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  1. After reviewing some of the top players to wear a Minnesota Twins uniform in the 1960s and 1970s in past weeks, this week we will be jumping to the 1980s. Today we start with the top hitters of the 1980s, many of who helped the Twins to their first World Series championship.The 1960s presented Minnesota baseball fans with a new team, the Twins, and those teams provided some really good baseball for most of the decade. There were so many great players. The 1970s presented Minnesota Twins fans with a lot of mediocrity. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven put up Hall of Fame caliber numbers, but other than that, there were some strong single seasons, and a few players had two or three quality seasons. The 1980s Twins teams began really bad. Really bad. However, a young core of players were developing into a team that brought the first World Series title to Minnesota... and then a second four years later. There were several Twins Hall of Famers, and one MLB Hall of Famer in that group. The Twins of the second half of the decade could certainly hit. Below you'll find my choices for a Twins All-Decade lineup. A couple of the choices were difficult and will likely cause some discussion. Some were quite easy. Enjoy! C - Tim Laudner (1981-1989) 734 games, .225/.292/.391 (.682) with 97 doubles, 77 homers, 263 RBI. Laudner went to high school at Park Center, in Brooklyn Park (MN), and went to the University of Missouri. In 1979, the Twins made him their third-round pick. In 1981 he hit 42 homers at Double-A Orlando before the Twins called him up late in the year and he added two more. While he never hit, he was the team’s regular catcher for most of the decade. In the 1987 postseason, he was referred to as “Buck-Ninety” because he hit just .191 on the season. He hit .318 with a double and a homer in the World Series. He then was named an All-Star in 1988. 1B - Kent Hrbek (1981-1989) 1,156 games, .290/.368/.496 (.864) with 224 doubles, 201 homers, 724 RBI. The Twins made Hrbek their 17th-round pick in 1978 out of Bloomington (MN) Kennedy High School. He made his debut in August 1981. In 1982, he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting (to some Ripken guy who played in Baltimore). As a 22-year-old, he also played in his first (and only, by choice) All-Star Game. In 1984, he hit .311/.383/.522 (.906) with 27 homers and finished second in MVP voting. He hit over 20 homers in seven seasons in the ‘80s. In 1987, he hit a career-high 34 home runs. He added a home run in both the ALCS and the World Series in 1987. 2B - John Castino (1980-1984) 518 games, .277/.329/.398 (.727) with 73 doubles, 36 homers, 197 RBI. Castino’s career was cut short by major back issues. He debuted and was the co-Rookie of the Year in 1979. However, he played most days for the first four seasons of the 1980s. His best season was 1980 when he hit .302 with 17 doubles, seven triples and 13 home runs. He had another strong season in 1983, hitting .277 with 30 doubles and 11 homers. However, after just eight games in 1984, his career was done. 3B - Gary Gaetti (1981-1989) 1,207 games, .259/.311/.445 (.757) with 225 doubles, 185 homers, 673 RBI. Does anyone else feel that Gary Gaetti is a little underrated in Twins history? He is overshadowed, to some degree, by Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett. Gaetti debuted late in the 1981 season and became the team’s regular third baseman the following year. He was an All-Star in both 1988 and 1989, and was better in 1986 (34 homers, 108 RBI) and 1987 (31 homers, 109 RBI). He hit 19 or more homers in seven of the eight seasons in the 1980s. In addition to hit offensive prowess, Gaetti won four straight Gold Glove Awards between 1986 and 1989. SS - Greg Gagne (1983-1989) 717 games, .250/.294/.396 (.689) with 115 doubles, 47 homers, 216 RBI. Early in the 1982 season, the Twins traded their shortstop Roy Smalley to the New York Yankees. One of the players who came to the Twins in the deal was their shortstop for most of the rest of the decade, Greg Gagne. Gagne played 12 total games for the Twins between 1983 and 1984, but in 1985 he became the team’s regular shortstop. With Gagne, there wasn’t a lot of offense. However, in 1987, he hit .265/.310/.430 (.740) with 28 doubles, seven triples and ten homers. While not a great base stealer, Gagne had great speed. He also was a very good defensive shortstop. LF - Gary Ward (1980-1983) 407 games, .284/.332/.463 (.795) with 80 doubles, 51 homers, 218 RBI. Ward originally signed with the Twins in August of 1972. It was a slow process up the ladder. He spent 1975 and 1976 in Double-A. He spent 1977-1980 in Triple-A. He played a combined 23 big league games between 1979 and 1980. In 1981, he became an everyday player and remained with the team until a trade to Texas following the 1983 season. In 1982, he hit .289 with 33 doubles, seven triples and had career-highs with 28 homers and 91 RBI. In 1983, he played in his first All-Star Game and hit a career-high 34 doubles. He continued to play through the 1990 season. CF - Kirby Puckett (1984-1989) 924 games, .323/.357/.469 (.826) with 197 doubles, 96 homers, 506 RBI. Puckett was the third overall pick in the January phase of the draft. Two years later, he was in the big leagues. He came up as a speedy centerfielder and grew into one of the game’s most feared overall hitters and a first-ballot Hall of Famer after his 12- year career. In the 1980s, he had 199 or more hits in every season but his rookie year (when he had 165 hits in 128 games). In 1986, his power emerged with a career-high 31 homers. He was an All-Star each season starting in 1986. He won four Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers in the decade (and more in the 1990s). In the ‘80s, he led the league in hits three times and in batting average in 1989 at .339. He had hit .356 in 1988 and finished runner up. He finished in the Top 6 in MVP voting four straight years from 1986 through 1989. RF - Tom Brunansky (1982-1988) 916 games, .250/.330/.452 (.782) with 154 doubles, 163 homers, 469 RBI. “Bruno” had been the 14th overall pick in the 1978 draft by the California Angels. In May 1982, he came to the Twins in a trade involving Doug Corbett and Rob Wilfong. He immediately became the Twins primary right fielder and a leading source of power for the team. He was really quite consistent. He hit between .240 and .260 most years. He hit 21-30 doubles each year. He hit between 20 and 32 homers each year (32 in both 1984 and 1987). He represented the Twins in the 1985 All-Star Game at the Metrodome. Traded to the Cardinals after just 14 games in 1988. DH - Roy Smalley (1980-1982, 1985-1987) 575 games, .263/.354/.416 (.770) with 88 doubles, 59 homers, 221 RBI. Smalley began the 1980s as the Twins shortstop, coming off of his 1979 All-Star season. Between 1980 and 1981, he hit .274/.364/.415 (.779). As mentioned above, he was traded to the Yankees just four games into the 1982 season. He returned to the Twins before the 1985 season and was the team’s primary DH all three seasons, averaging 127 games played. Over those three seasons, he hit a combined .258/.350/.419 (.768) and willingly took on a lesser role late in the 1987 season as the Twins made their way toward their first World Series title. Let the discussion begin... Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with TBD) Click here to view the article
  2. The 1960s presented Minnesota baseball fans with a new team, the Twins, and those teams provided some really good baseball for most of the decade. There were so many great players. The 1970s presented Minnesota Twins fans with a lot of mediocrity. Rod Carew and Bert Blyleven put up Hall of Fame caliber numbers, but other than that, there were some strong single seasons, and a few players had two or three quality seasons. The 1980s Twins teams began really bad. Really bad. However, a young core of players were developing into a team that brought the first World Series title to Minnesota... and then a second four years later. There were several Twins Hall of Famers, and one MLB Hall of Famer in that group. The Twins of the second half of the decade could certainly hit. Below you'll find my choices for a Twins All-Decade lineup. A couple of the choices were difficult and will likely cause some discussion. Some were quite easy. Enjoy! C - Tim Laudner (1981-1989) 734 games, .225/.292/.391 (.682) with 97 doubles, 77 homers, 263 RBI. Laudner went to high school at Park Center, in Brooklyn Park (MN), and went to the University of Missouri. In 1979, the Twins made him their third-round pick. In 1981 he hit 42 homers at Double-A Orlando before the Twins called him up late in the year and he added two more. While he never hit, he was the team’s regular catcher for most of the decade. In the 1987 postseason, he was referred to as “Buck-Ninety” because he hit just .191 on the season. He hit .318 with a double and a homer in the World Series. He then was named an All-Star in 1988. 1B - Kent Hrbek (1981-1989) 1,156 games, .290/.368/.496 (.864) with 224 doubles, 201 homers, 724 RBI. The Twins made Hrbek their 17th-round pick in 1978 out of Bloomington (MN) Kennedy High School. He made his debut in August 1981. In 1982, he finished second in Rookie of the Year voting (to some Ripken guy who played in Baltimore). As a 22-year-old, he also played in his first (and only, by choice) All-Star Game. In 1984, he hit .311/.383/.522 (.906) with 27 homers and finished second in MVP voting. He hit over 20 homers in seven seasons in the ‘80s. In 1987, he hit a career-high 34 home runs. He added a home run in both the ALCS and the World Series in 1987. 2B - John Castino (1980-1984) 518 games, .277/.329/.398 (.727) with 73 doubles, 36 homers, 197 RBI. Castino’s career was cut short by major back issues. He debuted and was the co-Rookie of the Year in 1979. However, he played most days for the first four seasons of the 1980s. His best season was 1980 when he hit .302 with 17 doubles, seven triples and 13 home runs. He had another strong season in 1983, hitting .277 with 30 doubles and 11 homers. However, after just eight games in 1984, his career was done. 3B - Gary Gaetti (1981-1989) 1,207 games, .259/.311/.445 (.757) with 225 doubles, 185 homers, 673 RBI. Does anyone else feel that Gary Gaetti is a little underrated in Twins history? He is overshadowed, to some degree, by Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett. Gaetti debuted late in the 1981 season and became the team’s regular third baseman the following year. He was an All-Star in both 1988 and 1989, and was better in 1986 (34 homers, 108 RBI) and 1987 (31 homers, 109 RBI). He hit 19 or more homers in seven of the eight seasons in the 1980s. In addition to hit offensive prowess, Gaetti won four straight Gold Glove Awards between 1986 and 1989. SS - Greg Gagne (1983-1989) 717 games, .250/.294/.396 (.689) with 115 doubles, 47 homers, 216 RBI. Early in the 1982 season, the Twins traded their shortstop Roy Smalley to the New York Yankees. One of the players who came to the Twins in the deal was their shortstop for most of the rest of the decade, Greg Gagne. Gagne played 12 total games for the Twins between 1983 and 1984, but in 1985 he became the team’s regular shortstop. With Gagne, there wasn’t a lot of offense. However, in 1987, he hit .265/.310/.430 (.740) with 28 doubles, seven triples and ten homers. While not a great base stealer, Gagne had great speed. He also was a very good defensive shortstop. LF - Gary Ward (1980-1983) 407 games, .284/.332/.463 (.795) with 80 doubles, 51 homers, 218 RBI. Ward originally signed with the Twins in August of 1972. It was a slow process up the ladder. He spent 1975 and 1976 in Double-A. He spent 1977-1980 in Triple-A. He played a combined 23 big league games between 1979 and 1980. In 1981, he became an everyday player and remained with the team until a trade to Texas following the 1983 season. In 1982, he hit .289 with 33 doubles, seven triples and had career-highs with 28 homers and 91 RBI. In 1983, he played in his first All-Star Game and hit a career-high 34 doubles. He continued to play through the 1990 season. CF - Kirby Puckett (1984-1989) 924 games, .323/.357/.469 (.826) with 197 doubles, 96 homers, 506 RBI. Puckett was the third overall pick in the January phase of the draft. Two years later, he was in the big leagues. He came up as a speedy centerfielder and grew into one of the game’s most feared overall hitters and a first-ballot Hall of Famer after his 12- year career. In the 1980s, he had 199 or more hits in every season but his rookie year (when he had 165 hits in 128 games). In 1986, his power emerged with a career-high 31 homers. He was an All-Star each season starting in 1986. He won four Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers in the decade (and more in the 1990s). In the ‘80s, he led the league in hits three times and in batting average in 1989 at .339. He had hit .356 in 1988 and finished runner up. He finished in the Top 6 in MVP voting four straight years from 1986 through 1989. RF - Tom Brunansky (1982-1988) 916 games, .250/.330/.452 (.782) with 154 doubles, 163 homers, 469 RBI. “Bruno” had been the 14th overall pick in the 1978 draft by the California Angels. In May 1982, he came to the Twins in a trade involving Doug Corbett and Rob Wilfong. He immediately became the Twins primary right fielder and a leading source of power for the team. He was really quite consistent. He hit between .240 and .260 most years. He hit 21-30 doubles each year. He hit between 20 and 32 homers each year (32 in both 1984 and 1987). He represented the Twins in the 1985 All-Star Game at the Metrodome. Traded to the Cardinals after just 14 games in 1988. DH - Roy Smalley (1980-1982, 1985-1987) 575 games, .263/.354/.416 (.770) with 88 doubles, 59 homers, 221 RBI. Smalley began the 1980s as the Twins shortstop, coming off of his 1979 All-Star season. Between 1980 and 1981, he hit .274/.364/.415 (.779). As mentioned above, he was traded to the Yankees just four games into the 1982 season. He returned to the Twins before the 1985 season and was the team’s primary DH all three seasons, averaging 127 games played. Over those three seasons, he hit a combined .258/.350/.419 (.768) and willingly took on a lesser role late in the 1987 season as the Twins made their way toward their first World Series title. Let the discussion begin... Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '60s (The Pitchers) Episode 15: Get t o Know the 1960s Twins (with Dave Mona) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team, the '70s (The Pitchers) Episode 16: Get to Know the 1970s Twins (with Patrick Reusse) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '80s (The Pitchers) Episode 17: Get to know the 1980s Twins (with TBD)
  3. I have been a Twins fan since I was six years old, when they moved to the Twin Cities from Washington. After nearly sixty years, I doubt that that will ever be a fan of another baseball team or lose interest in "my team". In the course of the 59 years that the Twins have been the Twins, I have always had a favorite player or two every year. Sometimes that guy is a star, often he's not the star of the team. My favorites have included some obscure guys like Gary Wayne, Geoff Zahn, and Ron Washington, some good players like Gary Ward, Gary Gaetti, Brian Dozier and Michael Cuddyer and some All-Stars. I've always checked the box scores when I missed a game, to see how my favorite did. I've always advocated for my favorite player and enjoyed breakouts from such players as Greg Gagne and Brian Dozier. All of this is a preface for my current favorite player--Marwin Gonzalez. I like the way Gonzalez goes about his business, the way that he has fit in the clubhouse and how he is willing to play anywhere without complaint or preference for one position or another. Gonzalez looks like he will be affected by the signing of Josh Donaldson. He figured to have regular duty at one of the corners of the infield and now there will be a regular at both corners and probably in all the outfield positions. I hope Marwin gets consistent playing time when all are healthy and know that he will do well if there is an injury or ineffectiveness at one of the infield corners or in the outfield. I'd like to see my current favorite get his customary 500 plate appearances. I think with that number of at-bats he will perform quite well.
  4. This week's Almanac features notes on former Twins Dan Gladden, Kirby Puckett, Bob Allison, Ron Coomer, Drew Butera, Dean Chance, Roy Smalley, Greg Gagne, Shane Mack, Bob Casey, Pedro Ramos, Jim Kaat, Shannon Stewart, and Jim Perry, and Minnesotan major leaguers Dave Winfield, Julie Wera, and Walt Moryn. April 8, 1988 Gladden Has Hot Home Opener Dan Gladden goes 4-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored including a steal of home for a 6-3 win over Toronto in the home opener. Gladden homered to lead off the Twins’ half of the first, and knocked out another in the eighth. With Kent Hrbek batting in the seventh, Gladden stole home off David Wells. It was the first of three times that Gladden would steal home in his career. He would do so again later in the 1988 season, and once more in 1989. He was caught trying to steal home five times in his career. Rod Carew stole home 17 times in his career. Paul Molitor stole home 10 times. Gladden had also gone 4-for-5 in the Twins’ previous game in New York. April 8, 1994 Puckett Collects 2,000th Hit After striking out in his first at-bat, Twins right fielder Kirby Puckett collects five-straight hits, including his 2,000th hit with an opposite-field single driving in Pat Meares in the bottom of the third. Trailing 8-4 in the bottom of the eighth and Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley on the mound, Chuck Knoblauch hit a two-run double, and Puckett a two-run single in consecutive at-bats to tie the game, giving Eckersley his first blown save of the season. After Oakland took a 10-8 lead in the top of the tenth, Puckett drove in Knoblauch with a double, but the Athletics held on for a 10-9 win. Altogether Puckett went 5-for-6 with a double, 4 RBI, and a run scored in the game. 1980 New Ulm graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Terry Steinbach homered in the game for Oakland. Puckett retired with 2,304 hits, the most in Twins history. Joe Mauer will likely pass Rod Carew (2,085) for second in team history by the end of this season. April 9, 1995 Allison Passes Away Twins all-time great Bob Allison passes away from the effects of ataxia, a rare, incurable disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. He was just 60 years old. Read Gregory H. Wolf‘s SABR BioProject biography of Allison, which first appeared in the 2015 book A Pennant for the Twin Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins. April 9, 2000 Twins & Royals Go Back-to-Back-to-Back Already up 6-0 entering the top of the sixth in Kansas City, Corey Koskie leads off the inning with a single. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones, and Matt LeCroy then proceed to hit three consecutive home runs on four total pitches. Coomer homered again in the seventh, again with Koskie on base. Eric Milton retired the first 20 batters in order and had a two-hit shutout going into the eighth. After retiring the first two batters, including former Twin David McCarty, Milton allowed two hits before being relieved by Eddie Guardado. Guardado gave up an RBI single and then back-to-back home runs to Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye before being relieved by Hector Carrasco who surrendered the Royals’ third consecutive home run to Mike Sweeney. It was the first game in major league history in which both teams hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Twins are one of seven teams to have hit four consecutive home runs, with Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, and Harmon Killebrew doing so to start the top of the 11th in Kansas City on May 2, 1964. The Twins set an American League record by hitting five home runs in a single inning on June 9, 1966, also against Kansas City, but this time at home in Bloomington, with Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva, Don Mincher, and Harmon Killebrew homering off three different Athletics pitchers. Four National League teams have hit five home runs in an inning between 1939 and 2006, all four against the Cincinnati Reds. April 9, 2010 Drew Butera Makes MLB Debut Catcher Drew Butera makes his major league debut in Chicago, making him and his dad Sal the first father-son duo in Twins history. Drew went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a sac bunt in a 4-3, 11-inning Twins win. April 10, 1968 Chance Pitches Opening Day Shutout Dean Chance pitches a four-hit shutout, and Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison hit solo homers off Senators pitcher Camilo Pascual for a 2-0 Opening Day win in Washington. April 10, 1971 Powell Homers for First MLB Hit In his first major league start, 1969 first-round draft pick Paul Powell hits an eighth-inning homer for his first hit, giving the Twins an insurance run in a 5-3 win in Chicago. It would be his only major league homer. Powell had gotten into two prior games as a pinch-runner, scoring both times. The Twins' Andre David hit a two-run home run on his first major league pitch against Jack Morris on June 29, 1984. Like Powell, his first major league hit was also his only home run. April 10, 1982 Twins Deal Smalley, Acquire Gagne The Twins trade Roy Smalley and 1975 Alexandria High School graduate Gary Serum to the Yankees for Ron Davis, Paul Boris, and Greg Gagne. Davis, who had been an All-Star in 1981, was one of the game’s first setup men, combining for a potent 1-2 punch with Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. Davis still holds the Yankees record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with eight on May 4, 1981. Doug Fister established a new American League record with nine consecutive K’s on September 27, 2012. The major league record belongs to Tom Seaver with 10 straight on April 22, 1970. Davis was never in All-Star form in Minnesota, however. He tied a single-season record with 14 blown saves in 1984, a dubious feat not matched since. Four pitchers had blown 14 saves in a season prior to Davis, including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers in 1976, and Bruce Sutter in 1978. Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, incidentally, holds the record with six seasons with 10+ blown saves, followed by Rollie Fingers and Jeff Reardon with four each. Davis’s incompetence as Twins closer is often overstated, but there’s no denying that his struggles took a mental toll on the team. When he was traded to the Cubs in August 1986, a party broke out on the team’s charter flight from Anaheim to Seattle, led by Kirby Puckett. Kent Hrbek said it was like the team had been exorcised of a demon. Hrbie conceded in retrospect that the team didn’t handle the situation too well. He personally really liked Davis. Harmon Killebrew, who was on the flight as a TV analyst, said it was one of the strangest scenes he’d ever seen. Though Davis was the object of the Twins’ desire at the time, Greg Gagne would obviously emerge as the key figure in this transaction. He didn’t make his major league debut until 1983, and even then only played 12 games between the ‘83 and ‘84 seasons before becoming a fixture at shortstop from 1985 to 1992. He was a key component of the Twins’ 1987 and 1991 World Series Championships. The Twins had originally acquired Roy Smalley in the 1976 trade that sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Rangers. In July 1984 the Yankees offloaded Smalley to the White Sox in exchange for players to be named later, one of whom wound up being Doug Drabek, who, after just one season, the Yankees in turn shipped off to Pittsburgh where he would win the 1990 Cy Young Award. The White Sox traded Smalley back to Minnesota in 1985. He retired after the 1987 season. Gary Serum was born in Fargo, and grew up in Alexandria, MN. He played two and a half major league seasons with the Twins from 1977 to ‘79. Despite posting a 9-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in the Yankees organization, 1982 was Serum’s final professional season. April 10, 1992 Mack Leadoff Homer in Home Opener In the Twins' first at-bat at the Metrodome since Gene Larkin's walk-off in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Shane Mack hits a leadoff home run. Altogether he went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in the 7-1 win over the Rangers (now featuring Al Newman). Mack posted a career-high 6.5 WAR in 1992, second on the team that season to Puckett’s career-high 7.1. Mack’s 3.6 WAR in 1991 was second-best to Kevin Tapani‘s 6.8. April 11, 1925 Birthdate of Bob Casey The inimitable Bob Casey was born in Minneapolis on this date in 1925. Casey was the only public address announcer in Twins history until his death in 2005. He also worked for the Minneapolis Millers, Lakers, and the Vikings. The decorated World War II veteran is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. April 11, 1961 First Regular Season Game in Twins History In the first regular season game in Twins history, Pedro Ramos pitches a three-hit shutout versus Whitey Ford and the eventual 1961 World Series champions at Yankee Stadium. Ramos held Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris to a combined 1-for-11, with Berra singling in the first. Maris, of course, would go on to establish a new single-season home run record with 61 that year. Moose Skowron and the pitcher Ford had the Yankees’ other two hits. Ramos did not allow a baserunner after the fifth inning. Ramos and Ford were locked in a scoreless duel until Bob Allison led off the seventh with the first home run in Twins history. Ramos himself drove in Earl Battey and Reno Bertoia with a single to center later that inning, knocking Ford out of the game. Bertoia homered in the eight, driving in Battey. Killebrew added a sac fly in the ninth, driving in Zoilo Versalles to give the Twins a 6-0 Opening Day win. They went 5-1 on the road before coming to Bloomington to play their first home game in front of a crowd already deep in the throes of pennant fever. They lost the home opener 5-3 to the new expansion Senators, and finished their inaugural season 70-90, seventh in the American League. 5-1 record before playing their first home game in front of a crowd already deep in the throes of pennant fever. They would lose their first game in Bloomington, however, 3-5 to the new Senators, and finish their inaugural season 70-90, 7th place in the America League. April 11, 1971 Kaat Pitches 11-Hit Shutout Jim Kaat pitches a shutout in Chicago despite giving up 11 hits and a walk. At the plate he went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. The Twins turned two double plays in the 6-0 win. The team record for hits in a shutout is 13 by Mudcat Grant on July 15, 1964. There have been two other 11-hit shutouts in Twins history: Rick Lysander on August 1, 1983, and Carlos Silva on August 3, 2004. April 11, 1975 Terrell Sets Double Play Record The Twins pull out a 12-3 win at the Kingdome in their first-ever game against the Mariners, despite 1964 Waterville graduate Jerry Terrell hitting into a team record three double plays. Jose Morales tied Terrell’s record on May 17, 1980. April 12, 1926 Birthdate of Walt Moryn It’s the birthdate of 1944 Harding High School graduate Walt Moryn, born in St. Paul in 1926. Moryn played 785 major league games over eight seasons with the Dodgers (1954–’56), Cubs (1956–1960), Cardinals (1960–’61), and Pirates (1961). His teammates included Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, and Roberto Clemente. He hit 101 home runs, including six off Robin Roberts. He had nine multi-home run games. He hit three on May 30, 1958, including a walk-off home run against Sandy Koufax, who entered the game in the ninth. Moryn made his only All-Star team in 1958, though he did not get into the game. Moryn is best remembered by Cubs fans for making a dramatic shoestring catch in left for the final out of Don Cardwell’s no-hitter on May 15, 1960. Biographer Art Mugalian points out that Moryn had spoiled a no-hitter earlier in the season, hitting a two-out pinch-hit home run in the eighth off Sam Jones at Candlestick Park on April 16. Jones completed the one-hitter for a 6-1 Giants win. Moryn passed away on July 21, 1996 in Winfield, Il. He was 70 years old. Read Art Mugalian’s SABR BioProject biography of Walt Moryn. April 12, 1965 Home Opener Starter Airlifted Jim Kaat, Dick Stigman, Rich Rollins, and Bill Bethea are marooned at their homes in Burnsville—the wrong side of the flooded Minnesota River—and have to be taken by helicopter to and from Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington for the home opener versus the Yankees. Kaat gave up four runs on five hits and a walk over nine innings, and hit a two-RBI double. After Bob Allison got to third on an E7 leading off the 11th, the Yankees intentionally loaded the bases. They got to the first two outs on a shallow pop fly and strikeout, but César Tovar came through with a walk-off single to center off Pedro Ramos. Ramos started the first regular season game in Twins history, pitching a three-hit shutout against the Yankees in New York. April 12, 2005 Twins Win on Stewart Walk-Off After Torii Hunter drives in Jason Bartlett to tie the game in the eighth, the Twins beat the Tigers 5-4 on a Shannon Stewart walk-off ground-rule double off Troy Percival in the ninth. According to Halsey Hall SABR member John Swol‘s great site TwinsTrivia.com, Percival had not allowed an earned run versus the Twins in over 40 innings going back to 1995. April 12, 2010 First Regular Season Game at Target Field Carl Pavano and the Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 in the first regular season game at Target Field. Red Sox leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro singled to center for the new stadium’s first regular season hit. With Dustin Pedroia batting, however, Scutaro was thrown out trying to steal second. Pedroia doubled on the next pitch (d’oh!). Pavano escaped the first unscathed. He gave up only one run in the game, on a David Ortiz RBI double in the fourth. After Jon Lester walked Denard Span leading off the bottom of the first, Orlando Hudson collected the Twins’ first hit at the new ballpark. After Mauer and Morneau made the first two outs, Michael Cuddyer collected the new stadium’s first RBI, driving in Span with a single to left. Jason Kubel then drove in Hudson, giving the Twins a 2-0 first-inning lead. Joe Mauer hit an RBI double in the second, and an RBI single in the fourth. Kubel hit Target Field’s first regular season home run leading off the seventh. Jon Rauch retired Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Adrian Beltre in order to save the 5-2 Twins win. April 13, 1858 Birthdate of Bill Barnes It’s the birthdate of former major league center fielder Bill Barnes, born in Shakopee in 1858. Barnes played for the St. Paul White Caps, who in 1884 played nine games as a replacement team in the Union Association, which, despite only existing for one season, is generally considered a major league. The White Caps played all of their Union Association games on the road. April 13, 1962 Home Opener Snowed Out In just the second year of major league baseball in Minnesota, the Twins’ home opener versus the Los Angeles Angels is cancelled due to six inches of snow. April 13, 1968 Perry Pitches Shutout, Hits Homer Jim Perry has a heckuva day, pitching a four-hit shutout, and hitting a ninth-inning home run in a 6-0 Twins win at Yankee Stadium. Jim Kaat pitched a shutout and hit a home run on July 24, 1963, and October 1, 1970. April 13, 1991 Winfield Has 5-Hit, 3-HR Game vs. Twins Playing for the Angels, 1969 St. Paul Central graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Dave Winfield goes 5-for-6 with three home runs, a double, six RBI, and four runs scored in a 15-9 win at the Metrodome. Angels third baseman Gary Gaetti went 4-for-6 with a double and RBI. April 14, 1927 Wera Makes MLB Debut 25-year-old Winona native Julie Wera makes his major league debut with New York at Yankee Stadium, pinch-hitting for Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt against Hall of Famer Lefty Grove. He grounded out. Wera played 38 games at third base for the vaunted ‘27 Yankees. He hit his one and only big league homer during a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1927 in front of a then-record crowd of 74,000. Wera did not play in the 1927 World Series in which the Yankees swept the Pirates. He did, however, receive the same $5,782 portion of the winners’ purse as the rest of his teammates, which included Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Nice bonus, considering that Wera’s ‘27 salary was reported to be $2,400. April 14, 1983 Snow Collapses the Dome The largest April snowstorm in Minneapolis’s history forces the postponement of a game versus the California Angels. The decision to postpone the game was made the night before out of concern that the Angels would not be able to arrive in Minnesota in time. Travel concerns were a moot point, however, as damage from the storm caused the Metrodome roof to collapse about twelve hours after the decision to postpone. The spring storm dumped over 13 inches of snow on the Twin Cities. April 14, 2016 Worst Start in Twins History The Twins are swept by the White Sox in their home-opening series, falling to 0-9 on the season, the worst start in the franchise’s 116-year history. It was the worst start by any major league team in 13 years, going back to the epically awful 2003 Tigers who finished 43-119. The Braves would also fall to 0-9 later that day, and finish the season 68-93. Minnesota, meanwhile, would finish 59-103, the worst record in Twins history. It was remarkably not the worst season in franchise history, however. The 1904 Washington Senators finished 38-113 (.252 winning %). Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Facebook and Twitter. I hear so many cool stories with great insights from you guys. Keep 'em coming. Click here to view the article
  5. April 8, 1988 Gladden Has Hot Home Opener Dan Gladden goes 4-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored including a steal of home for a 6-3 win over Toronto in the home opener. Gladden homered to lead off the Twins’ half of the first, and knocked out another in the eighth. With Kent Hrbek batting in the seventh, Gladden stole home off David Wells. It was the first of three times that Gladden would steal home in his career. He would do so again later in the 1988 season, and once more in 1989. He was caught trying to steal home five times in his career. Rod Carew stole home 17 times in his career. Paul Molitor stole home 10 times. Gladden had also gone 4-for-5 in the Twins’ previous game in New York. April 8, 1994 Puckett Collects 2,000th Hit After striking out in his first at-bat, Twins right fielder Kirby Puckett collects five-straight hits, including his 2,000th hit with an opposite-field single driving in Pat Meares in the bottom of the third. Trailing 8-4 in the bottom of the eighth and Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley on the mound, Chuck Knoblauch hit a two-run double, and Puckett a two-run single in consecutive at-bats to tie the game, giving Eckersley his first blown save of the season. After Oakland took a 10-8 lead in the top of the tenth, Puckett drove in Knoblauch with a double, but the Athletics held on for a 10-9 win. Altogether Puckett went 5-for-6 with a double, 4 RBI, and a run scored in the game. 1980 New Ulm graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Terry Steinbach homered in the game for Oakland. Puckett retired with 2,304 hits, the most in Twins history. Joe Mauer will likely pass Rod Carew (2,085) for second in team history by the end of this season. April 9, 1995 Allison Passes Away Twins all-time great Bob Allison passes away from the effects of ataxia, a rare, incurable disease that affects nerve cells in the brain. He was just 60 years old. Read Gregory H. Wolf‘s SABR BioProject biography of Allison, which first appeared in the 2015 book A Pennant for the Twin Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins. April 9, 2000 Twins & Royals Go Back-to-Back-to-Back Already up 6-0 entering the top of the sixth in Kansas City, Corey Koskie leads off the inning with a single. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones, and Matt LeCroy then proceed to hit three consecutive home runs on four total pitches. Coomer homered again in the seventh, again with Koskie on base. Eric Milton retired the first 20 batters in order and had a two-hit shutout going into the eighth. After retiring the first two batters, including former Twin David McCarty, Milton allowed two hits before being relieved by Eddie Guardado. Guardado gave up an RBI single and then back-to-back home runs to Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye before being relieved by Hector Carrasco who surrendered the Royals’ third consecutive home run to Mike Sweeney. It was the first game in major league history in which both teams hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Twins are one of seven teams to have hit four consecutive home runs, with Tony Oliva, Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, and Harmon Killebrew doing so to start the top of the 11th in Kansas City on May 2, 1964. The Twins set an American League record by hitting five home runs in a single inning on June 9, 1966, also against Kansas City, but this time at home in Bloomington, with Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva, Don Mincher, and Harmon Killebrew homering off three different Athletics pitchers. Four National League teams have hit five home runs in an inning between 1939 and 2006, all four against the Cincinnati Reds. April 9, 2010 Drew Butera Makes MLB Debut Catcher Drew Butera makes his major league debut in Chicago, making him and his dad Sal the first father-son duo in Twins history. Drew went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a sac bunt in a 4-3, 11-inning Twins win. April 10, 1968 Chance Pitches Opening Day Shutout Dean Chance pitches a four-hit shutout, and Harmon Killebrew and Bob Allison hit solo homers off Senators pitcher Camilo Pascual for a 2-0 Opening Day win in Washington. April 10, 1971 Powell Homers for First MLB Hit In his first major league start, 1969 first-round draft pick Paul Powell hits an eighth-inning homer for his first hit, giving the Twins an insurance run in a 5-3 win in Chicago. It would be his only major league homer. Powell had gotten into two prior games as a pinch-runner, scoring both times. The Twins' Andre David hit a two-run home run on his first major league pitch against Jack Morris on June 29, 1984. Like Powell, his first major league hit was also his only home run. April 10, 1982 Twins Deal Smalley, Acquire Gagne The Twins trade Roy Smalley and 1975 Alexandria High School graduate Gary Serum to the Yankees for Ron Davis, Paul Boris, and Greg Gagne. Davis, who had been an All-Star in 1981, was one of the game’s first setup men, combining for a potent 1-2 punch with Hall of Famer Goose Gossage. Davis still holds the Yankees record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with eight on May 4, 1981. Doug Fister established a new American League record with nine consecutive K’s on September 27, 2012. The major league record belongs to Tom Seaver with 10 straight on April 22, 1970. Davis was never in All-Star form in Minnesota, however. He tied a single-season record with 14 blown saves in 1984, a dubious feat not matched since. Four pitchers had blown 14 saves in a season prior to Davis, including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers in 1976, and Bruce Sutter in 1978. Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, incidentally, holds the record with six seasons with 10+ blown saves, followed by Rollie Fingers and Jeff Reardon with four each. Davis’s incompetence as Twins closer is often overstated, but there’s no denying that his struggles took a mental toll on the team. When he was traded to the Cubs in August 1986, a party broke out on the team’s charter flight from Anaheim to Seattle, led by Kirby Puckett. Kent Hrbek said it was like the team had been exorcised of a demon. Hrbie conceded in retrospect that the team didn’t handle the situation too well. He personally really liked Davis. Harmon Killebrew, who was on the flight as a TV analyst, said it was one of the strangest scenes he’d ever seen. Though Davis was the object of the Twins’ desire at the time, Greg Gagne would obviously emerge as the key figure in this transaction. He didn’t make his major league debut until 1983, and even then only played 12 games between the ‘83 and ‘84 seasons before becoming a fixture at shortstop from 1985 to 1992. He was a key component of the Twins’ 1987 and 1991 World Series Championships. The Twins had originally acquired Roy Smalley in the 1976 trade that sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Rangers. In July 1984 the Yankees offloaded Smalley to the White Sox in exchange for players to be named later, one of whom wound up being Doug Drabek, who, after just one season, the Yankees in turn shipped off to Pittsburgh where he would win the 1990 Cy Young Award. The White Sox traded Smalley back to Minnesota in 1985. He retired after the 1987 season. Gary Serum was born in Fargo, and grew up in Alexandria, MN. He played two and a half major league seasons with the Twins from 1977 to ‘79. Despite posting a 9-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in the Yankees organization, 1982 was Serum’s final professional season. April 10, 1992 Mack Leadoff Homer in Home Opener In the Twins' first at-bat at the Metrodome since Gene Larkin's walk-off in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, Shane Mack hits a leadoff home run. Altogether he went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored in the 7-1 win over the Rangers (now featuring Al Newman). Mack posted a career-high 6.5 WAR in 1992, second on the team that season to Puckett’s career-high 7.1. Mack’s 3.6 WAR in 1991 was second-best to Kevin Tapani‘s 6.8. April 11, 1925 Birthdate of Bob Casey The inimitable Bob Casey was born in Minneapolis on this date in 1925. Casey was the only public address announcer in Twins history until his death in 2005. He also worked for the Minneapolis Millers, Lakers, and the Vikings. The decorated World War II veteran is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. April 11, 1961 First Regular Season Game in Twins History In the first regular season game in Twins history, Pedro Ramos pitches a three-hit shutout versus Whitey Ford and the eventual 1961 World Series champions at Yankee Stadium. Ramos held Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and Roger Maris to a combined 1-for-11, with Berra singling in the first. Maris, of course, would go on to establish a new single-season home run record with 61 that year. Moose Skowron and the pitcher Ford had the Yankees’ other two hits. Ramos did not allow a baserunner after the fifth inning. Ramos and Ford were locked in a scoreless duel until Bob Allison led off the seventh with the first home run in Twins history. Ramos himself drove in Earl Battey and Reno Bertoia with a single to center later that inning, knocking Ford out of the game. Bertoia homered in the eight, driving in Battey. Killebrew added a sac fly in the ninth, driving in Zoilo Versalles to give the Twins a 6-0 Opening Day win. They went 5-1 on the road before coming to Bloomington to play their first home game in front of a crowd already deep in the throes of pennant fever. They lost the home opener 5-3 to the new expansion Senators, and finished their inaugural season 70-90, seventh in the American League. 5-1 record before playing their first home game in front of a crowd already deep in the throes of pennant fever. They would lose their first game in Bloomington, however, 3-5 to the new Senators, and finish their inaugural season 70-90, 7th place in the America League. April 11, 1971 Kaat Pitches 11-Hit Shutout Jim Kaat pitches a shutout in Chicago despite giving up 11 hits and a walk. At the plate he went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. The Twins turned two double plays in the 6-0 win. The team record for hits in a shutout is 13 by Mudcat Grant on July 15, 1964. There have been two other 11-hit shutouts in Twins history: Rick Lysander on August 1, 1983, and Carlos Silva on August 3, 2004. April 11, 1975 Terrell Sets Double Play Record The Twins pull out a 12-3 win at the Kingdome in their first-ever game against the Mariners, despite 1964 Waterville graduate Jerry Terrell hitting into a team record three double plays. Jose Morales tied Terrell’s record on May 17, 1980. April 12, 1926 Birthdate of Walt Moryn It’s the birthdate of 1944 Harding High School graduate Walt Moryn, born in St. Paul in 1926. Moryn played 785 major league games over eight seasons with the Dodgers (1954–’56), Cubs (1956–1960), Cardinals (1960–’61), and Pirates (1961). His teammates included Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial, and Roberto Clemente. He hit 101 home runs, including six off Robin Roberts. He had nine multi-home run games. He hit three on May 30, 1958, including a walk-off home run against Sandy Koufax, who entered the game in the ninth. Moryn made his only All-Star team in 1958, though he did not get into the game. Moryn is best remembered by Cubs fans for making a dramatic shoestring catch in left for the final out of Don Cardwell’s no-hitter on May 15, 1960. Biographer Art Mugalian points out that Moryn had spoiled a no-hitter earlier in the season, hitting a two-out pinch-hit home run in the eighth off Sam Jones at Candlestick Park on April 16. Jones completed the one-hitter for a 6-1 Giants win. Moryn passed away on July 21, 1996 in Winfield, Il. He was 70 years old. Read Art Mugalian’s SABR BioProject biography of Walt Moryn. April 12, 1965 Home Opener Starter Airlifted Jim Kaat, Dick Stigman, Rich Rollins, and Bill Bethea are marooned at their homes in Burnsville—the wrong side of the flooded Minnesota River—and have to be taken by helicopter to and from Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington for the home opener versus the Yankees. Kaat gave up four runs on five hits and a walk over nine innings, and hit a two-RBI double. After Bob Allison got to third on an E7 leading off the 11th, the Yankees intentionally loaded the bases. They got to the first two outs on a shallow pop fly and strikeout, but César Tovar came through with a walk-off single to center off Pedro Ramos. Ramos started the first regular season game in Twins history, pitching a three-hit shutout against the Yankees in New York. April 12, 2005 Twins Win on Stewart Walk-Off After Torii Hunter drives in Jason Bartlett to tie the game in the eighth, the Twins beat the Tigers 5-4 on a Shannon Stewart walk-off ground-rule double off Troy Percival in the ninth. According to Halsey Hall SABR member John Swol‘s great site TwinsTrivia.com, Percival had not allowed an earned run versus the Twins in over 40 innings going back to 1995. April 12, 2010 First Regular Season Game at Target Field Carl Pavano and the Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 in the first regular season game at Target Field. Red Sox leadoff hitter Marco Scutaro singled to center for the new stadium’s first regular season hit. With Dustin Pedroia batting, however, Scutaro was thrown out trying to steal second. Pedroia doubled on the next pitch (d’oh!). Pavano escaped the first unscathed. He gave up only one run in the game, on a David Ortiz RBI double in the fourth. After Jon Lester walked Denard Span leading off the bottom of the first, Orlando Hudson collected the Twins’ first hit at the new ballpark. After Mauer and Morneau made the first two outs, Michael Cuddyer collected the new stadium’s first RBI, driving in Span with a single to left. Jason Kubel then drove in Hudson, giving the Twins a 2-0 first-inning lead. Joe Mauer hit an RBI double in the second, and an RBI single in the fourth. Kubel hit Target Field’s first regular season home run leading off the seventh. Jon Rauch retired Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, and Adrian Beltre in order to save the 5-2 Twins win. April 13, 1858 Birthdate of Bill Barnes It’s the birthdate of former major league center fielder Bill Barnes, born in Shakopee in 1858. Barnes played for the St. Paul White Caps, who in 1884 played nine games as a replacement team in the Union Association, which, despite only existing for one season, is generally considered a major league. The White Caps played all of their Union Association games on the road. April 13, 1962 Home Opener Snowed Out In just the second year of major league baseball in Minnesota, the Twins’ home opener versus the Los Angeles Angels is cancelled due to six inches of snow. April 13, 1968 Perry Pitches Shutout, Hits Homer Jim Perry has a heckuva day, pitching a four-hit shutout, and hitting a ninth-inning home run in a 6-0 Twins win at Yankee Stadium. Jim Kaat pitched a shutout and hit a home run on July 24, 1963, and October 1, 1970. April 13, 1991 Winfield Has 5-Hit, 3-HR Game vs. Twins Playing for the Angels, 1969 St. Paul Central graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Dave Winfield goes 5-for-6 with three home runs, a double, six RBI, and four runs scored in a 15-9 win at the Metrodome. Angels third baseman Gary Gaetti went 4-for-6 with a double and RBI. April 14, 1927 Wera Makes MLB Debut 25-year-old Winona native Julie Wera makes his major league debut with New York at Yankee Stadium, pinch-hitting for Hall of Famer Waite Hoyt against Hall of Famer Lefty Grove. He grounded out. Wera played 38 games at third base for the vaunted ‘27 Yankees. He hit his one and only big league homer during a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on July 4, 1927 in front of a then-record crowd of 74,000. Wera did not play in the 1927 World Series in which the Yankees swept the Pirates. He did, however, receive the same $5,782 portion of the winners’ purse as the rest of his teammates, which included Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Nice bonus, considering that Wera’s ‘27 salary was reported to be $2,400. April 14, 1983 Snow Collapses the Dome The largest April snowstorm in Minneapolis’s history forces the postponement of a game versus the California Angels. The decision to postpone the game was made the night before out of concern that the Angels would not be able to arrive in Minnesota in time. Travel concerns were a moot point, however, as damage from the storm caused the Metrodome roof to collapse about twelve hours after the decision to postpone. The spring storm dumped over 13 inches of snow on the Twin Cities. April 14, 2016 Worst Start in Twins History The Twins are swept by the White Sox in their home-opening series, falling to 0-9 on the season, the worst start in the franchise’s 116-year history. It was the worst start by any major league team in 13 years, going back to the epically awful 2003 Tigers who finished 43-119. The Braves would also fall to 0-9 later that day, and finish the season 68-93. Minnesota, meanwhile, would finish 59-103, the worst record in Twins history. It was remarkably not the worst season in franchise history, however. The 1904 Washington Senators finished 38-113 (.252 winning %). Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Facebook and Twitter. I hear so many cool stories with great insights from you guys. Keep 'em coming.
  6. And here is the Labor Day weekend edition of the Twins Almanac. While you're reading this I'll be attending my first State Fair of the millennium. Expect the next Almanac to read like it was written by someone five pounds fatter. September 3, 1971 Eric Soderholm’s Eventful MLB Debut Making his major league debut versus Oakland at home at Met Stadium in Bloomington, Eric Soderholm homered off of Diego Segui in just his second big league at-bat. A closer look at the game, though, reveals that Soderholm’s debut was even more eventful that it appears at first-glance. He reached on a fielder’s choice ground-out in his very first major league at-bat. He moved up to second on a Phil Roof single. Pitcher Jim Perry then singled to right and Soderholm was thrown out at the plate by Reggie Jackson for the second out of the inning. With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Soderholm came up with runners on second and third and one out. In just his third major league at-bat, Soderholm was intentionally walked to load the bases. Oakland brought Mudcat Grant in from the bullpen to pitch to Phil Roof with the bases loaded. The Twins, however, called upon Harmon Killebrew who hit a pinch-hit grand slam driving in Steve Brye, Steve Braun and Soderholm. In his fourth and final at-bat, Soderholm was hit-by-pitch to load the bases, but George Mitterwald struck-out to end the threat. The Twins beat the first-place Athletics 9-4. Soderholm had been on base in each of his first four major league at-bats. In addition to homering in his first major league game, he was thrown out at home by one Hall of Famer and scored on another Hall of Famer’s grand slam. What a memorable debut. September 3, 1990 Mark Guthrie Complete Game Shutout In the first game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee, Mark Guthrie pitched a complete game 4-hit shutout. The Twins won 6-0. It was the major league debut of Brewers catcher Tim McIntosh, a Hopkins High School and University of Minnesota alumnus. He went 0-for-3. Fellow Golden Gopher Paul Molitor went 0-for-4 against Guthrie. Kirby Puckett went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Pedro Munoz, who had made his major league debut two days earlier, went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Check out the first six Brewers batters in game two, with a combined 31 All-Star selections between them: Paul Molitor (7), Robin Yount (3), Gary Sheffield (9), Dave Parker (7), B.J. Surhoff (1) and Greg Vaughn (4). The fact that Robin Yount was only selected to three All-Star teams is always a little startling. He wasn’t even an All-Star in 1989 when he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. The only other American Leaguer to win MVP without being named an All-Star that season was Hank Greenberg in 1935. September 3, 2006 Bert Blyleven Said a Naughty Word on Television Bert Blyleven had a tough time with a pre-game segment that he thought was being taped. “We’re gonna do this f*cking thing over again,” Bert said, “‘cause I just f*cked it up,” to which Anthony LaPanta said “well we’re live.” Bert would enjoy a five-game vacation. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Gagne.Score91WS_zpsk4x8yotk.jpg September 4, 2010 Greg Gagne Inducted into Twins Hall of Fame The Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame inducted its 22nd member, Greg Gagne, who played shortstop for the Twins from 1983-’92 before spending his final five seasons with the Royals and Dodgers. Gagne originally came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Ron Davis/Roy Smalley trade. On October 4, 1986 Gagne hit two inside-the-park home runs against the White Sox at the Metrodome. As a personal aside, I think an error should have been charged on 99% of inside-the-park home runs. Gagne, never a power hitter, hit 4 postseason home runs between 1987 and ‘91. He hit two in the ‘87 ALCS vs. Detroit and one in each World Series. Probably his most memorable was a game-winning three-run home run in Game One of the 1991 World Series off of Charlie Liebrandt. It was Leibrandt who also gave up Kirby’s Game Six walk-off home run. After the induction ceremony, the first-place Twins hosted the first-place Rangers, with the Twins winning 12-4. Carl Pavano picked the the 16th of his 17 wins on the season. Matt Tolbert had 2 triples and drove in 5 runs. And Jim Thome hit a pair of home runs, passing Mark McGwire for ninth most all-time. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/discodan_zpsoiuveo4r.jpg September 5, 1978 "Disco" Dan Earns His Nickname In a 4-3 home loss to the Larry Doby-managed White Sox, "Disco" Dan Ford earned his nickname. Ask @RoySmalley5 how. And keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  7. And here is the Twins Almanac for Monday, August 29 to Friday, September 2, 2016. Mrs. Johnson broke the internet at my folks' place where we're staying, so I'm posting this from across the pasture at my sister's house. I kind of forgot about this whole humidity thing here in Minnesota. It's alright, though, I'm just pretending I'm on safari. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/killebrewallison_zpsq2qqq1gi.jpg August 29, 1963 Twins Hit 12 Home Runs The Twins hit a team record 8 home runs in the first game of a doubleheader in Washington, DC. Vic Power and Harmon Killebrew each hit a pair, with Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, Bernie Allen, and Rich Rollins connecting for the other four. First baseman Power went 4-for-6 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Killebrew, playing left field, was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and 3 runs in the 14-2 Twins win. The Twins would hit another 4 home runs in the second game. August 29, 1987 Kirby Puckett Has Himself a Day Kirby Puckett goes 4-for-5 with 2 HRs in Milwaukee. The best is yet to come. August 29, 1990 Greg Gagne Has Himself a Day Greg Gagne went 2-for-4 with a HR and 3 stolen bases including home plate in a 6-1 Twins win over the White Sox at home in the Dome. Gagne only had 5 steals coming into the game. Gene Larkin, playing right field, went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Mark Guthrie, meanwhile, pitched the complete game allowing just the 1 run on 5 hits and a walk. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/ortiztimberrattlers_zpsb9rc0abc.jpg August 29, 1996 Twins Trade Dave Hollins for David Ortiz The Twins traded veteran third baseman Dave Hollins to the Mariners in exchange for hot prospect David Ortiz who was hitting .322 with 18 HR and 93 RBI in 129 games with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at the time of the trade. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/koosman_zpstztj0och.jpg August 30, 1981 Twins Trade Jerry Koosman The Twins trade Appleton, MN-native Jerry Koosman to the White Sox for outfielder Randy Johnson and two others. August 30, 1987 Kirby’s 10-for-11 Weekend Kirby Puckett collects a team-record 6 hits in 6 at-bats including 2 HRs and 2 doubles in a 10-6 win in Milwaukee. Puckett had gone 4-for-5 with 2 HRs the day before, making him 10-for-11 with 6 RBI and 7 runs scored on the weekend. He had gone 0-for-4 on Friday in the first game of the series, a 1-0 Twins loss. 10 hits in two games tied a major league record. Kirby also had 6 hits in an extra-inning game in 1991. No other Twin has ever had a 6-hit game. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/baylor_zpsse3vlmci.jpg August 31, 1987 Pennant-Chasing Twins Acquire Big Bat The Twins acquired veteran slugger Don Baylor from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Enrique Rios. It was the Twins seventh trade of the season. They had acquired Tom Nieto, Jeff Reardon, Al Newman and Dan Gladden in pre-season trades, Joe Niekro and Dan Schatzeder in June, and Steve Carlton in July. August 31, 1993 Munoz HR Ends Record-Length Game The Twins trailed Cleveland 4-2 with two out in the bottom of the ninth when Terry Jorgenson hit a double, driving in David McCarty. Thirteen innings later, in the bottom of the 22nd, Pedro Munoz ended the longest game in Twins history with a walk-off home run. Munoz crossed the plate at 1:22 AM. The game lasted 6 hours and 17 minutes. Brian Harper went 4-for-8. August 31, 1994 Twins Deal Dave Winfield In the midst of the ‘94 strike the Twins sent future-Hall of Famer, St. Paul-native Dave Winfield to the Cleveland club for straight cash, homey. August 31, 2003 Twins Acquire 46-Year-Old Jesse Orosco The Twins acquired 46-year-old pitcher Jesse Orosco from the Yankees. He would pitch 4.2 over 8 games for the Twins, the ninth and final team he would pitch for in his 24-year career. Orosco made his major league debut in 1979, meaning he pitched in four decades. Nobody in major league history has pitched in more games than Jesse Orosco (1,252). August 31, 2005 Twins Get 13 Hits, Do Not Score The Twins collected 13 hits, 2 walks and a reached-on-error for a grand total of 16 base runners and still managed to lose to the Royals 1-0 at Kaufman Stadium. Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 3 hits. The game was still scoreless entering the bottom of the ninth when former Twin Denny Hocking hit a lead-off single off reliever Matt Guerrier. Facing Terry Mulholland, Emil Brown drove-in Hocking for a walk-off Royals win. August 31, 2007 Scott Baker Flirts with Perfect Game Scott Baker had a perfect game going against the Royals at home in the Dome when he walked catcher John Buck leading off the ninth. Two batters later he allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney. That was all the offense the Royals would muster, though, as Baker completed the 1-hit shutout for a 5-0 Twins win. September 1, 1972 Rod Carew Steals Home for the Win With the Twins and Cleveland tied 4-4 with two out in the bottom of the tenth, Rod Carew stole home for the walk-off (or run-off) win. Rod Carew would steal home 17 times in his career. Right fielder Bobby Darwin drove in the Twins’ first 4 runs. He was 4-for-4 with a HR and double when he struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the tenth. September 1, 1992 Rick Aguilera Becomes Twins All-Time Saves Leader Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve a 5-4 Twins win at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It was Aggie’s 35th save of the season and 109th of his Twins career, surpassing Ron Davis as the Twins’ all-time leader. Aguilera would go on to save 254 games in a Twins uniform. He saved 42 games for the Twins’ 1991 World Series champion team. In total, Aguilera earned 318 major league saves. He saved 7 games for the ‘89 Mets, 20 during his brief stint with Boston in 1995, and 37 for the Chicago Cubs between 1999 and 2000, his final season. Joe Nathan surpassed Aguilera as the Twins’ all-time saves leader in 2011. Nathan finished his Twins career with 260 saves before signing with the Rangers following the 2011 season. He was an All-Star with Texas in 2012 and ‘13, saving a combined 80 games those two seasons and another 35 for Detroit in 2014. September 2, 1965 Bob Allison Strikes Out 5 Times in 5 At-Bats The Twins 5-hitter, left fielder Bob Allison, went 0-for-5 with 5 strikeouts in a 5-4 home loss to the Tigers. Tigers leadoff hitter, Bloomington High School and University of Minnesota alumnus George Thomas, went 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored. Thomas doubled off of Nimrod, MN-native Dick Stigman leading off the top of the ninth. The major league record for strikeouts in a game is six. Six players have done so. Only Alex Gonzalez (2009) did it in just 6 plate appearances. The most recent to do so, Geoff Jenkins in 2008, had 7 plate appearances. The other four came to the plate eight times in their respective games. Sammy Sosa had four 5-K games in his steroid-addled career. Ray Lankford had three such games, and Jim Thome had two. Ryan Howard is the all-time leader with 27 4-strikeout games, followed by Reggie Jackson (23) and Jim Thome (20).
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