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


November 2001

Fall Chapter Meeting Features Lots of Hits, No Errors
From Dan Levitt's Trivia Quiz
New Chapter Site Is on the Web
Season Wrapups
Cow Chips
New Members
November Birthdays
Hot Stove Saturday Mid-Morning
Research News
On Research
All-Initial Team
Answers to Dan Levitt's Quiz
Amended By-Laws
Board of Directors

Fall Chapter Meeting Features Lots of Hits, No Errors
More than 20 members and guests came to United Methodist Church in Columbia Heights on October 13 for the Halsey Hall Fall Chapter Meeting.

Featured Guests
Julio Becquer talked about playing baseball on the sandlots of Havana and eventually being signed to a professional contract by Joe Cambria. “We loved the guy,” Becquer said of Cambria. “Joe was like horse manure. He was all over the place.”

Dave Thies recalled growing up in north Minneapolis and learning to pitch when he was in fourth grade. He traced his athletic career through high school, college, the army, and the professional ranks, starting with Albany in the Eastern League in 1959 and eventually reaching the majors with the Kansas City Athletics in 1963.

Both guests commented on the audience, pointing out the pros and cons of having such a knowledgeable group. Thies thought it was nice that he didn’t have to explain who people like Steve Boros or Bobby Hofman were. On the other hand, Becquer said it was tougher to lie about his accomplishments. “I usually don’t have to worry about people being able to look up my statistics,” he said. “Most of them don’t even know how to spell my name.”

Research Presentations
S. Thornley made a presentation on Major League No-Hitters of the 20th Century; Jim Karn, wearing a St. Cloud Rox uniform, talked about the history of baseball in St. Cloud, going back to the 1960s with the city’s first team, the Arctics, in 1867; Kevin Hennessy gave an overview of the career of Dave Thies, including a game-by-game listing of his nine pitching apperances, as a prelude to Thies’s appearance before the group.

At the business meeting, the membership voted to amend Article III, Section 4 of the by-laws to include the webmaster, along with the newsletter editors, to be appointed to a one-year term (which is renewable) by the board of directors. Sections 1 and 2 of Article II, regarding participation in the chapter, were also amended to note that any Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) member may participate in Halsey Hall Chapter and that the dues paid by participants are for a subscription to chapter publications. The updated by-laws are listed below; the complete set of by-laws is in the 2001-2002 chapter directory.

Ray Luurs brought up the possibility of resurrecting the chapter television show. Ray will develop a questionnaire to get more information on how much interest there is among chapter participants.

(In other board business, the directors, at their October 7 meeting, adopted a resolution that calls for all activities and events either sanctioned by the Halsey Hall Chapter or publicized in a chapter publication to be accessible to all members.)

Other Activities
Dan Levitt led a trivia contest, which was won by the team of Cary Smith (who had the highest individual score in the preliminary round) and Fred Buckland, who defeated Jim Wyman and Thornley in the final round.

From Dan Levitt's Trivia Quiz
Name the 12 managers who won back-to-back pennants in the expansion era.

Answer below.

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New Chapter Site Is on the Web
Halsey Hall Chapter webmaster Deano Thilgen has finished revamping the chapter web site, which is now available for perusing at http://halsey

The features include a section on research projects, a place for research requests as well as a spot to post research or links to members’ baseball-related web sites.

Season Wrapups
Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins had another full season of baseball, attending more than 90 games and getting to his 65th and 66th stadiums (Miller Park and PNC Park) while also seeing several milestones achieved by Rickey Henderson, including his 3,000th hit on the final day of the season.

Mark Johnson attended 79 of the 81 Twins home games this year. Your scribe made it to 91 major league games (including three World Series games in New York) in 11 different stadiums. Fred Buckland attended major league games in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Seattle and minor league games in Peoria, Indianapolis, Akron, Clinton (Iowa), and Tacoma.

Cow Chips
Pete Hepokoski was at the first game at Yankee Stadium after the terrorist attacks on New York and saw Roger Clemens lose his second game of the season. Pete was also at Cleveland on September 28 to see the Twins shut out the Indians. . . . For his 50th birthday, Jim Wyman received a baseball from his dad that was autographed by Joe Bauman, who held the professional record for home runs in a season until it was broken recently by Barry Bonds. . . . Jim Karn and Bob Karn jointly coached St. Cloud Cathedral High School to the state Class AA baseball championship last spring. . . . Cary Smith interviewed Negro League pitcher Max Manning for a school project. . . . Rich Arpi, Deano Thilgen, Jim Karn, and Dan Cagley attended the Northern Great Plains History Conference in Grand Forks. . . . Roger Godin presented a paper at the full meeting of the International Hockey Association in Port Colbourne, Ontario.

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New Members
Welcome to new members Rex Hamann, Lou Michaels, Jeff Brubaker, Dean Urdahl, Ron Henry, Geoff Luurs, Julio Becquer, and Dave Thies.

Rex Hamann is a SABR member who recently moved from Mogadore, Ohio, to Andover, Minnesota, when his wife, Keitha, became an instructor at the University of Minnesota’s Choral Music Education Department.

A native of Madison, Wisconsin, Rex attended his first game in August 1965 at County Stadium in Milwaukee and got a foul ball. He saw his first Cubs game at Wrigley Field a year later.

Rex was present to see Nolan Ryan’s 300th win and Robin Yount’s 3,000th hit, both at County Stadium, as well as Yount hitting for the cycle at Comiskey Park in Chicago. He also saw an Eastern League game in which Zach Sorenson of the Akron Aeros completed his cycle by hitting a game-ending grand slam.

Rex has been a collector for as long as he can remember. He interviewed Walter Mondale during Mondale’s campaign for vice president and has also met Warren Spahn, Andy Pafko, Ron Santo, and Glenn Beckert.

His primary baseball interests are the pre-1970 Chicago Cubs and the pre-1955 minor leagues, especially the American Association and Milwaukee Brewers. He also tracks down the grave sites of former Brewers from the American Association and was featured in an article in an Ohio newspaper after he located the unmarked grave of Nick Cullop in Mifflin Township. Rex creates markers commemorating the baseball career of the player whose grave he finds (and sometimes doesn’t find) and will soon begin to expand the project to include people who wish to commemorate a loved one or pet.

Lou Michaels, aka The Round Mound of Sports SoundTM, is a sports director for WLKX-FM and also has a Saturday sports show on WQPM in Princeton in addition to doing sports commentary and play-by-play via audio streaming on

A native of Detroit, Lou and his wife, Baseball Mary, live in Mendota Heights. Lou is a member of several organizations, including the Masons, Moose, Odd Fellows, and Knights Pytians.

Jeff Brubaker is a SABR member from Milwaukee who is now attending the University of St. Thomas, where he is planning on a double major in sociology and psychology with a minor in justice and peace. Jeff worked as an usher at County Stadium and Miller Park and was present for the final game of the former and the first game of the latter. He has been a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays since he was 4. Jeff played in Little/Senior League for six years and was an All-Star four times. Last summer, he played in the Milwaukee County League and had a batting average of .429, 11th best in the league.

Jeff shares his February 2 birthday with Scott Erickson, John Tudor, Red Schoendienst, Don Buford, Max Alvis, Wes Ferrell, George Halas, Orval Overall, Willie Kamm, Farrah Fawcett, Dexter Manley, and Tom Smothers.

A native of Litchfield, Minnesota, and graduate of St. Cloud State University, Dean Urdahl now lives in Grove City and is in his 31st year of teaching American History at New London-Spicer High School, where he coaches cross-country. Under Dean, the girls squad was the 2001 state champion. Dean also writes on baseball and other topics and has two books published, Touching Bases with Our Memories (on the Minnesota Twins) and Lives Lived Large. Dean attended his first games on July 4, 1961, when Julio Becquer won the first game of a doubleheader for the Twins with a two-out grand slam in the last of the ninth and Harmon Killebrew had an inside-the-park home run in the second game. Dean still plays league basketball and softball and is on the board of directors of the Litchfield Blues amateur baseball team. Dean has a wife, Karen, and sons Chad (a sportswriter for the Owatonna Peoples Press), Brent, and Troy.

Dean shares his August 18 birthday with Roberto Clemente, Burleigh Grimes, Bobby Higginson, Buck Weaver, Joe Azcue, Max Lanier, Elayne Boosler, and Rafer Johnson.

Ron Henry is a software developer from Paris, Illinois, who now lives in Minneapolis. The first game he ever attended was during the 1944 World Series. He began compiling data in 1949 and embarked on a life-long project to develop a statistical register on every player in the history of organized baseball. Ron wrote his first computer program in 1953 and compiled statistics on University of Minnesota baseball for the Minneapolis Star and Tribune in 1955 and 1956. Ron says he has been the world’s oldest living programmer since 1965.

Geoffrey Dayne Luurs is from Champlin and is an honor student at Fred Moore High School, where he also plays football and baseball. He has been playing organized baseball since third grade and has been going to games “since I was born.” Geoff saw Cal Ripken get his last hit in the Metrodome. Geoff is the son of Ray and Kris Luurs, one of whom is also a Halsey Hall Chapter member.

Geoff shares his September 22 birthday with Bob Lemon, Tom Lasorda, Larry Dierker, Vince Coleman, Wally Backman, Jeffrey Leonard, Ken Aspromonte, Doc Powers, Tai Babilonia, Debby Boone, Ingemar Johansson, Dot Richardson, and the voice of Mr. Ed, Rocky Lane.

Julio Becquer and Dave Thies were awarded complimentary memberships in SABR and the Halsey Hall Chapter for their appearances at our October 13 chapter meeting. Julio is a member of the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame, and Dave is a member of the St. Mary’s College Athletic Hall of Fame in Winona, Minnesota.

Julio’s birthday will be noted in next month’s newsletter. Dave shares his March 21 birthday with Tommy Davis, Manny Sanguillen, Shanty Hogan, Johann Bach, Howard Cosell, and Shawon Dunston.

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November Birthdays
    26—Ron Henry (also Lefty Gomez, Hugh Duffy, Bob Elliott, Fred Tenney, Richie Hebner, Jorge Orta and Tina Turner)
    27—Lou Michaels (also Jimmy Rollins, Bullet Joe Bush, Ted Husing, Dave Giusti, Jose Tartabull, Johnny Blood, Jimi Hendrix, Caroline Kennedy, and Buffalo Bob Smith)
    30—Rodger Coauette (also Ivan Rodriguez, Bo
Jackson, Ray Durham, Bob Tewksbury, Joe Kerrigan, Juan Berenguer, Steve Hamilton, Firpo Marberry, Abbie Hoffman, G. Gordon Liddy, Des’ree, Winston Churchill, and Mark Twain)

Hot Stove Saturday Mid-Morning
December 1 Breakfast Not Just for Earlybirds
To accommodate those who aren’t real chipper at 8:30 in the morning, the starting time of the December 1 Hot Stove Saturday Morning has been moved back an hour.

It will start at 9:30 and be held at the usual location, the back room of Baker’s Square at 66th and Xerxes in Richfield.

Research News
While in Columbus for the Ohio Cup vintage base ball festival in September, Bob Tholkes did some research on Martin Duke, who was born Martin Duck (the family switched the name to Duke in the 1880s) in Ohio in 1867 and pitched for the Minneapolis Millers in 1889, 1890, and 1895. Although it’s reported that Duke died in Minneapolis in 1898, Bob learned that he actually lived much longer, returned to his hometown of Cincinnati, and died in a Cincinnati suburb on May 29, 1935.

Dan Levitt has written biographies on Pat Moran, Vic Willis, and Noodles Hahn for an upcoming SABR publication on the dead-ball era.

Dan Cagley is researching and writing a chapter on Bud Fowler and the 1884 Stillwater team for a book on black baseball in Minnesota to be published by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Rich Arpi and Deano Thilgen are researching 19th-century baseball in Minnesota.

On Research
“The researcher should not only detail what’s he’s done, but, in fact, he should list every reason he can think of for why his conclusion could be wrong. Yes, when we present our work, we do so because we believe we’ve come to a conclusion that’s good. But to make that conclusion, we have to think of all the other ways we could have done it and reject them as inferior; and, our audience has to have the information to do the same.”

—Physicist Dick Feynman

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All-Initial Team
    C—J. C. Martin, A. J. Hinch, A. J. Pierzynski, B. J. Waszgis, J. W. Porter
    1B—J. R. Phillips, J. T. Snow, R. C. Stevens
    2B—F. P. Santangelo
    SS—U. L. Washington, J. C. Hartman
    3B—B. J. Surhoff
    OF—J. T. Bruett, J. J. Warner, D. J. Dozier, R. J. Reynolds, Willie “E. T.” McGee
    P—J. R. Richard, B. J. Ryan, A. J. Sager, C. J. Nitkowski, C. V. Matterson, J. C. Romero, C. C. Sabathia, T. R. Bryden, T. J. Mathews, P. J. Horan, J. J. Thobe
    PH—C. B. Burns
    Writer—J. G. Taylor Spink
    SABR Members—J. D. Parsley, R. J. Lesch

Answers to Dan Levitt's Quiz
The 12 managers who won back-to-back pennants in the expansion era are Dick Williams, Ralph Houk, Tony LaRussa, Red Schoendienst, Earl Weaver, Sparky Anderson, Tom Lasorda, Walter Alston, Billy Martin, Joe Torre, Cito Gaston, and Bobby Cox.

Amended By-Laws
Here are the by-laws, as amended, that were revised by the membership at the October 13 chapter meeting:

    Section 1—Participation
    Any member of SABR may participate in the Halsey Hall Chapter.
    Section 2—Subcription Dues
    Annual subscription dues will entitle a SABR member to all Halsey Hall publications and a listing in the annual chapter directory. Dues shall be determined by the board of directors.

    Section 4—Publication Editors/Webmaster
    The editor(s) of chapter publications and the webmaster shall be appointed by the board of directors to a term of one year. The term shall start January 1. The term is renewable.

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    December 1—Hot Stove Saturday Mid-Morning, 9:30 a.m., Baker’s Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield

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Halsey Hall Chapter
Board of Directors 2001-02
President—Cary Smith
Vice President—Ray Luurs
Secretary—Rich Arpi
Treasurer—Kevin Hennessy
Fred Buckland
Dan Cagley
Dan Levitt

Webmaster—Deano Thilgen
The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Holy Cow Extra Editor—Bob Tholkes  

Please direct news about chapter events, about yourself or about other chapter members to:
S. Thornley
1082 Lovell Avenue
Roseville, Minnesota 55113-4419
E-mail Stew Thornley


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