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

May 2021

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Steve Bratkovich Receives SABR Baseball Research Award for The Baseball Bat
  • Multiple Honors for Joe Niese
  • Spring Virtual Chapter Meeting May 8
  • Membership
  • Cool Stuff in Keltner’s Hot Corner
  • Ode to Gos
  • Closing Out National Poetry Month
  • Cow Pies
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Steve Bratkovich Receives SABR Baseball Research Award for The Baseball Bat
    Steve Bratkovich has been selected for the 2021 SABR Baseball Research Award for The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today.

    The award honors outstanding research projects from the preceding calendar year that have significantly expanded the knowledge and understanding of baseball.

    Here are lists of past recipients (which include chapter members) of SABR Baseball Research Awards:

    SABR Baseball Research Award

    McFarland-SABR (formerly Macmillan-SABR) Baseball Research Award

    Multiple Honors for Joe Niese
    Zack Wheat: The Life of the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer, written by Joe Niese, is the 2021 recipient of the Ron Gabriel Award as the best book of the year related to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The book is also a finalist for the Larry Ritter Book Award as the best new baseball book primarily set in the Deadball Era.

    Zack Wheat was among those recommended by Chris Foran of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month: 13 New Baseball Books Worth Adding to Your Reading Lineup. Another book in Foran’s list is The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960s by Thom Henninger.

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    Spring Virtual Chapter Meeting May 8
    The Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be held on-line on Saturday, May 8 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. A link will be sent to all chapter members before the meeting. Members may begin gathering on the site at 9:00 to chat.

    Howard “Your Sports Voice” Luloff, the master of ceremonies, provides this lineup for the meeting:

    9:00-9:30—Sign in and Chat

    9:30-9:45—Opening Session

    9:45-10:15—Research Presentation #1: Uniforms have been a vital part of baseball history and today’s first presentation comes from Ed Wehling as he shows his collection of Baseball Jerseys.

    10:15-10:45—Research Presentation #2: He was an offensive bright spot in baseball’s deadball era even when his career entered the 1920s. Award-winning author Joe Niese looks back at the life and career of former Brooklyn Dodger Zack Wheat.


    11-11:30—Chapter Business Meeting and Board Elections

    11:30-12—Research Presentation #3: What was The First (Known) Computer Baseball Simulation? We’ll get the answer in the day’s final presentation from Hans Van Slooten.

    The business meeting will include the election of four members to two-year terms on the board of directors as well as one member to the unexpired term of Jim Cox (which will cover May 8, 2021 to June 30, 2022). Any member interested in running may contact Dave Lande.

    To date, Gene Gomes, Daniel Dorff, John Swol, and Sarah Johnson are candidates for two-year terms (running from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023). Stew Thornley is a candidate for the unexpired term, which will begin immediately and expire June 30, 2022). Nominations will also be taken during the business meeting. All new board members will be invited to join the next board meeting, June 6 at 6 p.m. At this meeting, the incoming and holdover board members will elect, from among themselves, a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer to a one-year term beginning July 1.

    Note: Gene Gomes, who is currently on the board with his term expiring June 30, has said he will run for another term but only if candidates are needed to fill the slate. If there are enough candidates to match the number of openings, he will drop out of the race and desires that new people—those who have never been on the board before—will be elected.

    Likewise, Thornley would also love to see a new person run for the unexpired term rather than get an over-the-hill retread filling that spot. As such, he will happily step aside if such person indicates a desire to run for it.

    Other Events
    The Research Committee will meet on May 10 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Anyone wanting to participate may contact co-chairs Brenda Himrich or Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

    The Halsey Hall Chapter will host a special Zoom event on Monday, May 24, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Paul Hensler will talk about his book, Gathering Crowds: Catching Baseball Fever in the New Era of Free Agency. After Peter Seitz’s December 1975 decision turned the reserve clause on its head, baseball owners incorrectly predicted that the game would be ruined. Paul Hensler looks at was really happened and how baseball grew and evolved in the free-agent era.

    Registration information for Paul Hensler and Gathering Crowds

    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, June 5 at 10:00 a.m. The book selection is Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game? The Improbable Saga of the New York Mets’ First Year by Jimmy Breslin. The event will be at Dock & Paddle at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion. Dock & Paddle does not open until 10 a.m., which is why the book club is scheduled to start a half-hour later than usual. And please don’t be a cheap ass: plan to buy something, even just a cup of coffee. Other worthy books on the Mets of the 1960s are The Year the Mets Lost Last Place: The Most Amazing Year in the History of Baseball by Paul Zimmerman and Dick Schaap and Once Upon the Polo Grounds: The Mets That Were by Leonard Schecter.

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

    SABR members stroll around Lake of the Isles

    Hot Stove Saturday Stroll is returning. Last year, our group spent a lot of Saturday mornings walking around lakes and cemeteries at a socially acceptable and nice distance of 6 to 9 feet apart. As the pandemic maybe recedes and as people get vaccinated, we may not need the distancing as much, but a pleasant stroll, saunter, and/or scooter or bike ride still sounds good. On Saturday, June 12 at 10 a.m. in the morning, plan to walk around Lake of the Isles. Park and gather at 21st and Newton, a block from the lake. The distance around Lake of the Isles is about 2.63 miles. If there is a good turnout and the group is willing to do it again, there may be another one planned for June 19.

    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be Saturday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Dock & Paddle.

    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 haven’t yet, “Like” the Facebook page and “Follow” the Twitter page and set your notifications to be alerted to new posts.


    Regular Events

    Video Archives of Past Events

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    Baseball’s Better Together logo

    SABR is having a Baseball’s Better Together drive in which new memberships are discounted 21 percent in honor of the 2021 season.

    Get more out of your membership experience by checking out SABR Member Benefit Spotlight Series.

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    Cool Stuff in Keltner’s Hot Corner
    The April 2021 edition of Keltner’s Hot Corner, the newsletter of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter is on the newsstands:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner, April 2021

    This issue contains an interesting article by Mary Shea, Historical Ballpark Ruins, that looks at remnants of major-league parks we are familiar with as well as Simmons Field in Kenosha, Horlick Field in Racine, and Beyer Stadium in Rockford, which were used by teams in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

    All Keltner Badger State SABR newsletters

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    Ode to Gos
    This appeared April 19 on page 7A in the Sunday Bulletin Board section of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

    Article on Glenn Gostick

    The lifer, if you haven’t figured it out, is our beloved charter member, Glenn Gostick, who died in 2011.

    Big Eek is Don MacEachern, a former neighbor of the editor of this newsletter and a long-time friend of the lifer. One of Glenn’s favorite statistics was “Ability to Advance Runners, ” a labor-intensive statistic that required play-by-play of games, which wasn’t usually available prior to Retrosheet. Glenn got the 1962 scorebooks from Tom Briere of the Minneapolis Tribune and determined that a different lineup for the Twins might have been enough to make up the five games that they finished behind the Yankees. Gos found that Rich Rollins, the number-three hitter, had an incredible year at advancing runners but that the hitter in front of him, Vic Power, was poor at getting on base. Gos needed some help to go through all the play-by-play and asked someone at the University of Minnesota if they had a numbers-minded professor who loved baseball. That’s how he met Don. “He was indefatigable, ” said Gos of his new friend, one he kept for nearly 50 years and is still around to pay homage (pronounced homage) to one of our favorite curmudgeons.

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    Closing Out National Poetry Month
    Gene Gomes points out that April is National Poetry Month and, before the month ended, offered this:

    Let’s enjoy the beauty of baseball,
    as we heed the diamond’s call;
    Hush all sounds of the cranks’ many boos;
    Let’s cheer on our nine, though they may lose

    Also, Francis Kinlaw, the Nipsey Russell of SABR, has a poem each year in The National Pastime and has revised some lyrics just for our chapter and devoted to COVID:


    Take me out to the ball game. . .
    We can find a good seat;
    Buy me some cleanser and surely a mask,
    Don’t breathe on me—that’s all that I ask!
    We’ll root, root, root for the home team,
    But if we get sick it’s a shame;
    For I don’t want to bring an end to my life
    At an old ball game!

    Side note: the altered lyrics of this song, which appear in the song book of the Minnesota Chapter of Delta Upsilon, shan’t be printed here.

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    Cow Pies
    Tom Merrick had four stories published in the SABR Games Project: April 24, 1921: Cincinnati’s Josѐ Leblanc Outduels Jim Jeffries, Blanks Indianapolis ABCs in Exhibition; October 5, 1908: Ed Walsh Beats Detroit for 40th Win, Keeping Chicago’s Pennant Hopes Alive; August 11, 1912: Shoeless Joe Jackson becomes First American Leaguer to Steal Home Twice in One Game; and October 6, 1908: Bill Donovan Blanks White Sox on Two Hits, Sending Detroit Tigers to the World Series.

    Steve Ginader also had a game story published: June 27, 1971: Roberto Clemente Shines Late in Pirates Win over Phillies.

    Two members have entries in the SABR BioProject: Dirk Lammers on Don Elston and Anthony Bush on Ernie Nevers.

    Frank White and Brent Peterson were quoted in Curious Minnesota in the Star Tribune on April 2: Stillwater May Honor First Black Professional Baseball Player.

    Paul Spyhalski has a new article on his Iowa Town Ball blog: 1935 Amateur Baseball Congress—Bob Feller on Fire.

    Wesley Ellenwood is making progress on his documentary about the rivalry between the Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints: Sibling Rivals: The Millers & the Saints.

    Jim Cryns’s book, On Story Parkway: Remembering County Stadium, has been published and is available on-line: On Story Parkway: Remembering County Stadium

    Dan Levitt will be will be discussing his forthcoming book, Balk! Baseball’s Thin Line Between Innovation and Cheating, (co-authored with Mark Armour) with an emphasis on the Giants, to the New York Giants Preservation Society at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 20. To get the Zoom link, contact Gary Mintz, giantsguru@gmail.com.

    Also on May 20, at 7 p.m., is a free Zoom meeting showing photos of past and present of Twin Cities baseball parks. To register, go to History Revealed: Historic Ballparks.

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        May 8—Spring Virtual Chapter Meeting, 9:30 a.m. to noon (with social at 9:00). For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

        May 10—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

        May 20—New York Giants Preservation Society with Dan Levitt on Balk! Baseball’s Thin Line Between Innovation and Cheating, 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Gary Mintz.

        May 20—History Revealed: Historic Ballparks, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information and to register, go to History Revealed: Historic Ballparks.

        May 24—Paul Hensler on Gathering Crowds: Catching Baseball Fever in the New Era of Free Agency, 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information and to register, go to Gathering Crowds.

       June 5Book Club, Dock & Paddle at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion, St. Paul, 10:00 a.m., Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game? The Improbable Saga of the New York Mets’ First Year by Jimmy Breslin.

        June 6—Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information on attending, contact Dave Lande.

        June 12—Hot Stove Saturday Stroll, 10:00 a.m., Lake of the Isles. For more information, contact Stew Thornley.

        July 17—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 10:00 a.m., Dock & Paddle at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion, St. Paul.

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    Board of Directors 2020-2021
    President—Dave Lande
    Vice President—Hans Van Slooten
    Secretary—Anders Koskinen
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    Jim Cox
    Gene Gomes
    Frank Kadwell

    Events Committee Chair—Howard Luloff
    Research Committee Co-Chairs and Co-Chair-in-waiting—Brenda Himrich, Stew Thornley, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Chair—Frank Kadwell

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Webmaster—John Gregory 
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell, Hans Van Slooten, 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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