SABR Baseball Landmarks Committee
An excited group of more than 50 attended an organizational meeting via Zoom of the SABR Baseball Landmarks Committee January 31. The group aims to develop a data base and map to help fans find baseball sites of significance in travels around the world. The landmarks may include current ballparks as well as ballpark sites (as long as there is a plaque or a remnant of the original ballpark), graves, statues, and maybe even places where managers have lost their jobs for slugging a marshmallow salesman.
A SABR Landmarks Committee spreadsheet indicates the lead people for certain categories. Although Minnesota is already spoken for, members may help the lead with information on landmarks around the state. In addition, lead people are still needed for the Minnesota Twins. Mike Haupert is the lead person for the the Northwoods League, which has many teams in Minnesota and nearby (with Carson Park in Eau Claire also sporting Henry Aarons bust.)
A video of the meeting, providing more information about the committee, is available: SABR Landmarks Committee Meeting (January 31, 2022).
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Sarah Johnson to Do Official Scoring for Major League Baseball
Through 2021, only four women have been official scorers in the major leagues: E. G. Green, Susan Fornoff, Marie-Claude Pelland-Marcotte, and Jillian Geib. Sarah Johnson will be among a group that will increase that number in 2022. Sarah has done official scoring for the Minnesota Gophers, State Class A amateur tournament, and St. Paul Saints. Since 2017, she has also been the Ball, Outs, Strikes Spotter (BOSS) at Twins games in addition to doing field-timing work. Sarah attended Official Scoring University, an on-line course conducted by Major League Baseball, and in early February went to Houston with the other incoming official scorers to do the scoring for a college tournament at Minute Maid Park. Lockout permitting, Sarah will do her first Twins game in April.
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A Goodand FunFable
Deadspin posted a great baseball story February 8 (the link to it is below) that is funny and, beyond that, a lesson to people who work in areas of risk communication or have ever screwed up. In other words, it applies to everyone. Weve all seen Im sorry if I offended anyone non-apologies along with the apology-and-an-excuse as well as the the defiant apology: Hey, I said Im sorry, what more do you want? and the When I make a mistake, I own it! statement that conveys a desire to receive some kind of award for doing so.
Thats why this story of a youth baseball coach stepping in it is worthy of a couple minutes of your time.
A Youth Baseball Coach Accidentally Ripped Apart Mike Trouts Swing.
Read it and laugh. And learn something. Be like Ryan Wargel.
Doug Ernst Dies
Longtime chapter member Doug Ernst died of cancer complications January 25. Doug contributed to the chapter in many ways, including as serving as treasurer from 2007 to 2009 and as a frequent host of our chapter meetings at Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. He got involved in general and baseball history, serving as the director of the Richfield Historical Society and as a player and organizer on the Quicksteps vintage base ball team. A celebration of life for Doug will be held May 14.
Doug is listed with other chapter members who have died at Halsey Hall Chapter Officers and History: In Memoriam.
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Spring Chapter Meeting Set for April 30
The Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be Saturday, April 30. It will be at the usual spot at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis.
During the business meeting, the chapter will elect three members to a two-year term on the board of directors. Anyone interested in being a candidate may contact Gene Gomes, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on offices and committees for our chapter is at Halsey Hall Chapter Procedures.
Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research (oral or poster) presentation at the meeting. Proposals must 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. The Research Committee will finalize the schedule of research presentations by April 16, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.
One presentation slot is always reserved for a first-time presenter until four weeks before the chapter meeting, which is April 2. If a slot remains after that, any member can submit a proposal until April 16, two weeks before the meeting, when the Research Committee will finalize the schedule of presentations.
Proposals must 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.
Two oral presentations have been approved so far by the committee:
Sign Stealing Before Video: Was It Legal? by Dan Levitt
Abstract: It took only five years after the introduction of modern binoculars in 1894 for a baseball team to use them to steal signs. The Phillies set up an elaborate system to intercept, decode, and relay the catchers signals. The teams owner dismissed the complaints. The other owners disagreed and tried to censure the Phillies at the NL meetings. One owner proposed that the Phillies players and team records be vacated from the official record. No formal rule, however, was adopted.
In my presentation, I look at sign stealing before the use of video and the bizarre, ambiguous response from baseballs hierarchy. Was it or was it not cheating?
2017 Pool D World Baseball Classic at Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco, Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico by Brenda Himrich
Abstract: The World Baseball Classic (WBC) is the only senior baseball tournament to grant the title World Champion, and this was Mexicos chance to show the world how it does baseball. Zapopan, a city in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, was hosting Pool D of the first round of this round-robin tournament. The teams competing were Mexico, Italy, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. There would be six games, and if necessary, for the first time in the WBC, a seventh tiebreaker game.
The 2017 Pool D will be presented from Mexico re-qualifying to play, the preparations at the Estadio de Béisbol Charros de Jalisco, the opening ceremonies, play on the field, injuries, fights in the stands, late night official meetings, new rules affecting tie-breakers and the seventh game of the pool. Through a little more culture, and after a quick review of how these four teams fared in the rest of the 2017 WBC, you will agree with the presenter that this was the most exciting Pool to watch.
Research Committee members are Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Gene Gomes, Mike Haupert, and Bob Tholkes.
In other Research Committee news, the committee will next meet March 21 and April 18. The committee will be putting up a display on Minnesota baseball at Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway in Brooklyn Center. The display will be up in April and May. In conjunction with this, there will be an event at the library Monday, May 9. The event will be presentations by Bob Tholkes and Brent Peterson on new Hall of Famer Bud Fowler and the season he spent in Stillwater. It will be at Brookdale Library and will give people the chance to view the display on Minnesota baseball being organized by our chapter. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.
The election of Fowler and Minnie Miñoso to the Hall of Fame adds a couple of entries to our Beyond the Twins: Hall of Famers in Minnesota banner since Fowler played with Stillwater in 1884 and Miñoso with the St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003. The banner has being updated as has the handout of Hall of Famers in Minnesota, which is on-line:
Beyond the Twins: Hall of Famers in Minnesota (PDF)
Feel free to print copies of the handout for friends and others, who may be fascinated by it all and even encouraged to join SABR.
On the topic of Bud Fowler, seven SABR members were in the audience when Brent Peterson presented on Fowler at the Washington County Heritage Center on February 8; the day before Brent was featured in a KSTP-TV report by Joe Mazan: So Minnesota: Bud Fowler, 1st Black Professional Baseball Player in History.
Although Brent Peterson is shadowy in this photo of his February 8 presentation, John DiMeglio is shown clearly on the slide. A charter member of the Halsey Hall Chapter, John influenced Brents life at Mankato State in 1982 by introducing him to Bud Fowler and the 1884 Stillwater team. Forty years later, Brent is still researching those topics and is the executive director of the Washington County Historical Society.
Brent noted another upcoming event at the Washington County Heritage Center: The movie Headin Home, starring Babe Ruth. It will be shown Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. The movie is a fictional story of a country boy who cant get the hang of playing baseball and is the butt of jokes in his small town. But one day he gets mad and knocks a towering home run. Suddenly he is off and running to fame in the big leagues. When he returns to his home town, everyone sees that he is the same loveable fellow he was before. The Heritage Center is at 1862 S. Greeley Street, Stillwater 55082. From the Twin Cities, take Minn. Hwy. 36 and go east to Greeley, turn left, and go about a third of a mile. The center will be on your left.
Howard Luloff is organizing the annual outing to see the Minnesota Gophers at U. S. Bank Stadium. The game will be Saturday night, March 5 at 7 p.m. versus Kansas. Howard also plans to schedule a trip to St. Cloud for a Northwoods League game this summer. For more information, contact Howard, email@example.com, 952-922-5036.
Howard is also organizing a chapter trip for a Northwoods League game on Saturday, June 18. The 6:05 p.m. game will be the Mankato MoonDogs versus the St. Cloud Rox at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud. As usual, Howard will try to line up pre-game activities at the ballpark with possible guest speakers from the Rox. In addition, members may want to come a little earlier to tour the Minnesota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame at the city convention center if it is open again by then. (It has been closed to the public during the pandemic.)
The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will at Bunnys Northeast, 34 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis 55413 (behind the keg warehouse of the old Grain Belt Brewery), 612-545-5659 on Saturday, March 12 at 9:00 a.m.
The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, April 2 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Mover and Shaker: Walter OMalley, the Dodgers, and Baseballs Westward Expansion by Andy McCue.
Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections
On February 5, the group discussed Lets Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, The Life of Ernie Banks by Ron Rapoport. Beyond Banks, Rapoport covered a variety of topics such as Phil Wrigley, Leo Durocher, and the Bleacher Bums. When the book came out, he was unsure of the fate of Bleacher Bums founder Ron Grousl. Grousl did partially turn up a couple years later, and his story is here:
The return of 69 Bleacher Bum Leader Ron GrouslClose but No Cigar Yet
Another Chicago legend, Les Grobstein, died January 16. He was a household name to Chicago stalwarts Bob Komoroski and Art Mugalian although many more were familiar with his work since Grobstein was the only reporter with a microphone handy when Lee Elia made some insightful comments on Chicago fans in 1983.
Here is more on The Grobber:
Les Grobstein Had to Keep Moving Like a Shark, or Else . . .
The book club will meet again at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 2 and will discuss Mover and Shaker: Walter OMalley, the Dodgers, and Baseballs Westward Expansion by Andy McCue.
If you havent had enough baseball yet, you could join Jim Cox and Corky Gaskell for a nooner in Rochester. The Rochester Honkers will host the Bismarck Larks in a Northwoods League game at 12:05 p.m. The trek will include a visit to Moonlight Grahams grave (before or after the game) and possibly a trip to the brewery (also before or after the game). If you are interested, contact Jim, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 havent yet, Like the Facebook page and Follow the Twitter page and set your notifications to be alerted to new posts.
Video Archives of Past Events
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The History Press of Charleston, South Carolina, has pubished books on Minnesota baseball ranging from a history of the Twins to a look at ballparks in the Twin Cities. Acquisitions editor John Rodrigue says they are looking for new titles and authors for books related to the Twin Cities. If you are interested in learning more, contact John, email@example.com.
The Halsey Hall Chapter was recently awarded a grant through the SABR Local Grants program to honor a high school student participating in the upcoming National History Day in Minnesota. Through this program, an annual project-based competition, the Halsey Hall Chapter selects the best baseball related presentation under the theme of Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures and Consequences. The winner receives $150, an invitation to present the exhibit at an upcoming chapter meeting, a complimentary SABR student membership, and information on other student opportunities to get involved in SABR. Sarah Johnson will be serving as one of the judges and requests another chapter member to join her in evaluating the entries and picking a winner. The judges will be sent presentation materials electronically to review and select the winner virtually. The expected time commitment is 3-4 hours the week of April 25. Through this grant, we hope to identify some master debaters. For more information and/or to volunteer, contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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New Members: Mark Vanney and Justin Stofferahn
Mark Vanney is a retired finance guy now living in St. Paul and originally from Rhinelander, Wisconsin.
Although he was born and raised in cheese country, Mark saw a major-league team play for the first time in Tacoma when he was there for most of the summer of 1962 while playing on an under-11 softball team. On Monday night, June 18, his team was part of a standing-room-only crowd of 8,076 to see the San Francisco Giants play their top farm club, the Tacoma Giants. Willie Mays hit a 340-foot solo home run in the fifth inning to lead his Giants to a 4-2 win over the other Giants. Mike McCormick pitched eight innings and allowed only three hits for San Francisco. Tacoma did not have any future MLB stars on its roster in 62, but before the game my dad told me Dusty Rhodes, the NY Giants pinch hitting star of the 1954 series, was playing for Tacoma. It was Dustys last year of professional baseball. As a pinch hitter in the 9th, he was called out on strikes. So I probably saw Dustys last official (or semi-official) career at bat against a major league team. Of course, the SF Giants went on to win the 62 pennant in a playoff against the Dodgers and then lose to the Yankees in seven games.
On Sunday, August 4, 1963 Mark saw his beloved Braves at County Stadium for the first and only time, thanks to his Uncle Herman, who drove the family on the 500-mile round trip in one day. Milwaukee beat New York 2-1. Two memories stand out for me: my hero Hank Aaron went 0-3 with one BB, and Casey Stengel threw a tantrum in front of the umpire, and didnt get ejected (but got a big laugh from the crowd). Roger Craig pitched for the Mets bringing his W-L record for the year to 2-20. On that day Roger became the first pitcher to lose 20 games in consecutive years since 1933!
Born in 1952, Mark shares his birth year with a bunch of former Twins, Roy Smalley, Ron Washington, Bombo Rivera, Dan Ford, Bob Gorinski, and Eddie Bane as well as Pete Vuckovich, Joaquin Andujar, Barry Foote, Bump Wills, Dave Collins, Glenn Burke, Terry Forster, Omar Moreno, Ray Knight, John Denny, and Pete LaCocknot to mention Vlad Putin, Bill Walton, Liam Neeson, Rick Pitino, Susan Dey, Peggy Blow (who is now 69), Kirby Dick, Harvey Weinstein, Mr. T., Pee Wee Herman, Checkers, and cannibal serial killer Nikolai Dzhurmongaliev. In addition, Hattie McDaniel, King George, and Curly Howard died in 1952.
Justin Stofferahn is from Woodstock, Illinois, in the far northwest part of Chicagoland and is a research analyst for the BlueGreen Alliance, working primarily on industrial policy. He moved to Minnesota eight years ago for graduate school and stuck around. Justin and his wife, Marissa, have two kidsFreddy (6) and Verity (2).
Last year Justin published his first pieces on FanGraphs via their community research page. He says it was his first time writing about baseball since his days as a prep sports reporter in college. The son of a huge Cubs fan, Justin remembers his first game being at Wrigley Field in 2003 between the Cubs and Atlanta. In person, he has seen Brian Doziers inside-the-park home run in 2017 at Target Field and the White Soxs comeback (and only) victory against Houston in last years Division Series on the South Side.
Born in 1987, Justin shares his December 9 birthday with chapter member Alden Mead as well as Spottswood Poles, Joe Kelley, Bob Hurricane Hazle, Joe Kelley, Adam Engel, Juan Samuel, Tony Batista, Tony Tarasco, Doc Medich, Todd Van Poppel, Del Unser, Cy Seymour, Darold Knowles, Jim Merritt, Dick Butkus, Donny Osmond, Judi Dench, John Malkovich, Kirk Douglas, Margaret Hamilton, Duke Slater, Deacon Jones, Redd Foxx, Gladys Hurlbut, and Tip ONeill (the Speaker, not the Baller).
Also new to the Halsey Hall Chapter: John Buckeye
Know a potential member? Here are resources for getting that person happily involved in SABR:
Get more out of your membership experience by checking out SABR Member Benefit Spotlight Series.
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Blasts from the Past
Inspired by the flashback of rabble-rouser Randy Krzmarzick in last months issue, Ed Wehling provided one of his own from the July 16, 1985 Minneapolis Star and Tribune:
Edin the upper left-hand corner of the photo next to the guy in the white hatwas at the home run derby the day before the 1985 All-Star Game.
On the topic of Randy Krzmarzick, he and Dean Brinkman are planning a centennial celebration the weekend of October 14-16 to commemorate the anniversary of Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel playing in Sleepy Eye.
Not baseball but sort of close, here is what Joe Soucheray had to say about a great pitcher in the June 23, 1974 Minneapolis Tribune, page 1C:
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Frank White got some well-deserved publicity for his work in the February 4, 2022 Star and Tribune:
Longtime St. Paul Coach Is Using Retirement to Keep Old Rondo Memories Alive: Frank White Has Become a Keeper of Old Rondo Neighborhoods Sports Memories
Frank also provided a link to this story: Saints Celebrate Barnstorming Colored Gophers.
Todd Peterson has an article in the new SABR/Sports Reference publication, The Negro Leagues Are Major Leagues, and Kenny Jackelen is listed as a contributor. For SABR members, a print copy of the book is available for $9.99, and electronic copies are free to members.
A number of chapter members were noted in the credits in 39 Seconds, a movie about John Donaldson, including Daniel Dorff, Todd Peterson, David Karpinski, and Pete Gorton (who should have received waaaay more credit).
On behalf of the SABR Oral History Committee, Dan Levitt conducted an interview with a local media whore that is available for listening: Interview with Local Media Whore.
Paul Rittenhouse was honored on the court at Target Center at halftime of the February 17 Minnesota-Toronto game for his years of service for the Timberwolves.
Terry Bohn has written about Charles Moran for the SABR BioProject.
The SABR Games Project has some new entries:
March 9, 2017: Mexico Had Something to Prove, but Italy Prevails with 5-Run Rally in World Baseball Classic Pool Play by Brenda Himrich
June 24, 1984: Bloop, Blast, or Blot? Twins Top White Sox on Tim Teufels Game-Ending Inside-the-Park Home Run and July 15, 2003: Hank Blalocks Blast Gives AL 9-7 Win in the All-Star Game That Counts by Stew Thornley
The February 2022 edition of Keltners Hot Corner, the newsletter of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter is on-line:
Keltners Hot Corner, February 2022
For past Keltners Hot Corner newsletters:
Keltners Hot Corner
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March 5Minnesota Gophers baseball at U. S. Bank Stadium, 7:00 p.m. versus Kansas. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.
March 12Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Bunnys Northeast.
March 21Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.
April 2Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Mover and Shaker: Walter OMalley, the Dodgers, and Baseballs Westward Expansion by Andy McCue.
April 18Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.
April 24Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 6:00 p.m. For more information on attending, contact Gene Gomes.
April 30Spring Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m., Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.
May 7Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Bunnys Northeast.
May 9Presentation on Bud Fowler, 6:30 p.m., Brookdale Library, Brooklyn Center.
June 18Mankato MoonDogs vs. St. Cloud Rox, Joe Faber Field, St. Cloud, 6:05 p.m. (with possible pre-game activities). For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.
June 28Bismarck Larks at Rochester Honkers, Mayo Field, 12:05 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Cox.
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Board of Directors 2021-2022
Vice PresidentStew Thornley
Events Committee ChairHoward Luloff
Research Committee Co-ChairsDave Lande, Gene Gomes
Membership Committee ChairStew Thornley
The Holy Cow! EditorStew Thornley
Ass. EditorsJerry Janzen and Brenda Himrich
Ass. WebmastersFrank Kadwell, Hans Van Slooten, and Stew Thornley
Social Media DirectorsBob 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 Procedures and By-Laws
Society for American Baseball Research
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