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

SABR MVP Chapter 2022-2023

February 2024

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Spring Chapter Meeting May 18
  • Other Upcoming Events
  • New Members
  • John Buckeye’s Creature Quiz
  • Cow Chips
  • Answers to John Buckeye’s Creature Quiz
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Spring Chapter Meeting May 18
    The spring chapter meeting will be Saturday, May 18 Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Registration begins around 8:15 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. People can pay by cash (with correct change appreciated) or check at the door.

    There will be a featured speaker in the afternoon, and the morning will consist of research presentations by chapter members. Howard will have his Improved and Still Almost New Jeopardy trivia quiz after the featured speaker along with door prizes. During the business meeting over lunch, the chapter will elect three members to two-year terms on the board of directors (term to begin July 1). The terms of Bob Tholkes, Jerry Janzen, and Ed Edmonds (who was elected mid-term to fill a vacancy) are expiring. Ed has indicated he is interested in running for a full-term and will be submitting a candidate statement. Other members in good standing are invited to indicate their interest and submit a statement.

    Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research presentation at the meeting. Proposals may be sent to Research Committee co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes and include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included. Standard oral 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.

    One presentation slot is always reserved for a first-time presenter until four weeks before the chapter meeting (April 20). If a slot remains after that, any member can submit a proposal until May 4, two weeks before the meeting, when the Research Committee will wrap up the schedule of presentations.

    One presentation, by Terry Bohn, has been approved by the Research Committee:

    Who Was That Guy? Identification of Unknown Minor League Players
    According to Baseball-Reference, since 1876 more than 23,000 men gave played at least one game in Major League Baseball. Full names and biographical information such as birth, death, and burial dates and locations are known for the vast majority of them. There remain a handful of brief 19th century players that the SABR Biographical Research Committee is still working to identify.

    However, there are still tens of thousands of minor leaguers who are still known only by their last name. This presentation will explain the methods and resources I use to identify these players by finding a first name and then, if possible, linking them to a known player in the Minor League Database along with the process used to make updates and corrections to Baseball-Reference. I will discuss some of the challenges in this type of research as well as some of the surprising and interesting findings.

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    Other Upcoming Events
    The next Book Club meeting will be Saturday, February 10 at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall at 9:30 a.m. The book selection is Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball by Lou Piniella and Bill Madden. Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections.

    The next Research Committee meetings, via Zoom, will be February 19 and March 18 at 7:00 p.m. Research Committee members are co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes as well as Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Mike Haupert, Bob Tholkes, Daniel Dorff, Darryl Sannes, Tom Swift, David Karpinski, Glenn Renick, John Buckeye, Terry Bohn, Ed Wehling, John Gregory, Art Mugalian, Ed Edmonds, and Bob Komoroski. Let Dave or Gene know if you would like to attend and/or join the committee.

    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at Manning’s at 22nd and Como in southeast Minneapolis on Saturday, March 9 at 9:00 a.m.

    SABR 52 Logo The SABR convention is coming. Are you? The event is scheduled from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11, and the Core Four (John Buckeye, Daniel Dorff, Gene Gomes, and a retread) encourages members to indicate your interest to be a volunteer by sending a note to Jessica Smyth, jsmyth@sabr.org.

    We can use people during the day on Tuesday, August 6 to assemble swag bags at the hotel (Hyatt Regency at 13th and Nicollet). During the convention, warm bodies are needed for a whole plethora-load of things: greeters, timekeepers for researcher presentations, staffers at the registration table. Let Jessica know if you have a particular interest in any of those things or if you’re up for anything.

    Event Recap
    More than 30 members turned out for an on-line meeting with Steve Gietschier, author of Baseball: The Midcentury Years as part of a SABR Day event January 31 jointly hosted by the Halsey Hall and Ken Keltner Badger State chapters. Ed Edmonds moderated the discussion. The presentation was recorded and is on-line on the Halsey Hall Chapter’s Video Archive page:

    2024 SABR Day: Steve Gietschier, “Baseball’s Turbulent Midcentury Years“

    Keep up to date with chapter activities on social media:

    SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page

    Halsey Hall Chapter Twitter page

    Please visit both pages, and, if you haven’t yet, “Like” the Facebook page and “Follow” the Twitter page and set your notifications to be alerted to new posts. (The Facebook page now has 274 members. Bob Komoroski has established rules —essentially, don’t be a dink.— The page is still public although Bob has set up a series of questions for new members to cull out spammers, trollers, and other wankers.)


    Regular Events

    Video Archives of Past Events

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    New Members
    Jarod Smith was born in the Twin Cities and grew up and graduated from high school and college in South Dakota (sharing an alma mater, South Dakota State, with Caleb Thielbar) before moving back here with his wife in 2016. J-Rod and Kathryn have three children. A full-time member of the 133rd Airlift Wing in Minneapolis, he is the installation emergency manager.

    His dad a Boston native, Jarrod grew up as a Red Sox fan and has attended many games at Fenway, his first in 1999. He was even able to speak to Pedro during his legendary year. (Obviously, Jarod’s legendary year, not Pedro’s, although it may have been both).

    J-Rod has been present for Curt Schilling’s 200th win, Jim Rice’s number retirement, and Game 163 in 2009. He was also at the Twins’ first playoff win in nearly two decades last October. Besides Fenway, the Metrodome, and Target Field, Jarod has been to 11 other stadiums and tries to knock off a couple a year on his way to all 30. Last year he added St. Louis and Detroit to the list and will get Texas and Cleveland this year.

    A fantasy baseball commissioner in his league for more than 10 years, the J-Man gets back to Sioux Falls every spring for the annual draft with his college buddies. He recently got back into card collecting and is only a Mookie Betts autograph away from completing his favorite Red Sox starting lineup with an autographed card for positions 1 to 9.

    Follow him on Xwitter @akaJrod (J to the Rod).

    Jarod shares his August 2 birthday with fellow chapter members Paul Manocchio and Joseph Towalski as well as J-Rod’s favorite knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, and Grady Sizemore, Triston McKenzie, Keston Kiura, Red Ames, Bombo Rivera, Luke Hughes, Tom Burgmeier, Huston Street, Matt Guerrier, Colby Lewis, John Kieran, Westbrook Pegler, Myrna Loy, Hank Cochran, Kristaps Porzingas, Billy Cannon, Leo Boivin, Carroll O’Connor, Shimon Peres, Martha Stewart, Lamar Hunt, Paul Titsworth, and Dingdong Dantes.

    Kris Hard grew up all over. He graduated from high school in northern Illinois and was a Cubs fan. A decade in Phoenix made him a Diamondbacks fan, and the last decade in Minnesota has made him a Twins fan. Although he wasn’t here then, he is old enough to remember 1987 and 1991.

    Says Kris, “Baseball is my favorite sport and I’ve made a decision to pursue baseball as a career, which has led me to Society of American Baseball Research. I’ve earned two scouting certificates, one from The Baseball Bureau, which was in-person, Scottsdale, AZ during the Arizona Fall League and the other on-line, from Sports Management World Wide, Baseball General Manager and Scouting Course. Both classes taught me evaluating both amateur and professional players, scouting reports and techniques. I’ve also completed another Sports Management World Wide course, Baseball Player Development. Having applied for many positions with both Major and Minor league clubs, I fear that I’m too old for many entry level positions and I don’t have enough experience for others, but I’ll keep trying. Analytics is obvious in baseball and I need to learn more. With SABR 52 in Minneapolis this year, I need to seize the opportunity to be involved and continue to grow in baseball. I’m interested in any volunteer opportunities available. I know how to keep score but not to the level of Official Scorekeeper and would like help with that.”

    Kris shares his January 23 birthday with Ben Shibe, Don Nottebart, Jeff Samardzija, Chico Carrasquel, Jack Saltzgaver, Addison Russell, Mark Wohlers, Sam Jethroe, Cot Deal, Charlie Spikes, Paul Ratliff, Joey Amalfitano, Rutger Hauer, Potter Stewart, XXXTentacion, and John Hancock.

    Henry Rosckes is a student at the University of Minnesota, studying economics, and a legislative assistant at the Minnesota Senate. He hopes to join the state GOP in a data role soon.

    A native of North Branch, Minnesota, he has a long-term girlfriend, a sister, and two parents, one of whom (his mom) he shares his love of baseball. The Hammer played rec ball for about six years, from elementary school until some time in high school. The first game he attended was May 23, 2011, which was also the Twins’ first home game after Harmon Killebrew died. He was at the game when Joe Mauer got his 2,000th hit and also at Joe’s final game. In addition, Henry was in the stands when Royce Lewis debuted and again for the first game of the playoffs last October, when Lewis hit two home runs.

    Henry shares his May 6 with a couple other legends, Willie Mays and Jose Altuve, as well as Dick Wakefield, Masanori Murakami, Mallex Smith, Bill Hands, Emanuel Celler, Angel Reese, Toots Shor, Hurricane Carter, Fred McNeill, George Clooney, Tony Blair, Bob Seger, Chris Paul, Orson Wells, Pope Innocent X, Rudolph Valentino, Sigmund Freud, Frank “EEE-Yeeeeeeeeesssss?” Nelson.

    Also new to the Halsey Hall Chapter: Jennifer Parker, Thomas Paul, Mike Wellnitz, and Blake Ask

    Our chapter has welcomed 20 new members since June 1, the beginning of the SABR fiscal year reporting period, and has 184 members.

    Know a potential member? Here are resources for getting that person happily involved in SABR:

    Membership application

    Get more out of your membership experience by checking out SABR Member Benefit Spotlight Series.

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    John Buckeye’s Creature Quiz
    The January Research Committee meeting included a quiz submitted by a distinguished member.

    1. One of these creatures has appeared as a “Rally” mascot for the Twins in 2019, and for the Cardinals in 2011, the year they won the World Series, in both cases due to an unplanned appearance on the field.
    2. Featured prominently in one closer’s intro theme, this creature would make sense if you consider a portmanteau of it and the player’s last name. The closer you all should know well. (The creature might be a general answer, or more specific.)
    3. In 1969, one of these walked past Ron Santo of the Cubs in the on-deck circle, and is partly blamed for the team’s collapse to the Miracle Mets down the stretch of that season.
    4. In 2002, this creature was a (jumbotron-featured) Rally mascot for the then-Anaheim Angels, who along with help from their fans’ Thundersticks™, would go on to win the World Series in seven games.
    5. This Hall of Famer played on five teams throughout his career, mostly at shortstop and second base. He was renowned for his fielding and was a part of the 1914 Miracle Braves World Series winners, and finished second in the MVP voting that year. He hit 28 total homers in his twenty-three-year career.
    6. The nickname of this Hall of Fame first baseman who won a World Series with the Braves in 1995 and twice led the league in home runs. He also topped one hundred RBI eight times (though never had more than 106) and was a five-time All-Star.
    7. This first baseman is not a Hall of Famer, but he did succeed the previous guy on the Braves after stretches with the Expos and the Rockies. He fell one homer short of four hundred for his nineteen-year career. What was his nickname?
    8. This franchise was the fastest to ever win a World Series (since expansion started), playing at a venue known locally as The Bob. They were also managed by a Bob the year they won it all, and have since been back to the Fall Classic just one time.
    9. What Bert Blyleven set a record for throwing in 1986 at the Metrodome the year before the Twins won the World Series. There can be many names for this, the type of bad pitch thrown (but this particular one fits the theme).
    10. Made his debut in 2000, he wears double zero for the Twins. Yet to appear in a game for the team, he has nonetheless earned a pizza named after him from the Pizza Luce in centerfield at Target Field. And the team reportedly has no plans to part ways with him. Big fan of fish, I’m told.

    Quiz answers below

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    Cow Chips

    Lloyd Kepple and Ron Gardenhire

    Ron Gardenhire (right) and a legend

    Lloyd Kepple and son Ben were back in Florida for the Twins’ Fantasy Camp. They were drafted by coaches Tim Laudner and Tom Brunansky and play on a team called Rex-Less, so named because Kent “T-Rex” Hrbek is absent from the camp this year. This was the 11th Fantasy Camp for Lloyd, and the ninth for Ben.

    The SABR Games Project has a new game story by Tom Merrick: May 4, 1966: Astros’ Robin Roberts hurls final shutout of his career to beat Cubs.

    Glenn Gostick received an award in abstentia as the Honored Old Timer at the Original Hot Stove League Old Timers banquet January 24. Stories told about Glenn, who died in 2011, included his bragging about how he shared his lifelong bachelor status with distinguished men such as Michelangelo, Socrates, James Buchanan, and Ed Gein.

    Glenn Gostick flips off a television audience

    Roger Godin, the curator for the Minnesota Wild, received the American Hockey Coaches Association Jim Fullerton Award, which recognizes a love of the purity of hockey. Roger was the first director of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971. Ten years later, he was one of the presenters at the first gathering of SABR members in Minnesota.

    The January 2024 edition of Keltner’s Hot Corner, the newsletter of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter, is on-line:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner, January 2024

    Past Keltner’s Hot Corner newsletters:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner

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    Answers to John Buckeye’s Creature Quiz

    Rally squirrel at Twins game August 20, 2019

    1. Squirrel
    2. Jhoan Duran (the creature is a tarantula, and the portmanteau is Durantula)
    3. Black cat
    4. Monkey
    5. Rabbit Maranville
    6. Crime Dog (Fred McGriff)
    7. Andres Galarraga, the Big Cat
    8. Diamondbacks, managed by Bob Brenly
    9. Gopher ball
    10. T. C. Bear

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        February 10Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Lou: Fifty Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball by Lou Piniella and Bill Madden.

        February 19—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        March 9—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Mannings’s, Minneapolis.

        March 18—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        April 14—Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 7:00 p.m. For more information on attending, contact Rich Arpi.

        May 18—Spring Chapter Meeting, 8:45 a.m., Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, or Bob Komoroski.

        August 7-11—SABR Convention, Minneapolis.

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    Board of Directors 2023-2024
    President—Rich Arpi
    Vice President—Bob Tholkes
    Secretary—Daniel Dorff
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    John Buckeye
    Ed Edmonds
    Howard Luloff

    Events Committee Co-Chairs—Howard Luloff, Bob Komoroski
    Research Committee Co-Chairs—Dave Lande, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Co-Chairs—Stew Thornley, John Buckeye
    MVP Chapter Committee Chair—Gene Gomes

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Ass. Editors—Jerry Janzen, Brenda Himrich, and John Buckeye
    Webmaster—John Gregory
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell, Hans Van Slooten, and Stew Thornley
    Social Media Directors—Bob Komoroski, Facebook; Hans Van Slooten and Tom Flynn, Twitter

    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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