Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers)
Image courtesy of Seth Stohs, Twins DailyIn each decade, I will select five Starting Pitchers and five Bullpen pitchers. But the role of the bullpen in 1960s baseball is much, much different than it is today, and even much different than it became in the 1980s. So below you will see five starters and five "relievers" but frankly, at least three of the relievers made a significant number of starts. So in reality, you could call them "Long Relievers" and they are somewhat interchangeable with the back-end starters listed.
But I am very curious your thoughts on my selections for a Twins pitching staff for the decade of the 1960s.
And on a side note, later tonight (Thursday), I will be posting a podcast with someone who was/is very close to those Twins teams from the 1960s. It was a little over an hour conversation filled with many stories about the players selected (and many "snubs") from my list. You will definitely want to listen to that.
SP - Jim Kaat (1961-1969)
340 games, 307 starts, 141-114 with a 3.22 ERA in 2,173 ⅔ innings. 1,410 K, 530 BB.
Kaat debuted with the Senators as a 20-year-old in 1959 and pitched in 16 total games before the team moved to Minnesota in 1961. He was an All Star in 1962 and 1966. He led the league in starts in 1965 and 1966, and with 19 complete games in 1966 when he also led the league with 304 ⅔ innings. He finished fifth in MVP voting that season. It was before there were two Cy Young Awards, but he was The Sporting News’ AL Pitcher of the Year that season. He won the first eight Gold Gloves of the 16 he won in his career during the decades (1962-1969).
SP - Jim Perry (1963-1969)
261 games, 135 starts, 74-45 with a 2.88 ERA in 1,117 innings. 646 K. 322 BB.
Perry debuted with Cleveland in 1959. He came to the Twins early in the 1963 season and remained through the 1972 season. His two All Star appearances and his Cy Young Award came in 1970 and 1971, but he was pretty good in the ‘60s too. He split a lot of time between the rotation and the bullpen, but he provided innings, and kept his ERA low each year. His best season of the decade was the 1969 season when he went 20-6 with a 2.82 ERA. He finished third in Cy Young voting, setting up his great 1970 season.
SP - Camilo Pascual (1961-1966)
184 games, 179 starts, 88-57 with 3.31 ERA in 1,284 ⅔ innings. 995 K. 431 BB.
Pascual signed from Cuba and debuted at 20 in 1954. He was an All Star in 1959 and 1960. The Twins came to Minnesota and he was an All Star in 1961, 1962 and 1964. He won 20 games in 1962 and 21 games in 1963. Known for his great curveball, Pascual threw at least 248 ⅓ innings each season from 1961 through 1964, and he led the American League in strikeouts in three of those season.
SP - Dean Chance (1967-1969)
104 games, 93 starts, 41-34 with a 2.67 ERA in 664 innings. 504 K. 166 BB.
After six seasons with the Angels, Chance came to the Twins before the 1967 seasons. That season, he won 20 games and won the AL Comeback Player of the Year award. He then won 16 games the following season. In his three seasons with the Twins, he posted an ERA under three each season.
SP - Dave Boswell (1964-1969)
169 games, 135 starts, 64-47 with a 3.28 ERA in 967 ⅔ innings. 820 K. 416 BB.
Boswell debuted with the Twins as a 19-year-old in 1964. He remained with the Twins through the 1970 season. He was a reliable part of the Twins rotation throughout his time. His best season was 1969 when he won 20 games and posted a 3.23 ERA in 256 ⅓ innings. So while he’s mostly known for a fight, he was also a pretty good starting pitcher.
RP - Al Worthington (1964-1969)
327 games, 0 starts, 37-31 with 88 saves and a 2.62 ERA in 473 ⅓ innings. 399 K. 186 BB.
Worthington debuted as a 24-year-old in 1953 with the New York Giants. He came to the Twins early in the 1964 season, already 35. He became a reliable arm in the late innings for the next five seasons. He posted an ERA no higher than 2.84 from 1964 through 1968.
RP - Dick Stigman (1962-1965)
138 games, 85 starts, 37-37 with 7 saves and a 3.69 ERA in 643 ⅔ innings. 538 K. 248 BB.
The central Minnesota native was an All Star with Cleveland as a rookie in 1960. He came to the Twins in 1962 and went 12-5. The following season, he won 15 games in 241 innings. He split his time with the Twins between the rotation and the bullpen and ate a lot of innings in either role.
RP - Ron Perranoski (1968-1969)
141 games, 0 starts, 17-17 with 37 saves and a 2.53 ERA in 206 ⅔ innings. 127 K. 90 BB.
Perranoski came to the Twins from the Dodgers before the 1968 season and spent four years in the organization. In those two seasons, he was a late-inning fireman. In 1969, he went 9-10 despite a 2.11 ERA. He led the league with 31 saves and tossed 119 2/3 innings. He led the league in Saves the next season as well.
LR - Mudcat Grant (1964-1967)
129 games, 111 starts, 50-35 with 7 saves and a 3.35 ERA in 780 ⅔ innings. 377 K. 163 BB.
Grant came to the Twins from Cleveland during the 1964 season. In 1965, he went 21-7 with a 3.30 ERA. The next season, he went 13-13 despite posting a 3.25 ERA. He then went 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in three World Series starts and added a huge home run as well.
RP - Jim Merritt (1965-1968)
122 games, 89 starts, 37-41 with 6 saves and a 3.03 ERA in 686 ⅔ innings. 527 K. 135 BB.
The southpaw debuted with the Twins in 1965 with 16 games. He entered the Twins starting rotation during the 1966 season. Despite the record, Merritt posted ERAs below 3.38 and WHIPs below 1.10 in his three seasons as a starter with the Twins. He was traded to Cincinnati after the 1968 season and became an All Star and 20-game winner in 1970.
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