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  1. Author Thom Henninger, editor of Baseball Digest magazine, has penned previous books about the Twins in this era. Back in 2015, he wrote the book Tony Oliva: The Life and Times of a Minnesota Twins Legend. Now, Henninger has gone back to the 1960s to look even closer at those turbulent times and Minnesota’s first truly great baseball seasons in The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the Turbulent 1960’s. Many current fans will recognize a familiar theme facing the Twins in the mid-1960s, “How do you dethrone the mighty Yankees?” New York was the dominant team of the era with names like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. In fact, the Yankees had won the American League 18 times in the 24 seasons from 1941-1964. However, change was in the air as age started impact New York and Minnesota was ready to pounce. Minnesota already had a strong core of players, but many players were able to have career years as the Twins fought their way to the 1965 World Series. Mudcat Grant became the first African American pitcher to win at least twenty games in the American League. Tony Oliva built off his tremendous rookie season and won his second straight AL batting title, even though it looked like a long shot. Those weren’t the only key figures during this era. Entering the 1965 season, Billy Martin was hired as third base coach, and this turned out to be a move that would impact the team for the rest of the decade. Zoilo Versalles won MVP in 1965 and Martin’s aggressive baserunning mentality helped Versalles to lead the AL in runs scored and total bases. Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers took the Series in seven games, but the Twins weren’t done making noise in the AL. Rod Carew joined the team in 1967 and lit the American League on fire. He’d win the AL Rookie of the Year award and he helped the Twins fight the Red Sox for the pennant, but Minnesota ultimately fell short. Minnesota was back in 1969 and 1970 as the club won back-to-back division titles before being eliminated both years by the powerful Baltimore Orioles. As the decade came to a close, the Twins had put themselves on the map as a powerhouse team in the American League. Henninger takes fans through all the ups and downs from each of these dramatic pennant races while also chronicling state and world events. In The Pride of Minnesota, Thom Henninger brings fans back to a by-gone era that has many connections to present day. For fans, like me, that are too young to remember, this book paints a picture of what this important era meant to the Twins and to the country as a whole. Others who lived through the era will enjoy reminiscing about the pennant races and players that helped them to fall in love with baseball. Minnesota only won one pennant during this stretch, but these memorable seasons are etched into team lore. What are your memories of the Twins from that era? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. After reading the 2005 season summary that is part of an excellent series on TD I was forced to think about second base where 2005 demonstrated the difficulty we had for many years. Here is a summary of our highs and lows: Billy Martin was our 2B in the first year in Minnesota and would last one year before becoming a coach and manager and then going to the Yankees again and again and again. If only he would stop hitting marshmallow salesmen. Bernie Allen had five years of average play (239 BA). In 1960, Allen led the Boilermakers to a record of 4-4-1 (2-4 Big Ten) and wins over #12 Notre Dame, Ohio State and #1 Minnesota Jerry Kindall was there for the championship with a career 213 batting average. His fame came in Arizona as their coach winning 860 games and three College World Series championships over 24 seasons (1973–1996). Then came ROD CAREW and he might have had a full career with us if Calvin Griffith had kept his racist mouth shut. Here is a summary from Wikipedia - "The greatest contact hitter in Twins history, he won the 1977 AL Most Valuable Player Award, setting a Twins record with a .388 batting average.Carew appeared in 18 straight All-Star Games and led the AL in hits three times, with his 239 hits in 1977 being twelfth most at the time. He won seven AL batting titles, the second most AL batting titles in history behind Ty Cobb, and on July 12, 2016 the AL batting title was renamed to the Rod Carew American League batting title." To make matters more painful he got his 3000th hit against Frank Viola! And what was it that Calvin said --"I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here. Black people don't go to ballgames, but they'll fill up a rassling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here." Danny Thompson - An All-American at Oklahoma State he was diagnosed with leukemia at age 26. He said, “You don’t have time to get down,” he said. “You’ve got to keep your head up and go right at it.” After and excellent rookie season he slid over to SS and Carew went back to 2B. He died in 1976. Bob Randall - A lifetime 257 hitter who came to the Twins from the Dodgers and played all his major league games with the Twins (460) and took over 2B as Carew was again moved to 1B. He was with us five years and went on to be a college coach. Rob Wilfong - His claim to fame is that he lead the American League in sacrifice hits in 1979. He hit 262 in six years with the Twins and was traded to the Angels. Currently he is a scout for the Detroit Tigers (I hope he is finding some better players for them now). John Castino - he was moved to 2B in 1982. He led the league in fielding percentage at 2B in 1982, but if the switch to 2B was supposed to protect his back it did not work. He was out in 1984 when back fusion ended his career - as a person with back fusion I can sympathize. Tim Teufel - known for the Teufel shuffle at bat - a wiggle of the butt His best years would be with the Mets when he was at 2B for the World Series. He is currently their goodwill ambassador and minor league coach. He hit 265 in his six years with the Twins. He was traded for Billy Beane and two others. If only we had moved Beane into the front office and off the field! Steve Lombardozzi - he played in the 1987 World Series and hit .412 with a home run in Game 5. He hit 233 in five seasons with the Twins. In 1986 he led second basemen in fielding percentage. Wally Backman and Tommy Herr - Backman was traded for from the Mets where he was platooned with Tim Teufel. He hit 231 for us. "The Mets sent him and Mike Santiago to the Minnesota Twins for Jeff Bumgarner, Steve Gasser and Toby Nivens, none of whom emerged as a major leaguer.The Mets sent him and Mike Santiago to the Minnesota Twins for Jeff Bumgarner, Steve Gasser and Toby Nivens, none of whom emerged as a major leaguer." That year we also traded for Tommy Herr from the Cardinals, Herr announced that he didn’t really want to be in Minnesota. Backman was brought in to replace Herr and Backman announced that he was thrilled to be with the Twins and bought a house on Lake Minnetonka. Kent Hrbek said, “Tommy Herr never wanted to play here, so he didn’t fit in with the rest of us." Then he added, “Backman does fit in. You can see the difference just in the fact that Wally wants to have fun. Already, Backman and (Dan) Gladden are pulling pranks on each other.” Backman is a minor league manager with an excellent resume. Al Newman - 231 Twins average, he went on to be a coach with the team. He was acquired in a trade where we gave up pitcher Mike Schade (who?). He was allowed to leave as a free agent after 1991 and eventually ended up coaching the St Cloud Rox. Chuck Knoblauch - if we ignore some statements and actions and personality he might be the next greatest second baseman for the Twins after Rod Carew. Rookie of the year, part of the 1991 World Series team. Wiki says, "During the 1994–96 seasons, Knoblauch batted .312, .333, and .341, respectively, won the AL Gold Glove Award at second base in 1997, and stole over 40 bases in three consecutive seasons." Twins fans became irate when he requested that he be traded. When he returned he was booed, bottles and hot dogs were thrown at him. With the Yankees he developed the yips - he could not throw and that was the beginning of the end. He played 12 years, seven with the Twins where he had a 304 career average. His post baseball career in marred by his physical abuse of his former wife which came as he was about to be named to the Twins HOF. He was also named in the Mitchell report for HGH. Todd Walker - a member of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame was a first round draft pick who never prospered in MN and I blame Tom Kelly who seemed to resent the college degree and accomplishments of Walker. Walker his 285 for the Twins in five seasons and his career did better after he left us. He is now on the New England sports network and I was shocked to hear him when I tuned in on a game when I was working in Maine. He was acquired from the Twins in Theo Epstein's first trade. A quiet, studious and serious player "He really took baseball serious," Matt Lawton said. "Everything he did, he's always talking about hitting. He'd play a video game and he'd compare that video game to anything about hitting. He'd bring up something about hitting fastballs, hitting breaking balls." "Some of his former teammates in Minnesota said Walker's glove wasn't the only reason he was in Kelly's doghouse. Their stormy relationship led to him being traded to Colorado in July 2000. Lawton said Kelly wasn't particularly fond of first-round picks. Walker, who had an outstanding collegiate career at LSU, was the eighth overall pick in 1994. Lawton said it didn't take much for a first-round pick to rub Kelly the wrong way, citing pitcher Todd Ritchie and first baseman David McCarty as examples." https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-xpm-2003-03-30-0303300603-story.html "You'd have to ask him all about that, but it certainly seemed that way," Walker said. "I certainly didn't do anything to warrant the way I was treated by him on and off the field. He had his good moments, and he certainly had his bad moments." Jay Canizaro - I have to admit this is the first of the second basemen I do not remember. In two years he hit 255 and went back to the minors. Luis Rivas - Venezuelan - a free swinger who was supposed to take over the base and become the man of the future pairing with Guzman at SS. But think of the free swinging of Rosario with no power and less contact! Six seasons with 262 average and 307 OBP and 383 slugging. Nick Punto - a Gardy favorite - the opposite of Walker this was a guy who hustled, got dirty, wanted to play, had a smile and attitude that made him a lovable piranha. But would you trade Walker for Punto - no way. He played for us for seven years and hit 248, 323 OBP, 324 Slugging. Luis Castillo - Dominican Republic - had a 299 BA for two years with the Twins. 720 OPS. He was with the Marlins for both their World Series. In 2007 he set a major league record for consecutive games at 2B without an error - 143. In August 2019, Castillo was cited on charges related to a drug trafficking and money laundering operation - he was not convicted. Alexi Casilla - Dominican - His biggest contribution was giving up his number so Jim Thome could have it. In seven years he hit 250 for the Twins with a 639 OPS. Orlando Hudson - Hudson hit .268 with a career-low .710 OPS. Hudson founded the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation, a 501c3 organization that seeks to provide resources and a support system for youth coping with autism. Brian Dozier - our third best second baseman in Twins history (my judgment). A member of the Southern Mississippi college team that played in the 2009 college world series. He started as a SS as so many players do and found a home at second. He was a Twin for seven years - hit 248/325/447 - which would be much better if we took his last five years - his HR totals per year are - 6,18,23, 28,42,34. I was say we got rid of him at the right time. He had peaked for us and although he continues to play his top HR since being traded is 20. Notorious for great half years paired with lousy halves it took patience to get the best from him. He became the first second baseman to hit 40 home runs. Jonathan Schoop - we hardly knew you although your 256/304/473 slash line fits many of our historic 2B men. Good luck in Detroit and say hi to Gardy. Luis Arraez - we hope he is the future. His 334 BA certainly makes us think of another great - Rod Carew. Let's hope flash-in-the-pan is something you never hear. I am very excited by him and his potential.
  3. Who are our managers and who was the best? I have to say that I have a lot of questions about how to judge managers. They are given a roster to work with, they do not sign players or create the roster, they work with the GM and the GM is not judged like the manager. Right now we play in a lousy division which gives us 19 games a year versus the Royals, White Sox and Tigers plus the best team in the division is far below what the other division leaders do. What would our records be if we were in the East? Our Managers began with Cookie Lavagetto, but he was replaced within the 1961 year in Minnesota so I cannot consider him to top this list. Sam Mele 1961 – 1967. He had a world series and lost to Sandy Koufax in game seven. The record during his reign was 522 – 431 .546 Cal Ermer 1967 – 1968 145 – 129 .529 Billy Martin 1969 97 – 65 .599, playoffs and lost in three straight. Self-destructed off the field with players, marshmallow salesmen… Bill Rigney 1970-72 208-184 .531, one playoff and lost in three straight. Frank Quilici 1972 – 1975 280 – 287 .494 Gene Mauch 1976-1980 378-394 .490 Johnny Goryl 34 – 38 .472 Billy Gardner 1981-1985 268-353 .278 Ray Miller 1985-1986 109-130 .456 Tom Kelly 1986 – 2001 1140-1244 .478 2 World Series 16 – 8 playoff record Ron Gardenhire 1068 – 1039 507 playoff record 6 – 21 Paul Molitor 2015 – 2018 305-343 471 TOP FIVE IN WINS 1. Tom Kelly 1140 2. Ron Gardenhire 1039 3. Sam Mele 522 4. Gene Mauch 378 5. Paul Molitor 305 TOP FIVE IN PCT 1. Billy Martin 599 2. Sam Mele 546 3. Cal Ermer 529 4. Bill Rigney 531 5. Ron Gardenhire 507 Best Average finish during their career span – I will eliminate the one year managers (Martin). The average comes from Baseball Reference: 1. Ron Gardenhire 2.7 2. Molitor 2.8 3. Rigney 3.0 4. Mele 3.2 5. Quilici 3.3 6. Mauch 3.6 7. Kelly 3.8 World Series has only Mele and Kelly Most playoffs – Gardenhire (there were none around for Mele - he only had the WS and went to it.) So who was the best? What a challenge. In recent times Tom Kelly has been sainted despite an overall .478 winning percentage. I wish I could say who got the most out of their talent level, but I do not have that data. I know the current Molitor haters would not like it that in the future, Molitor might look quire good in these rankings. Of Course Ray Miller and Billy Gardner are easy to rank the worst. Certainly, for one year I would take Billy Martin, then Sam Mele, and then you can duke it out – was Kelly that good or was Gardenhire the guy that Twins fans got tired or over rated and the stats don’t count? Player reports for Twins History https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11397-best-relief-pitcher-in-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11393-best-starting-pitchers-twins/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11390-%7B%3F%7D/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11392-%7B%3F%7D/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11388-%7B%3F%7D/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11386-the-twins-best-left-fielder-in-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11380-the-best-third-baseman-in-minnesota-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11367-the-best-first-baseman-in-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11377-the-best-ss-in-twins-history/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11371-%7B%3F%7D/ https://twinsdaily.com/blogs/entry/11365-the-best-catcher-in-twins-history/
  4. May 18th and 19th in Twins history feature Rod Carew and Billy Martin terrorizing Detroit pitchers, one of the signature "accomplishments" of the Ron Davis Era, Bruno having a big day (for the wrong team) and a pinch-hit grand slam from a Twin about whom you may have forgotten. Here we go:May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third, and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1982 Twins Begin Record Losing Streak The Twins lose 4-2 in Baltimore, beginning a team-record 14-game losing streak. They won't win again until June 4. They will lose eight games on the road, and six at home in the Dome. Ron Davis and Brad Havens will each pick up three of the losses. The Yankees' Goose Gossage, on the other hand, will pick up two wins and two saves. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with two home runs, seven RBI, and three runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway in 1989 as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. May 19, 2004 Matt LeCroy Hits Game-Winning Pinch-Hit Grand Slam Trailing 2-5 in the top of the ninth in Toronto with Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Henry Blanco on base and one out, the Twins sent Matt LeCroy out to pinch-hit for third baseman Alex Prieto. LeCroy hit the Blue Jays' Terry Adams' 1-0 pitch out of the park, giving the Twins a one-run lead. Joe Nathan put the Jays down in order in the bottom of the ninth, earning his 13th save of the season. LeCroy's is the most recent of twelve pinch-hit grand slams in Twins history. Rich Reese hit three pinch-hit grand slams during his Twins career. The Twins as a team hit two in 1970, one each by Reese and Rick Renick. Keep in touch with the @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter. Click here to view the article
  5. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third, and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1982 Twins Begin Record Losing Streak The Twins lose 4-2 in Baltimore, beginning a team-record 14-game losing streak. They won't win again until June 4. They will lose eight games on the road, and six at home in the Dome. Ron Davis and Brad Havens will each pick up three of the losses. The Yankees' Goose Gossage, on the other hand, will pick up two wins and two saves. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with two home runs, seven RBI, and three runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway in 1989 as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. May 19, 2004 Matt LeCroy Hits Game-Winning Pinch-Hit Grand Slam Trailing 2-5 in the top of the ninth in Toronto with Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Henry Blanco on base and one out, the Twins sent Matt LeCroy out to pinch-hit for third baseman Alex Prieto. LeCroy hit the Blue Jays' Terry Adams' 1-0 pitch out of the park, giving the Twins a one-run lead. Joe Nathan put the Jays down in order in the bottom of the ninth, earning his 13th save of the season. LeCroy's is the most recent of twelve pinch-hit grand slams in Twins history. Rich Reese hit three pinch-hit grand slams during his Twins career. The Twins as a team hit two in 1970, one each by Reese and Rick Renick. Keep in touch with the @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  6. May 16 Happy 62nd Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of 1973 Highland Park High School graduate Jack Morris, born in St. Paul in 1951. Morris was selected in the Fifth Round of the '76 Draft out of Brigham Young. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the 2nd Round, and Lou Whitaker in the 5th Round a year earlier. All three would make their major league debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ Opening Day starter in 1980, beginning a major league-record streak of 14 consecutive Opening Day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in five games. Morris pitched complete game victories in Games One and Four. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5, 1991 Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held in 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991 he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before his season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul native Paul Molitor was MVP of the '93 Series. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 1928 It’s the Birthdate of Billy Martin Twins player, coach, and manager Billy Martin was born in Berkeley, California on this date in 1928. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1, 1961, where he played out his final major league season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the major league team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple-A Denver midway through the 1968 season where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season at the helm. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a lesser extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 major league seasons, including five stints with the Yankees who he led to a World Series Championship in 1977. Martin died in a single-car crash on Christmas, 1989. He was 61 years old. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beaten the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just one run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbable 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. Keep in touch with the @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  7. The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the third round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his major league debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 major league games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the major league record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final major league season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the major eague team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple-A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 major league seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the second round, and Lou Whitaker in the fifth round a year earlier. All three would make their major league debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a major league record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in five games. Morris pitched complete game victories in Games 1 and 4. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, was be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbable 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit three home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He finished his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  8. May 15th Happy Birthday, Justin Morneau It’s the birthday of 2006 American League MVP, Justin Morneau, born on this day in 1981 in New Westminster, British Columbia.The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the third round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his major league debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 major league games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the major league record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final major league season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the major eague team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple-A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 major league seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the second round, and Lou Whitaker in the fifth round a year earlier. All three would make their major league debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a major league record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in five games. Morris pitched complete game victories in Games 1 and 4. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, was be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbable 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit three home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He finished his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the first inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummeled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just one run on two hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter. Click here to view the article
  9. May 15th Happy Birthday, Justin Morneau It’s the birthday of 2006 American League MVP, Justin Morneau, born on this day in 1981 in New Westminster, British Columbia. The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the 3rd round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the Majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his Major League debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 Major League games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the Majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the Major League record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final Major League season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the Major League team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 Major League seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the 2nd round, and Lou Whitaker in the 5th round a year earlier. All three would make their Major League debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a Major League record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in 5 games. Morris pitched complete game victories in games one and four. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, would be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbably 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit 3 home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He would finish his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the 1st inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummelled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just 1 run on 2 hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  10. On the field, the Twins, a team known for its power, displayed a renewed interest in running wild on the bases. In the second game in which Martin managed, he had Rod Carew steal home. Carew would do so another six times that season, which at the time apparently tied a major league record. The Twins four triple steals that year did tie the major league record. In one game on May 18th, both Carew and Cesar Tovar stole home in the same at-bat. More astounding? Killebrew was the batter. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks.You can find more here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Martin’s well-known aggression off the field boiled over in early August, when it was revealed that he had become involved in a bar fight in Detroit–against his own player. And not just any player, but Dave Boswell, who would go on to win 20 games that season. Both Boswell and Martin required stitches from the incident. But there is no question that the team responded to Martin. They finished with 97 wins, capturing the newly formed West Division by nine games. The postseason was not as kind. In the first American League Championship series, the Orioles swept the Twins, who lost two extra-inning affairs in Baltimore. When they came back to the Met, Martin started journeyman Bob Miller over Jim Kaat. The Twins lost that game 11-2, and Martin was fired at the end of one exhilarating season amid media and fan outrage. Replacing Martin was Bill Rigney, a former player and manager for the Minneapolis Millers. He could rely on several outstanding performances in his first year as manager. Oliva (.325 batting average) and Killebrew (41 home runs) finished 2nd and 3rd in 1970’s AL MVP voting and Jim Perry won the Twins first AL Cy Young award with a 24-12 record, throwing 278.2 innings with a 3.04 ERA. Together, they would lead the Twins to another division in 1970, despite several significant injuries. Most detrimental were the torn ligaments in Rod Carew’s knee, limiting him to just 51 games. A different injury led to the debut of a future Hall of Fame inductee. Bert Blyleven, only nineteen years old, was called up to replace the injured Luis Tiant in the rotation. Blyleven would win that first game (despite giving up a home run to the first batter he faced) and nine more that year while throwing 164.1 innings. It was the last time he would not throw 200 innings for the rest of the decade, and he exceeded 270 innings each year he was with the Twins until he was traded in 1976. He would retire 22 years later with 287 wins, a career ERA of 3.31, and the third most strikeouts in baseball history. The Twins won the division comfortably by nine games, but again couldn’t take the pennant, which they lost in three games to the Orioles for the second year in a row. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but the team would not make another postseason appearance for 17 years. Next up: Gene Mauch, Rod Carew and the Lumber Company
  11. After a disappointing 1968 season that included a hamstring injury to Harmon Killebrew in the All-Star Game and a seventh-place finish, changes were made for 1969. Billy Martin, who had managed the AAA team in Denver the year before, was installed as manager. Martin’s aggressive style would make headlines on and off the field.On the field, the Twins, a team known for its power, displayed a renewed interest in running wild on the bases. In the second game in which Martin managed, he had Rod Carew steal home. Carew would do so another six times that season, which at the time apparently tied a major league record. The Twins four triple steals that year did tie the major league record. In one game on May 18th, both Carew and Cesar Tovar stole home in the same at-bat. More astounding? Killebrew was the batter. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks.You can find more here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Martin’s well-known aggression off the field boiled over in early August, when it was revealed that he had become involved in a bar fight in Detroit–against his own player. And not just any player, but Dave Boswell, who would go on to win 20 games that season. Both Boswell and Martin required stitches from the incident. But there is no question that the team responded to Martin. They finished with 97 wins, capturing the newly formed West Division by nine games. The postseason was not as kind. In the first American League Championship series, the Orioles swept the Twins, who lost two extra-inning affairs in Baltimore. When they came back to the Met, Martin started journeyman Bob Miller over Jim Kaat. The Twins lost that game 11-2, and Martin was fired at the end of one exhilarating season amid media and fan outrage. Replacing Martin was Bill Rigney, a former player and manager for the Minneapolis Millers. He could rely on several outstanding performances in his first year as manager. Oliva (.325 batting average) and Killebrew (41 home runs) finished 2nd and 3rd in 1970’s AL MVP voting and Jim Perry won the Twins first AL Cy Young award with a 24-12 record, throwing 278.2 innings with a 3.04 ERA. Together, they would lead the Twins to another division in 1970, despite several significant injuries. Most detrimental were the torn ligaments in Rod Carew’s knee, limiting him to just 51 games. A different injury led to the debut of a future Hall of Fame inductee. Bert Blyleven, only nineteen years old, was called up to replace the injured Luis Tiant in the rotation. Blyleven would win that first game (despite giving up a home run to the first batter he faced) and nine more that year while throwing 164.1 innings. It was the last time he would not throw 200 innings for the rest of the decade, and he exceeded 270 innings each year he was with the Twins until he was traded in 1976. He would retire 22 years later with 287 wins, a career ERA of 3.31, and the third most strikeouts in baseball history. The Twins won the division comfortably by nine games, but again couldn’t take the pennant, which they lost in three games to the Orioles for the second year in a row. It wasn’t obvious at the time, but the team would not make another postseason appearance for 17 years. Next up: Gene Mauch, Rod Carew and the Lumber Company Click here to view the article
  12. Most pieces for a contender were in place in 1964, but the Twins made a key addition to the coaching staff prior to the 1965 season. Manager Sam Mele and pitching coach John Sain were joined on the coaching staff by Billy Martin, who is credited with helping shortstop Zoilo Versalles win the American League MVP. But the pennant the team won was certainly a group effort; so many players were injured that the success required contributions from all available hands. The best remembered hit was provided by Killebrew, who hit a two-out, two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees the day before the All-Star break. The Twins would not relinquish first place for the rest of the year. For 26 years that hit would be the considered the most dramatic home run in the organization’s history.The World Series pitted the Twins against the favored Dodgers. The Twins won the first two games handily in Minnesota, but scored just two runs in three games as they were swept in Los Angeles. Mudcat Grant, who led the club with 21 wins, pitched a one-run complete game to tie up the series, three games apiece. But the Dodgers prevailed in Game Seven when Sandy Koufax outdueled Kaat, throwing a shutout on two-day’s rest. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks. You can find more here: Part 1 Part 2 The next couple of years would feature lots of success, but no return to the World Series. The next year, 1966, was a year of silver medals. Jim Kaat won 25 games–but lost to Koufax in the Cy Young voting, since there was only one award given between the two leagues. Meanwhile, Killebrew finished second in the American League in home runs and runs batted in, behind Frank Robinson who won the Triple Crown. The Twins also finished second in the American Leauge, though they were never closer than nine games back after mid-June. Finishing second was a lot tougher to swallow in 1967. As of September 6, four teams–the Twins, White Sox , Red Sox and Tigers–were in a virtual tie for the division lead. For the last month, those teams would battle in a ten-team league for a single postseason spot. As the final weekend approached, the Twins held a one-game lead over Boston and Detroit with two games to play against Boston. But in the third inning, while holding a one-run lead, Kaat tore a tendon in his pitching elbow, and the Red Sox rallied to win 6-4, helped by a 3-run home run from Carl Yastrzemski. The next day the Sox won the final game of the season 5-3, featuring more highlights from “Yaz.” The Twins finished second best again. After a disappointing 1968 that included a hamstring injury to Killebrew in the All-Star game and a seventh-place finish, changes were made for 1969. Billy Martin, who had managed the AAA team in Denver the year before, was instilled as manager. Martin’s aggressive style would make headlines on - and off - the field. Click here to view the article
  13. The World Series pitted the Twins against the favored Dodgers. The Twins won the first two games handily in Minnesota, but scored just two runs in three games as they were swept in Los Angeles. Mudcat Grant, who led the club with 21 wins, pitched a one-run complete game to tie up the series, three games apiece. But the Dodgers prevailed in Game Seven when Sandy Koufax outdueled Kaat, throwing a shutout on two-day’s rest. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks. You can find more here: Part 1 Part 2 The next couple of years would feature lots of success, but no return to the World Series. The next year, 1966, was a year of silver medals. Jim Kaat won 25 games–but lost to Koufax in the Cy Young voting, since there was only one award given between the two leagues. Meanwhile, Killebrew finished second in the American League in home runs and runs batted in, behind Frank Robinson who won the Triple Crown. The Twins also finished second in the American Leauge, though they were never closer than nine games back after mid-June. Finishing second was a lot tougher to swallow in 1967. As of September 6, four teams–the Twins, White Sox , Red Sox and Tigers–were in a virtual tie for the division lead. For the last month, those teams would battle in a ten-team league for a single postseason spot. As the final weekend approached, the Twins held a one-game lead over Boston and Detroit with two games to play against Boston. But in the third inning, while holding a one-run lead, Kaat tore a tendon in his pitching elbow, and the Red Sox rallied to win 6-4, helped by a 3-run home run from Carl Yastrzemski. The next day the Sox won the final game of the season 5-3, featuring more highlights from “Yaz.” The Twins finished second best again. After a disappointing 1968 that included a hamstring injury to Killebrew in the All-Star game and a seventh-place finish, changes were made for 1969. Billy Martin, who had managed the AAA team in Denver the year before, was instilled as manager. Martin’s aggressive style would make headlines on - and off - the field.
  14. The team that came to Minnesota included future stars like Earl Battey, Bob Allison, Camilo Pascual and Jim Kaat. But they were joined by an absolute killer. Harmon “Killer” Killebrew was hardly a giant, just 5’ 11” with a stocky build. That physique didn’t hide his power potential. He was valuable enough to be signed for a bonus above $4,000, qualifying Killebrew as a “bonus baby”. As a way of discouraging high bonuses, this classification required the young slugger to spend two years in the majors before being sent to the minors to begin his minor league training. His two-year stint riding the major league bench delayed Killebrew from playing full time in the majors until 1959, when he was 22 years old.When Killebrew returned to the majors, he burst on the scene with a league-leading 42 home runs. He would do so another five times before his career was over, and finish in the top five an astounding 12 times. He won the American League MVP in 1969 and received votes for the first 11 years of the Twins existence, with the exception of 1968, when he was hurt. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks. You can find more here: Part 1 Killebrew had a quiet demeanor. He was known as a listener, not a screamer, someone who wasn’t comfortable setting himself apart from the other guys. But his performance couldn’t help but do so, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. With Killebrew leading an already talented club, it wouldn’t be long before the Twins escaped the American League’s second division. The team won 91 games in both 1962 and 1963, climbing to second in 1962 and then finishing third in 1963. When the club slipped back to 79-83 in 1964, despite Tony Oliva’s Rookie of the Year award, the players, fans and team management were all dissatisfied. That disappointment may have provided the fuel the team needed to finally reach the World Series. It didn't hurt that they made a key addition to their coaching staff. Joining manager Sam Mele and pitching coach John Sain was by Billy Martin, the fiery former second baseman of the New York Yankees, who had finished atop the Twins division since they had arrived in Minnesota in 1961. Martin would contribute to his former team's downfall, but the death blow to "The Damn Yankees" would be delivered by Killer. Next: Part III, A Quick Rise, A Quick Fall Click here to view the article
  15. When Killebrew returned to the majors, he burst on the scene with a league-leading 42 home runs. He would do so another five times before his career was over, and finish in the top five an astounding 12 times. He won the American League MVP in 1969 and received votes for the first 11 years of the Twins existence, with the exception of 1968, when he was hurt. Part 2 of a 12-part series that breaks Twins history into fun-sized chunks. You can find more here: Part 1 Killebrew had a quiet demeanor. He was known as a listener, not a screamer, someone who wasn’t comfortable setting himself apart from the other guys. But his performance couldn’t help but do so, and he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984. With Killebrew leading an already talented club, it wouldn’t be long before the Twins escaped the American League’s second division. The team won 91 games in both 1962 and 1963, climbing to second in 1962 and then finishing third in 1963. When the club slipped back to 79-83 in 1964, despite Tony Oliva’s Rookie of the Year award, the players, fans and team management were all dissatisfied. That disappointment may have provided the fuel the team needed to finally reach the World Series. It didn't hurt that they made a key addition to their coaching staff. Joining manager Sam Mele and pitching coach John Sain was by Billy Martin, the fiery former second baseman of the New York Yankees, who had finished atop the Twins division since they had arrived in Minnesota in 1961. Martin would contribute to his former team's downfall, but the death blow to "The Damn Yankees" would be delivered by Killer. Next: Part III, A Quick Rise, A Quick Fall
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