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

November 2012

Stew Thornley

Frank White Receives Virginia Kunz Award from the Ramsey County Historical Society

The Ramsey County Historical Society presented Frank White with the Virginia Kunz Award for the best article published in Ramsey County History in 2010 and 2011. Frank received the award for They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball, which was published in the Spring 2010 edition of the magazine.

A citation of the article on the magazine’s web site reads, “Based on a Ramsey County Historical Society exhibit, this article reveals the untold story of some of the local baseball players who struggled to overcome racial indignities and gain recognition for their abilities. There is some material on the national scene and while there was no Negro Leagues team in Minnesota, many African Americans played on integrated teams. The state did have several semi-pro black clubs prior to World War II. Some of the local legends included Bobby Marshall, Billy Williams and Toni Stone, a legendary woman player. Negro Leagues teams did sometimes barnstorm and play in St. Paul in the 1930s through the ‘50s. Although the end of Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947 with the singing [sic] of Jackie Robinson was welcomed by many African Americans, it started the demise of the old Negro Leagues. The article contains a list of local players and other African American players, such as Willie Mays, who were in the state’s minor league system on their way to the majors.”

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Upcoming Events

The next Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on November 10 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

The annual Hot Stove League meeting has tentatively been scheduled for Saturday night, February 2. Stay tuned for more details, including the location.

The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, December 8 at 9:30 a.m. at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall in Roseville to discuss Where They Ain’t: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles, the Team That Gave Birth to Modern Baseball by Burt Solomon.

The Spring Chapter Meeting has tentatively been scheduled for Saturday, April 20. As with the Hot Stove League get-together, the date is dependent on finding a facility for the event.

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New Member and Sort-of New Member

Jeff Lenz, also known as Sid, was raised in Albertville and now lives in Monticello, Minnesota. Married for 10 years, Jeff has a nine-year-old son, Noah. He works for Wendy’s and is also the public-address announcer for the St. Michael Saints amateur team and broadcasts North Star League games on KRWC Radio. He played on the Albertville town team from 1996 to 2001 and had a minor league tryout with the Cincinnati Reds in 1998.

Jeff attended his first game July 31, 1983 (vs. the Seattle Mariners) and has been at Eric Milton’s no-hitter, the 3,000th hits by Eddie Murray and Cal Ripken, and has attended 650 Twins games and more than 700 major league games. He has known about SABR since he was 19 and has now become a member.

Born in 1976, Jeff shares his April 20 birthday with fellow chapter member Barry Bengtsson as well as Eric Tipton, Steamer Flanagan, Don Mattingly, Dave “Beauty” Bancroft, Todd Hollandsworth, Harry Agganis, Preston Gomez, Brandon Belt, Luther Vandross, Lionel Hampton, Adolf Hitler, and Barney Gumble of The Simpsons.

Leanne Rohrbach joined SABR last spring and has attended the SABR convention and recent chapter meeting although the newsletter editor forgot to put her profile information in the newsletter at the time, so she is being introduced now.

Leanne is from Reading, Pennsylvania, where her folks still live. She was adopted and has half-siblings on her birth mom’s side. Leanne worked for Wells Fargo and is now deciding whether to return to school and get a history degree.

She attended her first major league game July 3, 1995, at Veterans Stadium, sitting in right field for the Mets at Phillies game because her mom wanted to be near her favorite player, Jim Eisenreich. Leanne was at Bobby Abreu’s last game with the Phillies, in 2006, saw Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle in 2009, and was at the game at which the Twins clinched the division title in 2010. However, the most significant game she attended was Danny Almonte’s perfect game in the 2001 Little League World Series.

Leanne went to her first Reading Phillies game in 1994 and has attended hundreds of games there. She worked in concessions in 2006 but once took a day off to watch a pitching matchup between Gio Gonzalez and Mike Pelfrey. Players she has seen play for the Phillies include Scott Rolen, Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins, and Ryan Howard while she has seen Bartolo Colon, Richie Sexson, Justin Morneau, and Stephen Strasburg play for opponents.

Leanne says,““Baseball is pretty much my life. Otherwise I’m fairly uninteresting.”

Leanne shares her April 8 birthday with Jeremy Hellickson, Felix Hernandez, Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Carlos Santana, Timo Perez, Gary Carter, Turk Farrell, John Hiller, Charlie “Paw Paw” Maxwell, Shecky Greene, Betty Ford, John Havlicek, Julian Lennon, Sonja Henie, Pug Lund, and Hank Aaron’s 715th home run.

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Chapter Research Project: Early Baseball in Minnesota and The Spread of Baseball Project

The Halsey Hall Chapter Research Committee has a new project and is seeking chapter members to track down the origins of baseball in various Minnesota cities. The project will assist with The Spread of Baseball project as well as create material for our chapter website, and it could be part of a larger book project by the Halsey Hall Chapter. This is an opportunity for members to get involved in a research project and have a good time finding the origins of baseball in their hometown or somewhere else in Minnesota.

The committee, led by Rich Arpi, welcomes members for an introductory meeting at the Minnesota History Center at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 13. The center has a pay lot as well as some parking meters. There is also free street parking nearby. Members can meet in the cafeteria on the main floor and should bring photo identification if they are not already registered with the History Center library as well as pens/pencils and paper and/or a lap top computer. Rich will introduce the project, explain its goals, and talk about the library. The group will then go upstairs to the library and, with guidance, start working. The library will close at 8 p.m. If enough interest exists for another meeting, including for those who cannot attend on November 13, Rich will meet interested members in the cafeteria on Saturday, November 17 at 9 a.m.

Many Minnesota cities (Early Baseball in Minnesota) have already been covered, although it’s possible baseball started even earlier than has now been documented, so those cities are still fair game for research. And many Minnesota cities have not yet been researched.

Anyone interested in learning more or in participating may contact Rich Arpi, 651-739-6986. Please let Rich know if you can make the meeting on November 13 or if you would like to attend November 17.

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Minutes of Board and Chapter Meetings Now on Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page

The Halsey Hall Chapter has put its existing minutes and reports on its web page. The meeting minutes that could be located are sporadic, so the page has many gaps. If anyone has any other minutes lurking in a closet or thumb drive (meaning hard copy or digitized in some manner such as a Word document), please contact Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791.

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Service for Phyllis Thornley November 10

Joe Hauser and Phyllis ThornleyFormer member Phyllis Thornley died October 20. She became a member in 1987, taking over the membership of her husband, Howard, when he died. She attended many chapter meetings over the years and was at the SABR convention in Minneapolis in 1988 (even sharing a cab with Joe Hauser, who is shown with her in the photo, during the convention). A memorial service (more like a celebration of life) will be Saturday, November 10 at noon (with visitation beginning at 11:30) at the Memorial Chapel at Lakewood Cemetery, 3600 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. A reception (with food) will be held in the cemetery’s Garden Mausoleum after the service.

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    November 10—Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    February 2—Hot Stove League Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

    December 2—Halsey Hall Chapter Board Meeting, 3 p.m. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.

    December 8—Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Where They Ain’t: The Fabled Life and Untimely Death of the Original Baltimore Orioles, the Team That Gave Birth to Modern Baseball by Burt Solomon. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.

    November 13—Research Workshop for Minnesota Baseball History Project, Minnesota History Center, 6 p.m. (and possibly November 17 at 9 a.m.) For more information, contact Rich Arpi, 651-739-6986.

    December 16—Research Committee, Bakers Square, Roseville, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Rich Arpi, 651-739-6986.

    April 20—Spring Chapter Meeting. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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Board of Directors 2012-2013
President—Art Mugalian
Vice President—Howard Luloff
Secretary—Fred Buckland
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Gary DeSmith
Brenda Himrich
Dave Jensen

The Holy Cow! Editor—Stew Thornley
Webmaster—John Gregory 

Halsey Hall Chapter Web Page

Past issues of The Holy Cow! are available on-line.


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