The Gimlet
Volume 109 #19

November 22, 2023
For Those Attending in Person
Salad Buffet
(Zoom Meeting Opens at 11:45)
(Link Sent Thursday Morning)
Holiday Inn Downtown
Our Annual Joint Meeting with Kiwanis!
Keeping with longstanding tradition, Rotary Club 25 will host an annual joint luncheon meeting with
Kiwanis Club of Duluth
The Kiwanis Club of Duluth has been serving local youth for one hundred years. Their mission: Dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. Website:
Come join us for a luncheon celebrating a shared vision for making a difference in Duluth—and beyond!
Highlights from Last Week’s Meeting
By Patra Sevastiades
“A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz,” Humphrey Bogart said, reflecting America’s passion for baseball. Club 25 met at the Kitchi Gammi Club, only four miles from the nearest stadium, to hear a favorite speaker share his thoughts on the national pastime. The crowd that gathered to hear Fred Friedman speak was so large that the staff had to bring in two extra tables to seat us all.
President Gary Melander opened the meeting. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance and the Rotary 4-Way Test.
Rob Hofmann offered the Reflection, reading the poem “A Just Love of the Game,” which noted striking parallels between athletes competing on the field and jurists arguing a case in the courtroom.
Rob Hofmann delivers a poetic Reflection about the intersection of baseball and jurisprudence
President Gary Melander welcomed our guests: Tim Mowbray (former Club 25 member) and Dave Steininger, guests of Past Assistant Governor Al Makynen; Georgette and Tom Wondolkowski from Superior Rotary, guests of President Gary Melander; Michael T. Orman, guest of Michael E. Orman; Valentina Hart, guest of Geiger Yount; former Club 25 members Dick Fischer, Jeff Iisakka, and Dave Nolle; Callie Hoff, guest of Sandy Hoff; Chad Forbeck, guest of Kevin Hagen; and Dale Sola, guest of Betty Sola.
Allen Anway self-reported, unveiling his new 2024 calendar featuring a gorgeous photo of the Superior Entry, which he graciously made available to all Club members.
Alan Anway unveils his 2024 calendar
Rob Hofmann returned to the podium seeking volunteers to serve as Junior Rotarian liaisons at the following high schools: Proctor, Hermantown, and Marshall School. (He noted that plans are already in the works for Junior Rotarian Day in April 2024.) He also invited members to consider trying their hand writing for the Gimlet. “No fancy pants needed,” he said. Talk to Rob if you are interested in either opportunity!
Guest Georgette Wondolkowski of Superior Rotary said their Club is coordinating with Rotary Club Ukraine Unity of Lviv, Ukraine. They are raising funds to provide for the purchase and delivery of water purifying tablets and filters, medical supplies, and electric generators for Ukrainian communities in need. Please support this effort at
Georgette Wondolkowski of Superior Rotary urges Rotarians to support Ukrainian humanitarian aid
Chair of the Day Rob Hofmann introduced Fred Friedman, attorney and UMD professor, who is so well known and so highly regarded that he needed no introduction.
Fred checked his records: he has spoken at Club 25 a total of 21 times, the very first time in 1973.
His family moved to Duluth two months after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. He noted that things haven’t changed much in Duluth since that time: they couldn’t find any housing available! His family lived in adjoining rooms at the Willard Munger Motel.
He expressed his deep personal appreciation for Rotary for two reasons.
First, he and his brother were “pre-Salk survivors” of polio. Fortunately, they were never paralyzed, and physical therapy and other interventions allowed Fred and his brother to recover and thrive. Fred is grateful that Rotary has worked to end this scourge.
Second, he has a dear friend in Melbourne, Australia, a physician. Many indigenous people in Australia suffer from trachoma, the leading preventable cause of blindness worldwide. EndTrachoma has united Rotary clubs across Australia to work toward eliminating trachoma.
Then he spoke about baseball and the law.
There have been more baseball cases in the federal court system than cases for all the other sports combined. The cases have involved fan injuries, labor relations, monopolies, gambling, civil rights, and more. Fan injuries relate to inattentive fans being hit by flying balls and to fans being walloped by a flying bat that escaped the hands of the batter.
Baseball terminology has permeated the American vocabulary. When something unexpected happens, we say, “It came out of right field.” When we unsuccessfully invite someone out on a date, we say, “I struck out.” When someone has a schedule conflict but would like to accept an invitation, we say, “Can I take a rain check?”
Blue laws in many states prevented the playing of sports games on Sundays. Even today, in Minnesota, you can’t purchase a car from a dealership on Sundays.
After the Civil War and Reconstruction, into the 1880s, African American and indigenous baseball players were allowed to play on leagues with white players. Jim Crow laws, developed in the South after Reconstruction ended, removed most new-won rights from African Americans, who weren’t allowed to play on baseball leagues with whites until the 1940s. This is in part because of a federal judge, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of baseball, who kept the game segregated from 1920 until his death in 1944.
World War II afforded the next baseball commissioner, Happy Chandler, a way to integrate. He noted of African Americans, “If they’re good enough to give their life, their limbs, and their blood at Guadalcanal, they good enough to play for me.”
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. That day, as some fans booed Robinson, fellow Dodger PeeWee Reese through his arm around him. It was captured in a photograph.
Free agency, the question of whether baseball is a game or a business, and other fine topics were also addressed. The crowd was pleased, the applause loud.
Fred Friedman enchants listeners with tales from the history of baseball law
Jack Seiler won the 50/50 drawing.
Overheard before the meeting: Past President Bonita Nelson—the first woman voted in as a Club 25 member—recounted her first meeting. She was unprepared for the onslaught of reporters, photographers, and television crews that came to witness this moment in history.
Great Ladies of Club #25
This Week's Meeting
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Holiday Inn Great Lakes Ballroom
200 W. 1st Street
Duluth, MN 55802
United States of America
Venue Map
Venue Map
Nov 30, 2023 12:00 PM
Chester Bowl Improvement Club
Dec 21, 2023 12:00 PM
Northern Expressions Arts Collective
Jan 11, 2024 12:00 PM
Growth By Design
View entire list
Upcoming Events
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Dec 20, 2023 4:00 PM
Rotary Board of Directors
Rotary Office
Jan 17, 2024 4:00 PM
View entire list
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Matt Hunter
November 2
Steve LaFlamme
November 3
Steve Burgess
November 4
Scott Frankovich
November 12
William Holz
November 15
Pat Pfahl
November 18
Tom Homan
November 20
Barb Perrella
November 25
Gary Bubalo
November 27
Join Date
Rose Misiewicz
November 8, 2021
2 years
Vinod Gupta
November 8, 2021
2 years
Greg Hansen
November 11, 1999
24 years
Scott Frankovich
November 14, 2017
6 years
Barb Perrella
November 16, 2000
23 years
Official Publication of
Rotary Club of Duluth
207 W. Superior St.
Suite 201
Duluth Minnesota 55802
Rob Hofmann
Darlene Anderson
Rob Hofmann
Al Makynen
Traci Marciniak
Phil Strom
Steve Yorde
Jerry Thoreson
Rotary Office Hours:
By Appointment Only
Until Further Notice