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Front Page: Back in Love: How I Found My Passion for the Twins Again

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#21 Harry

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 01:43 PM

 

Do you know the guys in the Guess Who?

No I don't know them personally. Only connection was when they were Chad Allan & the Expressions, they played @ my high school.Actually, Randy Bachman has an excellent weekly show -from Saltspring Island-on CBC Radio . " Randy's vinyl tap."

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#22 lunemann

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 01:50 PM

I very vaguely remember watching the 1991 playoffs at home on tv when I was 7. Living in rural Minnesota my parents almost never had people over and so I vividly remember a bunch of neighboring farmers were over. After all of that excitement I was hooked.

 

The first game I remember attending in person was sometime in 92-93 range from the old Skybox. I remember Kirby Puckett had an inside the park home run but being that I was 8 or 9 it easily could have been a 2B with a two base error. My baseball reference play lookup skills are failing me to find the exact game. Either way that was crazy exciting to see those legends that I watched on TV in '91 play in person.

 

Loved this article!

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#23 ewen21

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 08:00 PM

 

No I don't know them personally. Only connection was when they were Chad Allan & the Expressions, they played @ my high school.Actually, Randy Bachman has an excellent weekly show -from Saltspring Island-on CBC Radio . " Randy's vinyl tap."

I worked in the dean's office when I was in grad school and one of the dean's was from Winnipeg.I was playing the Guess Who at my desk late one night and he told me all about Chad Allan and the Expressions and that they had some real "hoot-nannies"

 

Love the Guess Who, Creedence and the Rascals.Lots of great songs there


#24 Longdistancetwins

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 04:13 PM

 

I have been a Twins fan for well over 50 years, and even in some of the bleakest years of the 70's and the 90's, there was still something to cheer about. 

 

If you didn't follow the Twins during those 70's, you missed prime years of Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven, the early years of Roy Smalley, the best days of one of the Twins better pitchers, Dave Goltz. Or Larry Hisle's entire time with the Twins. And Butch Wynegar, maybe the best Twins catcher not named Joe Mauer.

 

 

 

Became both a baseball and a Twins fan in 1967, being caught up in the great pennant race.As my moniker suggests, it was always a long distance love, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs.But the teams I followed most closely were indeed those of the early/mid 1970s.It was free agency that killed my passion; not only seeing every (no exaggeration) player of quality leave, but having to endure their war of words with Calvin (I mean Calvin could even insult an all-around good guy like Larry Hisle).Then I lived for a time in the Rocky Mountain West before they had major league baseball and returned to New York just in time for the strike-divided season of 1981. 

What brought back my passion?One night late in 1981, I didn’t bother going to Yankee Stadium when the Twins were in town.And in the middle of the 11th inning, I congratulated myself for being a working grown-up and turning off the TV.The next morning I heard all about a rookie from Bloomington, Minnesota—of all places—hitting a home run in his first game to win it for us.I was so thrilled by the story that I couldn’t even be mad at myself for not staying up to see it.Yes, Herbie’s home run made all the difference; I had my first love back, just in time to see the Class of ’82 fail and eventually blossom into the 1987 champs (and, as one might imagine, having Blyleven and Smalley back for that ride was a special and delightful irony for me).

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#25 Longdistancetwins

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 05:39 PM

 

 

Though being a Twins fan has been a constant since then, things were certainly cemented when my first son was born. My wife was working evenings at the time, so that gave me the opportunity to teach my son the alphabet by explaining that "B is for Bostock, C is for Carew, D is for Disco Dan Ford," etc. It worked, and he's become even more of a geek than me, though living in northern Indiana where Cubs games were on so many days when he came home from school has sentenced him to that lifetime of misery.

 

 

Is that charming or what?Someone should go all through the alphabet.


#26 Harry

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:27 PM

 

I worked in the dean's office when I was in grad school and one of the dean's was from Winnipeg.I was playing the Guess Who at my desk late one night and he told me all about Chad Allan and the Expressions and that they had some real "hoot-nannies"

 

Love the Guess Who, Creedence and the Rascals.Lots of great songs there

 


#27 Harry

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 06:32 PM

The Guess Who are Winnipeg's claim-to-fame!To answer the other question, yes-my 3 kids are all Twins fans plus our grandchildren too!If Dave St. Peter is reading this .... during the mid 80's I ordered children's Twins apparel from you -by phone- when you worked in a suburban Twins store!! You were super nice.


#28 IndianaTwin

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:34 PM

Is that charming or what? Someone should go all through the alphabet.

It’s been 25 years, but I’m remembering something like most of these. Remember that it was the mid-90s.

Allison, Bostock, Carew, Disco Dan Ford, maybe Eric (Soderholm), Frankie Sweet Music, Gaetti, Hrbek, Don’t Remember, Don’t Remember, Kirby/Killebrew, Lombardozzi, Marty (Cordova), (Al) Newman, Olivia, Pagliarulo, Quilici, Rodney/Radke, Sorrento/Stahoviak, Tony, Uhlaender, Wynegar, Don’t Remember, Yount (needed some help), Zoilo.

#29 Darius

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 09:04 PM

Minnesota and Minnesota sports is engrained into my DNA. It wasn’t really ever a choice.

I was a young child when the Twins won their pair of World Series titles. It’s one of the few memories I hang onto from that young age. There is nothing on the planet that is more nostalgic than the “We’ll see you tomorrow night,” call. Merely hearing the names Kirby Puckett, Dan Gladden, Greg Gagne, Gary Gaetti, Jack Morris, Shane Mack, Kevin Tapani, etc. brings me back to childhood. Images, smells, emotions. Being regaled with stories of Carew, Killebrew, etc by the elders of the family. There was no better time/place to be alive, let alone a sports fan, than the late 80s early 90s in rural Minnesota in my mind. It genuinely makes me emotional recalling those times and the people in my life then who have long-since passed on. In a good way, as opposed to a sad one.

People like to get on me about my criticism of ownership and high level management of this franchise over the years. But, I take the gross mismanagement and overall cheapness/lack of passion by those in charge personally. My emotional investment is huge. I feel, in a way, that they are depriving myself of reliving that time, and numerous others (especially young kids) of having something so special and uniting between family members, especially having my own children now. It goes far beyond being just a game.

I was nearly back there in the 00s. But, now there’s just something (hope) missing. Knowing, from day 1 of the season...even in seasons like last years....that there is no legitimate/reasonable chance of getting back to that promised land is demoralizing.
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#30 DocBauer

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Posted 03 December 2019 - 11:37 PM

I really wanted to write this a couple of days ago when Nash first shared his wonderful piece because it resonated with me, and because honestly, I felt it I waited too long, the article would just slide away amongst others. But work, life, trips to the hospital for my youngest son...things just got in the way. But I have to share. For those who have read some of my words before, indulge me.

I was born a Twins fan. I was born and raised in South Dakota by a sports fan father who adopted the Twins as his team. (And the Vikings but that is a whole different and pained story, lol). My father helped coach a little league team in Brookings SD named the Tigers when I was about 4-5yrs old. His memory is better than mine, obviously, on the time frame. At the end of the season, we traveled to watch a double header at old Met Stadium between the Tigers and Twins. My 54yo brain has flashbacks, but remembers little from that day. But it doesn't matter as the Twins were ingrained to me virtually from birth.

57.0, Yankton SD was, and remains to some degree, a godsend to me. From car radio to transistor radio, I followed the Twins with my dad, and learned the game from him, listening to Herb call the games for the likes of Carew, Koosman, Goltz, Smalley, Wyneger and a plethora of players and games over nearly 50yrs.

When visiting my grandparents farm, I used to help out with the evening milking, doing what I could feeding cows and calves, while monitoring the radio and calling out the play by play taking place.

In my youth, WAY before the internet, I watched games on my grandma's cable TV. I grabbed ever issue, and past issues she saved for me, of the Tribune to read about the Twins. I read Baseball Digest, the Sporting News, and any rag I could get my hands on to hear about my team and milb prospects. I would sit in my car to listen through static to hear west coast games.

I listened on my car radio the first game Puckett ever played. I watched the Twins beat the Tigers in '87 to reach the WS. And I am not a bit ashamed to admit I cried when they won that year. My only regret is my dad and I couldn't have watched it together.

From approximately 1970 on I have seen 2 WS championships, great seasons and performances, different ownerships, tons of celebrations and tons of heartache. I've watched this team win 100 games and lose 100 games. I've been through it all. And while there a couple of TD fans/posters who have seen even more than me, I have been steadfast in my "fanaticism ". I admit there are times where it was just so bad I didn't listen, or watch, or check the before, but I have always been there. Still am. As is my beloved father. Once a week we huddle to talk Vikings and Huskers, but we always end up talking Twins at some point.

No matter what, good and bad, the Twins are just in my blood.
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#31 Tsteff5

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 06:20 PM

My first Twins experience was in 1972 at the Met. I swear I had never seen grass as green as the first time I walked into a major league ballpark. Jim Kaat threw an 11 inning complete game two hitter and lost to the Angels 2-1. It has been a life long love affair ever since. From a two homer game by Rod Carew against the Yankees to Joe Mayer’s final game and the Bomba Squad this year, I have been with this team. The Twins are a huge part of my life, and in turn, the lives of my wife and daughters.
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#32 boomerb5

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Posted 04 December 2019 - 07:41 PM

In the spring of 1987 I was 15 and finishing up 9th grade. Living in a small town, most of the other guys were dreaming about getting their drivers licenses and girls, and finally getting invited to the keg parties. I was excited because Dan Gladden would be leading off and Jeff Reardon would be closing out games.

 

Prior to the quasi-pennant-push in 1984 I had not been terribly interested in baseball or the Twins. Dad took my younger brother an me to a mid-week matinee game at the Met circa 1978. I do not remember a whole lot about the game. They lost to Rod Carew and the Angels. A foul ball ricocheted off the railing next to my hand (about midway between 1st base and the right field foul pole. I was too stunned to realize I should run and get the ball. There were maybe 5000 people at the game. 

 

When the Dome opened, plans to go to a game were put on hold until the air-conditioning was added. Again, I do not remember much. But they were good seats...about midway up/down in the lower deck behind home plate.

 

In 1984 the team was actually kind of in the race for the West. They made blockbuster deals to bring in Pat Putnam and Chris Speier. I kind of began to follow along some. But not real seriously. I remember Dad and a couple of my friends get excited when the deals to bring Roy Smalley and Bert Blyleven back happened during the 1985 season. And in 1986 I would sometimes listen to games on my not-walkman radio.

 

But in 1987, I was actually excited for the season to begin. The new uniforms were cool in a classic way. Reardon and Gladden and Newman felt like meaningful acquisitions. I wrote my 9th grade theme paper on why the Twins would win the AL West. This was before Fox Sports. Before Midwest Sports Channel. I lived in cornfield county...a stone's throw from the Iowa border. My only option was the radio. And the local AM/FM station actually broke away from their country music to put the Twins on the air. And I listened to almost every game.

 

I learned how to milk batteries for maximum life, turning the radio off during commercial breaks and keeping the volume as low as possible so less current was needed to drive the earphone speakers. I would listen to the pre-game. I remained tuned in for the post-game to get all of the scores, stats, and standings.

 

I suppose I should mention that my step-dad was an abusive alcoholic. Sunday nights were when he raged the worst (probably because he had to stop drinking so he could sober up in time to go to work). That's also the one time that there was never a game being played. It made me appreciate being able to tune out the ugliness around me even more.

 

Herb Carneal was the grandpa I had lost a few years earlier. Oddly enough, grandpa would fuss around half the night to keep CCO tuned in on his Motorola tabletop radio. The names Castino and Wynegar as intoned by Herb remain indelibly etched into my ears. I didn't pay any attention to the games then. It was about spending time with grandpa as he played solitaire and grumbled about another lousy pitcher giving up too many hits and runs. 

 

Midway through the summer, the step-dad finally turned his anger toward me. It had always only been toward mom up until this point. But that was the last straw and as soon as he passed out, mom had us pack up some stuff and we moved in with grandma a couple towns away. 

 

Now I'm the new kid in a town where everyone else knows everyone else. 15 years old. Coming out of an abusive home. Living in a 2.5 bedroom house with his brother, mom, and grandma. If it weren't for the Twins and the year they were having and my ability to listen in every night...I'm not sure I'd have ever seen 1988.

 

The team was scrappy and plucky and gutty. They had two good starting pitchers, a couple good relievers, and a reasonably potent lineup. It could be painful to listen when Mark Portugal or Steve Carlton or Joe Klink were pitching. But it was also thrilling when Senor Smoke quashed a rally. This was an age where 25 home runs was darn good. They had four guys who could hit that mark. You just knew that if Puck failed to drive in the runner, well Hrbie or Gaetti or Bruno would get it done.

 

I only got to see maybe 6 or 7 games on TV during the 1987 season. Mostly on channel 9 when we would visit dad, with maybe one or two Game of the Week appearances. So when the playoffs rolled around, it was absolute bliss. Every game on TV? Simply amazing!

 

Game four of the World Series was on a Wednesday night. The night before MEA break. That's high school football night. The last night of the regular season. And in cornfield county if you were a boy, you played football. And in small towns the 10th graders (and some 9th graders) suited up just in case there were injuries. It was a cold, unpleasant night. One of the fans had a portable battery-powered TV. I spent as much time as I dared as close to him as possible. I was 5th or 6th string...there was no way I was going to get on the field. Thankfully the Twins lost that game. I was OK with missing a loss. Not being able to cheer on a victory would have been painful.

 

I could go on. But this is already approaching Gleeman territory. But the 1987 team is the one that hooked me. 1991 was delicious frosting as a college sophomore. The long dry spell of the late 90s is mostly forgotten. And the Gardy years were nice but not really fulfilling. The 2019 club made me feel like I did in 1987. I am hopeful for 2020.

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#33 Longdistancetwins

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 02:32 PM

 

It’s been 25 years, but I’m remembering something like most of these. Remember that it was the mid-90s.

Allison, Bostock, Carew, Disco Dan Ford, maybe Eric (Soderholm), Frankie Sweet Music, Gaetti, Hrbek, Don’t Remember, Don’t Remember, Kirby/Killebrew, Lombardozzi, Marty (Cordova), (Al) Newman, Olivia, Pagliarulo, Quilici, Rodney/Radke, Sorrento/Stahoviak, Tony, Uhlaender, Wynegar, Don’t Remember, Yount (needed some help), Zoilo.

Thanks.Jacque Jones; Delmon Young.