Charlie Sheen, Amber Lynn, and Albert DeSalvo.

Also new to SABR: Nicholas Campion, Charles Crutchfield.

Bob Tholkes attended the Forbes Field Chapter SABR meeting in Pittsburgh on November 16 and made a research presentation on the birth of baseball statistics. The meeting included Pirates manager Clint Hurdle as well as Frank Thomas (the one who played for the Pirates, not the White Sox). In addition Dan Fox, the director of baseball systems development for the Pirates, spoke at the meeting.

Anthony Bush has an article, Northern League Rises from Ashes before Again Going up in Flames, on Zenith City Online.

Sports Reference, with its outstanding Baseball-Reference.com site, has brought Hans Van Slooten aboard, although Hans will be focusing on a different sport. Sports Reference founder Sean Forman writes, “Hans Van Slooten will be joining us in December, working out of our newly-established Minneapolis branch, coincidentally located in Hans’s home (note we do not offer company tours at this branch). Hans will be working on the hockey site and number of new projects/items from our wish list that we previously haven’t had the bandwidth to work on. He joins us from OLSON (where he was a technical director) and, previous to that, comScore. He’s a Twins and Vikings fan and will also help me source locally produced lefse and lutefisk for the Sports-Reference Christmas party.”

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Research News

The Research Committee met and conducted a workshop on November 18 in Bloomington. The group chronicled the progress of the Spread of Baseball Project.

Another meeting and workshop will be held at the Hennepin County Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina 55435 at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 9. It is open to all members, who are also invited to participate in the project to identify the earliest baseball games played in cities and counties in Minnesota.

Two webpages 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.

For more information, contact committee co-chairs Brenda Himrich and Sarah Johnson.

Other Upcoming Events:
The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, December 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville to discuss The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. In addition, the group will discuss the telecast of Game Five of the 1970 World Series. The complete game is available for purchase from iTunes or for viewing on YouTube: 1970 World Series, Game 5: Reds @ Orioles.

The next Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on January 11 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

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Blast from the Past—Burleigh Grimes

Burleigh Grimes with SABR members

On June 23, 1985 a group from the newly formed Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR went to Clear Lake, Wisconsin, to meet Burleigh Grimes. The photo shows Grimes surrounded by members when they were a little less gray, wrinkled, or dead.

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    December 7—Book Club and Vintage Game Video Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn and Game Five of the 1970 World Series. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825, and Gary DeSmith, 320-286-5127.

    December 9—Research Committee Meeting and Workshop, Hennepin County Southdale Library, Edina, 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson. (A workshops is planned for December 9 at 6:30 p.m.)

    January 11—Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

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Board of Directors 2013-2014
President—Howard Luloff
Vice President—Doug Skipper
Secretary—Gary DeSmith
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Scott Cummings
Dave Jensen
Leanne Rohrbach

The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Webmaster—John Gregory 
Ass. Webmaster—Stew Thornley

Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page

Past issues of The Holy Cow! are available on-line.


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