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

September 2020

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • Halsey Hall Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting Set for November 7
  • Membership
  • Minnesota History Day May 1, 2021
  • Cow Pies
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    Halsey Hall Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting Set for November 7
    The Halsey Hall Chapter spring meeting will be held on-line on Saturday, November 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A link will be sent to all chapter members before the meeting. Members may begin gathering on the site at 9:30 to chat.

    Three research presentations have been approved, including one that was postponed from the spring:

    • Stew Thornley on Andy Oyler’s ball
    • Corky Gaskell on Doc Adams: His Life and Accomplishments
    • Bob Tholkes on Baseball Humor in the 1860s

    Note: The Research Committee, as usual, is holding a spot for a first-time presenter until two weeks before the meeting (October 24). If a brand-new presenter submits a proposal, it will take the place of the one by Bob Tholkes. Also, the first presenter listed above is a retread who has presented way more than his share of the time and is willing to step aside to make room for another presenter but only a non-retread presenter, so it is possible that we could have two brand-new presenters. New, never-before-presenting presenters are highly encouraged to present and may submit a proposal by October 24 to any member of the Research Committee: Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Gene Gomes, and Bob Tholkes.

    Other Events

    Cover of The Baseball Bat

    The Halsey Hall Chapter Book Club will meet Saturday, October 3 at 9:30 a.m. in some manner (perhaps virtually). The book selection is The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today by Stephen M. Bratkovich. Steve has also written Bob Oldis: A Life in Baseball.

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

    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at 9:00 on Saturday, September 12 at Dock & Paddle at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion.

    The Research Committee will meet on Zoom October 12 and November 2 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

    A number of members have been researching the first games played in each of the Minnesota counties, and the committee would like to have information for each of the counties (29 of 87 are still unaccounted for). See the Minnesota Counties list.

    Two other web pages have information on the spread of baseball, Pre-pro Baseball and Pre-pro Clubs and Games in Minnesota. In addition, a Google Docs spreadsheet is online, Minnesota Spread of Baseball Project, 1857-1923.

    Anyone wanting to get involved may contact co-chairs Brenda Himrich or Stew Thornley, 651-415-0791, or co-chair-in-waiting Gene Gomes.

    The Research Committee consists of Brenda Himrich, Sarah Johnson, Dan Levitt, Jim Cox, Doug Skipper, Stew Thornley, Rich Arpi, Dave Lande, Anders Koskinen, Hans Van Slooten, Gene Gomes, and Bob Tholkes.

    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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    Frank Kadwell has been appointed chair of the Membership Committee.

    Free student memberships available: SABR, at its 2019 End of Year Campaign, pledged to donate 10 percent of all member gifts back to the Chapters the donors are affiliated with in the form of free student memberships. Halsey Hall Chapter members donated more than $2,800 during the campaign, resulting in 11 free student SABR memberships. The chapter has committed to pay for four additional student memberships if that many are interested.

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

    Membership application

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    Minnesota History Day May 1, 2021
    This year, the Halsey Hall Chapter sponsored a prize for Minnesota History Day, an annual project based competition for high school students. Sarah Johnson, who coordinated our chapter’s participation, will be a judge again and invites other members to serve as judges as the chapter again will sponsor a prize for the best baseball presentation. The 2021 competition will be Saturday, May 1, and the theme is “Communications.” For more information or to volunteer, contact Sarah, miss_sarah_johnson@yahoo.com.

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    Cow Pies
    SABR has formed a Baseball Reminiscence online chartered community for members to sharing their passion and baseball memories with those dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia or chronic medical issues in addition to those who are socially isolated and lonely. Chapters are encouraged to form their own programs, and Dave Lande is seeking members who would like to be involved. Contact Dave if you are interested.

    Tom Miletich at bat at the North Pole, September 15, 1960

    Anthony Bush reports that Denfeld native Tom Miletich was the first player to bat (shown above) at the North Pole on September 15, 1960. Miletich played on the Denfield team of Duluth that beat Dick Siebert Jr., Bob “Rocky” Johnson, and Edina-Morningside to advance to the title game in the 1954 state high school baseball tournament. Six years later and 45 degrees norther, Miletich hit the longest home run in history, at least timewise, as he socked it “from yesterday to today to tomorrow.”

    Tom Swift and his award-winning Chief Bender’s Burden: The Silent Struggle of a Baseball Star, were highlighted in an August 9, 2020 Star Tribune profile of Bender by Curt Brown. The article concluded that Bender may have developed the slider with this quote from Swifty, “A man named Bender has to have one.”

    White Earth to World Series: Charles Bender’s Bittersweet Baseball Story

    Bat awarded to Bob Tholkes

    Bob Thokes has received the annual Chairman’s Award for service to the SABR Nineteenth Century Committee. Bob said, “Though I’ve attended the committee’s annual conference several times and occasionally presented there, the award is an implicit recognition of the chapter’s success in hosting the committee’s Interdisciplinary Conference in November 2019. The chapter, and in particular the members of the chapter Research Committee who collaborated to hold the conference and make it a success, should take a well-deserved bow.”

    Cover of Zack Wheat book

    Joe Niese has a book about Zack Wheat coming out this fall. Joe has also written biographies of Andy Pafko, Gus Dorais, and Burleigh Grimes.

    Frank White is involved in exhibits and events to honor people involved in Black baseball in Minnesota more than 100 years ago. He is coordinating an exhibit for Billy Williams that will be on display at the Minnesota capitol once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Williams played for a number of semi-pro teams starting in the 1890s, captained an amateur team (on which he was the only Black player) owned by St. Paul Saints owner George Lennon, and was an aide to 14 different governors at the capitol from 1905 to 1957. Frank is also working with the St. Paul Saints to honor Phil E. Reid, who owned the St. Paul Colored Gophers. Events planned but postponed until next year because of the pandemic include the Saints wearing jerseys of the Colored Gophers for a game, which would be preceded by the placement of a new headstone for Reid at his grave in Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul. The existing one, shown below, has the names of his wife and brother but not Phil.

    Phil Reid grave

    Pete Gorton, founder of The Donaldson Network, announced that the dedication of a statue of John Donaldson and the dedication of a field named after him will be September 4 in Glasgow, Missouri, Donaldson’s hometown.

    Tom Merrick had a game story published in the SABR Games Project: September 14, 1921: Washington’s Walter Johnson, Backed by a Triple Play, Faces Only 27 Browns Batters.

    S. Thornley had these published: September 17, 1955: Millers’ Bob Lennon Breaks Up No-Hitter—Twice in Same Game and June 28, 1911: Mathewson Shuts Out Boston in Giants’ First Game at New Polo Grounds, the latter being part of the SABR First Games Back project.

    Two days after turning 65, the aforementioned chapter member reinforced his Plugger status by making it to the big time:

    Pluggers of July 25, 2020

    The aforementioned aforementioned was also a talking head on an Almanac segment about Buzz Arlett: STORIES UNDER THE STONES | THE BUZZ ARLETT STORY.

    The Twins are honoring their roots, flying flags for each of the franchise’s six pennants and/or world championships, including the 1924, 1925, and 1933 titles won in Washington.

    Flags recognizing Washington/Minnesota pennants

    Ned Ribback had a letter in the September-October 2020 Baseball Digest,, to wit (t’wit): “The 1920 World Series champion Cleveland Indians won the American League pennant by two games over the Chicago White Sox. Those White Sox had four 20-game winners: Red Faber (23-13), Lefty Williams (22-14), Dickie Kerr (21-9), and Eddie Cicotte (21-10). After having been accused of throwing the 1919 World Series, Williams, Cicotte, and six position players were suspended during the final week of the season. I would like to know the won-lost records for both teams following the suspensions.” Baseball Digest replied that at the time of the suspensions, Chicago was 95-56, one-half game behind Cleveland (94-54). Chicago had won 10 of its last 11 games. When the seven players (Chick Gandil had retired after the 1919 season), the White Sox had three days off before finishing their regular season with three games against the fourth-place Browns. Chicago lost two of three to St. Louis. Meanwhile, Cleveland won four of its last six games.


        September 12—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Dock & Paddle at the Como Park Lakeside Pavilion, St. Paul.

        September 14 and October 12—Research Committee meetings, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Brenda Himrich, 651-415-0791.

       October 3Book Club via Zoom, 9:30 a.m., The Baseball Bat: From Trees to the Major Leagues, 19th Century to Today Stephen M. Bratkovich.

        November 7—Fall Virtual Chapter Meeting, 10:00 a.m. (with social at 9:30). For more information, contact Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036.

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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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