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

June 2012

Stew Thornley

Chapter Officers Elected

Art Mugalian was elected president, Howard Luloff vice president, Fred Buckland secretary, and Jerry Janzen treasurer of the Halsey Hall Chapter for 2012-2013. The other directors for the coming year are Gary DeSmith, Brenda Himrich, and Dave Jensen. Howard Luloff was appointed to chair the Events Committee, Rich Arpi to chair the Research Committee, and Stew Thornley to chair the Membership Committee.

The Fall Chapter meeting will be either October 6 or October 20.

Other upcoming events:
The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, June 9 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville to discuss The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy by Daniel R. Levitt.

The next Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on July 14 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

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Coming Up: SABR 42

SABR 42 LogoSABR 42 will be at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center from Wednesday, June 27 to Sunday, July 1, 2012.

We’in the home stretch now, and a lot of Halsey Hall Chapter members are already registered: Anne Aronson, Rich Arpi, Barry Bengttson, Fred Buckland, Elizabeth Christensen, Rich Cohen, Chad Collins, Scott Cummings, Doug Ernst, Tom Flynn, Stephen Ginader, Aaron Gleeman, Roger Godin, Pete Gorton, John Gregory, Kevin Hennessy, Connie Hill, Brenda Himrich, Jerry Janzen, Dave Jensen, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Howard Luloff, Ray Luurs, Dana Marshall, Alden Mead, Mendal Mearkle, Art Mugalian, Ryan Nordness, Joe O’Connell, Todd Peterson, Darren Rasmussen, Fritz Reeker, George Rekela, John Rosengren, Doug Skipper, Cary Smith, Jack Stanton, Jeremy Tecktiel, Lee Temanson, Bob Tholkes, Stew Thornley, Hans Van Slooten, Benjamin Wiggins, Kenneth Woolums, Jim Wyman, and Gene Zavadil.

The research presentations include several by chapter members and/or about Minnesota topics:

  • An Aggregation Of Conceit: The Minneapolis Keystones 1907-1911 by Todd Peterson, Thursday, June 28, 10:45 a.m.
  • Diamond Alliances: Baseball at Minnesota’s Lower Sioux Indian Reservation, 1900-1915 by Dave Laliberte, Thursday, June 28, 11:15 a.m.
  • Dynastic Aspirations: The Minnesota Twins, 1965-1970 by Paul Hensler, Thursday, June 28, 2:30 p.m.
  • From the Diamond to the Helix: Major League Baseball and Genetic Testing in Latin America by Ben Wiggins, Friday, June 29, 4:00 p.m.

All available people are needed for a “Stuff This” party to stuff all the giveaways into goodie bags at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 24 at the Marriott City Center (meet on the fourth floor). Members are invited to bring family and friends. Art Mugalian has been organizing the freebies. He and Dave Jensen will also be leading the ballparks tour on Saturday.

The convention publication is at the printer and will be ready for the convention. Dan Levitt, with photo acquistion help from Dave Jensen, has edited this publication, titled, “Short But Wonderous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State,” which will include the All-Region Team selected by our chapter members.

There will be much to do and choices to be made by attendees. Early arrivers on Wednesday can take a tour of the Minneapolis Central Library and a walking tour of downtown, which includes a Metrodome tour. That night is an author event at Barnes & Noble on 8th and Nicollet Mall with authors Steve Treder, Dan Levitt, Rob Fitts, John Thorn, and Mark Armour on a panel and then autographing their books. The Ross Adell First-Timers Reception back at the hotel is open to all members. The vendors and memorabilia room will also open on Wednesday.

Thursday has the usual array of committee meetings and research presentations. Howard Luloff has organized the on-site volunteers, who will stand out in their red shirts as they moderate the research presentations, greet out-of-towners, provide security in the memorabilia room (no packing, we’re not a Stand Your Ground state), and run around and look busy. Chapter president Brenda Himrich will moderate the opening ceremonies with guest speaker Dave St. Peter, president of the Minnesota Twins.

Also on Thursday:

  • Target Field tour—a special behind-the-scenes tour for SABR members led by Twins curator Clyde Doepner
  • Official scorers panel with Gregg Wong, Stew Thornley, and David Vincent, moderated by Kevin Hennessy
  • Women in baseball panel with Laura Day, Leslie Heaphy, Dorothy Seymour Mills, and Cecilia Tan
  • Three choices at night:
    • Reception at the Minnesota African American Museum for its baseball exhibit, Bringing It Home: A Retrospective of Black N’ Brown Baseball in Minnesota
    • Trivia preliminaries
    • Showing of the film Knuckleball with an introduction by Alan Nathan
  • An Under-30 Mixer in the hotel bar

Friday fun:

  • General Managers panel
  • Awards lunch with keynote speaker John Thorn
  • Twins vs. Royals at Target Field

Saturday is loaded: ballpark run, donors breakfast, players panel (Bob “Rocky” Johnson, Ron Coomer, Roy Smalley, moderated by Frank Quilici), ballpark sites tour, the winners of the SABR Case Competition, Roland Hemond session, poster presentations, Branch Rickey one-man show, and the trivia finals.

An encore presentation of the best research presentation from the convention will be repeated Sunday morning.

Go to the SABR website for the most up-to-date schedule.

Updates on the convention are available on the Halsey Hall Chapter website.

[A final note from me (Stew): We’re in the final stretch now of something big that goes back to 2004, when our chapter submitted a bid for a SABR convention. We we’re working on the convention from before the time we were awarded it, in 2010. Since then the efforts have been intense and steady. Special thanks to the local organizing committee—Howard Luloff, Kevin Hennessy, Jerry Janzen, Art Mugalian, Dan Levitt, Rich Arpi, Brenda Himrich, and Dave Jensen—for all you’ve done along with all the other volunteers as well as others, such as Mary Buckland, who designed the SABR 42 logo. It’s always been satisfying for chapter members to hear from people who attended the 1988 SABR convention in Minneapolis and report their good memories of it, and I expect we’ll be hearing from people in the coming years about what a good time they had at SABR 42. The final weeks are bringing in a lot of requests from SABR members, asking for different time slots for their committees or recommending local businesses, stuff like that. It gets a bit overwhelming, but we will continue with top-notch customer service, all the way through the convention. Many of you have ordered the red convention shirts to help you stand out as a member of our chapter. Whether you’re wearing a red shirt or not, do your best to help our visitors out in any way you can for whatever they need. Greet the SABR members on behalf of the Halsey Hall Chapter, and make a special effort to introduce yourselves to those wearing the First Timer ribbon on their name badges. SABR members are a friendly bunch, but sometimes they congregate among people they’ve known for years, and the new folks feel a little intimidated approaching the group. Bring a first timer over to the veterans and introduce him or her. This has been a great experience for all of us, but we’re not done yet. Keep going hard for another few weeks, and we will make SABR 42 a memorable one. Thanks.]

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New Members: Sarah Johnson, Ben Wiggins, Gene Zavadil

Sarah Johnson is the communications manager for Hennepin Theatre Trust, the non-profit owner of the State, Orpheum, Pantages and New Century Theatre. “Since we’re a very small organization,” she says, “I always joke that I’m a renaissance woman because, along with our communications director, my job entails handling everything the Trust does relating to external and internal communications, public relations, media relations. You name it, I’ve probably done it. Two of the big parts of my job are garnering publicity for the shows coming to our theatres and serving as the one-woman researcher, writer and editor for our monthly newsletter. I created a baseball and theatre history related quiz for the newsletter when Target Field opened that attracted a record number of responses!”

Sarah has “been an urbanite my entire life,” growing up in Minneapolis and now living in St. Louis Park. She has younger sisters in Minneapolis and Golden Valley, a set of parents in Minneapolis, and two young nephews and a niece whom she is “working hard to ensure that they grow up baseball fans. They’ve already been on a behind-the-scenes tour of Target Field and my nephew has a foul ball from Tsuyoshi Nishioka so we’re off to a good start!”

Sarah says, “I honestly don’t remember going to my first game and have never played baseball or softball but I know I’ve always been a baseball fan. My mother says when I was younger I would just walk into our living room and turn on the Twins game. I was at game 6 of the 1991 World Series so it’s pretty hard to top that one. I was also at the last game of the regular season in 2007 at Coors Field when the Rockies had to force a one-game playoff with the Padres to make it as the wild card team. It was a beautiful September day in Denver and, with a view of the mountains in the distance and a sold-out crowd into every pitch and scoreboard watching at the same time, that was an awesome game too. And of course I was at the first game at Target Field against the Red Sox! I’ve been to about half of the major league stadiums around the country and I love discovering the differences between all of them.”

In addition to the writing Sarah does for her day job, she’s written many freelance articles on history, sports, and health/nutrition topics for a variety of publications, including Minnesota History, Gameday and Edible Twin Cities. “I love to bike around the lakes during the summer and am a self-proclaimed ‘foodie’ you can usually find trying something at a local co-op or farmer’s market.”

Sarah has been aware of SABR since she’s seen our Halsey Hall Chapter booths at TwinsFest every year. “When I saw that Minneapolis was going to be hosting the convention this year I figured it was a perfect time to join!”

Sarah shares her April 1 birthday with Rusty Staub, Phil Niekro, Jeff Heath, Hugo Bezdek, John Axford, Will Rhymes, Willie Montanez, Ron Perranoski, Hot Rod Kanehl, Bo Schembechler, Ali McGraw, Lon Chaney, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Simon Boliver Buckner, Method Man, Art Dick, and Commodore Nutt.

Benjamin Wiggins is a Ph.D Candidate and the Doctoral Dissertation Fellow in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota. He researches racial discrimination in the insurance industry between the 1880s and 1940s. Ben will be presenting at SABR 42 on Major League Baseball’s genetic testing in Latin America.

Raised in Minnetonka and now living in Minneapolis, Ben has known about SABR for years and learned about the convention coming to Minneapolis a couple years ago by reading Aaron Gleeman’s blog.

Ben played baseball “until I realized I wouldn’t get trophies for anything besides my participation. The first MLB game I attended was at the Metrodome in the late 1980s and though I barely remember it, I went to game 2 of the 1991 World Series when I was six years old. I was one of the few thousand that saw Eric Milton’s no hitter, which started at 11 a.m. on a Saturday. I also saw Johan Santana’s debut, Cal Ripken’s 3000th hit, and Frank Thomas’s 500th home run.”

Ben enjoys cooking, cross-country skiing, and Polaroid photography.

He shares his May 26 birthday with fellow chapter member Jack Stanton as well as Travis Lee, Darrell Evans, Joe Altobelli, Ben Zobrist, Kevin Mulvey, Jason Bere, Stoney McGlynn, Zola Budd, Sally Ride, Al Jolson, John Wayne, Brent Musburger, James Arness, Jay Silverheels, Washington Roebling, Stevie Nicks, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Jack Kevorkian.

Gene Zavadil describes himself as “a life-long ordinary baseball fan and having just recently retired [who] decided to join SABR to deepen my appreciation of the sport. He was born in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, the home of former Brewers pitcher Jerry Augustine.

Married with two almost-graduated college kids, Gene says his “love of baseball statistics led me to a career in accounting. Fan of the Milwaukee Braves when I was a kid, and then when they moved to Atlanta I became a Cubs fan. When I moved to Minnesota in 1977 I became a Twins fan, which I am to this day. My favorite players were Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Ernie Banks, and then Kirby Puckett and Michael Cuddyer. My all-time favorite player, however, is Stan Musial (I’m currently enjoying his biography by Peter Vecsey). My friends and I played Strat-o-Matic almost from the time the game was invented through the 60s and 70s. I still bring out the game on occasion and toss the dice. Every summer we would go to County Stadium and watch the Braves play a scheduled doubleheader (2 for the price of 1). Lasting memories include watching pitching duels with Spahn vs. Bob Friend; Aaron hitting homeruns with a mere flick of his wrists; Clemente spinning around like a top when he missed a pitch; Frank Howard bombing HRs completely out of Country Stadium; McCovey lumbering after and missing foul pop-ups. My favorite memories though were from listening to games on the radio via Earl Gillespie and Blaine Walsh, and Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau. I remember listening with excitement to Harvey Haddix’s 12 innings of perfect baseball only to be beaten in the 13th by Joe Adcock’s disallowed HR turned double; also the 4 HRs by Willie Mays against my beloved Braves; and of course, I endured the utter frustration of the Cubs meltdown in the 1969 season. As a Twins fan I witnessed the last scheduled game in the Metrodome in 2009 vs. KC, as well as Game 1 of the ‘91 World Series. I have not yet seen a game at Target Field, so the KC game on the 29th will be my first.”

Born in 1950, Gene shares his December 7 birthday with Hal Smith, Alex Johnson, Tino Martinez, Kevin Kennedy, Deacon White, Ryan Theriot, Shane Mack, Ozzie Virgil Jr., Bo Belinsky, Don Cardwell, Dick Donovan, Johnny Gee, Denny Galehouse, Hobe Ferris, Larry Bird, Harry Chapin, Ching Johnson, and Ravishing Rick Rude.

We are no longer getting regular updates on new SABR members in our area, and some of you who have joined recently may not have heard from us. We want you to know that we’re happy to have you and hope you will attend our upcoming events as well as get involved in our activities, including this summer’s SABR convention in Minneapolis.

We’d also like to introduce you to others in our newsletter. If you have joined in the last year and not yet been contacted by our chapter, please contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, the chair of the membership committee. Thanks a lot.

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Cow Chips

Joel Rippel’s biography of former Gophers baseball coach Dick Siebert, Dick Siebert: A Life in Baseball, which contains a foreword by Paul Molitor, has been published by North Star Press of St. Cloud and is also available as an e-book. Members may contact North Star Books, 888-820-1636, to order copies. . . . Roger Godin, US-West Vice President, Society for International Hockey Research, presented a paper, “Prague Winter 1933-The United States Wins an Early Gold,” at the annual general meeting of the group held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, May 18-20. The paper tells the story of the only United States’ gold medal victory in the history of the World Championships.

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You Can Be a Blogger on Twins Daily

Never been ripped by Jim Souhan? Be a blogger. You can have your own blog on John Bonnes’s Twins Daily, a site that gets 20,000 page views a day and a lot of responses. You’ll need to register first because, John explains, “we don’t want any anonymous people posting in the forum—We police it pretty hard to keep the idiot ratio low and keep the conversation respectable.” Check it out.

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Renewal Deadline Coming Up for Paper Copies of Newsletter

The subscription fee is due for those wanting to get printed copies sent to them. Those wishing to receive a printed copy each month may send a check for $15, made out to Halsey Hall SABR, to Jerry Janzen, 10201 Phaeton Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347-4735.

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    June 9—Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy by Daniel R. Levitt. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.

    June 10—Convention Committee. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    June 24, 2012—“Stuff This” party, Marriott City Center Hotel, Minneapolis.

    June 27-July 1, 2012—SABR Convention, Marriott City Center Hotel, Minneapolis.     July 14—Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    August 12—Halsey Hall Chapter Board Meeting, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.  

Board of Directors 2011-2012
President—Brenda Himrich
Vice President—Fred Buckland
Secretary—Art Mugalian
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Gary DeSmith
Cary Smith
Bob Tholkes  

Board of Directors 2012-2013
President—Art Mugalian
Vice President—Howard Luloff
Secretary—Fred Buckland
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Gary DeSmith
Brenda Himrich
Dave Jensen

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

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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