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

SABR MVP Chapter 2022-2023

May 2024

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Big Turnout for Annivesary Presentation
  • Twins Legal Counsel Mary Giesler to Speak at May 18 Chapter Meeting
  • Other Upcoming Stuff
  • SABR 52
  • Darryl Sannes’s Two Themes Quiz
  • Chapter Members Involved in Big Event for a Secondary Sport
  • Levitt a Hit on MLB Now
  • New Member Erick Kriewaldt
  • Cow Chips
  • Answers to Darryl Sannes’s Two Themes Quiz
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Big Turnout for Anniversary Presentation

    Matt Hodson of the Minnesota Twins

    Thirty-eight members and guests came to the Ramsey County Library in Roseville April 17 to hear presentations on the 1924 World Series for the 100th anniversary of the first championship of the Washington/Minnesota franchise. Special guest Matt Hodson of the Minnesota Twins (shown above) talked about how the Twins will recognize the event on August 11. The day will include a giveaway of a replica ticket to Game Seven of the 1924 World Series and the appearance of Walter Johnson’s grandson and the daughters of Ossie Bluege, a franchise lifer who played on all three Senators pennant-winning teams (as well as part of a season with the Minneapolis Millers) and later was a coach, manager, farm director, and comptroller, moving with the team to Minnesota in 1981. Bluege was the featured guest when SABR members in the area gathered for the first time in 1981. The program at the library also included Dave Lande talking about two of the most prominent people during the franchise’s years in Washington, Walter Johnson and Clark Griffith.

    Some videos were shown, including a warmup feature of the Senators in spring training in 1931 and a briefer clip of Game Seven of the 1924 World Series.

    As a bonus, here is a video of highlights from the season after the Senators moved: 1961 Minnesota Twins: The Pride of the Upper Midwest.

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    Twins Legal Counsel Mary Giesler to Speak at May 18 Chapter Meeting
    Mary Giesler, the legal counsel for the Minnesota Twins, will be the featured speaker at the spring chapter meeting. Mary, who will enlighten us on the legal issues in the operation of a major-league baseball team, will also be speaking in June (along with several other chapter members) at the annual Baseball and the Law Class that SABR member Lou Schiff conducts on behalf of the Hamline Mitchell Law School.

    The meeting is Saturday, May 18 Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Registration begins around 8:15 a.m. with the program beginning at 8:45. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. People can pay by cash (with correct change appreciated) or check at the door.

    The morning will consist of research presentations by chapter members. Mary will speak after lunch, and she will be followed by Howard Luloff’s Improved and Still Almost New Jeopardy trivia quiz and door prizes. During the business meeting over lunch, the chapter will elect three members to two-year terms on the board of directors (term to begin July 1). The terms of Bob Tholkes, Jerry Janzen, and Ed Edmonds (who was elected mid-term to fill a vacancy) are expiring. Members in good standing are invited to indicate their interest and submit a statement.

    Ed Edmonds will be running for a full term on the board. Here is his candidate statement:

    As a relatively new member of the Halsey Hall Chapter of the Society of American Baseball Research, I am pleased to offer a few words on why I am seeking a full term on the Chapter’s Board of Directors. First, I will dedicate myself to assisting the officers, the other Board members, and all members of the Chapter in never relinquishing our MVP Chapter status. The fact that we were the only Chapter given this designation last year solidifies that this Chapter stands out as the “best” in all of the SABR. This is not to say that there are not many great chapters, but the Halsey Hall Chapter has consistently been extremely active in providing a wide array of activities for our members dedicated to the history of baseball. We never want to give up that honor.

    As part of my service, I want to see that we both maintain that wide array of offerings while increasing them. As a life-long baseball card collector, one of my goals is to create a baseball card component to our Chapter activities. As an author, researcher, and presenter on baseball topics to our chapter, at the national SABR annual meeting, the Nine Spring Training Conference, and the Cooperstown Symposium, I hope to assist our members in their own research, writing, and presentations.

    The morning session will have four research presentation:

    Terry Bohn: Who Was That Guy? Identification of Unknown Minor League Players
    According to Baseball-Reference, since 1876 more than 23,000 men have played at least one game in Major League Baseball. Full names and biographical information such as birth, death, and burial dates and locations are known for the vast majority of them. There remain a handful of brief 19th century players that the SABR Biographical Research Committee is still working to identify.

    However, there are still tens of thousands of minor leaguers who are still known only by their last name. This presentation will explain the methods and resources I use to identify these players by finding a first name and then, if possible, linking them to a known player in the Minor League Database along with the process used to make updates and corrections to Baseball-Reference. I will discuss some of the challenges in this type of research as well as some of the surprising and interesting findings.

    John Swol: The Best Twins Teams According to WAR
    This originally started out as a post that I was going to do for my Minnesota Twins historical website, Twinstrivia.com, but I decided it might be fun to turn it into a short presentation at SABR. This presentation isn’t meant to tell you who the best Twins teams have been over the years. My presentation here is just to show you how the numbers can sometimes be deceiving, that having the best players doesn’t necessarily mean that team will win the World Series. It also will not tell you what is more important, the hitting side or the pitching side.

    The WAR formula doesn’t have all the answers and no formula ever will. Baseball is an evolving sport and the statistical side of it has been changing right along with the game. Let’s dive right in and see how the WAR formulas have looked at Minnesota Twins teams from over the years.

    Ed Edmonds: The Search for the “Truth”—Trying to Uncover the Real Early Life of Larry MacPhail
    While researching a chapter for a book on the legal careers of the eleven lawyers enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I encountered detours, misstatements, and challenges when trying to research the early life of Leland Stanford “Larry” MacPhail (or is it McPhail?). Starting with the year and location of Larry’s birth through the institutions that he attended (or did not—the United States Naval Academy—was it George Washington or Georgetown where he completed his legal education?) through the when, where, and for whom he practiced law, I will present both what I think is the truth as well as my research methods.

    Rich Arpi: Researching the Western League, 1894-1899, 1901
    A few weeks back I finished an article on the first pennant for the Minneapolis Millers (1896) for the National Pastime. This presentation will build on that article and will present further information and research on the Western League that could not be included in the National Pastime article, including the high ream run totals. I will present some of the reasons for such high run scores, some astronomical season totals for some players, some interesting games that may never be equaled, and some interesting photos. Sources include the St. Paul Globe, Minneapolis Tribune, The Sporting News, Reach and Spalding Guides, and various articles already published on the era.

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    Other Upcoming Stuff
    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball (and a wedding involving Brenda Himrich attended by many chapter members 28 years before), will be at Manning’s at 22nd and Como in southeast Minneapolis on Saturday, May 11 at 9:00 a.m.

    The next Research Committee meetings, via Zoom, will be May 13 and June 17 at 7:00 p.m. Research Committee members are co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes as well as Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Mike Haupert, Bob Tholkes, Daniel Dorff, Darryl Sannes, Tom Swift, David Karpinski, Glenn Renick, John Buckeye, Terry Bohn, Ed Wehling, John Gregory, Art Mugalian, Ed Edmonds, and Bob Komoroski. Let Dave or Gene know if you would like to attend and/or join the committee.

    The next Book Club meeting will be Saturday, June 8 at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall at 9:30 a.m. The book selection is Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball by Keith O’Brien. Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections.

    Ball games and graves:
    A chapter member will be presenting pictures of baseball graves for the Schott-Pelican SABR Chapter meeting at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on Saturday, April 27. Mary Shea will also be presenting on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The presentations can be seen in person (in New Orleans) or on Zoom. To sit in on all the fun, register at Schott-Pelican (LA) Chapter meeting.

    At 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 16 Litchfield will play at Howard Lake for our annual townball outing. For more information, contact Howard Luloff.

    Another chapter outing will be a Northwoods League game in Rochester on Saturday, July 13. The game is at 6:35 p.m. with a pre-game gathering at a local watering hole at 4:00 p.m. at which members will be able to meet and masticate with a Rochester Honkers broadcaster and a real gynecologist. For more information, contact Stew Thornley.

    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. (The Facebook page now has 274 members. Bob Komoroski has established rules —essentially, don’t be a dink.— The page is still public although Bob has set up a series of questions for new members to cull out spammers, trollers, and other wankers.)


    Regular Events

    Video Archives of Past Events

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    SABR 52

    SABR 52 LogoOur own Emma Charlesworth-Seiler and Hans Van Slooten will be panelists at the SABR convention from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11 at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis. The Core Four (John Buckeye, Daniel Dorff, Gene Gomes, and a retread) encourages members to indicate your interest to be a volunteer by sending a note to Jessica Smyth, jsmyth@sabr.org.

    We can use people during the day on Tuesday, August 6 to assemble swag bags at the hotel (Hyatt Regency at 13th and Nicollet). During the convention, warm bodies are needed for a whole plethora-load of things: greeters, timekeepers for researcher presentations, staffers at the registration table. Let Jessica know if you have a particular interest in any of those things or if you’re up for anything.

    Jeff Nelson and possibly Tim Tschida (former chapter featured guests) will join Emma on an umpires panel, and another panel will have four Hall of Famers: Rod Carew, Jim Kaat, Tony Oliva, and Bert Blyleven (the latter two also former chapter featured guests). Frank White will moderate a panel on Black baseball. Other speakers and panelists include Kris Atteberry, LaTroy Hawkins, Josh Kolk, Thad Levine, Glen Perkins, Derek Falvey, and still-another-former-chapter guest Josh Ruffin.

    During the convention, the attendees will have a choice between a tour of Target Field or a St. Paul Saints game, which will feature a tour of the Saints’ City of Baseball museum and a pre-game meeting with the game’s official scorer, Sarah Johnson. For those hanging around until Sunday, there will be an outing to a townball game. Drivers may be needed to pick up and drop off conventioneers at the hotel.

    Registration is now open with early-bird registration rates available through June 7.

    Students in high school or college who are between 19 and 29 can apply for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend the convention with registration fees, lodging, and transportation covered. Applications are due May 7. Get this info out to any baseball aficionados who qualify: Students, apply now for a Yoseloff Scholarship to attend SABR 52 in Minneapolis

    Also related to the convention, SABR Games Project Chair John Fredlund writes, “We’re looking to put together a group of stories relating to major-league, minor-league, and college/amateur ball in Minnesota for the week of SABR 52. So far, we have Kurt Blumenau’s article on the Twins’ 2,000th win (in 1985) and Mike Worley is working on an article on an exhibition game that the Giants played at Metropolitan Stadium in 1959. I’d like to do one on the first interleague regular season game at the Metrodome (Pirates-Twins in 1997), and we may also use an article that Mike Huber submitted on Gary Ward hitting for the cycle as a September call-up in 1980. If any of our other Halsey Hall members would like to contribute an article, they are welcome to do so!“ Contact John Fredlund if you are interested.

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    Darryl Sannes’s Two Themes Quiz
    The April Research Committee meeting included a quiz with two themes submitted by Darryl Sannes.

    • The last name of an MLB outfielder that had a .356 lifetime batting average. His last major league appearance was September 27, 1920. Babe Ruth said he modeled his swing after this player.
    • The last name of an MLB first baseman and DH that was a two-time American League MVP. This Hall of Famer had 521 career home runs. In retirement he has appeared in dozens of commercials.
    • The last name of a right-handed pitcher who had 224 career wins. This Hall of Famer played in five World Series and was a one time AL Cy Young award winner. He died in 1999 from Lou Gehrig’s Disease; he was only 53 years old.
    • The first name of a Hall of Fame pitcher with 300 career wins. He was a nine time All Star and a Cy Young award winner. His early career was interrupted by one year in the Army during WWII. He was a Minnesota Twins pitching coach for three years.
    • The last name of a career minor league player who SABR author Bill Nowlin called the classic “cup of coffee” ball player. He played minor league ball for twelve seasons and only appeared in two games for the Red Sox in 1948. He was a pinch runner in one game and pinch hitter in another striking out, which became his only major league at-bat.
    • The last name of a 19-year-old infielder who played part of one season with the 1907 St. Louis Browns. In his very short career, he had 59 at-bats, 13 hits, and 6 RBIs.
    • The last name of a right-handed pitcher whose major league career consisted of two relief appearances with the NY Yankees in 1949. He was a dominant college pitcher (29-4) and is in the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. His father played in 67 major league games in the 1920s.
    • The last name of pitcher who played with the Cincinnati Reds in and 1902 and 1903, throwing a total of 10 and one-third innings. He played minor league ball until 1915 and had a few stints as player-manager.
    • The last name of a left-handed pitcher who won a total of 119 games for the Red Sox and the Expos. He was a classic junk-baller and was known as much for his outlandish quotes and ideas as he was for his pitching. He also co-authored four books.
    • The last name of a right-handed pitcher who played for several teams, including the Minnesota Twins. His was the first Black American League pitcher to win 20 games and a World Series game. He also hit six home runs in his career and a three-run homer in a World Series game.
    • The last name of a man born in upstate New York in 1819 and for decades was credited with being the inventor and developer of the game of baseball in Cooperstown in 1839. While he never claimed to have anything to do with the invention of the game, the Baseball Hall of Fame was placed in Cooperstown in 1937.

    Bonus: What are the two themes of this quiz?

    Bonus Bonus: Alan Holst provided a few posers of his own.

    Which players were Most Valuable Player runners-up twice but never received the award? (Includes all versions of the MVP award going back to 1911.)

    Which pitchers were Cy Young Award runners up twice but never received the award?

    Which pitcher was a Cy Young Award runner-up three times but never received the award?

    Quiz answers below

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    Chapter Members Involved in Big Event for a Secondary Sport

    Jeff Lehtinen about to light the lamp

    Jeff Lehtinen (the one wearing the tie) is about to spring into action as Denver’s Rieger Lorenz gets off a shot that slips by Boston College goalie Jacob Fowler. Jeff was the goal judge for the NCAA championship game at Xcel Energy Center. Denver beat Boston College 2-0 with Jeff lighting the lamp for both of the Pioneers’ goals.

    Joe Bertagna presents Roger Godin with the Jim Fullerton Award

    At a ceremony during the Frozen Four, Roger Godin (right) was presented with the prestigeous Jim Fullerton Award by Joe Bertanga, executive director of the American Hockey Coaches Association.

    Chapter member straddles his Zamboni for group photo

    A chapter member was the penalty timekeeper for the Frozen Four and was allowed to ride onto the ice on his personal Zamboni for a group photo prior to the title game April 13.

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    New Member Erick Kriewaldt
    Erick Kriewaldt is from central Wisconsin and has lived in Minneapolis for the past five years. A first-year law student at the University of St. Thomas, he has been interning for the past year-and-a-half with the Barstool Sports data team and previously worked for a National Football League agency and a Name Image Likeness (NIL) collective.

    Erick became a Twins fan when he was four after going to a friend’s birthday party and seeing his friend’s dad’s massive collection of Twins memorabilia. He started working as an usher for the Twins after his sophomore year of college and is now in his fourth season with the team. “There is nothing better than a weekend working at the best ballpark in the Major Leagues.”

    Our chapter has welcomed 24 new members since June 1, the beginning of the SABR fiscal year reporting period, and has 184 members.

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

    Membership application

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

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    Levitt a Hit on MLB Now

    Jon Heyman, Brian Kenney, Dan Levitt, Yonder Alonso on MLB Now

    Dan Levitt distinguished himself with a semi-regular appearance on MLB Now on the MLB Network April 10, appearing with Jon Heyman, Brian Kenny, and Yonder Alonso. You can watch it here:

    Dan Levitt on MLB Now

    As the group discussed injuries to pitchers, Dan demonstrated a) pronation, b) the grip used by Mordecai Brown, c) Baron Von Raschke’s claw hold, or d) all of the above.

    Dan “The Claw” Levitt

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    Cow Chips
    The SABR Games Project has new game stories from members:

    Terry Bohn has written an article on George Stueland for the SABR BioProject.

    The April 2024 edition of Keltner’s Hot Corner, the newsletter of the Ken Keltner Badger State Chapter, is on-line:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner, April 2024

    Past Keltner’s Hot Corner newsletters:

    Keltner’s Hot Corner

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    Answers to Darryl Sannes’s Two Themes Quiz

    • Jackson
    • Thomas
    • Hunter
    • Early
    • Sheridan
    • Butler
    • Hood
    • Hooker
    • Lee
    • Grant
    • Doubleday

    The answers are names of Civil War generals, and all of the players named (not the last guy) had interesting nicknames: Joe “Shoeless Joe” Jackson, Frank “The Big Hurt” Thomas, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Early “Gus” Wynn, Neill “Wild Horse” Sheridan, Willis “Kid” Butler, Wallace “” Hood, William “Buck” Hooker, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, and Jim “Mudcat” Grant.

    Bonus Bonus:
    The two-time MVP runners-up are Luke Appling, Cecil Fielder, Al Kaline, Greg Luzinski, Eddie Mathews, Johnny Mize, Eddie Murray, Tony Oliva, Mike Piazza, Joe Rudi, Ed Walsh, and Billy Williams.

    The two-time Cy Young Award runners-up are Yu Darvish, Trevor Hoffman, Tommy John, Jimmy Key, Dan Quisenberry, and Adam Wainwright. Alan notes that Gerrit Cole was on this list until he received the award in 2023. He also holds out hope that Darvish will join Cole.

    The three-time runner-up is Curt Schilling.

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        May 11—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Mannings’s, Minneapolis.

        May 13—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        May 18—Spring Chapter Meeting, 8:45 a.m., Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036, or Bob Komoroski.

        June 8Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Charlie Hustle: The Rise and Fall of Pete Rose, and the Last Glory Days of Baseball by Keith O’Brien.

        June 9—Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 7:00 p.m. For more information on attending, contact Rich Arpi.

        June 16—Townball: Litchfield at Howard Lake, 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Howard Luloff.

        June 17—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        July 13—Northwoods League: Waterloo at Rochester, 6:35 p.m. with pre-game debauchery at 4:00 p.m. For more information, contact Stew Thornley.

        August 7-11—SABR Convention, Minneapolis.

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    Board of Directors 2023-2024
    President—Rich Arpi
    Vice President—Bob Tholkes
    Secretary—Daniel Dorff
    Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
    John Buckeye
    Ed Edmonds
    Howard Luloff

    Events Committee Co-Chairs—Howard Luloff, Bob Komoroski
    Research Committee Co-Chairs—Dave Lande, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Co-Chairs—Stew Thornley, John Buckeye
    MVP Chapter Committee Chair—Gene Gomes

    The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
    Ass. Editors—Jerry Janzen, Brenda Himrich, and John Buckeye
    Webmaster—John Gregory
    Ass. Webmasters—Frank Kadwell, Hans Van Slooten, and Stew Thornley
    Social Media Directors—Bob 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 History

    Chapter Procedures and By-Laws

    Society for American Baseball Research

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