Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Rosenthal: Gardy to be the new Tigers manager

Other Baseball Today, 04:22 AM
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Tigers have chosen Ron Gardenhire to be their next manager, pending the completion of a contract. ...
Full topic ›

Article: Supplementing the Twins: Tyler Chatwood

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:56 AM
Continuing on with the Supplementing the Twins series, it’s time to take a look at another pitcher. Last week, the subject was Lance Lynn...
Full topic ›

Garver, Slegers win Twins minor league awards

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 12:33 AM
The Twins announced this afternoon that Mitch Garver was named the 2017 Sherry Robertson Award as the minor league player of the year....
Full topic ›

Article: The Brian Dozier Trade That Almost Was

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 11:11 PM
Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don't make.That old sports adage certainly seems to apply with regards to the first big test...
Full topic ›

Second-favorite team

Other Baseball Today, 12:56 AM
The Hate-watch thread made me start to think about this--who is my second-favorite team? (No, my second-favorite team, not my second-favo...
Full topic ›

REVIEW: 'Down to the Last Pitch' by Tim Wendel

Attached Image: 9780306822766_p0_v2_s260x420.JPG The 1991 World Series will always hold a special place in the heart of Twins fans. Kirby Puckett's heroics in Game 6 and the magnificent pitching performance of Jack Morris are legendary moments etched into the minds of a generation of baseball fans. Many consider this World Series as the best of all time and it all comes into focus in the newly released book "Down to the Last Pitch."

To get a better understanding of this legendary World Series, author Tim Wendel breaks down every game by using the words and stories from the players who were in the middle of the action. Wendel was a founding editor of USA Today Baseball Weekly and he has authored ten books. His years of being around the game of baseball are evident throughout the book's chapters.

This specific World Series will always be marked as a special time in baseball. Changes would hit the game hard in the coming years. Performance enhancing drugs and labor unrest would be baseball's themes for the next decade. "In a lot of ways it will always be a sweet spot in time," said Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau. "Not only did this one Series have everything you ever wanted in terms of pressure games and great performances, you also look back on it fondly because of what was to come, the challenges the game would soon face."

Each chapter of this 253-page book is dedicated to one game in the Series. However, Wendel doesn't just retell the story of each pitch or each at-bat. He delves into the back-stories of the players on the rosters for the Braves and the Twins. He explores other stories from around the baseball world, like Ricky Henderson's stolen base record, Nolan Ryan's final no-hitter and Pete Rose being banned for life.

Baseball is never about one team or one player. It is about the stories and the history that take place on an everyday basis.

One of my favorite stories in the book took place in spring training 1991. The author, a man who covered National League baseball until '91, was trying to get to know the teams and players of the American League. He showed up late one evening to the Lee County Sports Complex in Fort Myers and he heard someone taking batting practice.

What he ended up finding was Kent Hrbek, Chili Davis and Dan Gladden watching Kirby Puckett taking hacks in the batting cage. Some interesting conversations took place as a strange reporter showed up to their impromptu batting session and it ended with an interesting back-and-forth between the parties involved.

"Puckett exited the batting cage and Hrbek took his place.
'But Baseball Weekly, man, you have to ask yourself something,' Puckett continued.
I shrugged, not sure what he was talking about.
'How many teams are taking BP at this hour?' Puckett asked.
'Probably none,' I replied.
'Exactly,' Hrbek said."

Did those extra spring training BP sessions pay off for the Twins? No one may ever know but the team wound up in the middle of a World Series for the ages. Five of the seven games were decided in the home team's last at-bat, four games were decided on the last pitch and three games finished in extra-innings.

Wendel's baseball acumen and historical knowledge make this a book for any baseball fan. This isn't just a story of the Twins winning or the Braves losing. It is a snapshot of baseball in the early 1990's, a simpler time when "everyone involved was left with memories of the last fine time in baseball."

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email