And here is the Twins Almanac for the weekend of August 27-28, 2016. Mrs. Johnson and I have been busy getting settled here in Minnesota. It's good to be back after a decade out west. Look for a fresh batch of Twins trivia by open of business Monday.
Happy 46th Birthday, Jim Thome
It’s the birthday of Jim Thome, born in 1970 in Peoria, IL. He had already hit 564 home runs when he signed with the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2010 season. He hit a dramatic walk-off home run on August 17, 2010, the first Twins walk-off hit at Target Field. On August 15, 2011 Thome hit two opposite field home runs in Detroit, the 599th and 600th of his career. The Twins sold him to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 40 home runs as a Twin.
Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs. He hit 61 home runs against the Twins. The only team he more against was Detroit, 66.
Jim Thome is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2018.
August 27, 1975
Kusick Ties Record, Blyleven Hurls Gem
Craig Kusick tied a major league record by being beaned three times in the Twins’ game versus the Brewers in Milwaukee. That record stands to this day. Bert Blyleven, meanwhile, pitched an 11-inning shutout as the Twins won 1-0.
Don Baylor, incidentally, owns the American League record for times hit-by-pitch in a career. He was beaned 267 times in his career played entirely in the AL. He was beaned four times while played for the 1987 World Series-champion Twins.
August 27, 2012
Mauer Passes Battey for Most Games Caught
Joe Mauer caught his 832nd game, surpassing Earl Battey for most games caught in Twins history. Battey played for Minnesota from 1961-’67.
The game versus Seattle at Target Field was a pitchers duel between Felix Hernandez and rookie Liam Hendricks who would go the distance allowing only 3 hits. The Twins could only muster 5 hits off of Herndandez, with Mauer hitting a two-out single to center in the fourth. With the game still scoreless, Justin Morneau led-off the bottom of the seventh with a triple but was stranded there as three straight Twins batters grounded out.
With Hendricks pitching a 2-hit shutout into the eighth, Seattle’s Eric Thames hit a leadoff home run and Seattle went on to win 1-0, with both Hendricks and Hernandez pitching complete games.
August 28, 1981
Tim Laudner Homers in MLB Debut
1976 Park Center High School graduate Tim Laudner homered in his major league debut, a 6-0 Twins win versus the Tigers in Bloomington.
Laudner singled in his first MLB at-bat leading off the third and worked a walk in his second at-bat. In the seventh inning, in his third big league at-bat, Laudner hit a home run driving in Gary Ward. He popped out to the catcher in his final at-bat.
Minnesota-native Jerry Koosman entered the game in the seventh inning, earning a seven-out save.
Laudner hit his second major league home run the following day against Tigers pitcher Dan Schatzeder who would later win game 6 of the 1987 World Series for the Twins. Laudner had hit a whopping 42 home runs at AA Orlando in ‘81. The 44 he hit in total between the minors and majors led all of professional baseball.
Laudner was one of three Twins to homer in his major league debut in 1981. Just four days earlier Kent Hrbek -- who, like Laudner, had also played his high school ball in the Twin Cities area -- hit a twelfth-inning home run in his major league debut off of George Frazier at Yankee Stadium. Frazier, like Schatzeder, would also go on to pitch for the ‘87 Twins.
On September 20th, Gary Gaetti homered in his first major league at-bat.
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