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

July 2014

Stew Thornley

SABR at All-Star Fanfest

With the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, the Halsey Hall Chapter will be involved in some of the activities at Fanfest. Dan Levitt has arranged three panels:

  • Twins and Minnesota Baseball History on Friday, July 11 from 2 to 3 p.m.
  • Official Scorers with Ron Roth, Stew Thornley, and Gregg Wong on Monday, July 14 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Twin Cities Ballparks: Yesterday and Today with Kristin Anderson and others on Tuesday, July 15 from 3 to 4 p.m.

The chapter will have membership applications on hand, and members who plan to be at any of these are encouraged to take some of the applications and distribute them to the audience.

Other upcoming activities:
The next Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on July 12 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of York Avenue).

The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, August 9 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville to discuss White Rat: A Life in Baseball by Whitey Herzog and Kevin Horrigan. In addition, the group will discuss the telecast of Game Six of the 1986 World Series. The complete game is available for purchase from iTunes or for viewing on YouTube: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Red Sox @ Mets.

The Research Committee had a special meeting June 16 with a presentation by Shane Williams, who was part of the winning team in the Diamond Dollars Case Competition at the SABR Analytics Conference in March. Shane is a student at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and an intern for the Burlington Bees. He presented on his ongoing research regarding the importance of a first-pitch strike. After following the Oakland Athletics staff for the first two months of this season, Shane is leaning toward the conclusion that the type of pitch on the first delivery to a batter is more significant than if it is a strike or ball. He plans to increase the sample size of the study with more games and more teams. Shane also delivered the award-winning presentation from the analytics conference, identifying the top three pitching assets, which included a detailed analysis of Jose Fernandez, Chris Sale, and Madison Bumgarner.

The next Research Committee meeting will be Monday, August 25 at 7 p.m. at Southdale Library. The committee will focus on research and poster presentations for the fall chapter meeting. All members are welcome. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson.

The committee is continuing with its Spread of Baseball project, started by Rich Arpi. Two webpages have information on the spread of baseball, Pre-pro Baseball and Pre-pro Clubs and Games in Minnesota. The Research Committee will also be coordinating poster presentations at future chapter meetings.

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Doug Skipper Elected President

Doug Skipper was elected president of the Halsey Hall Chapter for 2014-2015 with Steve Ginader elected vice president, Gary DeSmith secretary, and Jerry Janzen treasurer. Other directors are Scott Cummings (who was also reappointed as chair of the Events Committee), Gene Gomes, and Leanne Rohrbach. Sarah Johnson and Brenda Himrich were reappointed as co-chairs of the Research Committee and Stew Thornley of the Membership Committee.

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William Binga Grave Marker Dedication June 28

Pete Gorton has announced a ceremony in conjunction with the Negro League Baseball Grave Marker Project. On Saturday, June 28 at 11 a.m., a marker for William Binga will be unveiled at Crystal Lake Cemetery, 3816 Penn Avenue North, Minneapolis 55412 (entrance at the northeast corner of Penn and Dowling). Binga was a star third baseman for, among other teams, the Page Fence Giants, Philadelphia Giants, Chicago Leland Giants, St. Paul Colored Gophers, and Minneapolis Keystones in the early part of the 20th century. The event is open to the public.

Other chapter news:

Mayo Field in Rochester

On a stormy June 14 six chapter members—Jerry Janzen, Tom Flynn, Leanne Rohrbach, Art Mugalian, Josh Ostergaard, and your crusty editor—crammed into one vehicle and went to Rochester for a Northwoods League game between the Alexandria Blue Anchors and Rochester Honkers at Mayo Field. The group dined at Bilotti’s along with official scorer/gynecologist Kyle Traynor and hung out there as the news came in that the start of the game would be delayed because of rain. The game began at 9:05, two hours late, and the contingent (including the one who was filling in as scoreboard operator) departed after the sixth inning with Rochester leading 4-2 (the Honkers won the game 5-3 with someone else presumably taking over for the dearly departed scoreboard operator). Last year the chapter went to Wade Stadium in Duluth and next year plans to attend a Northwoods League game in Mankato.

Doug Skipper and Howard Luloff passed on the game but are planning another trip to see the Honkers in Rochester on Thursday, July 17. The plan is to meet at Doug’s house, 13984 Ember Way, Apple Valley 55124, at 4 p.m. and carpool to Rochester for a pre-game meal at Bilotti’s and the game at Mayo Field. Contact Doug at 612-876-1408 if you are interested.

Tom Flynn is looking into organizing a group to see a townball game. Stay tuned for more details, which will be on the SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page. There could be an outing as early as Saturday, June 28, and the Facebook page will be the best place to check.

Title Game - St. Cloud Cathedral vs. Fairmont, June 16, 2014

Bob Karn, brother of the late Jim Karn (a former SABR member who has presented at Halsey Hall Chapter meetings), won the 711th game (a Minnesota high-school record) as coach of St. Cloud Cathedral when the Crusaders scored four runs with two out in the final inning to beat Fairmont 5-4 for the Class AA championship at Target Field June 16. One of the Cathedral coaches is 87-year-old Nick Chanaka, who played for the St. Cloud Rox in the Northern League in 1948 and 1949 and was a featured guest at the Halsey Hall Chapter meeting in 1990. Cathedral started its tournament run with a 5-1 win over Blake, with the only Blake run of the game scored by Charlie Levitt (son of Dan). Charlie also had one of only three hits off Cathedral ace Jeff Fasching in the game.

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Member News and Events

Lloyd Kepple had the honor of raising the Twins Territory flag before the Twins-Brewers game on Thursday, June 5. Both teams wore 1984 uniforms, and the Twins selected Lloyd, who has had season tickets since that year, to raise the flag.

Sarah Johnson has had her article on early baseball in Chisholm, Chisholm’s Love for the All-American Game, published in the April/May 2014 Lake Superior Magazine.

Anthony Bush has updated his biographical profile of Rasty Wright to include information on an 1892 shootout in Los Angeles and a photo of the correct Rasty. Anthony Bush also has an article, Duluth’s White Sox Take another Pennant: The Zenith City’s Pro Ball Team Were 1912 Champs, on Zenith City Online.

On Tuesday, July 15 at 4 p.m. the Minneapolis Association of Base Ball Enthusiasts will host a Clean Zone Barbecue at Grumpy’s Northeast (2200 4th Street Northeast, Minneapolis 55418), featuring a reading by Josh Ostergaard, author of The Devil’s Snake Curve, beer specials, and free ribs prepared to the specifications of Frank White’s recipe as published in the 1980 Kansas City Royals Cookbook.

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New Member

Raised on a farm in Burnsville, Jim McNearney has lived with his wife in Shakopee for the last 39 years. He is now semi-retired as a funeral director and owned McNearney Funeral Home.

He got his love of baseball from his dad and, like his parents, was a fan of the St. Paul Saints. They usually attended the morning game of the holiday doubleheaders between the Saints and Minneapolis Millers and were at Midway Stadium on the Fourth of July in 1959 when Millers manager Gene Mauch went into the stands to confront some hecklers. The Saints were a Dodgers farm team when Jim was born in 1945, and he continues the allegiance by still watching the Dodgers and listening to Vin Scully.

Jim heard about SABR when the convention was in Minneapolis in 2012 and looks to get acquainted with more true baseball fans. He has followed the Twins from the time they came to Minnesota in 1961 and was at Jack Kralick’s no-hitter the following year. Along with his wife and another couple, Jim tours ballparks every summer. After a trip to Oakland this summer, they will have been to all the current stadiums, except for Atlanta and Miami.

Jim and his wife have two adult children and one granddaughter. He shares his November 6 birthday with Walter Johnson, J. G. Taylor Spink, Ricky Romero, Mack Jones, Adam LaRoche, Buddy Kerr, Justin Speier, Jim Gosger, Bubba Trammell, Chad Curtis, John Candelaria, Zig Ziglar, Dick Enderle, Del Flanagan, James Naismith, Sally Field, Maria Shriver, Fibber McGee, John Philip Sousa, and Edsel Ford.

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    June 28—William Binga Grave Marker Dedication, Crystal Lake Cemetery, , 11:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    July 12—Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and York, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    July 17—Northwoods League Road Trip to Rochester, 7:05 p.m. (leave mid-afternoon from the Twin Cities). For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, or Doug Skipper, 612-876-1408.

    August 9—Book Club and Vintage Game Video Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., White Rat: A Life in Baseball by Whitey Herzog and Kevin Horrigan, and Game Six of the 1986 World Series. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825, and Gary DeSmith, 320-286-5127.

    August 25—Research Committee Meeting, Hennepin County Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue, Edina, 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson.

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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  

Board of Directors 2014-2015
President—Doug Skipper
Vice President—Steve Ginader
Secretary—Gary DeSmith
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Scott Cummings
Gene Gomes
Leanne Rohrbach

The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Webmaster—John Gregory 
Ass. Webmaster—Stew Thornley
Social Media Director—Tom Flynn

Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page

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


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