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Carlos Gomez took to the mound last night

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https://deadspin.com...y-li-1827946357 It went exactly as you would imagine it would.
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The Twins Almanac for January 7–13

This week’s Almanac marks the birthdates of Minnesotan major leaguers Rip Wade and Steve Comer, as well as two very memorable anniversaries for Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew. It was also this week in history that the AL adopted the DH, the Twins acquired a Mario look-alike, and Terry Ryan received a scouting award.

January 7, 1982
Twins Acquire Mario Look-Alike


The Twins trade Class-A prospects Scotti Madison and Paul Voigt to the Dodgers for center fielder Bobby Mitchell and pitcher Bobby Castillo, owner of one of the all-time Top 5 greatest mustaches in Twins history. Castillo won 13 games for the Twins in 1982. That would have led the team in six of the past ten seasons (2008, '11–'13, and '15–'16).

Who do you think had the best (or worst) mustache in Twins history?

Carew.69T


January 8, 1991
Carew Elected to Hall of Fame


Seven-time AL Batting Champ Rod Carew becomes the 21st first-ballot Hall of Famer, elected alongside Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins. Despite appearing on 90.5% of ballots, a staggering 42 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America deemed Carew unworthy. The Veterans Committee elected former second baseman Tony Lazzeri and owner/promoter Bill Veeck, father of Mike Veeck, who in 1993 founded the current incarnation of the St. Paul Saints with Bill Murray and lawyer Marv Goldklang.

Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in the Panama Canal Zone on October 1, 1945. When he was 14 his family immigrated to New York, where he would be discovered by a Twins scout playing semi-pro ball in the Bronx rather than high school ball. The Twins signed Carew in 1964 at age 18, and he made the major league club in 1967 at age 21.

Carew had the first five-hit game in Twins history on May 8, 1967, going 5-for-5 with a double.

He made the AL All-Star team his rookie season, beginning a string of 18-consecutive All-Star selections. He was an All-Star every year of his career but the last, 1985.

He was named the American League Rookie of the Year, receiving 19 of 20 first-place votes. There have been five AL Rookies of the Year in Twins History: Tony Oliva in 1964, Carew in ‘67, John Castino (co-winner) in 1979, Chuck Knoblauch in 1991, and Marty Cordova in 1995. Bob Allison won the award as a member of the 1959 Washington Senators.

Carew was a terror on the basepaths. On May 18, 1969 he stole second, third, and home consecutively off the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich. César Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single. Then, with Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2.

Carew is one of just 12 players since 1940 to achieve this feat. Paul Molitor pulled it off on July 26, 1987.

Carew stole home 17 times in his career. The single-season record is eight, set by Ty Cobb in 1912. Carew stole home for the seventh time of the season on July 16, 1969. American League pitchers finally got wise to his game, however, and he did not pull it off again the rest of the season. He did, however, add a tenth-inning walk-off steal of home on September 1, 1970. Current Twins manager Paul Molitor, incidentally, stole home 10 times in his career. Dan Gladden did it three times.

Carew hit for the first of 10 cycles in Twins history on May 20, 1970. The others are César Tovar (1972), Larry Hisle (‘76), Lyman Bostock (‘76), Mike Cubbage (‘78), Gary Ward (‘80), Kirby Puckett (‘86), Carlos Gómez (‘08), Jason Kubel (‘09) and Michael Cuddyer (‘09).

On September 9, 1976 Carew hit a pinch-hit grand slam. It was just his seventh home run of the season, but his third grand slam, tying Bob Allison’s single-season team record, set in 1961. Kent Hrbek later hit three grand slams in 1985, Puckett in ‘92, and Torii Hunter in 2007.

1977 was a magical season for Carew. On June 26 (Rod Carew Jersey Day, incidentally), he went 4-for-5 to raise his average to .403. He scored a team record five runs in the game, while Glenn Adams collected a team record eight RBI. Carew’s record of five runs would be matched by Tim Teufel in 1983, Molitor in ‘96, and Luis Rivas in 2002. Adams’ record eight RBI were matched by Randy Bush in 1989.

Carew led the majors with 239 hits and a .388 AVG in 1977, and was named American League MVP. He was the third of five Twins to receive the award (Versalles ‘65, Killebrew ‘69, Morneau ‘06, Mauer ‘09).

On February 3, 1979 the Twins traded Rod Carew to the Angels for Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle, Brad Havens and Paul Hartzell. It had become increasingly clear that team owner Calvin Griffith had no intention of ponying up for the future Hall of Famer. And even if Griffith could have afforded him, it was unlikely that Carew would have played for Griffith again after the owner’s Lion’s Club dinner remarks in Waseca on September 28.

On August 4, 1989, Carew connected for his 3,000th hit off Twins lefty Frank Viola. He was the 16th member of the 3,000 Hit Club, and the first born outside of the United States mainland (Roberto Clemente was born in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico).

1985 was Carew’s final season. After failing to receive a suitable contract offer for the ‘86 season, he officially announced his retirement on June 2 with a career AVG of .328. Owners had colluded against him and other free agents, essentially agreeing not to offer other teams' free agents contracts, thereby helping each other retain their own talent while keeping salaries low. In 1995 Carew was awarded $782,035.71 in damages for his lost wages.

The Twins retired Rod Carew’s number 29 on July 19, 1987. The Angels had retired his number in ‘86.

He was inducted as a charter member of the Twins Hall of Fame along with Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Calvin Griffith on August 12, 2000.

Killebrew.68T


January 10, 1984
Killebrew Elected to Hall of Fame


In his fourth damn year of eligibility the Baseball Writers’ Association of America finally elects Harmon Killebrew to the Hall of Fame, along with Luis Aparicio (sixth ballot), and 1965 World Series nemesis Don Drysdale (10th ballot). Veterans Committee selections Rick Ferrell and Pee Wee Reese would also be inducted with the class of ’84.

The Senators signed the 17-year-old Idahoan in 1954 as a so-called “Bonus Baby,” which required them to keep the kid on the major league roster his first two seasons. He got into just 47 games during those two years, making 104 plate appearances. He did hit the first four of his 573 career home runs in 1955. He then spent the majority of the next three seasons in the minors. Washington’s patience would pay huge dividends. In 1959, his first season as a full-timer, Killebrew tied for the league lead with 42 home runs and drove in 105 runs.

Killebrew collected the first regular season hit in Twins history leading off the fourth with a single off Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day 1961. Bob Allison hit the Twins’ first home run later in that game, but Killebrew would have the distinction of hitting the first inside-the-park home run in Twins history vs. the White Sox at Met Stadium on July 4th. Later in the game, trailing the White Sox by two with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Julio Becquer hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam.

Killebrew was known throughout his career not just for the sheer quantity, but also the mammoth quality of his home runs. Facing future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on August 3, 1962, Killebrew hit a monster home run over the roof and out of Tiger Stadium. Killer was the first of four to accomplish this feat of strength, the others being Frank Howard, Mark McGwire, and Cecil Fielder. On June 3, 1967 he hit perhaps his most famous homer, a prodigious blast at Met stadium eventually estimated by a physics professor at 522 feet.

Killebrew was the 1969 American League Most Valuable Player after leading the majors with 49 home runs and 140 RBI. Not surprisingly those are both Twins single-season records. He also hit 49 in ‘64.

Killebrew set another team record by homering in five consecutive games on two separate occasions during the Twins’ 1970 Division Championship season. Rookie Marty Cordova tied that record in just his 23rd major league game on May 20, 1995. Brian Dozier homered in five straight in 2016, including a three-home run game on September 5. Killebrew hit 41 homers during that 1970 season. It would be the Twins’ last 40-home run season until Dozier hit 42 in 2016, forty-frickin’-six years later. So much for the Steroid Era in Minnesota.

Harmon hit his 500th and 501st home runs on August 10, 1971. All told, he would hit 573, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement, behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Frank Robinson. He is still 12th all-time. 38-year-old Adrian Beltre, and 34-year-old Miguel Cabrera are sitting on 462.

After he refused Calvin Griffith’s contract offer, the Twins released Killebrew on January 16, 1975. To this day nobody has played more games in a Twins uniform. The Kansas City Royals quickly signed the Killer on January 24. The Twins officially retired his #3 before a game vs. KC on May 4, 1975. As long as so many fans were there to honor him anyway, Harmon went ahead and homered in the first inning. On September 18, he hit his 573rd and final home run off the Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Bane.

Harmon Killebrew passed away on May 17, 2011 after a brief battle with esophageal cancer. He was just 74 years old. To put a silver lining around an otherwise sucky situation, the Twins were in town to play the Diamondbacks, and able to attend Harmon’s funeral on May 20. Bert Blyleven spoke at the service, and Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Ron Gardenhire, and Paul Molitor served as pallbearers. The Twins held a public memorial at Target Field six days later. In addition to an All-Star lineup of Twins past and present, the event was attended by Commissioner Selig and Hank Aaron.

January 11, 1973
AL Adopts DH


In an effort spearheaded by Oakland Athletics’ owner Charlie Finley, American League owners vote 8-4 in favor of adopting the designated hitter. Tony Oliva would hit the first regular season home run by a DH off Oakland’s Catfish Hunter on Opening Day (April 6, 1973).

January 12, 1898
Birthdate of Rip Wade


It’s the birthdate of 1916 Denfeld High School grad Richard “Rip” Wade, born in Duluth in 1898 (120 years ago). Wade played outfield in 19 games, and pinch-hit in 14 more for the 1923 Washington Senators, going 16-for-69 (.232), with 14 RBI and eight runs scored.

Duluth’s Wade Stadium is named after Rip’s dad, Frank.

January 12, 2013
Ryan Receives Genovese Award


Twins GM Terry Ryan receives the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation’s 10th annual "In The Spirit of the Game" Sports and Entertainment Spectacular in Los Angeles. The Foundation created the award in honor of the legendary SoCal scout in 2003.

Ryan’s relationship with the Twins began in 1972 when they drafted the Janesville, WI native in the 35th round. The lefty went 10-0 with a 1.70 ERA at Class A Wisconsin Rapids in ‘73. After an arm injury, however, he struggled at Double-A Orlando until being released in June 1976.

Ryan joined the Mets as a scouting supervisor in 1980. In 1986 he returned to the Twins organization as scouting director. He ascended to vice president of player personnel in 1991, and became GM following Andy MacPhail’s departure to the Chicago Cubs after the ‘94 season. Ryan served as GM for 13 years before resigning on October 1, 2007. He remained with the Twins as an adviser while Bill Smith took over as GM. After Smith’s firing following the 2011 season, Ryan returned to his former post. He was fired on July 18, 2016, midway through the worst season in franchise history.

Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail hired Terry Ryan as a special assignment scout on November 30, 2016.

Comer.GoSkippers.UofM30


January 13
Happy 64th Birthday, Steve Comer


It’s the birthday of 1972 Minnetonka grad, Golden Gophers all-time great, and former major league pitcher Steve Comer.

Comer was a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota, and still holds school records with 30 wins and 25 complete games. He went on to pitch parts of seven major league seasons with the Rangers (‘78-’82), Phillies (‘83), and Cleveland (‘84), compiling a record of 44-37 with 13 saves, 4.13 ERA, and a 1.445 WHIP in 176 games (83 starts). He averaged 3.1 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings.


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7 Comments

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RaymondLuxuryYacht
Jan 07 2018 10:15 AM

Matt Great stuff - thanks so much for putting this together.As a fan whose first Twins memory traces back to 1963, I love reading this walk through history.And I can always learn something.I went to Denfeld, lived in Duluth for 40 years and played in Wade Stadium, but I never knew the Rip Wade story.So here's hoping for more Almanacs.(Worst moustache?Keith Atherton)

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Matt Johnson
Jan 07 2018 01:51 PM

 

Matt Great stuff - thanks so much for putting this together.As a fan whose first Twins memory traces back to 1963, I love reading this walk through history.And I can always learn something.I went to Denfeld, lived in Duluth for 40 years and played in Wade Stadium, but I never knew the Rip Wade story.So here's hoping for more Almanacs.(Worst moustache?Keith Atherton)

Yeah, I haven't heard of most of these major leaguers who grew up in Minnesota. Major league Minnesotans are so rare, you'd think they'd be household names. 

 

Here are some numbers I posted on Twitter awhile back:

 

166 major leaguers have been born in Minnesota, beginning with Bill Barnes in 1858.

 

• 65 played before World War II
• 49 played just one season
• 14 played just one game
• 3 have career ERAs of infinity

 

Now that's BORN in Minnesota. I've since put together a list of players who GREW UP in Minnesota. There were a good twenty or thirty born here but moved away at a young age. On the other hand, quite a few guys were born elsewhere but grew up in Minnesota. My current count of major leaguers who grew up in Minnesota is 155. A majority of them played a long, long time ago. 

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Matt Johnson
Jan 07 2018 01:54 PM

 

Yeah, I haven't heard of most of these major leaguers who grew up in Minnesota. Major league Minnesotans are so rare, you'd think they'd be household names. 

 

Here are some numbers I posted on Twitter awhile back:

 

166 major leaguers have been born in Minnesota, beginning with Bill Barnes in 1858.

 

• 65 played before World War II
• 49 played just one season
• 14 played just one game
• 3 have career ERAs of infinity

 

Now that's BORN in Minnesota. I've since put together a list of players who GREW UP in Minnesota. There were a good twenty or thirty born here but moved away at a young age. On the other hand, quite a few guys were born elsewhere but grew up in Minnesota. My current count of major leaguers who grew up in Minnesota is 155. A majority of them played a long, long time ago. 

Just checked my spreadsheet. I found 32 players born in Minnesota that I could confidently say did not "grow up" here. Which means I found 21 who were born elsewhere but grew up here, like Showboat Fisher, Russ Ford, Tim Laudner, and Pat Neshek. It's hard to tell with the real old timers. That will take more research. For more contemporary players I look at where they went to high school.

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Matt Johnson
Jan 07 2018 07:55 PM

Here's something to add. Today (Sunday) is 1986–1991 Twins pitcher Allan Anderson's 54th birthday. Anderson's 1988 ERA of 2.45 is the lowest in Twins history. It barely led the American League that season. In fact, Anderson had not led the league the entire season, but Milwaukee's Teddy Higuera fell .008 points behind Anderson on the second-to-last night of the season. Bert Blyleven pointed this out to Tom Kelly, who gave Anderson the option of whether or not to make his scheduled start on the final day of the season. In a very un-Ted Williams-esque move, he opted to sit, thus winning the AL ERA title. 

    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

Lots of good stuff here :)

 

And Larry Hisle had a pretty good stache at times, but Gary Gaetti probably gets my vote for the best.

 

Ron Davis, not so much.

 

Our friend Eric Pleiss examined this topic about 5 1/2 years ago at Knuckleballsblog.com.

 

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Here's something to add. Today (Sunday) is 1986–1991 Twins pitcher Allan Anderson's 54th birthday. Anderson's 1988 ERA of 2.45 is the lowest in Twins history. It barely led the American League that season. In fact, Anderson had not led the league the entire season, but Milwaukee's Teddy Higuera fell .008 points behind Anderson on the second-to-last night of the season. Bert Blyleven pointed this out to Tom Kelly, who gave Anderson the option of whether or not to make his scheduled start on the final day of the season. In a very un-Ted Williams-esque move, he opted to sit, thus winning the AL ERA title. 

 

I remember that... and I completely agreed with Anderson. Of course... had it been reversed, I would not have liked it if Higuera had done the same thing. Ha!

    • Matt Johnson likes this
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Jamie Cameron
Jan 08 2018 07:10 AM

Matt,

 

Thoroughly enjoyed this! Thanks for posting.

    • snepp and Matt Johnson like this

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