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Game Thread: Twins @ Indians, 6/25/17, 12:10 CDT

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#1 IndianaTwin

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 05:53 AM

Forty years ago tonight, my oldest niece was conceived.

 

How do I know?

 

Well, I was an impressionable 11-year-old boy from the farm, on my first trip to the big city with my sister and her husband of almost three years. We had a two-room suite at the motel, and I was to sleep on the couch in the “living room.” At some point, I got up to pee, so I had to go through the bedroom.

 

Imagine my shock when I went in to the room and saw them in the same single bed, when there were clearly two beds available. “Dude,” they said in surprise. “You’ve got to knock!”

 

Traumatized, I stumbled into the bathroom, probably misfiring from my anxiety. When I went back to bed, I likely laid awake for hours. I’d heard of this stuff, but do you mean that people actually do that?

 

Sure enough, nine months to the day my first niece was born. (Aside: Do you know what you call Denise’s brother? Denephew.)

 

My sister and brother-in-law claim that’s not what was happening, but that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

 

But that’s not what I really remember from that weekend. You see, the big city we were visiting was Bloomington, Minn., and I’d spent that afternoon at my very first Twins game. I’d started following baseball as a kid of six or seven, and some of my earliest memories are of coming home from school every day and immediately checking the paper to see if Hank Aaron had gotten another homer on his way to chasing Babe Ruth.

 

I first was a Cardinals fan because of my older brother, but then Paul came on the scene to date my sister. He was the one who convinced me to follow the Twins. After all, who wants to root for Lou Brock when there is Rod Carew and Tony Oliva? It’s his fault.

 

So, 40 years ago today was also my first Twins game, at the old Met. Unfortunately, the Twins lost that day, 8-1, to the White Sox, prompting 40 years of dislike for the franchise that plays in the Monument to Cement called Comiskey Park. I mean U.S. Cellular. I mean Guaranteed Rate Ballpark. Really, a team playing in a stadium covered with logos a downward-pointing arrow. Seems fitting. Down with the Sox.

 

It was a hot and sultry day, miserable in terms of comfort and miserable in terms of how my heroes played. Geoff Zahn lasted all of 3.1 innings. The Twins hit into three double plays. Ex-Twin Eric Soderholm (a guy I’d liked, no less!) hit a homer for the Sox. Glenn Adams hit into two of the double plays and misplayed a play in the outfield, making even this impressionable kid who had been taught that is wasn’t nice to “Boo” to join in the chorus. Remember that last name, it will come in handy later.

 

Did I mention that it was a miserable day, even before that traumatic walk to the bedroom?

 

But the next day, oh the next day.

 

Old-timers may have picked up where this is going when I name that it was June 25, 1977, that I saw my first game at the Met, and that my second game was June 26. Let’s set the stage.

 

The Twins had been crummy for several years (sound familiar?), but they were playing well that year, even staying in the early-season pennant race. Unfortunately, the Saturday loss had dropped them to a virtual tie with the nasty folks from the South Side. Similarly, Carew was having his best season, but his 1 for 3 on Saturday had dropped his average a tick to .396.

 

But the sun rose another time, bright and sunny with the promise of a fresh start. We headed to the Met to join the many others arriving for the big day. The announced attendance that day was 46,463, a regular-season record at the time, and a figure that I think was never topped there.

 

My brother-in-law and I know better. At most, there were 46,461 actually at the game. Paul was a Rod Carew fan, remember, and this was Rod Carew Jersey Day. Unfortunately, the Coke-sponsored t-shirts were only for fans 14 and under, and he wanted one. So Paul bought an extra two of the cheapest seats available. We entered and got a shirt, exited, and re-entered using our “real” tickets down the right field line so that we could get a second shirt.

 

The crowd was rocking at the start, and would only get louder. Carew got the first of several standing ovations when he was introduced in the first, and the second when he doubled to right-center, sending Lyman Bostock to third. After a Butch Wynegar groundout and a Larry Hisle walk to load the bases, Glenn Adams (I told you to remember him) doubled to plate two off starter Steve Stone.

 

Carew singled in two more with the bases loaded in the second, advancing to second on an error. After a Wynegar intentional walk and a Hisle strikeout, now-friend Glenn Adams cleared the bases with a bomb to right field, sending Stone to the showers down 8-1 after just 1.2 innings. In a Twins-Sox game earlier this year, Stone referenced Adams as hitting one of just two grand slams he’d given up in his career.

 

Carew would get several more standing ovations during a day in which he’d go 4 for 5 with a walk, lifting his average back above .400 and ending the day at .403. He scored five times and drove in six, the last two coming on an eighth-inning homer.

 

Adams may have outdone him, also finishing the day 4 for 5, but with a team-record eight RBIs, a record that still stands, before exiting to thunderous applause after being pinch ran for by Disco Dan Ford in the eighth. Baseball fans are a forgiving bunch, at least sometimes, and we know that at least 25,000 folks hadn’t seen the day before.

 

The Twins eventually won 19-12, climbing back to a game above the Sox. Tom Johnson went 6.2 innings in relief(!) of starter Bill Butler to get the win and move his record to 9-2. The top four guys in the order – Bostock, Roy Smalley, Carew, and Wynegar – combined to go 10 for 19, with 14 runs scored, and the game set numerous other team and individual records that would last for a while. In an otherwise outstanding season, Hisle went 0 for 4 in the five hole, the only spot in the batting order that didn’t get at least one of the 18 hits. Hisle and No. 7 hitter Rich Chiles were the only spots not to score.

 

The Twins of course faded, eventually finishing fourth in the seven-team West, but seven games above .500. Carew last was above .400 on July 10, but ended the year at .388 and was named AL MVP.

 

There’s more memorable stuff from the day. Sox coach Minnie Minoso was ejected for arguing a call. And in one of the weirdest things I’ve still ever seen at a game, the contest was stopped for a time when a fan had to talked down from his perch after climbing part way up the left field foul pole.

 

Fast forward about 35 years. My son is even more of a baseball nerd than me and is a member of SABR, where he does things like maintain a database of all-time announcers in nationally televised games (shameless promotion: click here: http://bit.ly/SABR_MLBNetworkTVDB. On a SABR listserv the discussion turned to unusual events that have happened at games and Tony recounted the story of a game his dad went to as a kid, when the game had to stopped. A guy he’d corresponded with on numerous occasions responded, saying, “Uh, that was me,” producing a newspaper clipping to prove it. Turns out that the guy is our Stew Thornley, now the official scorer at Target Field (permission granted to tell the story). Picture is below. 

 

Fast forward another year or two, with the required aside that I’m an ordained Mennonite minister. Stew and my son were having correspondence, when Stew said, “I see your Goshen.edu email address. Are you Mennonite?” (Goshen College is a Mennonite liberal arts college in northern Indiana.) When Tony replied in the affirmative, Stew said, “You won’t believe this, but I was baptized at Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis this past Easter. For those in the Twin Cities, Faith is where the Halsey Hall SABR chapter routinely meets under President Stew. Stew’s a great guy that I’ve had the opportunity to meet – give him a break when you disagree with a call.

 

So, here I am 40 years later, talking about my sister’s sex life in front of thousands (okay, hundreds), (okay, the dozen or so who have made it this far) on the Internet and babbling about the Twins every chance I get.

 

It’s all Paul’s fault.

 

Oh yeah. There’s a game today. I may need help with the lineups. I'm just boarding a plane to Atlanta for a game at SunTrust Field. That will allow me to re-check off Atlanta and be able to say that I've seen a game in all 30 current parks. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • stew on the pole.jpg

Edited by IndianaTwin, 25 June 2017 - 05:55 AM.

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#2 SQUIRREL

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:55 AM

Well done, IndianaTwin! Thanks for the stories!

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A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But a skunkweed will always be a skunkweed and instantly recognizable. 


#3 TNTwinsFan

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 06:57 AM

What an incredible story!! Sex, babies, and baseball...the stuff of life!
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#4 Craig Arko

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:40 AM

I'll try to keep track of the game while waiting for my car to be repaired. Yay.

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"Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars." - Old Serbian proverb

#5 Jerr

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:52 AM

Great opening, though a bit long...but, made me laugh, enjoy and read the whole thing :)

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And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

#6 sampleSizeOfOne

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:53 AM

What an incredible story!! Sex, babies, and baseball...the stuff of life!


Concur.

My schedule is up in the air somewhat for today, but i hope to chime in occasionally.

I once was chided for climbing on girders at another school's caffeteria such that i was hanging from the ceiling. The teacher "talking me down" said i wouldn't have done it at my home school, to which i honestly responded i probably would have, at least once. At college party i think i worried some older folk when i decided to try to hang by my ankles (from a thick sprinkler pipe, in a room decorated wih hubcaps) I suppose they too had a right to be concerned, but i was okay.
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#7 Blake

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:35 AM

Cool intro. Thanks!

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#8 USAFChief

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

Teh awesome! Great work, IndianaTwin.
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Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#9 USAFChief

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:05 AM

I bet reading such a magnificent game thread intro made many of you eager for your chance. Lucky for you, July has some opportunities still available.

Open dates: July 4, 7, 8, 9, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25 and 26.

You know what to do...PM Chief and Chitown.
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Cutting my carbs...with a pizza slicer.


#10 amjgt

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:15 AM

We got our good lineup back:

Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Miguel Sano, DH
Max Kepler, RF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Jason Castro, C
Byron Buxton, CF


Indians

Francisco Lindor, SS
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Jose Ramirez, 3B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Carlos Santana, 1B
Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
Austin Jackson, LF
Bradley Zimmer, CF
Yan Gomes, C

Josh Tomlin, RHP
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#11 Jerr

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:28 AM

3-0 Twins and back in first place after this game......Kepler with a RBI  :talk028:

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And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

#12 spinowner

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 10:38 AM

Loved the intro. I was at that game. I remember the Twins-O-Gram putting up Carew's .400 but I had forgotten about the foul pole climber. Thanks for triggering that!

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#13 PDX Twin

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

It's early, but the current standings in the second Wild Card races are amazing:

 

American League

Twins ---

Tampa Bay 0.5

Kansas City 1.5

Seattle 1.5

Angels 2.0

Texas 2.0

Baltimore 3.0

Toronto 4.0

 

In the NL, by contrast, Colorado has a 7.5 game lead for the second spot!

 

So, mostly sellers in the NL and mostly buyers in the AL at the deadline if things stay this way?

 

 

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#14 IndianaTwin

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:06 AM

...
Bradley Zimmer, CF
Yan Gomes, C
Josh Tomlin, RHP[/quote]


Thanks for helping me out. I've just settled into my seat at Sun Trust Park.

#15 IndianaTwin

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:08 AM

Great opening, though a bit long...but, made me laugh, enjoy and read the whole thing :)



Yeah, brevity is not a gift, as the wonderful woman with earplugs sitting next to me can attest.
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#16 Circus Boy

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:17 AM

Fun fact: Half of Tomlin's HRs allowed this season happened in the first 15 pitches. (That's seven out of 14.) That is all.

 

UPDATE: Tomlin is at 16 pitches. Our window of opportunity has closed on that statistical tendency.

 

Now, Erv, all we ask is for you to be great.

Edited by Circus Boy, 25 June 2017 - 11:23 AM.

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"Not my circus, not my monkeys." -- Polish saying

 

"Good thing you married my daughter, because you've got no skills and you're not too smart." -- Circus Boy's father-in-law


#17 Jerr

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:28 AM

 

Fun fact: Half of Tomlin's HRs allowed this season happened in the first 15 pitches. (That's seven out of 14.) That is all.

 

UPDATE: Tomlin is at 16 pitches. Our window of opportunity has closed on that statistical tendency.

 

Now, Erv, all we ask is for you to be great.

My like was for your "unedited" post.... ;)  as opportunity always knocks and Santana "good' will suffice.

;)

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.

George Carlin

#18 I've Got Small Hands

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:31 AM

Hope Erv settles in today and has another solid game vs the tribe. He's due for a good start. Looks like the ball is jumping off bats today. They've got a good shot at the sweep against a terrible SP!!
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#19 spinowner

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:35 AM

Two runs for the good guys thanks to two difficult but make-able plays not made by the opposition.

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#20 amjgt

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 11:37 AM

Two runs for the good guys thanks to two difficult but make-able plays not made by the opposition.

#defense