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

May 2015

Stew Thornley

Sean Aronson of Saints to Speak at Spring Chapter Meeting April 25

Sean Aronson, radio announcer and public-relations director for the St. Paul Saints, will be the featured speaker at the Halsey Hall Spring Chapter Meeting on Saturday, April 25 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Sean and possibly others from the Saints will talk about their organization, about to open its 22nd season, and the new ballpark for the Saints.

Registration is at 8:30 with research presentations beginning at 9:00. The featured guest be on at 1:00. A business meeting will be held during lunch. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. The meeting only is $5. Those wanting lunch must RSVP to Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036. Howard has succeeded Scott Cummings, who left the Twin Cities to go to school in Duluth, as the chapter’s Events Committee Chair.

The meeting will feature three research presentations from members:

  • Joe Niese will speak on Burleigh Grimes and Andy Pafko (Joe, who have written biographies on both players, lives in western Wisconsin near where both grew up): “Though they were born and raised on farms just miles apart in western Wisconsin, Burleigh Grimes and Andy Pafko couldn’t have been any more different. Grimes was a combative, spitballing pitcher who was quick to quarrel or even throw a punch. A 270-game winner, he played for seven teams over his 19-year career and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. The likable Pafko was a five-time All-Star and part of several memorable moments as a member of the Cubs, Dodgers, and Braves. Both played in World Series for three different team, the first two ballplayers to do so. Each won one of four trips.”
  • Dan Levitt will present Pat Gillick and His “Many Rivers:” One General Managers Approach to Gaining an Edge.
  • Frank White will be speaking about black baseball in the Twin Cities.

Frank will also bring some display boards from They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball, which is on display at the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul through June 7. Other poster presentations are welcome. Anyone who wishes to make a poster presentation may contact Brenda Himrich.

Elections for the board of directors will be held during the business meeting. A special election will be held to fill the remainder of the term of Scott Cummings, who resigned when he moved to Duluth. The regular election will then be held, and four members will be elected to the board of directors to succeed outgoing directors Doug Skipper, Gary DeSmith, and Leanne Rohrbach as well as the person elected to fill out Scott’s term, which expires on June 30.

So far Tom Flynn has agreed to run for the remainder of Scott’s term and to run for a two-year term beginning July 1. Frank Kadwell, Lloyd Kepple, and Doug Skipper have also agreed to run for two-year terms beginning July 1. The candidates have been invited to submit candidate statements:

Tom Flynn: “I’ve been a member of the Halsey Hall Chapter for most of the past eight years. During that time, I gradually became more involved in SABR, attending a variety of chapter events and meetings, and the national convention. I’m a baseball researcher and writer who has contributed to the SABR Games Project, and I’m currently working on a large biographical project. For the past year, I’ve served as our chapter’s Social Media Director. I’m interested in continuing to help recruit new members and further develop our online presence and visibility, while maintaining our traditions and institutional personality. I get a lot out of my SABR membership, and I want to give back.”

Lloyd Kepple: “I’ve been a SABR Member (and member of our great Halsey Hall Chapter) for 6 years—ever since I came across our booth at TwinsFest in 2008 (thanks to Mendel Mearkle, who was manning the booth that day). As a baseball addict, I was immediately captivated and signed up. Since then I've had the pleasure of getting to know my fellow addicts. I have enjoyed the meetings and presentations and attended the Convention when in was in Minneapolis 2 years ago. Baseball continues to be a daily and essential part of my life, both on and off season. I watch, read, and still try to play (on an over-50 Team—I encourage others to join me).”

Anyone else interested in running for a two-year term on the board may contact Nominating Committee Chair Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

Prior to July 1, the incoming and holdover board members will meet and elect a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer for one-year terms beginning when their board terms start on July 1.

Silent Auction
To boost the silent treasury and help members to clean out their closets, the chapter will have a silent auction during the meeting. Members are invited to bring bobbleheads, Twins tickets, books, or anything else that might interest other members and fetch some bids. Please bring items (or items grouped together) that will have a minimum bid of at least five dollars.

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 May 9 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

The Research Committee will be meeting Monday, May 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hennepin County Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina 55435. For more information, contact Research Committee co-chairs Brenda Himrich and Sarah Johnson.

The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club and Vintage Game Video Club will meet Saturday, June 13 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville to discuss In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by Mark Armour and Dan Levitt. In addition, the group will discuss the telecast of the August 1, 1979 Yankees at White Sox game. The complete game is available for viewing on Google: 1979 Yankees at White Sox. You may need a Google account, which is free, to watch it. The game is notable for a particular reason (see if you can guess what it is), but the purpose is to experience the broadcast team of Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall. Tom Flynn has also provided links to the first Toronto Blue Jays game, played at Exhibition Stadium, 1977 White Sox at Blue Jays, as well as to a page with a variety of options for full-game telecasts: 1979 Yankees at White Sox.

Dan Levitt will be appearing with Thom Henninger and Josh Levanthal to discuss In Pursuit of Pennants on Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. at Subtext Books, 165 Western Avenue North, St. Paul 55102, 651-493-2791 (southeast corner of Western and Selby).

Road Trips and Ballgames
The chapter will again go to Rochester for a Northwoods League game between the Honkers and Duluth Huskies on Saturday, June 13. The game is at Mayo Field at 7:05 p.m. Anyone who wants to arrive early may meet for a pre-game meal starting at 4:00 at Bilotti’s, 821 Civic Center Drive, Rochester 55902, 507-226-0006 (different location than from last year—take Civic Center Drive off U. S. Hwy. 52 and go to the east). Members are invited to form carpools.

The chapter is also planning a group outing to a Delano Athletics game at Delano Municipal Stadium at Central Park on Friday, July 17. The Athletics play Mound that night at 7:30. Those attending can meet for dinner and drinks at 6 p.m. at the Juke Box Restaurant, 203 Bridge Avenue East, Delano 55328, 763-972-6161.

The trip to LaCrosse, Wisconsin, to have a meeting and go to a Northwoods League game is not going to work out this summer, but it will be considered for next year.

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Hans van Slooten Moves up at Baseball-Reference.com

Hans van Slooten has taken over the day-to-day development of Baseball-Reference.com. Hans joined Sports Reference (the parent company of Baseball-Reference.com) in December of 2013 and worked on new projects.

“You are likely to see a bunch of improvements this summer with Hans on the site full-time rather than me on the site half-time,” wrote Sports Reference president and founder. “He’s also a dedicated Twins fan, so he will not face the unneeded distraction of a deep postseason run by his favorite team.”

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New Member and Member News

Adam Platt is from the north side of Chicago and now lives on the same block as Dan Levitt in Minneapolis with his wife, son, and daughter. He attended his first game at Wrigley Field around 1970. He and Holden (his son) have since visited every major-league park and quite a few defunct ones.

Adam saw the first night games at Wrigley Field (both the game that was rained out before it became official and the first official game), Jack Morris’s no-hitter at Comiskey Park, all four Metrodome games of the 1991 World Series, and the first game at Marlins Park (“meh”).

Adam is an editor at Twin Cities Business magazine. Holden works for the St. Paul Saints, and only Bill Murray has sold more programs at a Saints game than Holden has.

Born in 1963, Adam shares his July 2 birthday with Jose Canseco (who has played the most games among those born July 2), Ozzie Canseco, Rene Tosoni, Samuel Deduno, Angel Pagan, Nyjer Morgan, Joe Magrane, Tony Armas, Pete Burnshide, Chuck Stobbs, Gil English, Bob Zuppke, Medgar Evers, Alonzo Pickle, Bret Hart, Thurgood Marshall, Ken Curtis (Festus), Larry David, and Lindsay Lohan.

Anthony Bush has been researching the possibility of Babe Ruth coming to the Iron Range during the Great War and came across an item of the Evening Star (Washington, D. C.) from Friday, July 26, 1918:

ANOTHER OFFER FOR RUTH: Hibbing Team of Lakes League Seeks Boston Star
DULUTH, MINN., July 26—George H. (Babe) Ruth, of the Boston Americans, has been offered a contract to pitch for the Hibbing (Minn.) team of the Head of the Lakes League, and it is said will accept if Secretary Baker of the War Department closes down big league base ball. Hub Purdue, recently of Cincinnati, has signed with the Superior team, and will pitch his first game next Sunday. Palmero, late of the Louisville team, has joined the Hibbing club.

Anthony also came across Ruth’s draft card:

Babe Ruth’s draft Card

Note that the draft card contains the incorrect birth year. Ruth played most of his career believing he had been born in 1894 before finding that the correct year of his birth was 1895.

The SABR Baseball Research Journal contains an article by Mike Haupert on William Hulbert and the birth of the National League. At last year’s SABR convention, Mike presented on the topic and received the Doug Pappas Award for the convention’s best research presentation. Also, Dennis Pajot of the Keltner-Badger State Chapter had an article, Michael Kelley’s 1906-08 Woes with Organized Baseball, which focuses largely on Kelley’s years with the St. Paul Saints and Minneapolis Millers.

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    April 25—Spring Chapter Meeting, Faith Mennonite Church. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

    May 9—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.

    May 18—Research Committee Meeting, Hennepin County Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina 55435, 7:00 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson.

    June 13—Book Club and Vintage Game Video Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., In Pursuit of Pennants: Baseball Operations from Deadball to Moneyball by Mark Armour and Dan Levitt, and the August 2, 1979 Yankees at White Sox game. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825, and Gary DeSmith, 320-286-5127.

    June 13—Northwoods League game: Duluth at Rochester. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    July 17—Amateur baseball: Mound at Delano. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

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Board of Directors 2014-2015
President—Doug Skipper
Vice President—Steve Ginader
Secretary—Gary DeSmith
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
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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