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

SABR MVP Chapter 2022-2023

Special September Extra 2023

Stew Thornley

Index to past stories in The Holy Cow!

  • SABR 52 Planning Underway
  • Board Establishes Committee to Be Named Later
  • Fall Chapter Meeting November 18
  • Other Upcoming Events
  • New Members: Jacob S., Bryan Herr
  • Gene Gomes Goes to WAR with a Body of Work Quiz
  • Cow Chips
  • Answers to Gene Gomes Goes to WAR with a Body of Work Quiz
  • Calendar
  • Board of Directors
  • Resources

    SABR 52 Planning Underway
    SABR 52 Logo A steering committee of Daniel Dorff, Gene Gomes, John Buckeye, and S. Thornley has been named to coordinate local involvement for the 2024 SABR convention in Minneapolis at the Hyatt Regency on Nicollet Mall from Wednesday, August 7 to Sunday, August 11. The Core Four is working with Scott Carter, Jessica Smythe, Jacob Pomrenke, Ken Carrano, and Scott Bush of SABR to plan activities.

    Volunteers from the chapter are sought for a variety of fun things to do, including stuffing the swag bags on Tuesday, August 6; setting up a special activity for Sunday, August 11; being a timekeeper for research presentations (must be comfortable holding up time cards and, if necessary, cutting off a speaker); staffing the registration desk throughout the convention; and being a volunteer greeter in the hotel lobby as members arrive. Anyone interested in volunteering may contact Jessica Smyth, jsmyth@sabr.org.

    The convention will include a group outing to the Twins-Guardians game on Friday night and a choice of a Target Field tour or trip to a Saints game Thursday night. Program plans include a greeting from Twins chief of baseball operations Derek Falvey (tenative), a keynote speaker, a panel on Black baseball, and more. The awards will be handed out at a time different than at the formal lunch, which will not be held with an emphasis on additional organized social gatherings.

    The Halsey Hall Chapter has hosted the convention in 1988 and 2012 and both were big hits. For a blast from the past, check out information on the 2012 convention:

    SABR 42 in Minneapolis, 2012

    Handouts from the 2012 convention have been updated and are available on-line:

    Minneapolis and St. Paul Ballpark Sites (one-pager)

    Twin Cities Ballparks (full booklet)

    Mark the dates now and look for more news on opportunities for getting involved.

    Convention publication
    Mike Haupert will be the editor of the convention publication, which will also serve as the the 2024 issue of The National Pastime, centering on a regional theme on Minnesota and the Twin Cities. Members of the Halsey Hall Chapter are invited to pitch ideas for articles by October 15. After that, the call for articles will open to all SABR members. A proposal should include a paragraph about the topic, why it’s important or relevant to the region, what drew the author’s interest to it, and what resources or sources or sources will be used. Topics should not duplicate the 2012 convention publication The National Pastime: Short but Wondrous Summers, edited by Dan Levitt. The target length for articles is 1,500 to 2,500 words.

    “While we expect some articles will deal with the best-known teams from the area, including the Twins, the St. Paul Saints, and the Minneapolis Millers, we also welcome articles on 19th century baseball, industrial leagues, church baseball, Little League, college baseball, women’s baseball, and the Negro Leagues,” said SABR publications director Cecilia Tan, who provided additional information:

    Writer guidelines are here: The National Pastime Submission Guidelines

    To pitch an article, fill out this form: The National Pastime—Pitches, proposals, and abstracts

    Type or paste your proposal, abstract, or pitch into the box provided for “Cover letter.”

    Where it says FILE UPLOAD please upload a signed Permission to Publish form, which you can download from here: SABR Contributor Release Form

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    Board Establishes Committee to Be Named Later
    At its August 27 meeting, the board of directors approved of a new committee to track our accomplishments during the year for the annual report and to ensure that we continue receiving SABR MVP status. Gene Gomes was appointed chair. He and vice president Bob Tholkes will develop procedures for the committee and suggestions for a name.

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    Fall Chapter Meeting November 18
    The Fall Halsey Hall Chapter meeting will be Saturday, November 18 at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 E. 22nd Street in south Minneapolis. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning 15 minutes later.

    The cost for the meeting and lunch is $10. The meeting only is $5. Those wanting lunch are asked to RSVP to Howard Luloff, 952-922-5036. People can pay by cash (with correct change appreciated) or check at the door.

    There will be a featured speaker in the afternoon, and the morning will consist of up to four research presentations by chapter members. Howard will have his Almost New and Improved Jeopardy trivia quiz after the featured speaker along with door prizes.

    Three presentations have been approved so far:

    • Our (Eventual) Hall of Famer: Joe Mauer’s Case for Cooperstown by Sam Sundermeyer. The presentation will focus on four topics: Baseball Card Review, Sabermetrics, Hall of Fame Comparison, and Hall of Fame Prediction.

    • Past Speed-Up Attempts in Major League Baseball by Stew Thornley. The pace of games in Major League Baseball has been slowing for more than 35 years. Knee-jerk reactions have focused on added time for commercials, although research indicates that this should not have been a factor in regular-season games. The presenter has done research and analysis on pace of play, particularly with 1995 attempts to speed up the game, attempts that were quickly abandoned.

    • Sticky Fingers: The City That Gave Us Early Candy and Gum Baseball Cards by Glenn Renick. One city, and the surrounding area, generated the majority of baseball cards produced between 1905 and 1925. This presentation will cover the companies and individuals who distributed these card sets and why this area was the center of their production. Included will be a display of actual cards presented in archival presentation holders (devoid of grading slabs).

    One opening remains, and it is reserved for a first-time presenter until October 21, four weeks before the meeting. If a slot remains after that, any member can submit a proposal until November 4, two weeks before the meeting, when the Research Committee will wrap up the schedule of presentations. Proposals may be sent to Research Committee co-chairs Dave Lande or Gene Gomes and include a title and brief outline of what the presentation will consist of with emphasis on the research that will be included. Standard oral 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.

    Audience members, please note: The chapter is purchasing a wireless microphone, which will be passed around to those wanting to ask questions of the presenters. It is necessary for on-line attendees to hear the questions. No longer will audience members be able to shout out questions. They will have to raise their hands and wait to be called on by the presenter or moderator and have the mike passed to them.

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    Other Upcoming Events
    The Fred Souba Hot Stove Saturday Morning, an informal breakfast gathering for the purpose of talking baseball, will be at Manning’s at 22nd and Como in southeast Minneapolis on Saturday, September 16 at 9:00 a.m. (Note from the editor: If someone would like to take charge of this bi-monthly event, go for it. This would include calling Manning’s [612-331-1053] the week or morning of the breakfast and requesting that a table for 10-12 people be set up in the back room. I have filed a complaint against Manning’s for its pee-poor performance at getting a new sign for handicapped parking installed after the old one was damaged. I think we would all like to avoid having employees spit in our food if they connect my name on the reservation with the complaint filed against them. So step up and do your part to ensure bodily-fluid-free food.)

    The next Research Committee meetings, via Zoom, will be September 18, October 16, and November 13. 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, John Gregory, Art Mugalian, 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, October 14 at Barnes & Noble in Har Mar Mall at 9:30 a.m. The book selection is Winning Fixes Everything: How Baseball’s Brightest Minds Created Sports’ Biggest Mess by Evan Drellich. Brent Heutmaker has organized a list of all the book selections since the book club started in August 2002: Halsey Hall Book Club Selections

    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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    New Members: Jacob S., Bryan Herr
    Jacob S. was brought to a game at Yankee Stadium when he was too young to remember them, but the Ron Guidry glove that was given to him as a baptism gift lasted him through Little League. After spending much of his childhood in Red Sox Country as a Yankees fan, Jacob moved to the Twin Cities last spring and works at the law library at the University of Minnesota. His partner is from the Milwaukee area, and “she acts as my guide for Life in the Upper Midwest.”

    After narrowly missing Derek Jeter hitting a home run for his 3000th hit, Jacob was in the stands a few seasons later to see Alex Rodriguez hit a home run for his 3000th hit. He attended the 2019 Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown (with six inductees). “I also have an odd story about a run-in with Reggie Jackson at his car museum in northern California in the 1990s, which I’ll be happy to share with anyone over a coffee or beer at some in-person event.”

    Jacob shares his June 12 birthday with late member Ron Replogle and not-yet-late member Rich Bogovich as well as Scott Aldred, Bill Foster, Gerry Arrigo, Matty McIntyre, Ryan Klesko, Aaron Civale, Avisail Garcia, Otto Knabe, Damon Buford, Damon Hollins, Red Dooin, Marv Albert, George H. W. Bush (dad of a former owner of the Texas Rangers), Hideki Matsui, Scott Aldred, Keith Miller, Darrel Akerfelds, Gerry Arrigo, Richard Ben Cramer, Timothy Busfield, Robert Downey Jr., John Roebling, Dave Berg, Jim Nabors, Anne Frank, and George White Dick. In addition, the Hall of Fame opened on June 12, which was also the date of the beginning of the 1981 strike.

    Also new to the Halsey Hall Chapter: Bryan Herr

    Our chapter has welcomed 10 new members since our previous chapter meeting and has 174 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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    Gene Gomes Goes to WAR with a Body of Work Quiz
    The August Research Committee meeting included a quiz submitted by Gene Gomes.

    1. The last name of the pitcher who holds the record for winning percentage in a season with at least 15 decisions (.947). Career WAR: 20.6
    2. Nickname of the verbally combative infielder of the 1928-29 Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals Gas House Gang, among others. He later managed the Dodgers, Giants, Cubs, and Astros to a total of 2,008 wins. WAR: 4.3
    3. Last name of the Hall of Fame pitcher who won a Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award in one league—both following three World Series championships with another team. WAR: 25.6
    4. Last name of the catcher who was an overall number-3 draft pick of the Expos and who later was named Manager of the Year twice in the minors for the Yankees and Blue Jays organizations. WAR: 3.3
    5. Nickname of the third baseman who racked up hits in 12 consecutive at-bats over 14 plate appearances in 1938. He later managed and is noted in baseball history for his controversial attitudes and actions as a general manager. WAR: 26.0
    6. Last name of the current lefty reliever who graduated from a Minnesota high school and who pitched in seven postseason games in 2022. WAR: 8.0
    7. Nickname of the HOF catcher who notched an MVP award and two batting titles. He led his league in grounding into double plays four times. WAR: 37.7
    8. Last name of the former Giant who became the right-handed hitting platoon option as DH for the Yankees in 1973. WAR: 24.9
    9. Last name of the former Cy Young Award winner who played for eleven teams in 21 years and notched 247 career wins, including a complete game vs. Texas for the Twins in 2017 among his five wins for them that year. WAR: 46.2

    10th inning: First name/nickname of the 5’8” third baseman who led the NL in double plays six times, fielding percentage five times, and putouts three times. A subject of The Glory of Their Times, he also led the league at times in runs, hits, doubles, walks, on-base percentage, on-base plus slugging percentage, and hit by pitches. He played for six pennant winners and two World Series champs. His last appearance was versus the Yankees in the 1927 Series. WAR: 48.4

    Bonus Question from the Editor: One of the Boys of Summer before being traded to Baltimore. WAR: 12.8

    Quiz answers below

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    Cow Chips

    The SABR Games Project has a new game story by Tom Merrick:

    Frank White receiving commemorative bat from Dave St. Peter

    Frank White was honored by the Twins before their August 28 game for his work with the Reviving Baseball in the Inner City program and other contributions to youth baseball as a team employee for 23 years. Team president Dave St. Peter presented Frank with a ceremonial bat.

    Frank White scoreboard recognition

    David Karpinski’s award-winning blog, Baseball Roundtable, published its 1,000th post August 23.

    Jeff Lehtinen, lehts33@hotmail.com, is looking for fellow Strat Heads, those who play Strat-O-Matic or other baseball simulation games. “I’m looking for some strat or game enthusiasts in the chapter who may have time to start something,” Jeff said, adding, “I typically just play with myself.”

    Max Scherzer pitching

    Several chapter members were in Texas for the Twins-Rangers series over Labor Day weekend. Max Scherzer (above) pitched for Texas on Ugly Uniform Night.

    A new SABR group, the Special Negro Leagues and Teams Committees, has several chapter members among its “esteemed researchers and historians.” Todd Peterson, who is a chapter member, sort of, in exile is the co-chair, and the roster of committee members has Pete Gorton, Mike Haupert, and Paul Sphyalski. Paul was highlighted in the Austin Herald, Austin Attorney Paul Spyhalski Named to SABR Special Negro Leagues and Teams Committee, and was featured on a couple of Austin television stations: Austin Attorney to Take Part in SABR Negro Leagues Research and Austin Lawyer Named to Committee to Bring ‘Major League’ Status to Negro League Players and Teams. The committee will follow up on the work of SABR’s Negro League Task Force that formed in the fall of 2020 to make recommendations on which Black leagues from baseball’s segregated era should be recognized as major league.

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    Answers to Gene Gomes Goes to WAR with a Body of Work Quiz

    1. [Elroy] Face
    2. The Lip [Leo Durocher]
    3. [Roland] Fingers
    4. [Barry] Foote
    5. Pinky [Higgins]
    6. [Brad] Hand
    7. Schnozz [Ernie Lombardi]
    8. [Jim Ray] Hart
    9. [Bartolo] Colon

    10th inning: Henry “Heinie” [Groh]

    Bonus answer: Billy Cox

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        September 16—Fred Souba Hot Stove League Saturday Morning, 9:00 a.m., Mannings’s, Minneapolis.

        September 18—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

       October 14Book Club, Barnes & Noble, Har Mar Mall, Roseville, 9:30 a.m., Winning Fixes Everything: How Baseball’s Brightest Minds Created Sports’ Biggest Mess by Evan Drellich.

        October 16—Research Committee meeting, 7:00-9:00 p.m. via Zoom. For more information, contact Dave Lande or Gene Gomes.

        October 22—Halsey Hall Chapter Board of Directors meeting, 7:00 p.m. For more information on attending, contact Rich Arpi.

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

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

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

    Events Committee Co-Chairs—Howard Luloff, Bob Komoroski
    Research Committee Co-Chairs—Dave Lande, Gene Gomes
    Membership Committee Co-Chairs—Stew Thornley, John Buckeye
    Committee to Be Named Later—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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