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  1. When the Twins cut Alex Colome loose after one disastrous year, most fans were pleased. For some, though, it triggered concerns that the current generation of fandom that might be getting soft. “When I was growing up, we didn’t just cut a guy loose after a bad year, we kept him on the team for years,” said Stephen Gilchrest, an electrician from Castle Rock Township. “It sucked. I hated every minute of it.” The 50-year-old father of two was in the prime of his Twins-loving life when Minnesota acquired reliever Ron Davis from the New York Yankees. It left a mark on Gilchrest that he says he still feels. “I don’t think you really ever get over something like that,” said Gilchrest, his voice lowering as he battled to keep his emotions in check. “At the same time, it teaches you so many valuable lessons that you can draw on in everyday life.” Such as? “Pain. Life is pain. Keep your expectations low. Understand that the world is not fair, and it will never be fair. Unqualified people will maintain positions of privilege despite flaws so glaring it’ll make your teeth hurt. Ron Davis will be your team’s closer for over four years and there’s nothing you can do about it. Admittedly that last one is super specific, but it still resonates.” Although many might be glad the Twins are opening a new chapter in their search for a 2022 closer, Gilchrest is not among their ranks. “What kind of lesson does it teach the kids of today when the Twins can just go out and make the right decision, just like that,” asked Gilchrest. “I had to suffer for years. I listened to the Jamie Quirk game on the radio and my dog died the next day. I buried Shep and my dreams on the same weekend in 1984. “You know who the closer was in 1985? Ron Davis. That’s when I stopped going to mass.” Gilchrest worries that the move might cause some younger fans to get too confident in the team’s prospects. “They’ll probably get a younger guy on a cheaper deal and he’ll turn out to be OK, maybe even better than OK, and the kids will get their hopes up,” said Gilchrest. “Hope. That’s what always gets you. Hell, I’m thrilled that they’re going in a different direction, but isn’t it even more important to let the children know that nothing gets better? Put Colome out there with a 2-run lead on Opening Day 2022. They’ll learn something that day.” View full article
  2. “When I was growing up, we didn’t just cut a guy loose after a bad year, we kept him on the team for years,” said Stephen Gilchrest, an electrician from Castle Rock Township. “It sucked. I hated every minute of it.” The 50-year-old father of two was in the prime of his Twins-loving life when Minnesota acquired reliever Ron Davis from the New York Yankees. It left a mark on Gilchrest that he says he still feels. “I don’t think you really ever get over something like that,” said Gilchrest, his voice lowering as he battled to keep his emotions in check. “At the same time, it teaches you so many valuable lessons that you can draw on in everyday life.” Such as? “Pain. Life is pain. Keep your expectations low. Understand that the world is not fair, and it will never be fair. Unqualified people will maintain positions of privilege despite flaws so glaring it’ll make your teeth hurt. Ron Davis will be your team’s closer for over four years and there’s nothing you can do about it. Admittedly that last one is super specific, but it still resonates.” Although many might be glad the Twins are opening a new chapter in their search for a 2022 closer, Gilchrest is not among their ranks. “What kind of lesson does it teach the kids of today when the Twins can just go out and make the right decision, just like that,” asked Gilchrest. “I had to suffer for years. I listened to the Jamie Quirk game on the radio and my dog died the next day. I buried Shep and my dreams on the same weekend in 1984. “You know who the closer was in 1985? Ron Davis. That’s when I stopped going to mass.” Gilchrest worries that the move might cause some younger fans to get too confident in the team’s prospects. “They’ll probably get a younger guy on a cheaper deal and he’ll turn out to be OK, maybe even better than OK, and the kids will get their hopes up,” said Gilchrest. “Hope. That’s what always gets you. Hell, I’m thrilled that they’re going in a different direction, but isn’t it even more important to let the children know that nothing gets better? Put Colome out there with a 2-run lead on Opening Day 2022. They’ll learn something that day.”
  3. Well... do you, punk? Last July, we started a new community initiative where we offer prizes for the most liked posts and blog entries on the site. We'll post these awards four times a year: first half of the season, second half of the season, offseason, and spring training. Probably. Unless it becomes a miserable experience, at which point we reserve the right to stop at any time. These prizes... aren't great, to put it bluntly. They kinda stemmed me from reading comic books in the 1980s and loving the "No-Prize" award in every letters page written by the editor of Marvel Comics, signed off by Stan Lee and wow... I'm getting old real fast with that sentence so I'm gonna stop. But the prizes, while not great, are incredible. This season has been such a train wreck, such a total collapse of all things at once, such a complete and utter failure across the board that it was difficult to decide which of the many ripe fruits I should pick off the Minnesota Twins 2021 tree to celebrate this season finally coming to a close. But ultimately, I had to go back to the source of our collective misfortune and, at that point, it became clear what most needed celebration: the 2021 Minnesota Twins bullpen. And once that clicked into place, I realized there was only one place I could go with the second half community prize: A Ron Davis commemorative display. This display not only features Ron Davis' epic 1984 campaign with the Minnesota Twins but it also features Ron Davis' epic 1984 campaign with the Minnesota Twins. 2021 Twins fans surely can commiserate with everything I said - and didn't say - in that sentence. But there's more than just a few trinkets included in this display, as the below video will show to you skeptics still standing in the back: Ron Davis Commemorative Display Prize Ron Davis Prize.mp4 Yes, you heard that right. That is Grammy award-winning artist Sarah McLachlin singing her 1997 hit "Angel" from her 8x platinum album, Surfacing. So if you have the nerve, feel the moxy, can be the spoon, will channel your inner Randball's Stu... this perfect piece of Twins history could be yours, all you have to do is write the most popular post in the Twins Daily community. That could be a comment on a news story, a reply to a blog post, or even a blog comment. For the lucky person who can be all those things to all those people all at the same time, you will win the ultimate piece of Minnesota Twins memorabilia. I know, you just want this thing so much but remember, YOU HAVE TO EARN IT. Just like Ron Davis.
  4. Yesterday, we reviewed the top Minnesota Twins hitters from the decade of the 1980s. That group was impressive. Today, we will discuss the top Twins pitchers during the 1980s.Some of the Twins teams in the early '80s were really bad. However, it was a time for some development, and one of the players developed turned into one of the bettter pitchers in team history. There is no question that Frank Viola was the team's top pitcher of the 1980s, and he helped lead the 1987 Twins to a World Series title before the end of the decade. However, there is a big drop-off after Viola, and after reading today's article, you probably won't be surprised that the Twins had questions regarding a third starter even on a World Series team. Question marks in the pitching staff may have been an understatement in the early '80s. So, read my all-decade pitchers below and then discuss the pitchers. Did I leave someone out? What surprised you? Don't forget that on Thursday night, I'll be posting another podcast in which I talk about the Twins decade with a beat reporter who covered the team during the decade. It's a ton of fun and I really think you'll enjoy it... In fact, the writer actually convinced me to make one change in the bullpen below, the first time that has happened during this series. SP - Frank Viola (1982-1989) 260 games, 259 starts, 112-93 with 3.86 ERA in 1,772 2/3 innings. 1,214 K. 521 BB. Viola was the Twins second -round pick in 1981 out of St. Johns. Just over a year later, he made his debut for the Twins. In the early years, he was working innings for a struggling team, but as he got better, the Twins got better. He won 18 games in both 1984 and 1985. He won 17 games and posted a 2.90 ERA in 1987. That season ended with him named the MVP of the World Series. In 1988, he went 24-7 with a 2.64 ERA and won the AL Cy Young Award. 1988 was his lone All-Star appearance with the Twins. He was traded to the Mets during the 1989 season. He pitched more than twice as many innings as any other pitcher for the Twins during the decade. SP - Bert Blyleven (1985-1988) 120 games, 120 starts, 50-48 with 4.22 ERA in 860 innings. 633 K. 236 BB. Blyleven was easily the Twins top pitcher during the decade of the 1970s. He was traded to Texas, won a World Series with the 1979 Pirates, and pitched for Cleveland. He was traded back to the Twins in the middle of the 1985 season. While he was no longer the same pitcher as in his first stint with the Twins, he still provided solid pitching and innings for the Twins. He posted a 4.01 ERA in both 1986 and 1987. He was the second reliable starter on the 1987 World Series team as well. SP - Allan Anderson (1986-1989) 88 games, 75 starts, 37-35 with 3.72 ERA in 495 2/3 innings. 206 K. 130 BB. Anderson was the Twins second-round pick in 1982 out of high school in Ohio. He moved up the ladder and debuted in June of 1986. He pitched in 21 games that summer and then another four games in 1987. In 1988, he made 30 starts and went 16-9 with a league-leading 2.45 ERA. The following season, he made 33 starts and went 17-10 with a 3.80 ERA. During those seasons, he struck out just 3.7 and 3.2 batters, respectively, per nine innings. However, he also had elite control and command which made him good for a couple of seasons. SP - Albert Williams (1980-1984) 120 games, 97 starts, 35-38 with 4.24 ERA in 642 2/3 innings. 262 K. 227 BB. The back story of Albert Williams, whether it is true or embellished, is fascinating, but the right-hander from Nicaragua had a couple of mediocre seasons for the Twins during the decade. That qualifies him as a Top 5 starter of the decade. He spent parts of five seasons with the Twins, mostly as a starter. In the three seasons in which he threw 150 or more innings, he had ERA+ of 97, 101 and 103. In those seasons, his strikeout rate dropped from 4.6 to 3.6 to 3.2. In 1984, it was just 2.9, and he was let go. SP - Mike Smithson (1984-1987) 128 games, 126 starts, 47-48 with 4.46 ERA in 816 innings. 438 K. 227 BB. Smithson came to the Twins with John Butcher from the Rangers after the 1983 season for Gary Ward. He made a good first impression when he won 15 games and posted a 3.68 ERA in 252 innings over 36 starts in 1984. He won 15 games again in 1985, though his ERA rose to 4.34 (exactly league average) in 257 innings. He went 13-14 with a 4.77 ERA in 1986, and he was 4-7 with a 5.94 ERA in 1987 before losing his job and being left off of the Twins postseason roster. Oh, and his 438 strikeouts for the Twins was third-highest among Twins starters in the decade. RP - Doug Corbett (1980-1982) 137 games, 0 starts, 10-14 with 43 saves and a 2.49 ERA in 246 innings. 164 K. 86 BB. Corbett made his MLB debut at the beginning of the 1980 season as a 27-year-old for the Twins. He posted a 1.98 ERA over 136 1/3 innings in 73 games. He went 8-6 with 23 saves. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he went 2-6 with 17 saves and a 2.57 ERA in a league-leading 54 games and 87 2/3 innings. No truth to any rumors that his right arm sent a thank you note to those involved in the strike. After just ten games in 1982, the Twins traded him to the Angels in a deal that brought Tom Brunansky. RP - Juan Berenguer (1987-1989) 160 games, 7 starts, 25-8 with 9 saves and a 3.79 ERA in 318 innings. 302 K. 155 BB. When Berenguer came to the Twins as a free agent in 1987, he had already pitched in parts of nine MLB seasons. While he hadn’t been a great starter, Tom Kelly used him a lot in his four seasons with the Twins. In 1987, he went 8-1 with four saves in 47 games and 112 innings. He worked over 100 innings all four years. Unlike most pitchers of the decade, Berenguer actually had a fastball that reached up to 93 or even 94 mph. He averaged just shy of a strikeout per inning during his time with the Twins. That is now just below league average, but at that time, it was very strong. Berenguer became a popular Twins player thanks to the Berenguer Boogie, along with very strong pitching. RP - Jeff Reardon (1987-1989) 191 games, 0 starts, 15-16 with 104 saves and a 3.70 ERA in 226 1/3 innings. 185 K. 55 BB. Reardon came to the Twins before the 1987 season. He had been an All-Star in 1985 and 1986. His biggest attribute to Twins fans was that he was not Ron Davis. However, he got off to a slow start early in his Twins career. After that, however, he became quite reliable. Despite an 8-8 record and 31 saves, his 1987 ERA was just 4.48. However, he received both MVP and Cy Young Award votes. His 104 saves was second in the organization during the decade. In 1988 ,he posted a 2.47 ERA in 74 innings and was an All-Star. RP - Ron Davis (1982-1986) 286 games, 0 starts, 19-40 with 108 saves and a 4.51 ERA in 381 1/3 innings. 349 K. 185 BB. After a couple of great years in the Yankees bullpen, Davis came to the Twins before the 1982 season with Greg Gagne for Roy Smalley. Goose Gossage was the Yankees closer, so Davis would get an opportunity in that role with the Twns that he did not get with the Yankees. While Davis has unfortunately become almost a punch line for Twins fans, and at times he really did struggle mightily, most of the time he did get the job done. He finished the games he came into 87% of the time. It isn’t impressive relative to today’s closers, but when he was going two or more innings most times, it was good. That said, when he was dealt to the Cubs in 1986, it was understandably welcomed. RP - Keith Atherton (1986-1988) 155 games, 0 starts, 19-18 with 15 saves and a 3.91 ERA in 235 innings. 153 K. 87 BB. After three-plus seasons in Oakland, Atherton came to the Twins in a May 1986 trade and became a generally reliable relief option for the Twins for the next three seasons. He was the #3 most used reliever in 1987 behind Berenguer and Reardon. As we saw at the back end of the starting group, Atherton was simply solid for three seasons with the Twins and that put him in my top five. What do you think? Previous Installments 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
  5. Some of the Twins teams in the early '80s were really bad. However, it was a time for some development, and one of the players developed turned into one of the bettter pitchers in team history. There is no question that Frank Viola was the team's top pitcher of the 1980s, and he helped lead the 1987 Twins to a World Series title before the end of the decade. However, there is a big drop-off after Viola, and after reading today's article, you probably won't be surprised that the Twins had questions regarding a third starter even on a World Series team. Question marks in the pitching staff may have been an understatement in the early '80s. So, read my all-decade pitchers below and then discuss the pitchers. Did I leave someone out? What surprised you? Don't forget that on Thursday night, I'll be posting another podcast in which I talk about the Twins decade with a beat reporter who covered the team during the decade. It's a ton of fun and I really think you'll enjoy it... In fact, the writer actually convinced me to make one change in the bullpen below, the first time that has happened during this series. SP - Frank Viola (1982-1989) 260 games, 259 starts, 112-93 with 3.86 ERA in 1,772 2/3 innings. 1,214 K. 521 BB. Viola was the Twins second -round pick in 1981 out of St. Johns. Just over a year later, he made his debut for the Twins. In the early years, he was working innings for a struggling team, but as he got better, the Twins got better. He won 18 games in both 1984 and 1985. He won 17 games and posted a 2.90 ERA in 1987. That season ended with him named the MVP of the World Series. In 1988, he went 24-7 with a 2.64 ERA and won the AL Cy Young Award. 1988 was his lone All-Star appearance with the Twins. He was traded to the Mets during the 1989 season. He pitched more than twice as many innings as any other pitcher for the Twins during the decade. SP - Bert Blyleven (1985-1988) 120 games, 120 starts, 50-48 with 4.22 ERA in 860 innings. 633 K. 236 BB. Blyleven was easily the Twins top pitcher during the decade of the 1970s. He was traded to Texas, won a World Series with the 1979 Pirates, and pitched for Cleveland. He was traded back to the Twins in the middle of the 1985 season. While he was no longer the same pitcher as in his first stint with the Twins, he still provided solid pitching and innings for the Twins. He posted a 4.01 ERA in both 1986 and 1987. He was the second reliable starter on the 1987 World Series team as well. SP - Allan Anderson (1986-1989) 88 games, 75 starts, 37-35 with 3.72 ERA in 495 2/3 innings. 206 K. 130 BB. Anderson was the Twins second-round pick in 1982 out of high school in Ohio. He moved up the ladder and debuted in June of 1986. He pitched in 21 games that summer and then another four games in 1987. In 1988, he made 30 starts and went 16-9 with a league-leading 2.45 ERA. The following season, he made 33 starts and went 17-10 with a 3.80 ERA. During those seasons, he struck out just 3.7 and 3.2 batters, respectively, per nine innings. However, he also had elite control and command which made him good for a couple of seasons. SP - Albert Williams (1980-1984) 120 games, 97 starts, 35-38 with 4.24 ERA in 642 2/3 innings. 262 K. 227 BB. The back story of Albert Williams, whether it is true or embellished, is fascinating, but the right-hander from Nicaragua had a couple of mediocre seasons for the Twins during the decade. That qualifies him as a Top 5 starter of the decade. He spent parts of five seasons with the Twins, mostly as a starter. In the three seasons in which he threw 150 or more innings, he had ERA+ of 97, 101 and 103. In those seasons, his strikeout rate dropped from 4.6 to 3.6 to 3.2. In 1984, it was just 2.9, and he was let go. SP - Mike Smithson (1984-1987) 128 games, 126 starts, 47-48 with 4.46 ERA in 816 innings. 438 K. 227 BB. Smithson came to the Twins with John Butcher from the Rangers after the 1983 season for Gary Ward. He made a good first impression when he won 15 games and posted a 3.68 ERA in 252 innings over 36 starts in 1984. He won 15 games again in 1985, though his ERA rose to 4.34 (exactly league average) in 257 innings. He went 13-14 with a 4.77 ERA in 1986, and he was 4-7 with a 5.94 ERA in 1987 before losing his job and being left off of the Twins postseason roster. Oh, and his 438 strikeouts for the Twins was third-highest among Twins starters in the decade. RP - Doug Corbett (1980-1982) 137 games, 0 starts, 10-14 with 43 saves and a 2.49 ERA in 246 innings. 164 K. 86 BB. Corbett made his MLB debut at the beginning of the 1980 season as a 27-year-old for the Twins. He posted a 1.98 ERA over 136 1/3 innings in 73 games. He went 8-6 with 23 saves. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting. The following year, he went 2-6 with 17 saves and a 2.57 ERA in a league-leading 54 games and 87 2/3 innings. No truth to any rumors that his right arm sent a thank you note to those involved in the strike. After just ten games in 1982, the Twins traded him to the Angels in a deal that brought Tom Brunansky. RP - Juan Berenguer (1987-1989) 160 games, 7 starts, 25-8 with 9 saves and a 3.79 ERA in 318 innings. 302 K. 155 BB. When Berenguer came to the Twins as a free agent in 1987, he had already pitched in parts of nine MLB seasons. While he hadn’t been a great starter, Tom Kelly used him a lot in his four seasons with the Twins. In 1987, he went 8-1 with four saves in 47 games and 112 innings. He worked over 100 innings all four years. Unlike most pitchers of the decade, Berenguer actually had a fastball that reached up to 93 or even 94 mph. He averaged just shy of a strikeout per inning during his time with the Twins. That is now just below league average, but at that time, it was very strong. Berenguer became a popular Twins player thanks to the Berenguer Boogie, along with very strong pitching. RP - Jeff Reardon (1987-1989) 191 games, 0 starts, 15-16 with 104 saves and a 3.70 ERA in 226 1/3 innings. 185 K. 55 BB. Reardon came to the Twins before the 1987 season. He had been an All-Star in 1985 and 1986. His biggest attribute to Twins fans was that he was not Ron Davis. However, he got off to a slow start early in his Twins career. After that, however, he became quite reliable. Despite an 8-8 record and 31 saves, his 1987 ERA was just 4.48. However, he received both MVP and Cy Young Award votes. His 104 saves was second in the organization during the decade. In 1988 ,he posted a 2.47 ERA in 74 innings and was an All-Star. RP - Ron Davis (1982-1986) 286 games, 0 starts, 19-40 with 108 saves and a 4.51 ERA in 381 1/3 innings. 349 K. 185 BB. After a couple of great years in the Yankees bullpen, Davis came to the Twins before the 1982 season with Greg Gagne for Roy Smalley. Goose Gossage was the Yankees closer, so Davis would get an opportunity in that role with the Twns that he did not get with the Yankees. While Davis has unfortunately become almost a punch line for Twins fans, and at times he really did struggle mightily, most of the time he did get the job done. He finished the games he came into 87% of the time. It isn’t impressive relative to today’s closers, but when he was going two or more innings most times, it was good. That said, when he was dealt to the Cubs in 1986, it was understandably welcomed. RP - Keith Atherton (1986-1988) 155 games, 0 starts, 19-18 with 15 saves and a 3.91 ERA in 235 innings. 153 K. 87 BB. After three-plus seasons in Oakland, Atherton came to the Twins in a May 1986 trade and became a generally reliable relief option for the Twins for the next three seasons. He was the #3 most used reliever in 1987 behind Berenguer and Reardon. As we saw at the back end of the starting group, Atherton was simply solid for three seasons with the Twins and that put him in my top five. What do you think? Previous Installments 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)
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. The Twins Almanac is back with a look at this week in Minnesota Twins history. It starts with a big trade, but there are stories of bad weather in the Met Stadium and Metrodome eras and much, much more.April 10, 1982 The Twins traded Roy Smalley and St. Cloud State alumnus, Gary Serum, to the New York Yankees for Ron Davis, Greg Gagne and Paul Boris. Ron Davis, who had been an All-Star in ‘81, 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 single game with 8 on May 4, 1981. Doug Fister established a new American League record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with 9 on September 27th, 2012. The Major League record belongs to Tom Seaver, who K’ed 10 in a row on April 22nd, 1970. Ron 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 which no pitcher has matched since. Four pitchers had blown 14 saves in a season prior to Davis, including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers (1976) and Bruce Sutter (‘78). Incidentally, Goose Gossage (112), Rollie Fingers (109) and Jeff Reardon (106) have the most blown saves in major league history. Gossage’s six seasons with 10 or more blown saves are most all-time, followed by Fingers and Reardon, each with four seasons of 10 or more. Ron Davis was sent to the Chicago Cubs in August of ‘86 as part of a trade that brought George Frazier to the Twins. Frazier pitched in 54 games for the ‘87 Twins. Davis never saved another game, pitching sparingly in relief for the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants through the end of the ‘88 season. 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 for the Twins from 1985 to 1992. He was a key component of the Twins’ ‘87 and ‘91 World Series championships. The Twins had originally acquired Roy Smalley in the 1976 trade that sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Texas Rangers. In July of ‘84, 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. Smalley retired after the Twins’ 1987 World Series championship season. Gary Serum was born in Fargo, went to high school in Alexandria, MN and pitched at Minnesota State Moorhead and St. Cloud State before being signed as an amateur free agent by the Twins in 1975. He played two and a half major league seasons with the Twins from ‘77 to ‘79. Despite posting a 9-1 record between AA and AAA in the Yankees organization, 1982 was Serum’s final professional season. April 11th It’s the birthday of the inimitable Bob Casey (1925-2005), Twins public address announcer for 44 years. Casey was the only PA announcer in Twins history until his death in 2005. Casey also worked for the Minneapolis Millers, the Lakers and the Vikings. April 11, 1961 The Twins played their first ever regular season game at Yankee Stadium. Harmon Killebrew collected the first hit in Twins history, leading off the 4th with a single to center. Twins pitcher Pedro Ramos and Whitey Ford were locked in a scoreless duel until Bob Allison led off the 7th with a home run, the first in Twins history. The Twins went on to win their first game 6-0 as Ramos pitched a complete game, 3-hit shutout versus the eventual 1961 World Series champs. Ramos held Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to a combined 1-for-11, with Berra singling in the 1st. Ramos did not allow a base-runner after the 5th inning. Roger Maris would establish a new single season home run record with 61 that year. The Twins would go on to a 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, good for 7th place in the America League. April 12, 2005 The Twins beat the Tigers 5-4 on a Shannon Stewart walk-off ground rule double off Troy Percival, who had not allowed an earned run versus the Twins in over 40 innings going back to 1995. Torii Hunter drove in Jason Bartlett to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th. April 12, 2010 The Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 in the first regular season game played at Target Field. Carl Pavano earned the win for the Twins. Jon Lester, the losing pitcher, walked Denard Span to lead off the bottom of the 1st. Orlando Hudson then collected the Twins’ first hit at Target Field. After Mauer and Morneau made the first two outs, Michael Cuddyer collected the new stadium’s first RBI, driving in Span on a single to left. Jason Kubel then drove in Hudson, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead in the 1st. Mauer hit an RBI double in the 2nd, and an RBI single in the 4th. Jason Kubel hit Target Field’s first regular season home run leading off the 7th. Jon Rauch retired Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre in order for the save. April 13, 1962 In just the second year of major league baseball in Minnesota, the scheduled home opener versus the Los Angeles Angels was cancelled due to six inches of snow. April 14, 1983 The largest April snowstorm in Minneapolis’s history forced 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 15, 2000 Cal Ripken, jr. became the 24th player to reach 3,000 hits in a 6-4 Orioles win at the Metrodome. Ripken entered the game sitting at 2,997, having collected 1 hit the night before in a wild 10-9 Twins win. Trailing 4-9, the Twins scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th before Eddie Guardado earned the save, retiring Ripken for the final out of the game. On this night, Ripken was 2-for-3 when he came up in the 7th in a tie game with 2 out and Albert Belle on third. Hector Carrasco was brought in from the bullpen to face the Iron Man. Catcher Matt LeCroy gave up a passed ball on Carrasco’s first pitch, allowing Belle to score the go-ahead run. Then, on the second pitch of the at-bat, Ripken stroked a line drive single to center, becoming the seventh player in major league history to collect both 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. Former Twin Mike Trombley came on in the bottom of the 9th to earn the save for Baltimore. Noteworthy in retrospect is the fact that Midre Cummings pinch-hit for the number nine batter, Torii Hunter. Ripken was greeted at first after his 3,000th hit by base coach Eddie Murray, who had himself hit his 3,000th hit at the Metrodome in 1995 off of Mike Trombley as a member of the Cleveland Indians. The following season, while playing for Baltimore, Murray became just the third person in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez have since joined the club. St. Paul Central High School graduate and Golden Gophers legend, Dave Winfield, also collected his 3,000th hit at the Metrodome in 1993. 29 players have collected 3,000 hits in the 146 year history of major league baseball. Three of those reached the milestone at the Metrodome in a period of seven years. It is also noteworthy that of the 29 members of the 3,000 hit club, two (Winfield and Paul Molitor) were born in St. Paul just five years apart. April 15, 2001 In a home game versus the Chicago White Sox, Eric Milton struck out the side in the 1st, including Frank Thomas. Milton went on to strike out 8 of the first 10 batters he faced. He allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, those coming on a 2-run Thomas homer in the 6th, one of 521 he hit in his career, tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 19th all-time. LaTroy Hawkins earned the save in the Twins 4-3 victory, their 6th straight, improving to 9-2 on the season. April 16, 1961 In the top of the 1st in game 1 of a doubleheader in Baltimore, Bob Allison hit the first grand slam in Twins history. Baltimore’s Chuck Estrada, who had tied for the league lead with 18 wins the previous season and who would win 15 in 1961, walked three straight to start the game before giving up a home run to the cleanup hitter, Allison. After giving up a double to Jim Lemon, Estrada was pulled, having pitched to just five batters. Relief pitcher John Papa didn’t fare much better, walking home two more Twins runs before Dick Hall, the third pitcher used by Baltimore in the 6-run 1st, came on to get the final out. Bob Allison added a 3-run home run in the 6th, giving him 7 RBIs for the game. The Twins won 10-5. In game 2, the Twins held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out and the bases loaded, Baltimore crept within 1 on an RBI groundout. Then, with 2 down, runners on second and third and future-Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog pinch-hitting for future-Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, Twins pitcher Ray Moore unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Baltimore to tie the game 4-4. In the top of the 11th, Zoilo Versalles hit a 2-run home run and Chuck Stobbs slammed the door in the bottom of the inning. For the history of the Minnesota Twins, told one day at a time, like The Twins Almanac on Facebook and follow @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter. For the stories of the Major Leaguers who grew up in Minnesota, like Major Minnesotans on Facebook and follow @MajorMinnesota on Twitter. Click here to view the article
  9. April 10, 1982 The Twins traded Roy Smalley and St. Cloud State alumnus, Gary Serum, to the New York Yankees for Ron Davis, Greg Gagne and Paul Boris. Ron Davis, who had been an All-Star in ‘81, 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 single game with 8 on May 4, 1981. Doug Fister established a new American League record for consecutive strikeouts in a game with 9 on September 27th, 2012. The Major League record belongs to Tom Seaver, who K’ed 10 in a row on April 22nd, 1970. Ron 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 which no pitcher has matched since. Four pitchers had blown 14 saves in a season prior to Davis, including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers (1976) and Bruce Sutter (‘78). Incidentally, Goose Gossage (112), Rollie Fingers (109) and Jeff Reardon (106) have the most blown saves in major league history. Gossage’s six seasons with 10 or more blown saves are most all-time, followed by Fingers and Reardon, each with four seasons of 10 or more. Ron Davis was sent to the Chicago Cubs in August of ‘86 as part of a trade that brought George Frazier to the Twins. Frazier pitched in 54 games for the ‘87 Twins. Davis never saved another game, pitching sparingly in relief for the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants through the end of the ‘88 season. 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 for the Twins from 1985 to 1992. He was a key component of the Twins’ ‘87 and ‘91 World Series championships. The Twins had originally acquired Roy Smalley in the 1976 trade that sent Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson to the Texas Rangers. In July of ‘84, 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. Smalley retired after the Twins’ 1987 World Series championship season. Gary Serum was born in Fargo, went to high school in Alexandria, MN and pitched at Minnesota State Moorhead and St. Cloud State before being signed as an amateur free agent by the Twins in 1975. He played two and a half major league seasons with the Twins from ‘77 to ‘79. Despite posting a 9-1 record between AA and AAA in the Yankees organization, 1982 was Serum’s final professional season. April 11th It’s the birthday of the inimitable Bob Casey (1925-2005), Twins public address announcer for 44 years. Casey was the only PA announcer in Twins history until his death in 2005. Casey also worked for the Minneapolis Millers, the Lakers and the Vikings. April 11, 1961 The Twins played their first ever regular season game at Yankee Stadium. Harmon Killebrew collected the first hit in Twins history, leading off the 4th with a single to center. Twins pitcher Pedro Ramos and Whitey Ford were locked in a scoreless duel until Bob Allison led off the 7th with a home run, the first in Twins history. The Twins went on to win their first game 6-0 as Ramos pitched a complete game, 3-hit shutout versus the eventual 1961 World Series champs. Ramos held Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris to a combined 1-for-11, with Berra singling in the 1st. Ramos did not allow a base-runner after the 5th inning. Roger Maris would establish a new single season home run record with 61 that year. The Twins would go on to a 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, good for 7th place in the America League. April 12, 2005 The Twins beat the Tigers 5-4 on a Shannon Stewart walk-off ground rule double off Troy Percival, who had not allowed an earned run versus the Twins in over 40 innings going back to 1995. Torii Hunter drove in Jason Bartlett to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th. April 12, 2010 The Twins beat the Red Sox 5-2 in the first regular season game played at Target Field. Carl Pavano earned the win for the Twins. Jon Lester, the losing pitcher, walked Denard Span to lead off the bottom of the 1st. Orlando Hudson then collected the Twins’ first hit at Target Field. After Mauer and Morneau made the first two outs, Michael Cuddyer collected the new stadium’s first RBI, driving in Span on a single to left. Jason Kubel then drove in Hudson, giving the Twins a 2-0 lead in the 1st. Mauer hit an RBI double in the 2nd, and an RBI single in the 4th. Jason Kubel hit Target Field’s first regular season home run leading off the 7th. Jon Rauch retired Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre in order for the save. April 13, 1962 In just the second year of major league baseball in Minnesota, the scheduled home opener versus the Los Angeles Angels was cancelled due to six inches of snow. April 14, 1983 The largest April snowstorm in Minneapolis’s history forced 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 15, 2000 Cal Ripken, jr. became the 24th player to reach 3,000 hits in a 6-4 Orioles win at the Metrodome. Ripken entered the game sitting at 2,997, having collected 1 hit the night before in a wild 10-9 Twins win. Trailing 4-9, the Twins scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th before Eddie Guardado earned the save, retiring Ripken for the final out of the game. On this night, Ripken was 2-for-3 when he came up in the 7th in a tie game with 2 out and Albert Belle on third. Hector Carrasco was brought in from the bullpen to face the Iron Man. Catcher Matt LeCroy gave up a passed ball on Carrasco’s first pitch, allowing Belle to score the go-ahead run. Then, on the second pitch of the at-bat, Ripken stroked a line drive single to center, becoming the seventh player in major league history to collect both 400 home runs and 3,000 hits. Former Twin Mike Trombley came on in the bottom of the 9th to earn the save for Baltimore. Noteworthy in retrospect is the fact that Midre Cummings pinch-hit for the number nine batter, Torii Hunter. Ripken was greeted at first after his 3,000th hit by base coach Eddie Murray, who had himself hit his 3,000th hit at the Metrodome in 1995 off of Mike Trombley as a member of the Cleveland Indians. The following season, while playing for Baltimore, Murray became just the third person in major league history with 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Rafael Palmeiro and Alex Rodriguez have since joined the club. St. Paul Central High School graduate and Golden Gophers legend, Dave Winfield, also collected his 3,000th hit at the Metrodome in 1993. 29 players have collected 3,000 hits in the 146 year history of major league baseball. Three of those reached the milestone at the Metrodome in a period of seven years. It is also noteworthy that of the 29 members of the 3,000 hit club, two (Winfield and Paul Molitor) were born in St. Paul just five years apart. April 15, 2001 In a home game versus the Chicago White Sox, Eric Milton struck out the side in the 1st, including Frank Thomas. Milton went on to strike out 8 of the first 10 batters he faced. He allowed only 2 runs over 7 innings, those coming on a 2-run Thomas homer in the 6th, one of 521 he hit in his career, tied with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 19th all-time. LaTroy Hawkins earned the save in the Twins 4-3 victory, their 6th straight, improving to 9-2 on the season. April 16, 1961 In the top of the 1st in game 1 of a doubleheader in Baltimore, Bob Allison hit the first grand slam in Twins history. Baltimore’s Chuck Estrada, who had tied for the league lead with 18 wins the previous season and who would win 15 in 1961, walked three straight to start the game before giving up a home run to the cleanup hitter, Allison. After giving up a double to Jim Lemon, Estrada was pulled, having pitched to just five batters. Relief pitcher John Papa didn’t fare much better, walking home two more Twins runs before Dick Hall, the third pitcher used by Baltimore in the 6-run 1st, came on to get the final out. Bob Allison added a 3-run home run in the 6th, giving him 7 RBIs for the game. The Twins won 10-5. In game 2, the Twins held a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 9th. With 1 out and the bases loaded, Baltimore crept within 1 on an RBI groundout. Then, with 2 down, runners on second and third and future-Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog pinch-hitting for future-Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm, Twins pitcher Ray Moore unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Baltimore to tie the game 4-4. In the top of the 11th, Zoilo Versalles hit a 2-run home run and Chuck Stobbs slammed the door in the bottom of the inning. For the history of the Minnesota Twins, told one day at a time, like The Twins Almanac on Facebook and follow @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter. For the stories of the Major Leaguers who grew up in Minnesota, like Major Minnesotans on Facebook and follow @MajorMinnesota on Twitter.
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