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Twins Birthdays--May 11

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Also posted at wgom.org

Frank Quilici (1939)


Infielder/manager/broadcaster Francis Ralph Quilici has been associated with the Twins for a long time. He was born and raised in Chicago, attended Loras College of Dubuque, Iowa, one of two major league players that school has produced (Red Faber), then transferred to Western Michigan. Quilici signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1961. He was not a great batter in the minors, but had a decent season at AA Charlotte in 1964 and was hitting .277 in AAA Denver when he was called up to the majors in mid-July of 1965. He only hit .208 in Minnesota that year but started in the World Series in place of the injured Jerry Kindall. Quilici was back in Denver for all of 1966 and was a seldom-used reserve in 1967. In 1968 he got the most playing time of his career, starting 34 games at second and 24 at third and getting 229 at-bats. He didn’t do much with the playing time, and by 1969 he was essentially Harmon Killebrew’s late-inning defensive replacement at third. In 1970, he was given another chance at second when Rod Carew was out, but he didn’t do much with it and was released in April of 1971. That ended Quilici’s playing career; he hit .214/.281/.287 in 682 at-bats. He became a coach with the Twins in 1971, and when Bill Rigney was fired in July of the following year Quilici became the youngest manager in the major leagues. He remained the manager through the 1975 season, when he was replaced by Gene Mauch. Quilici then joined the Twins’ broadcasting crew, calling games for the team on radio from 1976-1977 1980-1982 and on television in 1987. Quilici was nominated as a candidate for the College World Series Legends Team. At last report, he was living in Burnsville, Minnesota, was a member of the board of directors of the Twins Community Fund, and participates in Twins’ fantasy camps. In August of 2011, a baseball field in North Minneapolis was renovated and re-named “Frank Quilici Field” in his honor. It serves as home to the North Minneapolis RBI program.
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