02-06-2013, 08:50 PM #1
Your favorite #6 memory
To countdown the days til pitchers and catchers report, we're going to list the Twins with those numbers (thanks to this awesome list) and let you can reminisce about one of them. So who is the poster boy for day #6....
Billy Consolo, 1961
Ted Lepcio, 1961
Jim Snyder, 1962
Vic Wertz, 1963
Tony Oliva, 1964-75
Tony Oliva, 1976 (Player-Coach)
Tony Oliva, 1977-78, 1985-91 (Coach)
Obviously, it's Tony O, who was just wrapping up his career and becoming a coach when I started tuning into games on our little AM radio. According to the list above, Oliva was a player-coach in 1976, and I was absolutely following the Twins at that time, but I don't remember how that worked out. Was he a coach for half the year? Or was he a true player coach. Anyone know?
02-07-2013, 12:33 PM #2
02-07-2013, 12:37 PM #3
Out of personal curiousity I looked into the player-coach thing. Looks like 1976, he was a true player-coach, as the Twins named him a coach and he still played in 67 games from April to August. That offseason, he managed the Los Mochis team in the Mexican winter leagues, then became a basecoach for the Twins the following year.
02-07-2013, 01:41 PM #4
I did not become a Twins fan until 1978 when I moved into the area, and was even guilty of rooting against them in the legendary 1967 race. But Tony's baseball card was something special for me every year, and when I think of the classic blue-backed Topps cards with the 1964 stats I tend to think of his first - do you know that Tony led the Appal. League in hits and RBIs in 1961? I do. (Because I cheated and looked up the card image, but oh well, it all comes back.) So, there's my favorite #6 memory.
02-07-2013, 03:03 PM #5
Living in New Jersey, I became a Twins fan in 1967, and soon enough Tony-O was my favorite player. In August 1969 we had the good fortune to visit relatives in the Twins Cities area, and so it happened that my first live major league game was at the old Met. Twins beat the Yankees 6-0, and Tony obliged by hitting not just one, but two home runs. I still have a picture of the Twins-O-Gram giving the measured length of one of them.
02-07-2013, 03:57 PM #6
In '76 Tony-O was absolutely a player-coach. His knees were so bad by then that he really couldn't even DH. I believe that if you look at box scores, in a number of away games Mauch had Tony leading off as the 2B, he would bat and then be replaced in the bottom of the inning by a true second baseman. Other than that he pinch hit and DH'd only a couple of times. I believe he was either the hitting or bench coach and spent some time as first base coach. Under Mauch, the coaches took multiple duties. Mauch would even occasionally coach third base.
I'm old, I know.
Last edited by ScottyB; 02-08-2013 at 08:48 PM.