Halsey Hall Chapter - SABR
About the Chapter | Officers and History | By-Laws and Procedures | Who Was Halsey Hall?
Chapter Events | Membership | Publications Book Club | Research Projects | Regional Links | Home

Home > Chapter Publications > Holy Cow! Newsletter >


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

October 2011

Stew Thornley

Ron Coomer to Speak at Fall Chapter Meeting

Former Twins infielder and 1999 All-Star Ron Coomer will be the featured guest at the Halsey Hall Chapter Meeting Saturday, October 15 in the lower level of Grace University Lutheran Church, 324 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis 55414, 612-331-0125. Parking is in lot AA, across Harvard Street from the church. Because of light rail construction along Washington Avenue, attendees may want to approach the meeting site from the south. From East River Road, go north on Harvard Street. From Interstate 94, exit at Huron Boulevard, take a left on Fulton Street, right on Oak Street, left on Delaware Street, and right on Harvard Street. Going north on Harvard Street, the church will be on the left and the parking lot on the right between Delaware Street and Washington Avenue.

Light rail construction information is also available on the University of Minnesota web site.

Registration is at 8:30 with research presentations beginning at 9:00. Coomer and possibly other guests will appear at 1:00, and trivia will follow. A business meeting will be held during lunch. The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. The meeting only is $5. Those wanting lunch must RSVP to Howard Luloff, 763-208-1637, by October 8.

Early arrivers will be able to watch the Mr. Ed episode, first aired September 29, 1963, in which Ed meets Leo Durocher and hits a home run off Sandy Koufax (sorry if that spoils the ending). This episode also features Connie Hines in a bathing suit.

Attendees, along with other SABR members and family, can head over to the Thornley-Himrich residence (1082 Lovell Avenue, Roseville, 651-415-0791) after the meeting to watch playoffs on television. Map and directions.

Members are invited to submit a proposal to make a research presentation at the meeting. Proposals must be made in writing (e-mail is fine) to Research Committee Chair Bob Tholkes, 3966 NE Reservoir Boulevard, Columbia Heights, Minnesota 55421-4069, and should include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included. Standard 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, Cary Smith, Stew Thornley, and Rich Arpi) will finalize the schedule of research presentations by October 1, two weeks before the meeting, so proposals must be submitted by then.

Two research presentations have been scheduled:

  • The Birth of Baseball Statistics by Bob Tholkes. “Henry Chadwick may not have merited the title ‘Father of Baseball,’ but he does indeed seem to have fathered baseball statistics. He published 18 pages of 1860 player statistics in the Febuary 1861 edition of Beadle’s Dime Base Ball Player, the first time that collected statistics were published. The presentation describes the statistics, shows examples, and comments on Chadwick’s work.”
  • The Minneapolis Millers and St. Paul Saints in the American Association by Rex Hamann.

2012 SABR Convention Dates Set

SABR 42 will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Minneapolis from Wednesday, June 27 to Sunday, July 1, 2012. Events being planned for the convention include a Twins game (versus the Royals on Friday night, June 29), a Saints game, an author event, a reception at the home and Victorian museum of Seth C. “Dr. Fan” Hawkins, a tour of former ballpark sites, a trolley ride between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun followed by a tour of baseball graves in Lakewood Cemetery, a tour of the Minneapolis Central Library, and panels of executives, players, official scorers, and women in baseball.

Howard Luloff, 763-208-1637, is in charge of on-site volunteers for the convention. Contact him if you are interested in helping.

Other upcoming events:
The Halsey Hall chapter book club’s next selection is The House that Ruth Built by Robert Weintraub. The book club will meet on Saturday, October 1 at 9:30 a.m. at the Barnes and Noble cafe in Har Mar Mall in Roseville. Har Mar Mall is located on Snelling Avenue about a mile and a half north of the state fairgrounds. For more information, contact Art Mugalian at 612-721-2825.

The next Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on November 5 at Bakers Square in Richfield (66th Street to the east of Xerxes Avenue).

Go to Top

Member Profiles

Joe Niese spent most of his youth in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and now lives in nearby Chippewa Falls with his wife, Sara, two-year-old son, Oliver, and, by this time, perhaps another family member. He is the information services/local history librarian at the Chippewa Falls Public Library and is completing a biography of Burleigh Grimes, which should be done early next year.

“I’ve been doing research for nearly two years,” Joe said of the Grimes biography. “As a public librarian I have been fortunate to have been able to utilize dozens of reels of microfilm and books in addition to internet sources (always good for a lead for the next nugget!). I, of course, have also utilized the wealth of information that Chuck Clark and the Clear Lake Historical Museum can provide.” He hopes to make a presentation on Grimes at the SABR convention in Minneapolis. Joe has also written a number of free-lance articles on baseball for local newspaper and magazines.

Joe has played baseball at every level—“with good old wood bats!”—at every level from tee-ball through adult amateur ball, finally playing his last full season in 2002. His first baseball memories are of playing with his older brothers, Andy and Marty, in their backyard in Guilderland, New York, outside Albany.

He attended his first major league game April 19, 1986, between the Yankees and Brewers at County Stadium, seeing Rickey Henderson homer and Teddy Higuera going 10 innings before the Brewers finally won 4-3 in 11 innings. Joe attended a Cubs-Cardinals game in the midst of the Great Home Run Race of 1998, watching Mark McGwire homer and Sammy Sosa homer twice. However, he is still kicking himself for turning down a chance to see a Minnesota-Cleveland game in 1995 in which Eddie Murray got his 3,000th hit.

Born in 1977, Joe shares his September 30 birthday with Carlos Guillen, Seth Smith, Gabby Street Jose Lima, Craig Kusick, Dick Cox, Jeremy Giambi, Johnny Podres, Robin Roberts, Zinn Beck, Dave Magadan, Jennings Poindexter (his favorite birthday-boy player), Truman Capote, Lester Maddox, Angie Dickinson, Buddy Rich, Barry Williams (Greg Brady), and Pacman Jones.

Jim Barnett is a database engineer for Wells Fargo & Co. who grew up in North St. Paul and now lives in New Brighton with his wife, Molly, and sons James, 10, and Ryan, 8.

Jim has been a lifelong baseball fan, getting hooked when his grandpa gave him a scorebook for Easter in 1982 and taught him how to keep score. He never saw a game at Met Stadium although he was an early attendee at the Metrodome, going to his first game in April 1982, and has seen games at classic ballparks such as Comiskey Park, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Chavez Ravine.

Jim lettered in baseball for four years of high school at North St. Paul and one year of junior college at Anoka Ramsey Community College. He still plays third base for the Rosetown Rockets, a 35-and-older team in Roseville in the Minnesota Federal League.

Jim plays golf in the summer and watches his sons play hockey in the winter. He says he enjoys anything database related and would be happy to help anyone with a query written against the Lehman database.

He collects vintage and commemorative baseballs. He purchased a number of 1920s game balls from the estate of Rube Walberg. Researching his balls led him to SABR, and Jim says he was also somewhat familiar with the Halsey Hall Chapter because of the baseball books of some obscure local writer that he received as gifts.

Born in 1973, Jim shares his November 7 birthday with Jim Kaat, Willie Norwood, Joe Niekro, Todd Ritchie, Joe Hatten, Dave Fleming, Buck Martinez, Jake Gibbs, Herman Mankiewicz (screenwriter of Pride of the Yankees and Citizen Kane and who has a name that is almost spelled like Mientkiewicz), Billy Graham, Joni Mitchell, Leon Trotsky, Marie Curie, Shelby Foote, Dana Plato, Lisa Maris, Mona Maris, Johnny Rivers, Al Hirt, Joan Sutherland, Kris Benson, Dick Stuart, and The Only Nolan.

Frank Matthew White has a long history in Twin Cities sports as an official and as manager for the city of Richfield’s recreation programs and athletics, where he worked for 32 years. Prior to that, he was the director of the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Martin Luther King Center. Frank founded Respect Sports and, since 2000, has given motivational presentations on sportsmanship to athletic organizations and schools across the country. For the past 10 years he has been the representative for the Minnesota Twins for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI).

Frank has two daughters: Rebecca has three children, Royce (who is now at Iowa State), Xavier, and Savannah; younger daughter Janae graduated last May from the University of St. Thomas. Frank’s dad, Louis V. White II, and uncle, Eugene White, attended Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul and were named among the top 100 male athletes in the 100-year history of the St. Paul City Conference. Frank’s mom’s family is from Mexico, and his grandfather, Francisco Rangel, was the first honorary consulate to Mexico located in St. Paul, and he also helped establish Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and the Cinco De Mayo festival.

Frank was born in St. Paul and, like his dad and uncle, attended Mechanic Arts, playing baseball and basketball for Howie Schultz. He was all-conference in basketball as a senior and also played football.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have watched my father and his friends/teammates play baseball at a very special time [he graduated from high school in 1945],” said Frank, who played shortstop on his first team, Front Recreation Center, in 1954. When his family moved to 409 St. Anthony Avenue in 1956 he tried out for shortstop for Ober Boys Club. Because he could throw so hard, he was encouraged to become a pitcher and played at Ober Boys Club and Oxford Playground prior to going to Mechanic Arts.

The first minor league game he attended was at Lexington Park in 1954, seeing Charlie Neal play second and Don Zimmer shortstop. (“Friends still don’t believe Zimmer played shortstop, but he did.”) Frank’s first major league game was the 1960 All-Star Game in Kansas City (his paternal grandmother is from Leavenworth, Kansas). “This game was filled with Hall of Famers [Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Ernie Banks, Bill Mazeroski, Stan Musial, Brooks Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Yogi Berra, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, Ted Williams as well as managers Walter Alston and Al Lopez]. What a special treat for my first game.”

Notable events Frank has seen include Lou Brock breaking the stolen base record in San Diego, while visiting and staying with his extended-family brother, David Winfield, David’s 3,000th hit (as well as Eddie Murray’s 3,000th hit) at the Metrodome, and attending several games as Paul Molitor advanced toward his 3,000th hit. He and his daughter, Janae, attended the Hall of Fame induction for Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Hilton Smith, and Bill Mazeroski in 2001.

Frank had a display, They Played for the Love of the Game: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball, a touring exhibit that began at Landmark Center and is now at the Rondo Library. He highlights the 1940s and 1950s, beyond the documented teams. He had an article on black baseball in Minnesota in the Ramsey County Historical Society magazine and is working on a book on the subject, which will have the foreword written by David Winfield. His book will differ from those done by Steve Hoffbeck and Todd Peterson in that his focus will be on players who aren’t well known or known at all. “I’m interested in sharing the information about these great athletes that are under the media radar because of the times,” he says. “Some of these are players I watched as I followed along with my father. Others I’m receiving information from others a little older than me.”

Frank has had his research featured in Minnpost.com.

Born in 1945, Frank shares his November 25 birthday with Joe DiMaggio, Rafael Batista, Fred Parent, Buddy Dent, Nick Swisher, Andrew Carnegie, Jenna Bush, Eddie Shore, Carry Nation, and Christina Applegate (Kelly Bundy).

Also new to SABR: Richard Bogovich.

Go to Top

Moneyball Draws a Crowd

Moneyball attendees
More than 20 SABR members and guests went to the premier of Moneyball on Friday, September 23, with many of them going to Bakers Square for pie and coffee after the movie.


    October 1—Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., The House that Ruth Built by Robert Weintraub. For more information, contact Art Mugalian, 612-721-2825.

    October 2—Halsey Hall Chapter Board Meeting, 6 p.m. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

    October 15—Fall Chapter Meeting, Grace University Lutheran Church, Minneapolis. For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

    November 5—Hot Stove Saturday Morning, Bakers Square, 66th and Xerxes, Richfield, 9:00 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Johnson, 952-831-1153.

    November 20—Research and Convention Committee. For more information, contact Bob Tholkes, 763-781-6161.

    June 27-July 1, 2012—SABR Convention, Marriott Hotel, Minneapolis.  

Board of Directors 2011-2012
President—Brenda Himrich
Vice President—Fred Buckland
Secretary—Art Mugalian
Treasurer—Jerry Janzen
Gary DeSmith
Cary Smith
Bob Tholkes

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

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

Go to Top