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  1. Today we continue the Twins No-Hitter series with Part 4. Scott Erickson had gone through many ups and downs in his first four years in the big leagues, and certainly has in his life since then. However, on one late-April night in 1994, Erickson stole the show. Hello, Twins Fans! When I was younger, my maternal grandparents used to say, "Hello Sportsfan!" and I loved that. It would not apply to me until I was much older since I grew up in theater and music. Baseball was never far from me though. I went to countless games in the summer with KidStop (If you know - you know), and I remember watching Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, and Chuck Knoblauch and loving the feeling of the crowd roaring inside the Metrodome. A lot of you have shared similar experiences with me after reading the previous no-hitter articles. Jamie Johnson, who is a follower of TwinsDaily, had the experience of attending both of the no-hitters at the Dome and told me how it felt to him: These moments are what baseball is all about and for Jamie, getting to experience BOTH no-hitters at the Metrodome is an extraordinary memory (and incredibly unlikely!). Minnesota sports made more memories last week. The Vikings beat the Packers, and the Gophers beat the Badgers. So it's a perfect time to talk about the second no-hitter in Metrodome history where the Twins stuck it to the Brewers. No-No Number 4: Scott Erickson - 1994 The Pitcher: Scott Erickson The Date: April 27, 1994 The Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers The Stadium: Metrodome (First No-Hitter in the Metrodome) The Pitcher's Background and Story Scott Erickson grew up on the west coast in sunny Long Beach, California. where he returned to retire after his 15-year stint as a pitcher in Major League Baseball. While attending both San Jose Junior College and the University of Arizona, not only did he graduate with degrees, he played ball. While attending Arizona, Erickson set a school record for wins with an 18-3 record, had the most wins in the country (18), most innings pitched (175), and complete games (14). He was only there for a year, but his impressive numbers and hard work earned him a unanimous First Team All-American honor, and he was inducted into the Arizona Wildcat Hall of Fame. Erickson was drafted four times before he signed with the Twins in 1989. Whether it was to get selected higher in the draft or a desire to pitch in college, the 21-year-old was ready to prove to the other scouts and organizations that even though his fastball was only hitting in the 80's, he was right where he needed to be for the Twins. Erickson worked hard to develop his slider and honed his two fastballs and a changeup that made him sometimes unhittable. The outcome of the game and his ability to focus and work hard to get where he wanted to be shocked not only him but also others." The thing that impresses me is his ability to concentrate through the pressure of a nine-inning game," said [Jack] Morris (in a June 1991 New York Times interview). "That's a great trait for a young pitcher, and it has a lot to do with his success. He gets into his little world." 1994 was a challenging year for baseball and left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. The American and National League decided to realign the teams and add a central division. The Twins struggled to an 8-14 record by the time the game against the Royals took place. They finished the season at 53-60 and in fourth place in the AL. Later the strike took away the post season and the World Series. The drama of the strike overshadowed the accomplishments of many teams and players, including Scott Erickson's no-hitter. This particular game was a gem, but overall it was a mediocre-at-best season for the Twins and Erickson, who led baseball with 19 losses. The Game The Metrodome was sparsely filled. A mere 17,988 fans filled the stadium. It was still early in the season. There was nothing special or crazy about this game, the stadium or the teams. Before the game, he wasn't feeling that great. Nothing said this would be a no-hitter; there was no precursor to routine or even a belief that the Twins could manage a win. In an interview after the game Erickson shared, "I haven't changed anything since my last three starts," he said. "I had a better slider today, reminiscent of years past." He did say at one-point once he realized after the sixth or seventh inning he treated each inning as if it was the first inning. His catcher Matt Walbeck recalled the game as his favorite memory with the Twins in a Twins Daily story, “My biggest memory, my happiest moment playing for the Twins, was catching Scott Erickson’s no-hitter. By far. That was my career highlight.” Opponent The Milwaukee Brewers were not faring any better than the Twins. The Brewers had an awful 1993 season, and the decision to re-brand was a year into the making, but it was just putting lipstick on a pig. The new colors were supposed to bring a vibe, and the new logo was "so cool" one team official was "concerned it would fall victim to gang usage." The Brewers fans, though? They disagreed. In a poll taken by the local newspaper, only 20% of 300 fans polled liked the new colors and logo. There was just nothing Milwaukee could do right from their logo to their gameplay. They finished their season 53-62, 5th in the American League Central Division but fairing better than the Twins sitting at 11-9 when they came to the Dome. When they made it to the Metrodome, they had a slew of problems. However, they also had some positives like injured players from 1993 that were starting to bounce back and make improvements that helped carry the team after the all-star break. The Twins had a line-up that still lingered from the 1991 World Series, players like: Chuck Knoblach, Kirby Puckett, and Kent Hrbek. It’s not that Milwaukee didn’t have a great line up, they had two stand out players who seemed to carry the team throughout the season, Greg Vaughn paced Milwaukee with 19 home runs Dave Nilsson drove in 69 runs and topped batters with significant playing time by hitting .275. Even with two all star hitters, they weren't a team that was feared coming into the Dome that day in April. How many pitchers pitched Scott Erickson was the only Twins pitcher that game. Erickson exploded into the Twins pitching scene in 1991, helping the Twins get to their 1991 World Series. Since then, he struggled; in fact, he was the most hittable pitcher in 1993. Erickson walked four batters and struck out five while throwing 128 pitches. 128 pitches! That blew my mind. His catcher, Matt Walbeck, noticed he continued to get stronger throughout the game. He was confident, and his fastball was moving faster than ever. Not a single hit, run, or error. Scott Erickson was on fire. Home or Away The game was at the Dome, and the crowd was small, but by the time they were loud, they realized what was going on. In the ninth inning - all 17,988 people were on their feet cheering for Erickson. He shut down the Brewers for nine innings, completing the first no-hitter in the Metrodome and breaking the Twins 27-year no-hitter drought Did the pitcher hit Scott Erickson did not hit in this game. He left that to the all-star lineup. The offense was able to capitalize on Brewers pitching , scoring six runs. Kent Hrbek homered. Kirby Puckett hit a ground-rule double, and Chuck Knoblauch singled in a run. By the fourth inning, the Twins were up 5-0, but that did not slow down the pace of Erickson, or the Twins bats, which scored one more run to seal the deal. The Twins wore down the pitching of the Brewers, forcing them to bring four pitchers to the mound throughout the game after starting pitcher Jaime Navarro gave up the five runs to the Twins. Wrap it up! Scott Erickson had one of the best no-hitter performances that I have researched. I know I ranked his no-hitter at #3 out of five Twins no-hitters, but I have to be fair to my criteria, and allowing for four walks is not a massive deal in the grand scheme. The fact that it was the first no-hitter in the Metrodome is also exciting. A no-hitter on artificial turf was impressive in itself, but the Dome was also the place to hit "home runs," so to see that much control and focus on pulling off the no-hitter was indeed against the odds and statistics. The fans that were there for that game experienced the rush of emotions. They erupted in noise when Greg Vaughn’s fly ball landed in left fielder Alex Cole’s glove for the last out. Those fans will never forget the pitcher that beat the odds in a season when the chips were down. I look forward to discussions! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  2. Hello, Twins Fans! When I was younger, my maternal grandparents used to say, "Hello Sportsfan!" and I loved that. It would not apply to me until I was much older since I grew up in theater and music. Baseball was never far from me though. I went to countless games in the summer with KidStop (If you know - you know), and I remember watching Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, and Chuck Knoblauch and loving the feeling of the crowd roaring inside the Metrodome. A lot of you have shared similar experiences with me after reading the previous no-hitter articles. Jamie Johnson, who is a follower of TwinsDaily, had the experience of attending both of the no-hitters at the Dome and told me how it felt to him: These moments are what baseball is all about and for Jamie, getting to experience BOTH no-hitters at the Metrodome is an extraordinary memory (and incredibly unlikely!). Minnesota sports made more memories last week. The Vikings beat the Packers, and the Gophers beat the Badgers. So it's a perfect time to talk about the second no-hitter in Metrodome history where the Twins stuck it to the Brewers. No-No Number 4: Scott Erickson - 1994 The Pitcher: Scott Erickson The Date: April 27, 1994 The Opponent: Milwaukee Brewers The Stadium: Metrodome (First No-Hitter in the Metrodome) The Pitcher's Background and Story Scott Erickson grew up on the west coast in sunny Long Beach, California. where he returned to retire after his 15-year stint as a pitcher in Major League Baseball. While attending both San Jose Junior College and the University of Arizona, not only did he graduate with degrees, he played ball. While attending Arizona, Erickson set a school record for wins with an 18-3 record, had the most wins in the country (18), most innings pitched (175), and complete games (14). He was only there for a year, but his impressive numbers and hard work earned him a unanimous First Team All-American honor, and he was inducted into the Arizona Wildcat Hall of Fame. Erickson was drafted four times before he signed with the Twins in 1989. Whether it was to get selected higher in the draft or a desire to pitch in college, the 21-year-old was ready to prove to the other scouts and organizations that even though his fastball was only hitting in the 80's, he was right where he needed to be for the Twins. Erickson worked hard to develop his slider and honed his two fastballs and a changeup that made him sometimes unhittable. The outcome of the game and his ability to focus and work hard to get where he wanted to be shocked not only him but also others." The thing that impresses me is his ability to concentrate through the pressure of a nine-inning game," said [Jack] Morris (in a June 1991 New York Times interview). "That's a great trait for a young pitcher, and it has a lot to do with his success. He gets into his little world." 1994 was a challenging year for baseball and left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. The American and National League decided to realign the teams and add a central division. The Twins struggled to an 8-14 record by the time the game against the Royals took place. They finished the season at 53-60 and in fourth place in the AL. Later the strike took away the post season and the World Series. The drama of the strike overshadowed the accomplishments of many teams and players, including Scott Erickson's no-hitter. This particular game was a gem, but overall it was a mediocre-at-best season for the Twins and Erickson, who led baseball with 19 losses. The Game The Metrodome was sparsely filled. A mere 17,988 fans filled the stadium. It was still early in the season. There was nothing special or crazy about this game, the stadium or the teams. Before the game, he wasn't feeling that great. Nothing said this would be a no-hitter; there was no precursor to routine or even a belief that the Twins could manage a win. In an interview after the game Erickson shared, "I haven't changed anything since my last three starts," he said. "I had a better slider today, reminiscent of years past." He did say at one-point once he realized after the sixth or seventh inning he treated each inning as if it was the first inning. His catcher Matt Walbeck recalled the game as his favorite memory with the Twins in a Twins Daily story, “My biggest memory, my happiest moment playing for the Twins, was catching Scott Erickson’s no-hitter. By far. That was my career highlight.” Opponent The Milwaukee Brewers were not faring any better than the Twins. The Brewers had an awful 1993 season, and the decision to re-brand was a year into the making, but it was just putting lipstick on a pig. The new colors were supposed to bring a vibe, and the new logo was "so cool" one team official was "concerned it would fall victim to gang usage." The Brewers fans, though? They disagreed. In a poll taken by the local newspaper, only 20% of 300 fans polled liked the new colors and logo. There was just nothing Milwaukee could do right from their logo to their gameplay. They finished their season 53-62, 5th in the American League Central Division but fairing better than the Twins sitting at 11-9 when they came to the Dome. When they made it to the Metrodome, they had a slew of problems. However, they also had some positives like injured players from 1993 that were starting to bounce back and make improvements that helped carry the team after the all-star break. The Twins had a line-up that still lingered from the 1991 World Series, players like: Chuck Knoblach, Kirby Puckett, and Kent Hrbek. It’s not that Milwaukee didn’t have a great line up, they had two stand out players who seemed to carry the team throughout the season, Greg Vaughn paced Milwaukee with 19 home runs Dave Nilsson drove in 69 runs and topped batters with significant playing time by hitting .275. Even with two all star hitters, they weren't a team that was feared coming into the Dome that day in April. How many pitchers pitched Scott Erickson was the only Twins pitcher that game. Erickson exploded into the Twins pitching scene in 1991, helping the Twins get to their 1991 World Series. Since then, he struggled; in fact, he was the most hittable pitcher in 1993. Erickson walked four batters and struck out five while throwing 128 pitches. 128 pitches! That blew my mind. His catcher, Matt Walbeck, noticed he continued to get stronger throughout the game. He was confident, and his fastball was moving faster than ever. Not a single hit, run, or error. Scott Erickson was on fire. Home or Away The game was at the Dome, and the crowd was small, but by the time they were loud, they realized what was going on. In the ninth inning - all 17,988 people were on their feet cheering for Erickson. He shut down the Brewers for nine innings, completing the first no-hitter in the Metrodome and breaking the Twins 27-year no-hitter drought Did the pitcher hit Scott Erickson did not hit in this game. He left that to the all-star lineup. The offense was able to capitalize on Brewers pitching , scoring six runs. Kent Hrbek homered. Kirby Puckett hit a ground-rule double, and Chuck Knoblauch singled in a run. By the fourth inning, the Twins were up 5-0, but that did not slow down the pace of Erickson, or the Twins bats, which scored one more run to seal the deal. The Twins wore down the pitching of the Brewers, forcing them to bring four pitchers to the mound throughout the game after starting pitcher Jaime Navarro gave up the five runs to the Twins. Wrap it up! Scott Erickson had one of the best no-hitter performances that I have researched. I know I ranked his no-hitter at #3 out of five Twins no-hitters, but I have to be fair to my criteria, and allowing for four walks is not a massive deal in the grand scheme. The fact that it was the first no-hitter in the Metrodome is also exciting. A no-hitter on artificial turf was impressive in itself, but the Dome was also the place to hit "home runs," so to see that much control and focus on pulling off the no-hitter was indeed against the odds and statistics. The fans that were there for that game experienced the rush of emotions. They erupted in noise when Greg Vaughn’s fly ball landed in left fielder Alex Cole’s glove for the last out. Those fans will never forget the pitcher that beat the odds in a season when the chips were down. I look forward to discussions! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  3. Scott Erickson flirts with a dubious record as he loses his 19th game of the season, with 2 scheduled starts remaining. (Spoiler alert: Erickson bravely takes the ball in his next 2 starts and escapes each with a no-decision.) After the Twins loss, the Metrodome is converted from baseball to football so the Gophers can play on the same field later the same day. (Another spoiler alert: the Gophers lost too.) Also witness a fan in Atlanta using a fishing pole to retrieve a foul ball. See that day's complete newscast here. Presented in partnership with TC Media Now.
  4. Scott Erickson flirts with a dubious record as he loses his 19th game of the season, with 2 scheduled starts remaining. (Spoiler alert: Erickson bravely takes the ball in his next 2 starts and escapes each with a no-decision.) After the Twins loss, the Metrodome is converted from baseball to football so the Gophers can play on the same field later the same day. (Another spoiler alert: the Gophers lost too.) Also witness a fan in Atlanta using a fishing pole to retrieve a foul ball. See that day's complete newscast here. Presented in partnership with TC Media Now. View full video
  5. 1991. Whitney Houston, jean shorts, and the Minnesota Twins pitching staff. In the eyes of many Twins fans, the pinnacle of Twins pitching may have coincided with the franchise’s most recent World Series Championship. The ‘91 had the full package. While Jack Morris will always be remembered for his Game seven heroics, the team may not have made it there if not for stellar seasons by fellow starters Scott Erickson, Kevin Tapani, and rock-solid Rick Aguilera in the bullpen. The world was not yet plagued by the bane of existence in 1991; that wasn’t until 1997. On the bright side, I spent more time in college watching 1991 game reruns than I did doing homework (my apologies to the Concordia College WIFI operators). Let’s take a look at some of the key components of the 1991 pitching staff, how they contributed, and who was perhaps the most valuable? Kevin Tapani Tapani was an absolute workhorse for the Twins in the 1991 season, pitching 244 innings in 34 starts; the most of his career. Coming off a successful campaign in 1990 where he finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Tapani stormed through 1991 with a 16-9 record and team-leading 2.99 ERA. Tapini finished the season 7th in Cy Young voting, just three spots behind teammate Jack Morris and five behind Scott Erickson. The Des Moines native (and now Minnesota resident) didn’t necessarily pitch his best baseball in the 1991 postseason. In the ALCS against Toronto, Tapani went 0-1, starting games’ two and five. Tapani lasted 6 1/3 innings in game two, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks in a 5-2 Blue Jays win. The series decider wasn’t much different for Tapani, who gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings. The Twins rebounded and won game five 8-5 thanks to three run innings in the sixth and eighth frames. Tapani reset in game two of the World Series, mounting a stellar eight inning performance that knocked off Tom Glavine’s Braves by a score of 3-2. He wasn’t as lucky in game five. After a scoreless three innings the Braves teed off on Tapani, putting up a four-hole and taking him out of the game. While Tapani’s postseason numbers didn’t reflect his gem of a regular season, it’s important to remember that 1991 was only his second full season in the league! All in all, not too bad of a campaign for a young buck. Scott Erickson Kevin Tapani wasn’t the only young star on the Twins ‘91 rotation. A young man by the name of Scott Erickson mounted a career season in 1991 just one year after breaking into the Major Leagues. A 1989 Twins draft pick out of the University of Arizona, Erickson rocketed through the minors and made his MLB debut after just 27 minor league starts. At just 23 years old in ‘91, Erickson led the league with 20 wins and finished the season with All-Star honors and was runner-up in the Cy Young race only to Roger Clemens. In a season where he started 32 games, the young righty crafted a 20-8 record with a 3.18 ERA. Similar to Tapani, Erickson’s 1991 postseason didn’t necessarily correlate with his electric regular season. Erickson started game three of the 1991 ACLS against Toronto, receiving a no-decision in a four inning outing where he gave up two runs on two hits. Minnesota won that game in 10 innings. Erickson’s World Series starts were both competitive, as the Long Beach, CA native earned no decisions in game three and game six. Erickson was in line for a game six win after pitching a solid six innings, giving up only two runs on five hits. Yet after a Mark Lemke single, Erickson was removed in the seventh. Later on in the inning Ron Gant singled off of Twins reliever Carl Willis to tie the game and rid Erickson of a win. While Erickson’s leash may have been shorter than Morris and Tapani’s, the young star rose to the occasion and pitched well enough to put his team in a position to win two of the three playoff games that he started. Erickson went on to have a long career with multiple teams. There’s no doubt that the highlight of it was his outstanding performance in the 1991 regular season. Rick Aguilera There’s a short list of Minnesota Twins relievers that have been as dominant as Rick Aguilera was for the ‘91 Twins. Finishing the year tied for fourth most saves in the league with 42, Rick was a 1991 All-Star who finished 18th in the American League for MVP voting. Wait, MVP? That’s right. The San Gabriel, CA native was the lead vote receiver for relievers and the only pitchers he finished behind were Roger Clemens (10th and Cy Young), Jack Morris (13th), and Scott Erickson (17th). Pitchers don’t win the MVP and the thought of a reliever even being in the top 20 is rare. Aguilera was special. Similar to Morris, Aguilera’s most valuable asset to the ‘91 Twins was his postseason dominance. In the ALCS he was nearly perfect, racking up three saves and giving up only one hit. Aguilera continued his dominance in games one and two of the World Series, racking up two more saves. His only falter of the postseason came in game three when he faced the heart of the Braves lineup in the bottom of the 12th. After giving up a single and stolen base to David Justice, Mark Lemke singled to left to score Justice and walk off the Braves. Aguilera would cancel out his one loss on the postseason a few days later in game six thanks to a stellar 11th inning and a guy named Kirby Puckett. Aggie may not have gotten the hype of Morris, Puckett, or Hrbek. Yet his success on the bump late in games played a crucial role in the Twins putting together a stellar season. Jack Morris While John Scott Morris’ time in Minnesota was brief, his 1991 game seven performance cemented his legacy in Twins and baseball history for an eternity. It’s important to remember that while his name is associated with the postseason, the guy had a pretty damn good 1991 regular season, leading the team with 163 strikeouts to top off an All-Star season that landed him fourth in Cy Young voting. Morris’ most valuable asset may have been his consistency in the 1991 postseason. In a rotation filled with young stars and a lack of solidity at the bottom, Morris was a seasoned veteran. It showed. In five postseason starts Morris was a stellar 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA in the ALCS and 1.17 ERA in the Fall Classic. The only start he didn’t win still consisted of a six inning outing in game three of the World Series where the vet gave up one run on six hits. 1991 wasn’t Jack Morris’ best season; but it would be difficult to not call it his most iconic. The hometown kid comes back to his own backyard to guide a young pitching staff to a title, capped off with the master himself sealing the deal. It doesn’t get much better. So, what’s the order? They’re all valuable in unique ways but if I had to order them based on the value they provide to the Twins winning a World Series, I’d do this: 4. Scott Erickson (Although he arguably had the best season) 3. Kevin Tapani 2. Rick Aguilera 1. Jack Morris Think I completely missed the ball on this one and that I’m some young punk who doesn’t know what a World Championship team looks like? Drop a comment below! [link to image license]
  6. Chris Bosh, LeBron and D-Wade? More like Scott Erickson, Kevin Tapani and Jack Morris. The 1991 Twins pitching staff showed up in arguably the greatest World Series in the history of baseball. And while it was a team effort, who was the best? Let’s dig in.1991. Whitney Houston, jean shorts, and the Minnesota Twins pitching staff. In the eyes of many Twins fans, the pinnacle of Twins pitching may have coincided with the franchise’s most recent World Series Championship. The ‘91 had the full package. While Jack Morris will always be remembered for his Game seven heroics, the team may not have made it there if not for stellar seasons by fellow starters Scott Erickson, Kevin Tapani, and rock-solid Rick Aguilera in the bullpen. The world was not yet plagued by the bane of existence in 1991; that wasn’t until 1997. On the bright side, I spent more time in college watching 1991 game reruns than I did doing homework (my apologies to the Concordia College WIFI operators). Let’s take a look at some of the key components of the 1991 pitching staff, how they contributed, and who was perhaps the most valuable? Kevin Tapani Tapani was an absolute workhorse for the Twins in the 1991 season, pitching 244 innings in 34 starts; the most of his career. Coming off a successful campaign in 1990 where he finished fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Tapani stormed through 1991 with a 16-9 record and team-leading 2.99 ERA. Tapini finished the season 7th in Cy Young voting, just three spots behind teammate Jack Morris and five behind Scott Erickson. The Des Moines native (and now Minnesota resident) didn’t necessarily pitch his best baseball in the 1991 postseason. In the ALCS against Toronto, Tapani went 0-1, starting games’ two and five. Tapani lasted 6 1/3 innings in game two, giving up four runs on eight hits and two walks in a 5-2 Blue Jays win. The series decider wasn’t much different for Tapani, who gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings. The Twins rebounded and won game five 8-5 thanks to three run innings in the sixth and eighth frames. Tapani reset in game two of the World Series, mounting a stellar eight inning performance that knocked off Tom Glavine’s Braves by a score of 3-2. He wasn’t as lucky in game five. After a scoreless three innings the Braves teed off on Tapani, putting up a four-hole and taking him out of the game. While Tapani’s postseason numbers didn’t reflect his gem of a regular season, it’s important to remember that 1991 was only his second full season in the league! All in all, not too bad of a campaign for a young buck. Scott Erickson Kevin Tapani wasn’t the only young star on the Twins ‘91 rotation. A young man by the name of Scott Erickson mounted a career season in 1991 just one year after breaking into the Major Leagues. A 1989 Twins draft pick out of the University of Arizona, Erickson rocketed through the minors and made his MLB debut after just 27 minor league starts. At just 23 years old in ‘91, Erickson led the league with 20 wins and finished the season with All-Star honors and was runner-up in the Cy Young race only to Roger Clemens. In a season where he started 32 games, the young righty crafted a 20-8 record with a 3.18 ERA. Similar to Tapani, Erickson’s 1991 postseason didn’t necessarily correlate with his electric regular season. Erickson started game three of the 1991 ACLS against Toronto, receiving a no-decision in a four inning outing where he gave up two runs on two hits. Minnesota won that game in 10 innings. Erickson’s World Series starts were both competitive, as the Long Beach, CA native earned no decisions in game three and game six. Erickson was in line for a game six win after pitching a solid six innings, giving up only two runs on five hits. Yet after a Mark Lemke single, Erickson was removed in the seventh. Later on in the inning Ron Gant singled off of Twins reliever Carl Willis to tie the game and rid Erickson of a win. While Erickson’s leash may have been shorter than Morris and Tapani’s, the young star rose to the occasion and pitched well enough to put his team in a position to win two of the three playoff games that he started. Erickson went on to have a long career with multiple teams. There’s no doubt that the highlight of it was his outstanding performance in the 1991 regular season. Rick Aguilera There’s a short list of Minnesota Twins relievers that have been as dominant as Rick Aguilera was for the ‘91 Twins. Finishing the year tied for fourth most saves in the league with 42, Rick was a 1991 All-Star who finished 18th in the American League for MVP voting. Wait, MVP? That’s right. The San Gabriel, CA native was the lead vote receiver for relievers and the only pitchers he finished behind were Roger Clemens (10th and Cy Young), Jack Morris (13th), and Scott Erickson (17th). Pitchers don’t win the MVP and the thought of a reliever even being in the top 20 is rare. Aguilera was special. Similar to Morris, Aguilera’s most valuable asset to the ‘91 Twins was his postseason dominance. In the ALCS he was nearly perfect, racking up three saves and giving up only one hit. Aguilera continued his dominance in games one and two of the World Series, racking up two more saves. His only falter of the postseason came in game three when he faced the heart of the Braves lineup in the bottom of the 12th. After giving up a single and stolen base to David Justice, Mark Lemke singled to left to score Justice and walk off the Braves. Aguilera would cancel out his one loss on the postseason a few days later in game six thanks to a stellar 11th inning and a guy named Kirby Puckett. Aggie may not have gotten the hype of Morris, Puckett, or Hrbek. Yet his success on the bump late in games played a crucial role in the Twins putting together a stellar season. Jack Morris While John Scott Morris’ time in Minnesota was brief, his 1991 game seven performance cemented his legacy in Twins and baseball history for an eternity. It’s important to remember that while his name is associated with the postseason, the guy had a pretty damn good 1991 regular season, leading the team with 163 strikeouts to top off an All-Star season that landed him fourth in Cy Young voting. Morris’ most valuable asset may have been his consistency in the 1991 postseason. In a rotation filled with young stars and a lack of solidity at the bottom, Morris was a seasoned veteran. It showed. In five postseason starts Morris was a stellar 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA in the ALCS and 1.17 ERA in the Fall Classic. The only start he didn’t win still consisted of a six inning outing in game three of the World Series where the vet gave up one run on six hits. 1991 wasn’t Jack Morris’ best season; but it would be difficult to not call it his most iconic. The hometown kid comes back to his own backyard to guide a young pitching staff to a title, capped off with the master himself sealing the deal. It doesn’t get much better. So, what’s the order? They’re all valuable in unique ways but if I had to order them based on the value they provide to the Twins winning a World Series, I’d do this: 4. Scott Erickson (Although he arguably had the best season) 3. Kevin Tapani 2. Rick Aguilera 1. Jack Morris Think I completely missed the ball on this one and that I’m some young punk who doesn’t know what a World Championship team looks like? Drop a comment below! [link to image license] Click here to view the article
  7. Today we continue our stroll down Twins memory lane by looking at the pitchers in the All-Decade Team for the Twins. There are a couple of Twins Hall of Famers on this list. The decade began in last place, then jumped to a title, and after that, there were some lean years, but even those teams had some very nice players.The 1990 Twins finished in last place in the American League, but some young pitchers, both starters and in the bullpen, were working some valuable innings and then took off in that magical 1991 season. And even during the years that the Twins were really struggling, some pitchers were getting some quality innings that they carried into the new century. While a couple of one-season Twins could have made this list and given it more clout, the other names make for more conversation. So, enjoy this list and then discuss in the comments below. SP - Brad Radke (1995-1999) 164 games, 163 starts, 66-68 with 4.30 ERA in 1,085 innings. 664 K. 239 BB. Radke was the team’s eighth-round draft pick out of high school in 1991. He made his debut early in the 1995 season and pitched 181 innings. The next six seasons, he topped 213 innings each season. The first two years, he led the league in home runs allowed (“Real as Radke”). But in 1997, he broke out and went 20-10 for a Twins team that won just 68 games. In June, July and into August that year, he had a stretch in which he won 12 straight starts. He finished third in Cy Young voting that year. While his 4.30 ERA over this time frame doesn’t sound great, it was 14% better than average during that era. SP - Kevin Tapani (1990-1995) 176 games, 175 starts, 73-61 with 4.06 ERA in 1,138 2/3 innings. 703 K. 247 BB. Tapani came to the Twins late in the 1989 season in the Frank Viola trade and became a mainstay in the Twins rotation through the first half of the 1990s. In 1990, he went 12-8 and finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. He went 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA in 244 innings in helping the Twins to their 1991 World Series championship. He won 16 more games in 1992 despite an ERA of 3.97. He was traded to the Dodgers late in the 1995 season and pitched in the big leagues through the 2001 season. SP - Scott Erickson (1990-1995) 155 games, 153 starts, 61-60 with 4.22 ERA in 979 1/3 innings. 527 K. 367 BB. Erickson was the Twins fourth-round pick in 1989 out of the University of Arizona. He made his MLB debut just a year later and went 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings for the 1990 Twins. He led the league with 20 wins and posted a 3.18 ERA in 204 innings for the 1991 Twins, finishing second in Cy Young voting. He was a solid 13-12 in 1992. But as the Twins went down hill, Erickson’s performance went downhill (or vice versa). He lost a league-leading 19 games with a 5.19 ERA in 1993, got worse in 1994 and was traded midway through the 1995 season. He fought injuries the rest of his career, but he certainly always showed the kind of stuff to keep getting opportunities. SP - Bob Tewksbury (1997-98) 52 games, 51 starts, 15-26 with 4.49 ERA in 317 innings. 152 K. 51 BB. When Tewksbury joined the Twins before the 1997 season, he already was a veteran of 11 MLB seasons. He had been an All-Star with the Cardinals in 1992. He provided the Twins with some consistency and veteran presence. Simply, he didn’t walk many, struck out very few and took the ball. His ERA over those two seasons was 5% better than average. SP - Eric Milton (1998-1999) 66 games, 66 starts, 15-25 with 5.01 ERA in 378 2/3 innings. 270 K. 133 BB. Milton came to the Twins from the Yankees before the 1998 season in the Chuck Knoblauch trade. He had been a first-round pick by the pinstripes. He surprised many when he made the Twins Opening Day roster right away in 1998. After going 8-14 with a 5.64 ERA as a rookie, Milton went 7-11 with a 4.49 ERA in 206 1/3 innings his sophomore season. That ERA was 13% better than league average. While he wasn’t great, Milton provided some glimpses at what he could be. In late July, he threw a complete game, three-hit shutout against the Angels. And, you may remember his September start against the Angels on a Saturday morning in which he no-hit the Angels with 13 strikeouts. In keeping consistent with previous decades, I did not include any players who were only with the team for one season in the decade. In the 1970s, that meant that Jerry Koosman didn’t make the list. In the 1990s, Jack Morris’s 1991 and John Smiley’s 1992 seasons certainly warrant mention. RP - Rick Aguilera (1990-1999) 479 games, 19 starts, 37-42 with 254 saves and a 3.54 ERA in 618 1/3 innings. 529 K. 162 BB. “Aggy” spent parts of five seasons with the New York Mets, even winning a World Series title in 1986. He was traded to the Twins in the 1989 Frank Viola deal. While he was very clear about wanting to be a starter, his work as a closer was terrific and led to being inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. He posted sub-3.00 ERAs each season from 1990 through 1992. He was an All-Star in 1991, 1992 and 1993 for the Twins. He was a huge part of the 1991 championship. Late in 1995, he was traded to the Red Sox, but he chose to come back to the Twins for the 1996 season, again as a starter. In 1997, he was back in the closer role which he kept until a trade to the Cubs late in the 1999 season. He had over 30 saves in six seasons for the Twins. His 254 Twins saves was a franchise high until it was surpassed by Joe Nathan. RP - Mike Trombley (1992-1999) 360 games, 36 starts, 30-33 with 34 saves and a 4.46 ERA in 641 2/3 innings. 525 K. 243 BB. Trombley was the Twins 14th-round pick in 1989 out of Duke. He made his debut in August of 1992. He had some opportunities to start, but his best work came out of the Twins bullpen. His best season came in 1996 when he went 5-1 with a 3.01 ERA and six saves in 68 2/3 innings. He also recorded 24 of his Twins saves during the 1999 season. Once he shifted full-time to the bullpen in 1996, he became very good, very consistent. Over those four seasons, his 3.87 ERA was 26% better than the league average ERA. RP - Greg Swindell (1997-1998) 117 games, 1 start, 10-7 with 3 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 182 innings. 120 K. 43 BB. Like Tewksbury, Swindell had a lot of big-league service time when the Twins signed him before the 1997 season. He had been an All-Star as a starter in Cleveland, and pitched for several teams. He had recently shifted to the bullpen. In 1997, he worked 115 2/3 innings over 65 games for the Twins, all but one out of the bullpen. He went 7-5 with a 3.58 ERA. He then pitched another 52 games (and 66 1/3 innings) for the Twins before being traded to the Red Sox late in the 1998 season. While it was only about 1.7 seasons with the Twins, his 3.61 ERA was 30% better than league average at that time. RP - Mark Guthrie (1990-1995) 227 games, 35 starts, 27-23 with 8 saves and a 4.14 ERA in 432 1/3 innings. 350 K. 153 BB. Guthrie had been the Twins seventh-ound pick in 1987 out of LSU. He made his debut with the Twins in 1989. In 1990, he was still used primarily as a starter. But it wasn’t too long into the 1991 season that Guthrie was moved to the Twins bullpen and he did a really nice job the rest of the season and he was important for the 1991 World Series championship team. 1992 was his best season. In 54 games and 75 innings, he went 2-3 with five saves and a 2.88 ERA. He missed time in 1993 and struggled in 1994 and 1995 when he was traded to the Dodgers where he became very good again. Fun Fact: The Twins used their 40th-round pick in the 2014 draft on high school shortstop Dalton Guthrie. He went unsigned, went to Florida and became the Phillies sixth-round pick in 2017. He spent 2019 with High-A Clearwater. RP - Carl Willis (1991-1995) 204 games, 0 starts, 20-10 with 11 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 286 1/3 innings. 179 K. 64 BB. Carl Willis, aka The Big Train, had quite the circuitous route to the Twins, but once he got there, he played a large role in some terrific Twins teams. He made his MLB debut in 1984 with the Tigers and then spent parts of 1984 through 1986 with the Reds. He pitched six games and 12 innings for the White Sox in 1988. Then he didn’t see the big leagues until 1991. The Twins signed him as a 30-year-old before the 1991 season. By late April, the Twins called him up for long relief. By May 8th, he was back in the big leagues for good. Maybe it was his ticks, touching his cap a bunch and other idiosyncrasies, but whatever, it worked. He gained Tom Kelly’s confidence and was used a lot. He went 8-3 with a 2.64 ERA for the 1991 Twins and then pitched in seven games during the postseason, helping the team to the World Series championship. In 1992, he went 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA. He was 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA and five saves in 1993. He struggled after that for a couple of seasons, but his work in the early-90s was quite impressive. He’s also become a well-respected pitching coach since then. So there you have it, some memorable names, some great moments, many ups and downs, but a fun decade to sift through and remember. What are your thoughts? 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 Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers) Click here to view the article
  8. The 1990 Twins finished in last place in the American League, but some young pitchers, both starters and in the bullpen, were working some valuable innings and then took off in that magical 1991 season. And even during the years that the Twins were really struggling, some pitchers were getting some quality innings that they carried into the new century. While a couple of one-season Twins could have made this list and given it more clout, the other names make for more conversation. So, enjoy this list and then discuss in the comments below. SP - Brad Radke (1995-1999) 164 games, 163 starts, 66-68 with 4.30 ERA in 1,085 innings. 664 K. 239 BB. Radke was the team’s eighth-round draft pick out of high school in 1991. He made his debut early in the 1995 season and pitched 181 innings. The next six seasons, he topped 213 innings each season. The first two years, he led the league in home runs allowed (“Real as Radke”). But in 1997, he broke out and went 20-10 for a Twins team that won just 68 games. In June, July and into August that year, he had a stretch in which he won 12 straight starts. He finished third in Cy Young voting that year. While his 4.30 ERA over this time frame doesn’t sound great, it was 14% better than average during that era. SP - Kevin Tapani (1990-1995) 176 games, 175 starts, 73-61 with 4.06 ERA in 1,138 2/3 innings. 703 K. 247 BB. Tapani came to the Twins late in the 1989 season in the Frank Viola trade and became a mainstay in the Twins rotation through the first half of the 1990s. In 1990, he went 12-8 and finished fifth in the Rookie of the Year voting. He went 16-9 with a 2.99 ERA in 244 innings in helping the Twins to their 1991 World Series championship. He won 16 more games in 1992 despite an ERA of 3.97. He was traded to the Dodgers late in the 1995 season and pitched in the big leagues through the 2001 season. SP - Scott Erickson (1990-1995) 155 games, 153 starts, 61-60 with 4.22 ERA in 979 1/3 innings. 527 K. 367 BB. Erickson was the Twins fourth-round pick in 1989 out of the University of Arizona. He made his MLB debut just a year later and went 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings for the 1990 Twins. He led the league with 20 wins and posted a 3.18 ERA in 204 innings for the 1991 Twins, finishing second in Cy Young voting. He was a solid 13-12 in 1992. But as the Twins went down hill, Erickson’s performance went downhill (or vice versa). He lost a league-leading 19 games with a 5.19 ERA in 1993, got worse in 1994 and was traded midway through the 1995 season. He fought injuries the rest of his career, but he certainly always showed the kind of stuff to keep getting opportunities. SP - Bob Tewksbury (1997-98) 52 games, 51 starts, 15-26 with 4.49 ERA in 317 innings. 152 K. 51 BB. When Tewksbury joined the Twins before the 1997 season, he already was a veteran of 11 MLB seasons. He had been an All-Star with the Cardinals in 1992. He provided the Twins with some consistency and veteran presence. Simply, he didn’t walk many, struck out very few and took the ball. His ERA over those two seasons was 5% better than average. SP - Eric Milton (1998-1999) 66 games, 66 starts, 15-25 with 5.01 ERA in 378 2/3 innings. 270 K. 133 BB. Milton came to the Twins from the Yankees before the 1998 season in the Chuck Knoblauch trade. He had been a first-round pick by the pinstripes. He surprised many when he made the Twins Opening Day roster right away in 1998. After going 8-14 with a 5.64 ERA as a rookie, Milton went 7-11 with a 4.49 ERA in 206 1/3 innings his sophomore season. That ERA was 13% better than league average. While he wasn’t great, Milton provided some glimpses at what he could be. In late July, he threw a complete game, three-hit shutout against the Angels. And, you may remember his September start against the Angels on a Saturday morning in which he no-hit the Angels with 13 strikeouts. In keeping consistent with previous decades, I did not include any players who were only with the team for one season in the decade. In the 1970s, that meant that Jerry Koosman didn’t make the list. In the 1990s, Jack Morris’s 1991 and John Smiley’s 1992 seasons certainly warrant mention. RP - Rick Aguilera (1990-1999) 479 games, 19 starts, 37-42 with 254 saves and a 3.54 ERA in 618 1/3 innings. 529 K. 162 BB. “Aggy” spent parts of five seasons with the New York Mets, even winning a World Series title in 1986. He was traded to the Twins in the 1989 Frank Viola deal. While he was very clear about wanting to be a starter, his work as a closer was terrific and led to being inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. He posted sub-3.00 ERAs each season from 1990 through 1992. He was an All-Star in 1991, 1992 and 1993 for the Twins. He was a huge part of the 1991 championship. Late in 1995, he was traded to the Red Sox, but he chose to come back to the Twins for the 1996 season, again as a starter. In 1997, he was back in the closer role which he kept until a trade to the Cubs late in the 1999 season. He had over 30 saves in six seasons for the Twins. His 254 Twins saves was a franchise high until it was surpassed by Joe Nathan. RP - Mike Trombley (1992-1999) 360 games, 36 starts, 30-33 with 34 saves and a 4.46 ERA in 641 2/3 innings. 525 K. 243 BB. Trombley was the Twins 14th-round pick in 1989 out of Duke. He made his debut in August of 1992. He had some opportunities to start, but his best work came out of the Twins bullpen. His best season came in 1996 when he went 5-1 with a 3.01 ERA and six saves in 68 2/3 innings. He also recorded 24 of his Twins saves during the 1999 season. Once he shifted full-time to the bullpen in 1996, he became very good, very consistent. Over those four seasons, his 3.87 ERA was 26% better than the league average ERA. RP - Greg Swindell (1997-1998) 117 games, 1 start, 10-7 with 3 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 182 innings. 120 K. 43 BB. Like Tewksbury, Swindell had a lot of big-league service time when the Twins signed him before the 1997 season. He had been an All-Star as a starter in Cleveland, and pitched for several teams. He had recently shifted to the bullpen. In 1997, he worked 115 2/3 innings over 65 games for the Twins, all but one out of the bullpen. He went 7-5 with a 3.58 ERA. He then pitched another 52 games (and 66 1/3 innings) for the Twins before being traded to the Red Sox late in the 1998 season. While it was only about 1.7 seasons with the Twins, his 3.61 ERA was 30% better than league average at that time. RP - Mark Guthrie (1990-1995) 227 games, 35 starts, 27-23 with 8 saves and a 4.14 ERA in 432 1/3 innings. 350 K. 153 BB. Guthrie had been the Twins seventh-ound pick in 1987 out of LSU. He made his debut with the Twins in 1989. In 1990, he was still used primarily as a starter. But it wasn’t too long into the 1991 season that Guthrie was moved to the Twins bullpen and he did a really nice job the rest of the season and he was important for the 1991 World Series championship team. 1992 was his best season. In 54 games and 75 innings, he went 2-3 with five saves and a 2.88 ERA. He missed time in 1993 and struggled in 1994 and 1995 when he was traded to the Dodgers where he became very good again. Fun Fact: The Twins used their 40th-round pick in the 2014 draft on high school shortstop Dalton Guthrie. He went unsigned, went to Florida and became the Phillies sixth-round pick in 2017. He spent 2019 with High-A Clearwater. RP - Carl Willis (1991-1995) 204 games, 0 starts, 20-10 with 11 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 286 1/3 innings. 179 K. 64 BB. Carl Willis, aka The Big Train, had quite the circuitous route to the Twins, but once he got there, he played a large role in some terrific Twins teams. He made his MLB debut in 1984 with the Tigers and then spent parts of 1984 through 1986 with the Reds. He pitched six games and 12 innings for the White Sox in 1988. Then he didn’t see the big leagues until 1991. The Twins signed him as a 30-year-old before the 1991 season. By late April, the Twins called him up for long relief. By May 8th, he was back in the big leagues for good. Maybe it was his ticks, touching his cap a bunch and other idiosyncrasies, but whatever, it worked. He gained Tom Kelly’s confidence and was used a lot. He went 8-3 with a 2.64 ERA for the 1991 Twins and then pitched in seven games during the postseason, helping the team to the World Series championship. In 1992, he went 7-3 with a 2.72 ERA. He was 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA and five saves in 1993. He struggled after that for a couple of seasons, but his work in the early-90s was quite impressive. He’s also become a well-respected pitching coach since then. So there you have it, some memorable names, some great moments, many ups and downs, but a fun decade to sift through and remember. What are your thoughts? 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 Howard Sinker) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Hitters) Twins All-Decade Team: the '90s (The Pitchers)
  9. April 22, 1961 First Walk-Off in Twins History In just the second home game in team history, the Twins and new expansion Senators played to a 4-4 tie through nine. With the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the tenth, Zoilo Versalles drove in Earl Battey with a sac fly to center for the first walk-off win in Twins history, improving to 6-2 on the season. April 22, 1980 Eighty-Nine-Degree Home Opener After the Twins began the season with a 12-game west coast road trip, they returned to Bloomington for a balmy 89-degree home opener against the Angels. Geoff Zahn allowed just one run on six hits over nine innings. Hosken Powell, Ron Jackson, and Roy Smalley each homered in the 8-1 Twins win. April 22, 1986 Tapani Pitches No-Hitter Central Michigan University senior Kevin Tapani pitches a no-hitter at Eastern Michigan for a 10-0 win the second game of a Tuesday doubleheader. Central Michigan would go on to win their third-straight MAC title. Tapani was a walk-on at Central Michigan. His high school in Escanaba, MI did not have baseball team, although he was a state champion quarterback. April 22, 1988 Twins Day Goes From Bad to Worse Bert Blyleven gives up seven runs on nine hits and four hit batters in just 4.2 innings. Four of those runs came on a grand slam by Cleveland right fielder Cory Snyder. Center fielder Joe Carter added a grand slam of his own off Keith Atherton in the 11-6 Cleveland win. To add insult to injury, after the game the Twins traded Tom Brunansky to the Cardinals for clubhouse cancer Tommy frickin’ Herr. April 23, 1863 Birthdate of Lou Galvin Lou Galvin was born in St. Paul on this date in 1863. He went 0-2 in three starts with the 1884 St. Paul White Caps of the Union Association (generally considered a major league). April 23, 1961 Pitcher Kralick Delivers Twins’ Only RBI In the final game of the Twins’ first-ever home series, Jack Kralick pitches a four-hit shutout and drives in Billy Gardner in the fifth for the Twins’ only run in a 1-0 win over the new expansion Senators. The Twins improved to 7-2 on the season. April 23, 1980 Landreaux Begins Record Streak Ken Landreaux begins his team record 31-game hitting streak by breaking up Angels pitcher Bruce Kison’s no-hitter with a one-out double in the ninth. California held on to win 17-0. April 24, 1988 Tim Laudner hits three-run home runs in both the third and fourth innings as the Twins beat Cleveland 13-7. April 24, 1996 Five-RBI Game for Molitor and Myers Twins DH Paul Molitor and catcher Greg Myers collect five RBI each in a 24-11 Twins win at Tiger Stadium. Molitor went 2-for-5 with a home run, walk, reached on two fielder’s choices, and scored five runs. Myers went 5-for-6 with three runs scored. The Twins jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but had used three pitchers by the end of the third, and trailed 10-7 at the end of four innings. But they kept adding on, outscoring the Tigers 17-1 over the final five innings. They scored in every inning except the fourth. April 25, 1883 Birthdate of Russ Ford Minneapolis Central alumnus and seven-year major leaguer Russ Ford was born in Brandon, Manitoba on this date in 1883. The Ford family immigrated to the United States when Russell was three years old, eventually settling in Minneapolis. At age 27, Ford had one of the all-time great rookie seasons in baseball history with the New York Highlanders in 1910, going 26-6 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.881 WHIP. He won 22 games in 1911, for a total of 48 in his first two full seasons. He won 99 major league games altogether, pitching for the New York Highlanders/Yankees, and Buffalo Buffeds/Blues from 1909 to 1915. Read T. Kent Morgan and David Jones‘ SABR BioProject biography of Russ Ford. April 25, 1885 Birthdate of Hack Spencer Hack Spencer was born in St. Cloud on this date in 1885. He grew up in the Minneapolis area. He made his one and only major league appearance for the St. Louis Browns on April 18, 1912, allowing two runs on two hits in the final 1 2/3 innings of a 12-7 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Read Bob Tholkes‘ SABR BioProject biography of Hack Spencer. April 25, 1961 Fred Bruckbauer Has Career ERA of Infinity With the Twins trailing 7-2 after three in Kansas City, 22-year-old St. Mary’s High School(Sleepy Eye, MN) graduate Fred Bruckbauer makes his major league debut, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before being pulled without recording an out. The Twins went on to lose 20-2. Unfortunately, this was Bruckbauer’s only major league appearance, making his career ERA infinity. Fred Bruckbauer was born in New Ulm. New Ulm native Doc Hamann also had a career ERA of infinity, giving up six runs without recording an out in his only major league appearance with Cleveland on September 21, 1922. April 25, 1971 Jim Kaat pitches a two-hit shutout for a 8-0 Twins win at Yankee Stadium. April 25–29, 1985 Twins Sweep A’s Kirby Puckett hits a walk-off single on Thursday, Tom Brunansky hits a walk-off home run on Friday, and Mickey Hatcher strings together nine consecutive hits between Saturday and Sunday in a four-game series sweep of the Athletics. April 25, 1989 Molitor Has 2-HR Game vs. Twins 1974 Cretin High School graduate and Golden Gophers all-time great Paul Molitor homers on Twins starter Roy Smith’s second pitch of the game, and reliever German Gonzalez’s first pitch of the eighth inning. The Brewers won 10-4 for the first of Bryan Clutterbuck’s two major league wins. April 26, 1986 Dome Deflates, Twins Collapse With the Twins beating the Angels 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a stormy night in Minneapolis, a tear causes the Metrodome roof to deflate. The L.A. Times described the scene, with “80-m.p.h. winds tearing holes in the fiberglass dome and whipping through the stadium, sending speakers and light standards swaying on their cables like yo-yos in a wind tunnel… Above the third base line, a geyser of water shot through a drainage hole in the roof, dousing a handful of spectators.” Remarkably, the roof was re-inflated with the game only being delayed nine minutes. The Twins went on to score once more in the eighth, with Mickey Hatcher driving in Steve Lombardozzi with a sacrifice fly for a 6-1 lead going into the ninth. Frank Viola gave up a leadoff double to Brian Downing and a two-run home run to George Hendrick before giving way to closer Ron Davis, still up 6-3. Davis gave up a single and two-run home run to the first two men he faced. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Reggie Jackson, representing the tying run. After striking out Bobby Grich for the second out, Ron Davis gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Wally Joyner, who had made his major league debut less than three weeks earlier. Tom Brunansky, Roy Smalley, and Gary Gaetti went down in order in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 Twins loss. April 27, 1903 Bender Pitches First Shutout After earning a win over Boston’s Cy Young in his major league debut, 19-year-old Crow Wing County native Charles Albert Bender makes his first start, pitching a shutout versus the New York Highlanders, opposing Hall of Fame pitcher Clark Griffith, the father of former Twins owner Calvin Griffith. Bender became the first Minnesotan inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953. April 27, 1965 Pascual Hits Second Grand Slam Before even climbing the mound, Camilo Pascual hits the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history, staking himself to a 7-0 first-inning lead in Cleveland. He went on to pitch a heckuva game, allowing just two hits and two walks in an 11-1 Twins win. Pascual hit his first grand slam in the Senators’ final season in Washington, on August 14, 1960 in a 5-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Senators won the second game 6-3 in 15 innings. April 27, 1969 Killebrew Hits 400th With two out in the top of the first of an afternoon game in Chicago, Harmon Killebrew hits his 400th career home run. Rod Carew hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Twins a 4-3 win. This was a fun boxscore to read. The top of the Twins lineup that afternoon went Tovar, Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Alison. All told, Killebrew hit 573 home runs, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement. He hit 84 as a member of the Washington Senators, 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975, and 475 in a Twins uniform. April 27, 1994 Erickson Pitches No-Hitter Scott Erickson pitches the first no-hitter in Metrodome history as the Twins beat the Brewers 5-0. It is the third of five no-hitters in Twins history, and the first since Dean Chance in 1967. Erickson, who had led the American League with 20 wins and finished second in Cy Young balloting in 1991, was coming off a ‘93 season in which he led the league with 19 losses and 266 hits allowed. April 28, 1985 Hatcher Ties Oliva’s Consecutive Hits Record Mickey Hatcher goes 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over the Athletics at the Metrodome. He had gone 5-for-5 the previous day, giving him nine consecutive hits, tying Tony Oliva‘s team record set in 1967. Todd Walker matched the feat in 1998. April 28, 2010 Hughes Homers in First At-Bat Leading off the top of the third, Australia native Luke Hughes lifts Max Scherzer’s 2-2 pitch to right for an opposite field home run in his first major league at-bat. Hughes had originally come up to bat in the second, but Delmon Young was thrown out attempting to steal third for the third out of the inning. The Tigers won the game 11-6. Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Hughes, and Eddie Rosario. Between August 26 and September 20, 1981, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner, and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first major league game. April 29, 1962 Twins Hit Six Solo Home Runs The Twins hit six solo home runs in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Lenny Green, Don Mincher, Zoilo Versalles, and Bill Tuttle hit one each, and Johnny Goryl hit two. The Twins scored in each inning except the third and ninth in the 7-3 win. The Twins did not hit a home run in the first game, which they won 8-4. April 29, 1986 Beane Goes 5-for-5 After going 3-for-21 in his first 17 major league games (four with the Twins), Billy Beane goes 5-for-5, including his first home run, in a 14-11 Twins loss at Yankee Stadium. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook.
  10. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/TwinsAlmanac_zpscrd6a75x.jpg January 29 Twins Almanac’s First Birthday The Twins Almanac was born in a Bellingham, WA apartment with the creation of the @TwinsAlmanac Twitter account on January 29, 2016. In the intervening year Molly and I moved to Minnesota where our daughter was born earlier this month. The Twitter account was originally a way for me to feel like I was being productive, building an audience for the articles that were to follow. The articles on Twins Daily, however, became more and more sporadic over the course of the season, and I still haven’t gotten anywhere with TwinsAlmanac.com. The Twitter account, meanwhile, has attracted 6,600 followers in the first twelve months, and has been shared by Torii Hunter, Kent Hrbek, Frank Viola, LaTroy Hawkins, Eric Milton, Dave St. Peter, Patrick Reusse and others. It’s been fun for me, though also a distraction from writing the actual Almanac I’d originally envisioned. With a year’s worth of trivia in one messy spreadsheet, though, I’m looking forward to a strong second season. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/hunter.gordon.split_zpshifmbpkp.jpg January 29, 2016 Torii Hunter and John Gordon Elected to Twins Hall of Fame Twins President Dave St. Peter announces that Torii Hunter and John Gordon will be the 27th and 28th members of the Twins Hall of Fame. Gordon spent 25 years in the Twins’ radio broadcast booth, originally joining Herb Carneal in 1987 and retiring at the end of the 2011 season. Torii Hunter spent 12 of his 19 major league seasons with the Twins, originally coming up in August, 1997 at age 22. While in a Twins uniform Hunter won 7 of his 9 career Gold Gloves, made 2 of his 5 All-Star appearances, and hit 214 of his 353 home runs (6th most in Twins history). Hunter’s 3 grand slams in 2007 tied the team’s single season record (Bob Allison '61, Rod Carew '76, Kent Hrbek '85, Kirby Puckett '92). Hrbek and Hunter, incidentally, both hit their third on August 15. Don Mattingly set the MLB record with 6 grand slams in 1987. Please enjoy John Gordon’s iconic call of Kirby Puckett’s 11th-inning home run in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series: January 31 Happy 30th Birthday to Caleb Thielbar http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Caleb-Thielbar-Minnesota-Twins-vs-Seattle-Mariners-06-01-2013_zpse7rm1isb.jpg It’s the birthday of Randolph, Minnesota High School graduate Caleb Thielbar, born in Northfield, MN in 1987. Thielbar was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round in 2009, released in December 2010 and, eight months later, signed by the Minnesota Twins on August 18, 2011. Thielbar had a very successful rookie season in 2013, not allowing a run in his first 17 big league appearances. In total he pitched 46 innings over 48 appearances, compiling a 3-2 record and 1.76 ERA. He appeared in 54 ballgames in 2014 with a 3.40 ERA, and just 6 games in 2015. He was claimed off waivers by the Padres in August 2015 but did not pitch in the majors for them. He signed with the Marlins this past November. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Erickson.92T_zpsfukbqzce.jpg February 2 Happy 49th Birthday to Scott Erickson Scott Erickson was born in Long Beach, CA in 1968. The Twins drafted Erickson in the 4th round in 1989 out of Arizona State. It was the fourth time he had been drafted. Erickson made it to the majors midway through the 1990 season, finishing strong with a 5-0 record in September. He went 12-2 with a 1.39 ERA in the first half off the ‘91 season. He was named the starting pitcher of the 1991 All-Star game but could not pitch due to injury, so manager Tony LaRussa handed the ball to fellow Twin Jack Morris in his stead. Morris wore black socks and his pants low in the style of Scott Erickson. Erickson wound up going 20-8 for the ‘91 World Series Champion Twins, tying for the major league lead in wins and finishing second to Roger Clemens for the American League Cy Young Award. After a solid ‘92 season, Erickson lost a major league worst 19 games in 1993. ‘94 was arguably an even worse season for Erickson, though he did no-hit the Brewers at the Metrodome on April 27th. He rebounded after being traded to the Orioles during the ‘95 season, and would ultimately prove to be one of the more durable pitchers of the ‘90s, pitching an American League leading 251.1 innings in 1998, winning 73 games between 1995-’99. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Santana.Gomez_zpspvcf2lgn.jpg February 2, 2008 Twins Trade 2x Cy Young Winner Santana The Twins due the prudent thing and trade 2004 and ‘06 Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana to the Mets for outfielder Carlos Gomez, and three pitchers, all of whom were duds. Gomez showed sparks but never lived up to his potential in Minnesota, though he did score one of the most exciting runs in team history on October 6, 2009. Less than a month later he was traded to Milwaukee for former and future All-Star J.J. Hardy. Gomez, for his part, would go on to consecutive All-Star seasons for Milwaukee in 2013 and ‘14. After three very good seasons in New York, Santana missed all of the 2011 season and has not pitched in the majors since 2012. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/carew.landreaux_zpsu7jbsp5v.jpg February 3, 1979 Twins Trade Rod Carew The Twins trade seven-time American League batting champ Rod Carew to the Angels for Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle, Brad Havens and Paul Hartzell. It had become increasingly clear that team owner Calvin Griffith had no intention of ponying up for the future Hall of Famer. And even if Griffith could have afforded him, it was unlikely that Carew would have played for Griffith again after the owner had gone full Trump at a Lion’s Club dinner in Waseca on September 28. Griffith was quoted in the Star Tribune as having said "I'll tell you why we came to Minnesota. It was when we found out you only had 15,000 blacks here... We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here." Here is a Star Tribune article about the whole debacle from October 1, 1978: http://www.startribune.com/templates/Print_This_Story?sid=95430139 February 3, 1987 Twins Acquire the Terminator http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20170126_123305_zpsbogdzpsd.jpg The Twins trade pitcher Neal Heaton, 1980 first round draft pick catcher Jeff Reed, 19-year-old future major league pitcher Yorkis Perez, and career minor league pitcher Afredo Cardwood to the Expos for backup catcher Tom Nieto and 1985 and ‘86 All-Star closer Jeff Reardon. Reardon would save 31 regular season games for the ‘87 Twins, plus three postseason games, including Game 7 of the World Series. Reardon surpassed Rollie Fingers as major league baseball’s all-time saves leader in 1992 with his 342nd save. His 367 career saves currently rank 10th all-time. Stupid Jonathan Papelbon passed him in 2016. Heaton, for his part, won a career-high 13 games for the Expos in 1987. Please enjoy this video of Reardon saving the fifth and final game of the 1987 ALCS: February 4 Happy 36th Birthday to Ben Hendrickson http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Hendrickson.01T_zpsvcneubcq.jpg It’s the birthday of Bloomington’s Thomas Jefferson High School graduate Ben Hendrickson, born in St. Cloud in 1981. Hendrickson pitched in 10 major league games for the Brewers in 2004, and another four games in 2006, compiling a 1-10 career record with a 7.41 ERA. With former Twin Todd Walker on base, Hendrickson gave up one of Sammy Sosa’s 609 career home runs on July 29, 2004. Hendrickson held slugger Adam Dunn 0-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts during his brief career. Fringe Hall of Fame candidate Larry Walker was 1-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout vs. Hendrickson. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter, and on Facebook.
  11. The Baltimore Orioles drafted Scott Klingenbeck in the fifth round of the 1992 amateur draft. His college experience helped him to travel quickly through their farm system. He pitched well in the low minor leagues and he made his debut during the 1994 season. In that game, he threw seven innings and allowed three earned runs to earn the victory. Klingenbeck had a strong start to the 1995 season at the Triple-A level for the Orioles. He posted a 2.72 ERA and a 3-1 record. This left the club little choice but to call him up during the middle months of the season. There were a few bumps in the road on his return to the big leagues. His ERA jumped to 4.88 and he posted a 1.596 WHIP over five starts. This was only be the beginning of the bad. The Twins traded for Klingenbeck at the beginning of July in the deal that sent Scott Erickson to the Orioles. Erickson hadn't been able to regain his form from the first couple of years in the big leagues. He was only 27-years old but the Twins wanted to get some younger prospects for him. Klingenbeck had looked good during his minor league career but things would quickly go south in Minnesota. He made 18 appearances with the Twins in 1995 including four starts for the club. His ERA was a hefty 8.57 with an ugly 1.924 WHIP. He didn't exactly have control of his pitches as he walked 24 batters, hit four batters, and had five wild pitches over 48.1 innings. It was beginning to look like the Twins had given up a king's ransom to acquire a lackluster pitcher. For the start of the 1996 season, the Twins sent Klingenbeck back to the minor leagues to try to find himself. He improved by posting a 3.11 ERA and a 9-3 record over 22 starts. By the middle of the season, the Twins needed some help at the big league level and Klingenbeck was the guy. He struggled again with the transition and posted a 7.85 ERA and a 1.814 WHIP. This was his last trip to the big leagues with the Twins. At the start of the next season, Klingenbeck was sent back to the Triple-A. The Twins dumped him on Cincinnati, his hometown team, as part of a conditional deal. He got one more brief taste of the majors in 1998 and he looked a little better with an ERA close to 6.00 and a 1.456 WHIP. The next year was his last in professional baseball before retiring in 1999. Klingenbeck's numbers in the minor leagues made it seem that he could be able to transition into at least a back of the rotation starter. That was one of the reasons the Twins traded for him but this hope never came to fruition. His time in the Twins organization translated to a 1-3 record, an 8.30 ERA, and a 1.883 WHIP. He also put together a -1.7 WAR in his Twins tenure. Following his professional baseball career, Klingenbeck opened a sports bar and grill in Cincinnati. That venue is no longer open but it sounds like it was a decent place to eat. In the end, Klingenbeck will be more remembered as the man the Twins got back for Scott Erickson because his time in a Twins uniform was very unmemorable... What other players should be featured in this series? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  12. April 24, 1996 5 RBI Game for Both Molitor and Myers Paul Molitor was responsible for 10 of the record 24 runs the Twins scored in a 24-11 win at Tiger Stadium. Molitor went 2-for-5 with a walk, 5 RBIs and 5 runs scored (he reached on two fielder’s choices). Catcher Greg Myers went 5-for-6 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. The Twins jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but had used three pitchers by the end of the third and trailed 10-7 at the end of four innings. But the Twins kept adding on, outscoring the Tigers 17-1 over the final five innings. They scored in every inning but the fourth, never scoring more than 5 runs in an inning, which they did in the eighth. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_080543_zpsyfgsqcho.jpg April 25, 1961 Fred Bruckbauer Has Career ERA of Infinity With the Twins already trailing 7-2 in Kansas City after three innings, Fred Bruckbauer, a 22-year-old New Ulm native and alumnus of St. Mary’s High School (Sleepy Eye, MN) and the U of M, made his major league debut, coming in to pitch to the Athletics in the bottom of the fourth. Bruckbauer gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk before being pulled without recording an out. Unfortunately, this was Bruckbauer’s one and only big league appearance. Since he never recorded an out, his ERA is infinity. The Twins went on to lose the game 20-2. April 26, 1986 Dome Roof Deflates, Twins Lead Collapses The Twins led the California Angels 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a stormy night in Minneapolis when a tear caused the Metrodome roof to deflate. The L.A. Times described the scene, with “80-m.p.h. winds tearing holes in the fiberglass dome and whipping through the stadium, sending speakers and light standards swaying on their cables like yo-yos in a wind tunnel… Above the third base line, a geyser of water shot through a drainage hole in the roof, dousing a handful of spectators.” The roof was re-inflated and, remarkably, the game was only delayed nine minutes. The Twins went on to score once more in the eighth, with Mickey Hatcher driving in Steve Lombardozzi with a sacrifice fly. With a 6-1 lead in the ninth, starting pitcher Frank Viola gave up a leadoff double to Brian Downing and a two-run home run to George Hendrick before being relieved by closer Ron Davis with the Twins still up 6-3. Davis gave up a single and a two-run home runs to the first two men he faced. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Reggie Jackson, representing the tying run. After striking out Bobby Grich for the second out, Ron Davis gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Wally Joyner, who had made his major league debut less than three weeks earlier. Tom Brunansky, Roy Smalley and Gary Gaetti went down in order in the bottom of the ninth and the Twins lost 7-6. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082732_zpsxvhqgjiz.jpg April 27, 1965 Camilo Pascual Hits Second Career Grand Slam Camilo Pascual allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in an 11-1 Twins win on the road in Cleveland. With the Twins already leading 3-0 with two out in the first inning, Pascual hit his second career grand slam, the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history. Pascual hit his first grand slam in the Senators’ final season in Washington, on August 14, 1960 in a 5-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Senators won the second game 6-3 in 15 innings. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_081710_zpshkyemg6k.jpg April 27, 1969 Killebrew’s 400th Home Run Harmon Killebrew hit his 400th career home run with two out in the top of the first inning of an afternoon game in Chicago. Down a run in the seventh, Rod Carew hit a two-run homer and pitcher Dave Boswell and the Twins went on to win 4-3. The top of the Twins lineup that day went Tovar, Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Alison. All told, Killebrew hit 573 home runs, fifth most in baseball history at the time he retired, and still 11th all-time in 2016. He hit 84 home runs as a member of the Washington Senators, 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975 and 475 in a Twins uniform. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082301_zpsolrsofse.jpg April 27, 1994 Scott Erickson No-Hitter Scott Erickson pitched the first no-hitter at the Metrodome, the third no-hitter in Twins history, and the first since Dean Chance threw one in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland in 1967. Erickson, who had led the American League with 20 wins and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1991, was coming off of a ‘93 season in which he led the league with 19 losses and 266 hits allowed. The Twins scored in each of the first four innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0. Milwaukee’s first baserunner, John Jaha, reached on a hit-by-pitch leading off the 6th. With two out in the ninth, Erickson walked two batters before getting the dangerous Greg Vaughn to fly out to Alex Cole in left. Erickson struck out five Brewers, including the DH Greg Vaughn twice and former Twins catcher, Brian Harper. Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with an RBI. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_081915_zpsfqfpv7mp.jpg April 28, 1985 Mickey Hatcher Ties Tony O.’s Consecutive Hit Record Mickey Hatcher went 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over Oakland at the Metrodome. Having gone 5-for-5 the previous day, Hatcher’s 4 hits tied Tony Oliva’s 1967 team record of 9 consecutive hits. Todd Walker matched the feat in 1998. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082146_zpsd7b72pmf.jpg April 28, 2010 Hughes Homers in First MLB At-Bat Leading off the top of the third with the Twins already up 2-1 on a Thome home run, Luke Hughes lifted Max Scherzer’s 2-2 pitch to right for an opposite field home run in his first major league at-bat. Hughes originally came up to bat in the second when Delmon Young was thrown out trying to steal third for the third out of the inning. The Tigers would come back and win the game 11-6. Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Hughes and Eddie Rosario. Between August 26th and September 20th, 1981, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first major league game. April 29, 1962 Twins Hit Six Solo Home Runs In the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, the Twins hit six solo home runs, one each by Lenny Green, Don Mincher, Zoilo Versalles and Bill Tuttle, and two by Johnny Goryl. The Twins scored in each inning but the third and ninth and won the game 7-3. The Twins did not hit a home run in game one, winning 8-4. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082822_zpsjbtlx94n.jpg April 30, 1961 Killebrew’s First HR as a Twin Trailing the White Sox 5-2 in the bottom of the 11th in Bloomington, Harmon Killebrew hit his first home run in a Twins uniform after having hit 84 as a Washington Senator. The White Sox held on to win 5-3 with Bob Shaw pitching all eleven innings. For the history of the Minnesota Twins, told one day at a time, follow @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter, and like The Twins Almanac on Facebook. For the stories of the Major Leaguers who grew up in Minnesota, follow @MajorMinnesota.
  13. And here is the Twins Almanac for the week of April 24th through April 30th. This week in Twins history Paul Molitor and Greg Myers each collected 5 RBI sas the Twins scored a team record 24 runs. Scott Erickson pitched the third no-hitter in Twins history. Camilo Pascual hit his second career grand slam. Harmon Killebrew hit both his first home run as a Twin and his 400th career home run this week in history. Mickey Hatcher tied Tony Oliva’s club record for consecutive hits. And Luke Hughes became the fifth Twin to homer in his first career at-bat. April 24, 1996 5 RBI Game for Both Molitor and Myers Paul Molitor was responsible for 10 of the record 24 runs the Twins scored in a 24-11 win at Tiger Stadium. Molitor went 2-for-5 with a walk, 5 RBIs and 5 runs scored (he reached on two fielder’s choices). Catcher Greg Myers went 5-for-6 with 5 RBIs and 3 runs scored. The Twins jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but had used three pitchers by the end of the third and trailed 10-7 at the end of four innings. But the Twins kept adding on, outscoring the Tigers 17-1 over the final five innings. They scored in every inning but the fourth, never scoring more than 5 runs in an inning, which they did in the eighth. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_080543_zpsyfgsqcho.jpg April 25, 1961 Fred Bruckbauer Has Career ERA of Infinity With the Twins already trailing 7-2 in Kansas City after three innings, Fred Bruckbauer, a 22-year-old New Ulm native and alumnus of St. Mary’s High School (Sleepy Eye, MN) and the U of M, made his major league debut, coming in to pitch to the Athletics in the bottom of the fourth. Bruckbauer gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk before being pulled without recording an out. Unfortunately, this was Bruckbauer’s one and only big league appearance. Since he never recorded an out, his ERA is infinity. The Twins went on to lose the game 20-2. April 26, 1986 Dome Roof Deflates, Twins Lead Collapses The Twins led the California Angels 5-1 in the bottom of the eighth on a stormy night in Minneapolis when a tear caused the Metrodome roof to deflate. The L.A. Times described the scene, with “80-m.p.h. winds tearing holes in the fiberglass dome and whipping through the stadium, sending speakers and light standards swaying on their cables like yo-yos in a wind tunnel… Above the third base line, a geyser of water shot through a drainage hole in the roof, dousing a handful of spectators.” The roof was re-inflated and, remarkably, the game was only delayed nine minutes. The Twins went on to score once more in the eighth, with Mickey Hatcher driving in Steve Lombardozzi with a sacrifice fly. With a 6-1 lead in the ninth, starting pitcher Frank Viola gave up a leadoff double to Brian Downing and a two-run home run to George Hendrick before being relieved by closer Ron Davis with the Twins still up 6-3. Davis gave up a single and a two-run home runs to the first two men he faced. With one out he walked pinch-hitter Reggie Jackson, representing the tying run. After striking out Bobby Grich for the second out, Ron Davis gave up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Wally Joyner, who had made his major league debut less than three weeks earlier. Tom Brunansky, Roy Smalley and Gary Gaetti went down in order in the bottom of the ninth and the Twins lost 7-6. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082732_zpsxvhqgjiz.jpg April 27, 1965 Camilo Pascual Hits Second Career Grand Slam Camilo Pascual allowed just 1 run on 2 hits in an 11-1 Twins win on the road in Cleveland. With the Twins already leading 3-0 with two out in the first inning, Pascual hit his second career grand slam, the only grand slam by a pitcher in Twins history. Pascual hit his first grand slam in the Senators’ final season in Washington, on August 14, 1960 in a 5-4 win in the first game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. The Senators won the second game 6-3 in 15 innings. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_081710_zpshkyemg6k.jpg April 27, 1969 Killebrew’s 400th Home Run Harmon Killebrew hit his 400th career home run with two out in the top of the first inning of an afternoon game in Chicago. Down a run in the seventh, Rod Carew hit a two-run homer and pitcher Dave Boswell and the Twins went on to win 4-3. The top of the Twins lineup that day went Tovar, Carew, Killebrew, Oliva, Alison. All told, Killebrew hit 573 home runs, fifth most in baseball history at the time he retired, and still 11th all-time in 2016. He hit 84 home runs as a member of the Washington Senators, 14 as a Kansas City Royal in 1975 and 475 in a Twins uniform. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082301_zpsolrsofse.jpg April 27, 1994 Scott Erickson No-Hitter Scott Erickson pitched the first no-hitter at the Metrodome, the third no-hitter in Twins history, and the first since Dean Chance threw one in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland in 1967. Erickson, who had led the American League with 20 wins and finished second in Cy Young voting in 1991, was coming off of a ‘93 season in which he led the league with 19 losses and 266 hits allowed. The Twins scored in each of the first four innings to lead the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0. Milwaukee’s first baserunner, John Jaha, reached on a hit-by-pitch leading off the 6th. With two out in the ninth, Erickson walked two batters before getting the dangerous Greg Vaughn to fly out to Alex Cole in left. Erickson struck out five Brewers, including the DH Greg Vaughn twice and former Twins catcher, Brian Harper. Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with an RBI. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_081915_zpsfqfpv7mp.jpg April 28, 1985 Mickey Hatcher Ties Tony O.’s Consecutive Hit Record Mickey Hatcher went 4-for-5 in a 10-1 Twins win over Oakland at the Metrodome. Having gone 5-for-5 the previous day, Hatcher’s 4 hits tied Tony Oliva’s 1967 team record of 9 consecutive hits. Todd Walker matched the feat in 1998. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082146_zpsd7b72pmf.jpg April 28, 2010 Hughes Homers in First MLB At-Bat Leading off the top of the third with the Twins already up 2-1 on a Thome home run, Luke Hughes lifted Max Scherzer’s 2-2 pitch to right for an opposite field home run in his first major league at-bat. Hughes originally came up to bat in the second when Delmon Young was thrown out trying to steal third for the third out of the inning. The Tigers would come back and win the game 11-6. Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Hughes and Eddie Rosario. Between August 26th and September 20th, 1981, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first major league game. April 29, 1962 Twins Hit Six Solo Home Runs In the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, the Twins hit six solo home runs, one each by Lenny Green, Don Mincher, Zoilo Versalles and Bill Tuttle, and two by Johnny Goryl. The Twins scored in each inning but the third and ninth and won the game 7-3. The Twins did not hit a home run in game one, winning 8-4. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_082822_zpsjbtlx94n.jpg April 30, 1961 Killebrew’s First HR as a Twin Trailing the White Sox 5-2 in the bottom of the 11th in Bloomington, Harmon Killebrew hit his first home run in a Twins uniform after having hit 84 as a Washington Senator. The White Sox held on to win 5-3 with Bob Shaw pitching all eleven innings. For the history of the Minnesota Twins, told one day at a time, follow @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter, and like The Twins Almanac on Facebook. For the stories of the Major Leaguers who grew up in Minnesota, follow @MajorMinnesota. Click here to view the article
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