Twins Almanac for March 26-April 1
bob casey herb carneal kirby puckett michael cuddyer dan gladden
March 26, 1989
Twins Trade Atherton for Castillo
The Twins trade pitcher Keith Atherton to the Cleveland ballclub for outfielder Carmelo Castillo.
Atherton’s name is attached to one of the more dubious records in team history as one of the record five Twins pitchers to work the eighth inning in a 14-8 loss to Toronto at the Metrodome.
Atherton made 59 relief appearances for the 1987 World Series Champion Twins. He faced two batters in Game 4 of the ‘87 ALCS, and made two appearances in the World Series, pitching a perfect top of the ninth in the Twins’ 10-1 Game 1 victory.
He would make 32 relief appearances for Cleveland in 1989, his final major league season.
Carmelo Castillo’s major league career fizzled out early in the Twins’ 1991 World Series Championship season, going 2-for-12 over nine games. He played his final big league game on May 9, 1991.
Happy 49th Birthday to Tom Quinlan
It’s the birthday of 1986 Hill-Murray graduate Tom Quinlan. Tom was a “Mr. Hockey” finalist his senior season at Hill-Murray. He was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 4th round, and Toronto Blue Jays in the 27th round out of high school. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1990, doubling in his second at-bat vs. Frank Tanana for his first big league hit. His first at-bat was cut short when current Executive Vice President of the White Sox Ken Williams was caught trying to steal second. Quinlan would strike out leading off the following inning.
Quinlan hit his only big league homer while playing for the Phillies on May 29, 1994 off of 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek. Despite winning 22 games in 1990, Drabek made his one and only All-Star team in 1994 as a member of the Astros.
Quinlan appeared in only 42 games over parts of four seasons. He was briefly a Minnesota Twin in 1996, going 0-for-6 in his final four major league games.
Happy 38th Birthday to Michael Cuddyer
It’s the birthday of 2x All-Star, 2013 National League Batting Champion and current Twins Special Assistant Michael Cuddyer, born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1979.
The Twins drafted Cuddy in the first round (9th overall) in 1997 out of high school. He made his major league debut as a September call-up in 2001.
In June, 2006 he hit two grand slams in a span of four days. He hit for the cycle on May 22, 2009. And on August 23, 2009 he became the only player in Twins history to homer twice in the same inning.
This past January 27 the Twins announced the Michael Cuddyer and Andy MacPhail were elected to the team Hall of Fame.
March 27, 1973
Jim Perry Okays Trade to Tigers
37-year old pitcher Jim Perry okays a trade to Detroit for pitcher Danny Fife and cash money.
The Twins had originally acquired Perry from the Cleveland ballclub for Jack Kralick on May 2, 1963. Kralick had pitched the first no-hitter in Twins history the previous season, on August 26, 1962.
During Perry’s first five seasons with the Twins he was used as both a starter and a reliever, including the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1965 World Series. In 1969 he started 36 of the 46 games he appeared in, winning 20 as the Twins won the American League West pennant. Perry won the Cy Young Award in 1970, his first season in Minnesota in which he was used exclusively as a starter, and tied for the league lead with 24 wins as the Twins again won the West.
Perry played ten seasons in Minnesota. He is fifth in Twins history in both wins (128) and innings pitched. In 2011 he became the sixteenth member of the Twins Hall of Fame.
March 27, 2005
Bob Casey Passes Away
Iconic Twins public address announcer Bob Casey passes away at the VA in Minneapolis as a result of complications of liver cancer and pneumonia, which he had contracted while visiting Twins Spring Training earlier in the month despite his poor health. He was 79 years old.
Casey was the only public address announcer in the Twins’ 44-year history up until the day of his death.
Casey, who was universally liked and respected, developed relationships with many players over the course of his career, one of whom was Alex Rodriguez. When A-Rod learned of Casey’s condition from Twins broadcasters John Gordon and Dan Gladden, he called Casey in the hospital.
From Mark Sheldon’s story for the team website:
Casey was hoping to work part-time for a 45th season and announce his retirement in June when Rodriguez and the Yankees were scheduled to be in town.
"He spoke a lot, but it was hard to understand him," Rodriguez said of the final conversation with Casey. "His son was kind of translating what he was trying to say. His son told me that Puckett and myself were his favorites, and that he wanted to go out this year in June ... (and) have me take him out there and throw out the first pitch. It was very emotional."
If you ask me, the Twins should find a way to play Bob Casey’s Kirby Puckett introduction at every home game. Maybe let two or three fans do their best impersonations during the seventh inning stretch. Thoughts?
March 28, 1996
Kirby Puckett Wakes Up with Vision Problem
36-year-old Twins superstar Kirby Puckett appears poised for a big year, hitting .344 in spring training, when, on the last day of camp, he wakes up unable to see out of his right eye. He is diagnosed with glaucoma and placed on the Disabled List for the first time in his career. Four surgeries do nothing to improve his vision, and he officially retires on July 12.
Happy 56th Birthday to Mike Kingery
It's the birthday of 1979 Atwater High School graduate Mike Kingery, born in Saint James, Minnesota in 1961. When he was six months old the Kingerys moved to Atwater where Mike’s father was proprietor of the Atwater Bowling Center. Kingery signed with the Royals as an amateur free agent on August 27, 1979. He made his major league debut on July 7, 1986 and would go on to play 819 major league games over parts of 10 seasons with Kansas City, Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland, Colorado, and Pittsburgh. A career .268 hitter, Kingery’s best season by far was with the Rockies in 1994, when, at age 33, he hit .349 over 105.
Kingery hit .290 in 24 games vs. the Minnesota Twins, including a home run off of Les Straker on July 29, 1987. That same season he hit two home runs off of 1973 Highland Park High School graduate Jack Morris.
Kingery and and Blix Donnelly headlined the seven-member 2014 inaugural class of the West Central Baseball Hall of Fame in Willmar.
Mrs. Johnson and I swung into the Moose Lake Dairy Queen on our way home from Duluth last summer, and I was interested to see a poster for “The Kingery Family,” a travelling singing and ministry troupe. Turns out Mike and his wife Chris are parents of EIGHT children. In addition to his minstrel work, Mike Kingery operates the Solid Foundation Baseball School in Grove City, MN.
March 29, 1996
Puckett Placed on 15-Day Disabled List
Quoting directly from a New York Times article from March 31, 1996:
“Kirby Puckett's blurry vision is being caused by a partial blockage of a blood vessel in his right eye, and the Minnesota outfielder will miss the season opener, the Twins said Friday after placing him on the 15-day disabled list … retroactive to Thursday, making him eligible to return April 12. During that time, he will undergo treatment and will be able to work out with the club. Matt Lawton, who went 2 for 4 with a run batted in in Puckett's place Friday, will start against the Tigers tomorrow.”
March 30, 1981
Twins Trade Landreaux to Los Angeles
The Twins trade Ken Landreaux to the Dodgers for Mickey Hatcher and minor leaguers Mathew Reeves and Kelly Snider. The Twins had acquired Landreaux from the Angels along with three other prospects just over two years earlier for Rod Carew.
Lanreaux made Twins history twice during the 1980 season. He compiled a Twins record 31-game hitting streak from April 23 to May 30. Then, on July 3, he tied the modern major league record with three triples in a 10-3 home victory vs. Texas. Denard Span matched that record on June 29, 2010.
Landreaux made his lone All-Star team in 1980, despite having one of his least productive seasons according to Baseball Reference who calculates his 1980 WAR as -0.2.
Mickey Hatcher also appears in the Twins record book, and just for having the largest glove anyone has ever seen. On April 28, 1985 Hatcher went 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over Oakland at the Metrodome. He had gone 5-for-5 the previous day, giving him nine consecutive hits, tying Tony Oliva’s 1967 club record. Todd Walker matched the feat in 1998.
The Twins released Hatcher on March 31, 1987 to make room for Dan Gladden who they had acquired in a trade with the Giants.
March 30, 2005
Bob Casey Laid to Rest
The inimitable Bob Casey, who had passed away three days prior from complications of liver cancer and pneumonia, is eulogized at St. Olaf Catholic Church and laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris, John Gordon, and Dave St. Peter served as pallbearers. Also in attendance were Carl Pohlad, Roy Smalley, Juan Berenguer, Tim Laudner, and Scott Leius.
March 31, 1987
Twins Trade for Gladden
The Twins release fan-favorite Mickey Hatcher and pick up San Francisco outfielder Dan Gladden for two minor league pitchers and a player to be named later, who would turn out to be Bemidji native and 2x Gophers Dave Winfield Pitcher of the Year Bryan Hickerson. Hatcher was still owed $650,000 for 1987 and a $100,000 buyout clause for the ‘88 season. At the time it was the most expensive contract the Twins had eaten. It would prove to be a prudent business move.
Gladden, of course, was a key contributor to both World Series Championship teams, coming up with clutch hits in both Series. He hit a grand slam in Game 1 of the 1987 Series, and hustled out one of the most important hits in Twins history, a broken-bat AstroTurf double leading off the bottom of the tenth in Game 7 of the ‘91 Series.
Chuck Knoblauch then executed one of the most underrated plays in Twins history, a textbook sacrifice bunt to move Gladden to third with one out. Atlanta then intentionally walked Kirby and Hrbie to set up a potential inning-ending double play. Pinch-hitter Gene Larkin foiled that strategy, however, elevating the first pitch he saw to left-center giving the Twins a 1-0 walk-off victory.
The Gladden trade was the third significant move of the ‘87 off season. Back in February the Twins had acquired Jeff Reardon and Al Newman in separate tradres with Montral. The Twins would make several more significant moves during the season, including trades for Joe Niekro and Don Baylor.
Dan Gladden signed with Detroit as a free agent following the ‘91 World Series.
March 31, 2010
Span Hits His Mother
Leading off a Spring Training game vs. the Yankees in his hometown of Tampa, Denard Span fouls Phil Hughes’s 3-2 pitch over the third base dugout striking his own mother square in the chest. It was a scary moment at the ballpark but she was not seriously hurt.
March 31, 2014
Mounds View’s Seth Rosin Makes MLB Debut
With his Rangers trailing the Phillies 14-10 on Opening Day, 2007 Mound View graduate and three-year Golden Gopher Seth Rosin makes his major league debut, pitching a scoreless ninth, striking out 2006 National League Most Valuable Player Ryan Howard on three pitches for his first Big League K.
Rosin signed a minor league deal with the Twins on February 23, 2017.
April 1, 2002
Twins Hit 5 HRs on Opening Day
The Twins tie an American League record by clubbing five home runs on Opening Day in Kansas City. Jacque Jones hit a solo and three-run home run, while David Ortiz, Brian Buchanan, and Torii Hunter each hit solo shots in the 8-6 Twins win.
The Twins are the most recent of five American League teams to hit five home runs on Opening Day. The previous four were the Yankees in 1932, Red Sox in 1965, Brewers in 1980, and the Cleveland ballclub in 1995. The Mets set the major league record with six Opening Day home runs in 1988.
April 1, 2007
Herb Carneal Passes Away
Legendary Twins radio broadcaster Herb Carneal passes away at the age of 83. Carneal spent 44 years with the Twins, joining Ray Scott and Halsey Hall in 1962, the Twins’ second season in Minnesota. Carneal received the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1996. He and Jim Kaat comprised the sophomore class of the Twins Hall of Fame, inducted on July 7, 2001.
On a personal note, when I was in elementary school I won a drawing at Hardee’s (true story) and got to spend an inning in the booth with Herb Carneal and John Gordon.
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