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

May 2019

Stew Thornley

  • Kenny Jackelen to Speak at Spring Chapter Meeting May 18
  • Other Events
  • Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
  • Membership
  • Cow Pies
  • Words to Live By
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Kenny Jackelen to Speak at Spring Chapter Meeting May 18
    Kenny Jackelen, the primary developer for baseball-reference.com, will be the featured speaker at the Halsey Hall Chapter 2019 Spring meeting on Saturday, May 18 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis.

    Registration for the meeting is at 8:30 with research presentations beginning at 9:00. A business meeting will be held during lunch with a Kenny Jackelen to follow and Howard Luloff’s always-a-hit trivia contest.

    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.

    Research presentations:

    The Bats . . . They Keep Changing! by Steve Bratkovich. The article is based on Steve’s article in the Fall 2018 SABR Baseball Research Journal. Steve is requesting that attendees bring any baseball bats they have: old, current, game-used, broken, aluminum, wood, etc.“This ‘participation’ is critical,” Steve says, “since most of my bats (show and tell) are from the 1960s and are Little League or American Legion baseball. Attendees will NOT have to speak, just bring them for my ‘props.’”

    Steve has just completed his book, Major League Lumber, and sent it to the publisher. He has also written Bob Oldis: A Life in Baseball.

    Baseball for Becca and Other Beginners by Anders Koskinen

    They Deserved Each Other: The Tempestuous New York Giants Ownership of Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, and Frank McQuade by Dan Levitt

    Baseball Performance Research: Studies of Pitching, Batting, and Baserunning by Sam Haag

    Baseball Diplomacy by Alan Holst, who recently retired fromt he foreign service and will talk of his baseball experiences with the State Department and how the the U. S. government promotes diplomatic relations through sports, specifically baseball.

    During the business meeting, the chapter will elect four members to a two-year term on the board of directors. Anyone interested in being a candidate may contact nominating committee chair Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    One candidate for the board has stepped forward so far, Anders Koskinen. All candidates will be invited to submit a candidate statement to be published in the May 2019 newsletter.

    Those elected to the board will be part of the chapter board meeting on Sunday evening, June 9 and will elect officers (one-year terms for president, vice president, treasurer, secretary) from among the new and holdover members for 2019-2020.

    Jim Cox has come up with a way to make the chapter meeting even more special: valuable door prizes. He will lead a drawing to give a baseball-related gift to one new member (joined in the last 12 months) and one veteran member (more than a year). Members will note their status (new or veteran) on the attendance list when checking in. The drawing will be held during the lunch break. You must be present to win.

    As a prelude to the meeting, there will be a reception for Alan Holst on Friday, May 17, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Himrich-Thornley house, 1082 Lovell Avenue, Roseville. Directions: Brenda Himrich and Stew Thornley

    Hamm’s Beer and some other beverages will be available, but bring your own if you want, along with chips and other snacks to share.

    The fall chapter meeting will be Saturday, November 2.

    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 Brenda Himrich or Sarah Johnson 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 (which also consists of Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Gene Gomes, and Bob Tholkes) will finalize the schedule of research presentations by October 19, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

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    Other Events
    Research Committee Meetings May 20 and July 15
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee will meet Monday, May 20 and Monday, July 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Brookdale Library, 6125 Shingle Creek Parkway, Brooklyn Center 55430. All members are welcome to attend.

    Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning
    The next Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on Saturday, May 4 at Bunny’s Northeast, 34 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis 55413, 612-545-5659 (in what was the keg warehouse of the Grain Belt Brewery).

    Book Club
    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, June 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the usual spot, Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. The book selection is Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 by Les Gerdin, who will be present to talk about the book and answer questions. Winning Baseball is available through amazon.com.

    Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections

    Can You Beat Mayslack’s Meat?
    Jim Cox and Tom Flynn have arranged a special viewing party to watch the Twins play Tampa Bay on Sunday, June 2 at Mayslack’s Bar and Grill, 1428 4th Street NE, Minneapolis 55418, 612-789-9862. Mayslack’s is famous for its roast beef sandwiches.


    Nobody Beats Mayslack’s Meat


    SABR Convention
    SABR 49 will be June 26-30. Join your fellow members in San Diego. The event will include panels with Kurt Bevacqua, Randy Jones, Carlos Hernandez, and Mark Sweeney, and umpires Gerry Davis (who was one of the umpires in the first game at the Metrodome, April 3, 1982 vs. the Phillies) and Greg Gibson, along with Sean Forman, David Neft, and Dave Smith.

    In addition, the program includes research presentations from the following chapter members:

    • Mike Haupert, The Business of Being the Babe
    • Dan Levitt, They Deserved Each Other: The Tempestuous New York Giants Ownership of Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, and Frank McQuade
    • A. J. Richard, You’re Out! Girls Quit Baseball Due to Culture
    SABR convention in San Diego


    The weekend of June 7-9 brings a trip to Milwaukee to see a Brewers-Pirates game on Friday night and then the Saturday afternoon unveiling of a statue for The Crusher in south Milwaukee, preceded by a quaffing of beverages at Sam’s Tap. Contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, if you are interested in going or would like more information.

    Emma Charlesworth-Seiler Umpiring in Cedar Rapids July 27
    The chapter is organizing a trip to see the Clinton LumberKings play the Cedar Rapids Kernels at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 27, and Emma Charlesworth-Seiler will be umpiring. Members may make their own carpool and rooming arrangements with one another. A suggested hotel for Saturday night is the Super 8, off Interstate 80 and 33rd Avenue, 400 33rd Avenue SW, Cedar Rapids 52404. The hotel is about three miles from the ballpark, and rooms are $55 to $60 plus tax. Call the Super 8 at 319-432-7282 to reserve a room.

    We will meet Emma for lunch around noon. Howard Luloff is contacting the Kernels to see if some of their staff can meet with us at the ballpark, and he may also have a trivia quiz. Howard will look into buying tickets in advance (a good idea since it’s fireworks night and may have a big crowd). Let Howard know if you will want tickets at hfan77@centurylink.net, 952-922-5036.

    Other Possibilities
    When you’re the the oldest and one of the most active chapters in SABR, the pressure is always on for more activities. Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities, to wit:

    This year’s featured townball game will be the Waseca Braves at the Austin Greyhounds at Marcusen Park in Austin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31 with a pre-game gathering at Piggy Blue’s Bar-B-Que (motto: Where you can eat pig or eat like a pig!) at 6 p.m. Contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, if you are interested in going and letting him know if you can drive and take others or if you need a ride. Note: If the weather forecast looks bad, the outing may be canceled. If that becomes an issue, contact Stew the morning of May 31 to see what the decision is.

    In addition, some members are planning to go to a game at Tink Larson Field in Waseca at 7:30 on Wednesday, June 5.

    Even More Baseball
    Several members are already planning to attend the 2019 Black Sox Scandal Symposium at the Chicago History Museum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the scandal September 27-29. The weekend will include a trip to a White Sox game, and several chapter members are now working on an article on the predecessor to the White Sox, Charles Comiskey’s St. Paul Saints, which played in the Western League from 1895 to 1899.

    Keep up to date with chapter activities on social media:

    SABR Halsey Hall Chapter Facebook page

    Halsey Hall Chapter Twitter page

    Regular Events

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    Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium November 16
    Details are getting set and setter for the Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium, which our chapter will host in Minneapolis on Saturday, November 16. Bob Tholkes is the primary organizer and is working with the chapter Research Committee on the program. The symposium is a joint project of the SABR 19th Century Committee, the Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR, and Hennepin County Library.

    Confirmed presenters:

    • John Thorn, Historian for Major League Baseball
    • Larry Millett, popular Twin Cities author and local historian
    • Stew Thornley, SABR award-winning author and leading Minnesota baseball historian
    • Frank White, historian and author on black baseball
    • Dan Levitt, SABR award-winning author
    • Mike Haupert, SABR Doug Pappas Award winner in 2014 for best convention presentation
    • Kristin Anderson, award-winning teacher at Augsburg College, Minneapolis, and expert on Twin Cities sports architecture

    The committee also hopes to find an establishment where it can host a pre-symposium reception the evening of November 15.

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

    Membership application

    Have you attended a Minnesota college, and would you be willing to contact it about the possibility of integrating SABR into some departments? If so, please contact Membership Committee Chair Hans Van Slooten.

    Hans has written an article on SABR and our chapter for Twins Daily: Interested in Baseball Research? Join SABR!

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    Cow Pies
    Matt Johnson came across a picture from the Mille Lacs County Historical Society of the cover of the May–June 1949 issue of Sports and Recreation in the Upper Midwest.

    Ted Williams on cover of Sports and Recreation?

    Is that Ted Williams in the boat? Williams spent a lot of time in Minnesota (his first wife was from Princeton), and Bill Nowlin mentioned this in an article about Williams playing for the Minneapolis Millers in 1938:

    Ted Williams’ Year in Minneapolis

    Ted Williams with fish

    The prolific Terry Bohn has a new book, Hired Batteries: The Time of Independent Semi-Pro Baseball in North Dakota.

    Hired Batteries by Terry Bohn

    Terry writes, “Hired Batteries covers the time when semi-pro baseball was at its height in the 1920s and 30s. Most people know of the Bismarck team of 1935 with Satchel Paige but dozens of other towns employed outside players such as Black Sox Swede Risberg, Negro League stars including John Donaldson, and college players from Minnesota. Some might remember announcer Marty O’Neill from Verne Gagne’s All-Star Wrestling, but he was also a good shortstop with Jamestown, North Dakota, a couple of years.”

    You can find Hired Batteries on Amazon along with Terry’s other books, Lots More Fun that Way: The First 30 Years of Amateur Baseball in North Dakota and Sunday Afternoons on the Prairie: The Growth of Baseball in North Dakota.

    Articles by chapter members:
    Ernie Nevers: Duluth Sportman by Anthony Bush.

    From the Spring 2019 SABR Baseball Research Journal:
    Playing with The Boys: Gender, Race, and Baseball in Post-War America by A.J. Richard

    Leonard Koppett by Dan Levitt.

    Roger Godin, also a hockey expert, had one of his books cited by Stan Fischler in The Hockey News:

    Ted Lindsay Helped Put the Union in Place, But His Wasn’t the First Attempt

    Unfortunately, this is a paid site. Unless you have a subscription, you won't be able to read the entire article, but Jeff Lehtinen provided excerpts about Roger and the subject of his book, Gerry Geran, who led an attempt to unionize hockey players in 1941:

    Ted Lindsay was eulogized, patronized and idolized as the driving force behind the first hockey players’ association in the 1960s. But a generation earlier, a group of players almost got a union off the ground, and likely would’ve succeeded if not for a more important issue in the way [World War II]. The first genuine hockey-unionizing attempt took place on March 12, 1941, in New York. . . .

    . . . A mystery man was orchestrating the association behind the scenes. He was a fringe but significant former NHLer. George (Gerry) Geran, a native of Holyoke, Mass., was to this original players’ association what Lindsay was more than a decade later. A Dartmouth product, Geran was the first American player to appear in an NHL game. He made his debut with the Montreal Wanderers in a game against Toronto in 1917.

    Geran retired at 37 in 1933 but stayed involved in the game by monitoring the plight of retired players. Inspired by a group that had assisted baseball players who had fallen on hard times, Geran developed blueprints for a hockey union. He lived near Madison Square Garden and approached the Rangers before reaching out to the other NHL teams in 1941. “Geran called it ‘The Association of Professional Hockey Players of America,’” wrote historian Roger A. Godin, author of The Mysterious Gerry Geran. . . .

    . . . If not for the published work by Godin and a collection of letters and stories collected by this author, this early-era foray into unionization would likely be forgotten. So while Lindsay is being rightfully remembered as a fearless trailblazer for the players, it should also be noted that Geran and a handful of players and owners in the 1940s cut an early swath towards the creation of a players' association.

    Also Worth Reading:
    Reds Pitcher on Unwritten Rules: ‘Baseball Players Couldn’t Survive Playing another Sport’ by Amir Garrett

    If you liked the Korean bat flips (from the April newsletter), get a load of the Gallo Grab:

    Crotch Grab After Home Run Goes Viral

    Check out these gems:
    A Ceremony to Welcome the Minnesota Twins Professional Baseball Team in Minnesota

    Twins Bat Boys on To Tell the Truth.
    Peter and Richard King, the original bat boys for the Twins, were on To Tell the Truth on May 1, 1961. (The segment starts at about the 8:40 mark.) Among the imposters were Michael and Alfred Jackson, who went to Stuyvesant High in New York, alma mater of Seth C. “Dr. Fan“ Hawkins, who graduated in 1958 and claims no memories of this set of Twins.

    Score This
    A topic of discussion among official scorers is whether, by rule, they could charge a four-base error instead of crediting a home run on a fly ball that goes over the fence after the fielder muffs it. No one is aware of this happening in the major leagues (the ball off Jose Canseco’s head was a home run, not an error), but the official scorer for the University of New Mexico gave Beau Capanna an error on a fly hit by Nic Ready of Air Force in 2017:

    Four-base Error

    Dave Plati, an official scorer for Colorado Rockies games, notes that there were runners on first and third and, had their been fewer than two out, Capanna would have at least been credited with a sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, major-league scorers continue to hope they will some day have this kind of play in their ballpark.

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    Words to Live By
    “The only thing better than roses on a piano are tulips on an organ.”

    —David Cone*

    *Derivation is disputed

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        May 4—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, Bunny’s, Minneapolis, 9:00 a.m.

        May 17—Reception for Alan Holst, 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

        May 18—Spring Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        May 20—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

        May 31—Townball, Waseca at Austin, 6:00 (dinner), 7:30 (game). For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

       June 1Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Winning Baseball: A Simple Game of 10 by Les Gerdin.

        June 5—Townball, Eagle Lake at Waseca, 7:30. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

        June 7-8—Brewers Baseball and CrusherFest, Milwaukee. For more information, contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

        June 26-30—SABR 49, San Diego.

        July 15—Research Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m., Brookdale Library. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791, or Sarah Johnson.

       July 27—Clinton LumberKings at Cedar Rapids Kernels. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        November 2—Fall Chapter Meeting, 9:00 a.m, Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        November 16, 2019—Minnesota 19th Century Base Ball Interdisciplinary Symposium, Minneapolis Central Library. For more information, contact Bob Tholkes, 952-922-5036.

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    Board of Directors 2018-2019
    President—Tom Flynn
    Vice President—Frank Kadwell
    Secretary—Dave Lande
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    Jim Cox
    Bob Komoroski
    Hans Van Slooten

    Membership Committee Chair—Hans Van Slooten
    Events Committee Chair—Howard Luloff
    Research Committee Chairs—Brenda Himrich and Sarah Johnson

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Webmaster—John Gregory 
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell and Stew Thornley
    Social Media Directors—Tom Flynn, Twitter; Bob Komoroski, Facebook

    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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