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  1. January 7, 1982 Twins Acquire Mario Look-Alike The Twins trade Class-A prospects Scotti Madison and Paul Voigt to the Dodgers for center fielder Bobby Mitchell and pitcher Bobby Castillo, owner of one of the all-time Top 5 greatest mustaches in Twins history. Castillo won 13 games for the Twins in 1982. That would have led the team in six of the past ten seasons (2008, '11–'13, and '15–'16). Who do you think had the best (or worst) mustache in Twins history? January 8, 1991 Carew Elected to Hall of Fame Seven-time AL Batting Champ Rod Carew becomes the 21st first-ballot Hall of Famer, elected alongside Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins. Despite appearing on 90.5% of ballots, a staggering 42 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America deemed Carew unworthy. The Veterans Committee elected former second baseman Tony Lazzeri and owner/promoter Bill Veeck, father of Mike Veeck, who in 1993 founded the current incarnation of the St. Paul Saints with Bill Murray and lawyer Marv Goldklang. Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in the Panama Canal Zone on October 1, 1945. When he was 14 his family immigrated to New York, where he would be discovered by a Twins scout playing semi-pro ball in the Bronx rather than high school ball. The Twins signed Carew in 1964 at age 18, and he made the major league club in 1967 at age 21. Carew had the first five-hit game in Twins history on May 8, 1967, going 5-for-5 with a double. He made the AL All-Star team his rookie season, beginning a string of 18-consecutive All-Star selections. He was an All-Star every year of his career but the last, 1985. He was named the American League Rookie of the Year, receiving 19 of 20 first-place votes. There have been five AL Rookies of the Year in Twins History: Tony Oliva in 1964, Carew in ‘67, John Castino (co-winner) in 1979, Chuck Knoblauch in 1991, and Marty Cordova in 1995. Bob Allison won the award as a member of the 1959 Washington Senators. Carew was a terror on the basepaths. On May 18, 1969 he stole second, third, and home consecutively off the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich. César Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single. Then, with 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. Carew is one of just 12 players since 1940 to achieve this feat. Paul Molitor pulled it off on July 26, 1987. Carew stole home 17 times in his career. The single-season record is eight, set by Ty Cobb in 1912. Carew stole home for the seventh time of the season on July 16, 1969. American League pitchers finally got wise to his game, however, and he did not pull it off again the rest of the season. He did, however, add a tenth-inning walk-off steal of home on September 1, 1970. Current Twins manager Paul Molitor, incidentally, stole home 10 times in his career. Dan Gladden did it three times. Carew hit for the first of 10 cycles in Twins history on May 20, 1970. The others are César Tovar (1972), Larry Hisle (‘76), Lyman Bostock (‘76), Mike Cubbage (‘78), Gary Ward (‘80), Kirby Puckett (‘86), Carlos Gómez (‘08), Jason Kubel (‘09) and Michael Cuddyer (‘09). On September 9, 1976 Carew hit a pinch-hit grand slam. It was just his seventh home run of the season, but his third grand slam, tying Bob Allison’s single-season team record, set in 1961. Kent Hrbek later hit three grand slams in 1985, Puckett in ‘92, and Torii Hunter in 2007. 1977 was a magical season for Carew. On June 26 (Rod Carew Jersey Day, incidentally), he went 4-for-5 to raise his average to .403. He scored a team record five runs in the game, while Glenn Adams collected a team record eight RBI. Carew’s record of five runs would be matched by Tim Teufel in 1983, Molitor in ‘96, and Luis Rivas in 2002. Adams’ record eight RBI were matched by Randy Bush in 1989. Carew led the majors with 239 hits and a .388 AVG in 1977, and was named American League MVP. He was the third of five Twins to receive the award (Versalles ‘65, Killebrew ‘69, Morneau ‘06, Mauer ‘09). On February 3, 1979 the Twins traded 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’s Lion’s Club dinner remarks in Waseca on September 28. On August 4, 1989, Carew connected for his 3,000th hit off Twins lefty Frank Viola. He was the 16th member of the 3,000 Hit Club, and the first born outside of the United States mainland (Roberto Clemente was born in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico). 1985 was Carew’s final season. After failing to receive a suitable contract offer for the ‘86 season, he officially announced his retirement on June 2 with a career AVG of .328. Owners had colluded against him and other free agents, essentially agreeing not to offer other teams' free agents contracts, thereby helping each other retain their own talent while keeping salaries low. In 1995 Carew was awarded $782,035.71 in damages for his lost wages. The Twins retired Rod Carew’s number 29 on July 19, 1987. The Angels had retired his number in ‘86. He was inducted as a charter member of the Twins Hall of Fame along with Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Calvin Griffith on August 12, 2000. January 10, 1984 Killebrew Elected to Hall of Fame In his fourth damn year of eligibility the Baseball Writers’ Association of America finally elects Harmon Killebrew to the Hall of Fame, along with Luis Aparicio (sixth ballot), and 1965 World Series nemesis Don Drysdale (10th ballot). Veterans Committee selections Rick Ferrell and Pee Wee Reese would also be inducted with the class of ’84. The Senators signed the 17-year-old Idahoan in 1954 as a so-called “Bonus Baby,” which required them to keep the kid on the major league roster his first two seasons. He got into just 47 games during those two years, making 104 plate appearances. He did hit the first four of his 573 career home runs in 1955. He then spent the majority of the next three seasons in the minors. Washington’s patience would pay huge dividends. In 1959, his first season as a full-timer, Killebrew tied for the league lead with 42 home runs and drove in 105 runs. Killebrew collected the first regular season hit in Twins history leading off the fourth with a single off Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day 1961. Bob Allison hit the Twins’ first home run later in that game, but Killebrew would have the distinction of hitting the first inside-the-park home run in Twins history vs. the White Sox at Met Stadium on July 4th. Later in the game, trailing the White Sox by two with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Julio Becquer hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam. Killebrew was known throughout his career not just for the sheer quantity, but also the mammoth quality of his home runs. Facing future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on August 3, 1962, Killebrew hit a monster home run over the roof and out of Tiger Stadium. Killer was the first of four to accomplish this feat of strength, the others being Frank Howard, Mark McGwire, and Cecil Fielder. On June 3, 1967 he hit perhaps his most famous homer, a prodigious blast at Met stadium eventually estimated by a physics professor at 522 feet. Killebrew was the 1969 American League Most Valuable Player after leading the majors with 49 home runs and 140 RBI. Not surprisingly those are both Twins single-season records. He also hit 49 in ‘64. Killebrew set another team record by homering in five consecutive games on two separate occasions during the Twins’ 1970 Division Championship season. Rookie Marty Cordova tied that record in just his 23rd major league game on May 20, 1995. Brian Dozier homered in five straight in 2016, including a three-home run game on September 5. Killebrew hit 41 homers during that 1970 season. It would be the Twins’ last 40-home run season until Dozier hit 42 in 2016, forty-frickin’-six years later. So much for the Steroid Era in Minnesota. Harmon hit his 500th and 501st home runs on August 10, 1971. All told, he would hit 573, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement, behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Frank Robinson. He is still 12th all-time. 38-year-old Adrian Beltre, and 34-year-old Miguel Cabrera are sitting on 462. After he refused Calvin Griffith’s contract offer, the Twins released Killebrew on January 16, 1975. To this day nobody has played more games in a Twins uniform. The Kansas City Royals quickly signed the Killer on January 24. The Twins officially retired his #3 before a game vs. KC on May 4, 1975. As long as so many fans were there to honor him anyway, Harmon went ahead and homered in the first inning. On September 18, he hit his 573rd and final home run off the Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Bane. Harmon Killebrew passed away on May 17, 2011 after a brief battle with esophageal cancer. He was just 74 years old. To put a silver lining around an otherwise sucky situation, the Twins were in town to play the Diamondbacks, and able to attend Harmon’s funeral on May 20. Bert Blyleven spoke at the service, and Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Ron Gardenhire, and Paul Molitor served as pallbearers. The Twins held a public memorial at Target Field six days later. In addition to an All-Star lineup of Twins past and present, the event was attended by Commissioner Selig and Hank Aaron. January 11, 1973 AL Adopts DH In an effort spearheaded by Oakland Athletics’ owner Charlie Finley, American League owners vote 8-4 in favor of adopting the designated hitter. Tony Oliva would hit the first regular season home run by a DH off Oakland’s Catfish Hunter on Opening Day (April 6, 1973). January 12, 1898 Birthdate of Rip Wade It’s the birthdate of 1916 Denfeld High School grad Richard “Rip” Wade, born in Duluth in 1898 (120 years ago). Wade played outfield in 19 games, and pinch-hit in 14 more for the 1923 Washington Senators, going 16-for-69 (.232), with 14 RBI and eight runs scored. Duluth’s Wade Stadium is named after Rip’s dad, Frank. January 12, 2013 Ryan Receives Genovese Award Twins GM Terry Ryan receives the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation’s 10th annual "In The Spirit of the Game" Sports and Entertainment Spectacular in Los Angeles. The Foundation created the award in honor of the legendary SoCal scout in 2003. Ryan’s relationship with the Twins began in 1972 when they drafted the Janesville, WI native in the 35th round. The lefty went 10-0 with a 1.70 ERA at Class A Wisconsin Rapids in ‘73. After an arm injury, however, he struggled at Double-A Orlando until being released in June 1976. Ryan joined the Mets as a scouting supervisor in 1980. In 1986 he returned to the Twins organization as scouting director. He ascended to vice president of player personnel in 1991, and became GM following Andy MacPhail’s departure to the Chicago Cubs after the ‘94 season. Ryan served as GM for 13 years before resigning on October 1, 2007. He remained with the Twins as an adviser while Bill Smith took over as GM. After Smith’s firing following the 2011 season, Ryan returned to his former post. He was fired on July 18, 2016, midway through the worst season in franchise history. Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail hired Terry Ryan as a special assignment scout on November 30, 2016. January 13 Happy 64th Birthday, Steve Comer It’s the birthday of 1972 Minnetonka grad, Golden Gophers all-time great, and former major league pitcher Steve Comer. Comer was a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota, and still holds school records with 30 wins and 25 complete games. He went on to pitch parts of seven major league seasons with the Rangers (‘78-’82), Phillies (‘83), and Cleveland (‘84), compiling a record of 44-37 with 13 saves, 4.13 ERA, and a 1.445 WHIP in 176 games (83 starts). He averaged 3.1 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and Facebook.
  2. This week’s Almanac marks the birthdates of Minnesotan major leaguers Rip Wade and Steve Comer, as well as two very memorable anniversaries for Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew. It was also this week in history that the AL adopted the DH, the Twins acquired a Mario look-alike, and Terry Ryan received a scouting award. January 7, 1982 Twins Acquire Mario Look-Alike The Twins trade Class-A prospects Scotti Madison and Paul Voigt to the Dodgers for center fielder Bobby Mitchell and pitcher Bobby Castillo, owner of one of the all-time Top 5 greatest mustaches in Twins history. Castillo won 13 games for the Twins in 1982. That would have led the team in six of the past ten seasons (2008, '11–'13, and '15–'16). Who do you think had the best (or worst) mustache in Twins history? January 8, 1991 Carew Elected to Hall of Fame Seven-time AL Batting Champ Rod Carew becomes the 21st first-ballot Hall of Famer, elected alongside Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins. Despite appearing on 90.5% of ballots, a staggering 42 members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America deemed Carew unworthy. The Veterans Committee elected former second baseman Tony Lazzeri and owner/promoter Bill Veeck, father of Mike Veeck, who in 1993 founded the current incarnation of the St. Paul Saints with Bill Murray and lawyer Marv Goldklang. Rodney Cline Carew was born on a train in the Panama Canal Zone on October 1, 1945. When he was 14 his family immigrated to New York, where he would be discovered by a Twins scout playing semi-pro ball in the Bronx rather than high school ball. The Twins signed Carew in 1964 at age 18, and he made the major league club in 1967 at age 21. Carew had the first five-hit game in Twins history on May 8, 1967, going 5-for-5 with a double. He made the AL All-Star team his rookie season, beginning a string of 18-consecutive All-Star selections. He was an All-Star every year of his career but the last, 1985. He was named the American League Rookie of the Year, receiving 19 of 20 first-place votes. There have been five AL Rookies of the Year in Twins History: Tony Oliva in 1964, Carew in ‘67, John Castino (co-winner) in 1979, Chuck Knoblauch in 1991, and Marty Cordova in 1995. Bob Allison won the award as a member of the 1959 Washington Senators. Carew was a terror on the basepaths. On May 18, 1969 he stole second, third, and home consecutively off the Tigers’ Mickey Lolich. César Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single. Then, with 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. Carew is one of just 12 players since 1940 to achieve this feat. Paul Molitor pulled it off on July 26, 1987. Carew stole home 17 times in his career. The single-season record is eight, set by Ty Cobb in 1912. Carew stole home for the seventh time of the season on July 16, 1969. American League pitchers finally got wise to his game, however, and he did not pull it off again the rest of the season. He did, however, add a tenth-inning walk-off steal of home on September 1, 1970. Current Twins manager Paul Molitor, incidentally, stole home 10 times in his career. Dan Gladden did it three times. Carew hit for the first of 10 cycles in Twins history on May 20, 1970. The others are César Tovar (1972), Larry Hisle (‘76), Lyman Bostock (‘76), Mike Cubbage (‘78), Gary Ward (‘80), Kirby Puckett (‘86), Carlos Gómez (‘08), Jason Kubel (‘09) and Michael Cuddyer (‘09). On September 9, 1976 Carew hit a pinch-hit grand slam. It was just his seventh home run of the season, but his third grand slam, tying Bob Allison’s single-season team record, set in 1961. Kent Hrbek later hit three grand slams in 1985, Puckett in ‘92, and Torii Hunter in 2007. 1977 was a magical season for Carew. On June 26 (Rod Carew Jersey Day, incidentally), he went 4-for-5 to raise his average to .403. He scored a team record five runs in the game, while Glenn Adams collected a team record eight RBI. Carew’s record of five runs would be matched by Tim Teufel in 1983, Molitor in ‘96, and Luis Rivas in 2002. Adams’ record eight RBI were matched by Randy Bush in 1989. Carew led the majors with 239 hits and a .388 AVG in 1977, and was named American League MVP. He was the third of five Twins to receive the award (Versalles ‘65, Killebrew ‘69, Morneau ‘06, Mauer ‘09). On February 3, 1979 the Twins traded 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’s Lion’s Club dinner remarks in Waseca on September 28. On August 4, 1989, Carew connected for his 3,000th hit off Twins lefty Frank Viola. He was the 16th member of the 3,000 Hit Club, and the first born outside of the United States mainland (Roberto Clemente was born in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico). 1985 was Carew’s final season. After failing to receive a suitable contract offer for the ‘86 season, he officially announced his retirement on June 2 with a career AVG of .328. Owners had colluded against him and other free agents, essentially agreeing not to offer other teams' free agents contracts, thereby helping each other retain their own talent while keeping salaries low. In 1995 Carew was awarded $782,035.71 in damages for his lost wages. The Twins retired Rod Carew’s number 29 on July 19, 1987. The Angels had retired his number in ‘86. He was inducted as a charter member of the Twins Hall of Fame along with Harmon Killebrew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett, and Calvin Griffith on August 12, 2000. January 10, 1984 Killebrew Elected to Hall of Fame In his fourth damn year of eligibility the Baseball Writers’ Association of America finally elects Harmon Killebrew to the Hall of Fame, along with Luis Aparicio (sixth ballot), and 1965 World Series nemesis Don Drysdale (10th ballot). Veterans Committee selections Rick Ferrell and Pee Wee Reese would also be inducted with the class of ’84. The Senators signed the 17-year-old Idahoan in 1954 as a so-called “Bonus Baby,” which required them to keep the kid on the major league roster his first two seasons. He got into just 47 games during those two years, making 104 plate appearances. He did hit the first four of his 573 career home runs in 1955. He then spent the majority of the next three seasons in the minors. Washington’s patience would pay huge dividends. In 1959, his first season as a full-timer, Killebrew tied for the league lead with 42 home runs and drove in 105 runs. Killebrew collected the first regular season hit in Twins history leading off the fourth with a single off Whitey Ford at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day 1961. Bob Allison hit the Twins’ first home run later in that game, but Killebrew would have the distinction of hitting the first inside-the-park home run in Twins history vs. the White Sox at Met Stadium on July 4th. Later in the game, trailing the White Sox by two with two out in the bottom of the ninth, Julio Becquer hit a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam. Killebrew was known throughout his career not just for the sheer quantity, but also the mammoth quality of his home runs. Facing future Hall of Famer Jim Bunning on August 3, 1962, Killebrew hit a monster home run over the roof and out of Tiger Stadium. Killer was the first of four to accomplish this feat of strength, the others being Frank Howard, Mark McGwire, and Cecil Fielder. On June 3, 1967 he hit perhaps his most famous homer, a prodigious blast at Met stadium eventually estimated by a physics professor at 522 feet. Killebrew was the 1969 American League Most Valuable Player after leading the majors with 49 home runs and 140 RBI. Not surprisingly those are both Twins single-season records. He also hit 49 in ‘64. Killebrew set another team record by homering in five consecutive games on two separate occasions during the Twins’ 1970 Division Championship season. Rookie Marty Cordova tied that record in just his 23rd major league game on May 20, 1995. Brian Dozier homered in five straight in 2016, including a three-home run game on September 5. Killebrew hit 41 homers during that 1970 season. It would be the Twins’ last 40-home run season until Dozier hit 42 in 2016, forty-frickin’-six years later. So much for the Steroid Era in Minnesota. Harmon hit his 500th and 501st home runs on August 10, 1971. All told, he would hit 573, fifth-most in baseball history at the time of his retirement, behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and Frank Robinson. He is still 12th all-time. 38-year-old Adrian Beltre, and 34-year-old Miguel Cabrera are sitting on 462. After he refused Calvin Griffith’s contract offer, the Twins released Killebrew on January 16, 1975. To this day nobody has played more games in a Twins uniform. The Kansas City Royals quickly signed the Killer on January 24. The Twins officially retired his #3 before a game vs. KC on May 4, 1975. As long as so many fans were there to honor him anyway, Harmon went ahead and homered in the first inning. On September 18, he hit his 573rd and final home run off the Minnesota Twins’ Eddie Bane. Harmon Killebrew passed away on May 17, 2011 after a brief battle with esophageal cancer. He was just 74 years old. To put a silver lining around an otherwise sucky situation, the Twins were in town to play the Diamondbacks, and able to attend Harmon’s funeral on May 20. Bert Blyleven spoke at the service, and Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Ron Gardenhire, and Paul Molitor served as pallbearers. The Twins held a public memorial at Target Field six days later. In addition to an All-Star lineup of Twins past and present, the event was attended by Commissioner Selig and Hank Aaron. January 11, 1973 AL Adopts DH In an effort spearheaded by Oakland Athletics’ owner Charlie Finley, American League owners vote 8-4 in favor of adopting the designated hitter. Tony Oliva would hit the first regular season home run by a DH off Oakland’s Catfish Hunter on Opening Day (April 6, 1973). January 12, 1898 Birthdate of Rip Wade It’s the birthdate of 1916 Denfeld High School grad Richard “Rip” Wade, born in Duluth in 1898 (120 years ago). Wade played outfield in 19 games, and pinch-hit in 14 more for the 1923 Washington Senators, going 16-for-69 (.232), with 14 RBI and eight runs scored. Duluth’s Wade Stadium is named after Rip’s dad, Frank. January 12, 2013 Ryan Receives Genovese Award Twins GM Terry Ryan receives the George Genovese Lifetime Achievement Award in Scouting at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation’s 10th annual "In The Spirit of the Game" Sports and Entertainment Spectacular in Los Angeles. The Foundation created the award in honor of the legendary SoCal scout in 2003. Ryan’s relationship with the Twins began in 1972 when they drafted the Janesville, WI native in the 35th round. The lefty went 10-0 with a 1.70 ERA at Class A Wisconsin Rapids in ‘73. After an arm injury, however, he struggled at Double-A Orlando until being released in June 1976. Ryan joined the Mets as a scouting supervisor in 1980. In 1986 he returned to the Twins organization as scouting director. He ascended to vice president of player personnel in 1991, and became GM following Andy MacPhail’s departure to the Chicago Cubs after the ‘94 season. Ryan served as GM for 13 years before resigning on October 1, 2007. He remained with the Twins as an adviser while Bill Smith took over as GM. After Smith’s firing following the 2011 season, Ryan returned to his former post. He was fired on July 18, 2016, midway through the worst season in franchise history. Philadelphia Phillies president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail hired Terry Ryan as a special assignment scout on November 30, 2016. January 13 Happy 64th Birthday, Steve Comer It’s the birthday of 1972 Minnetonka grad, Golden Gophers all-time great, and former major league pitcher Steve Comer. Comer was a four-year starter at the University of Minnesota, and still holds school records with 30 wins and 25 complete games. He went on to pitch parts of seven major league seasons with the Rangers (‘78-’82), Phillies (‘83), and Cleveland (‘84), compiling a record of 44-37 with 13 saves, 4.13 ERA, and a 1.445 WHIP in 176 games (83 starts). He averaged 3.1 strikeouts and 3.2 walks per nine innings. Keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  3. May 7, 1965 Twins Commit Seven Errors The Twins committed seven errors in a 13-5 loss to the White Sox on their home turf in Bloomington. Shortstop Zoilo Versalles and third baseman Rich Rollins each committed two errors, while Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey and St. Paul native Jerry Kindall added one each. Every infielder plus the catcher committed an error. Despite the seven errors, Twins pitching still gave up 10 earned runs. Nimrod, MN native Dick Stigman started the game for the Twins and lasted just 3 ⅔ innings, allowing four runs (all earned) on five hits. The Twins would salvage the season and capture the American League Pennant. May 7, 1978 Smalley Draw Team-Record 5 Walks Roy Smalley set a team single-game record when he walked 5 times in a 15-9 Twins win in Baltimore. Smalley also hit a double in his sixth at-bat, driving in left fielder Willie Norwood. Smalley walked in each of the first three innings, the first two vs. 1990 Hall of Fame inductee Jim Palmer who only lasted 1 ⅔ innings, allowing six runs on three hits and five walks. Willie Norwood stole second during each of Smalley’s first three at-bats, which eventually ended in walks anyway. The Twins scored nine of their 15 runs in the first three innings. Starting for the Twins was Alexandria, MN High School graduate Gary Serum, who only lasted 4 ⅓ innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, but did not walk a batter. May 7, 1989 Dan Gladden Makes Second Pitching Appearance Dan Gladden made his second big league pitching appearance in a 12-1 loss in Cleveland. Gladden allowed only one run on two hits and a walk. Not bad considering that Cleveland had scored 11 runs over seven innings against Minnesota’s full-time professional pitchers. By the way, how about Gimenez getting out of the inning on four pitches yesterday, eh? May 7, 2000 Tom Kelly Wins 1,000th Game Tom Kelly became the 46th manager in major league history to win 1,000 games as Minnesota beat Detroit 4-0 at the Metrodome. Joe Mays, who entered the game with an 0-4 record, pitched a complete game five-hit shutout for the Twins. May 7, 2002 Mary Tyler Moore Throws Out First Pitch May 7, 2008 Carlos Gomez Hits for the Cycle Leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez hit for the “natural cycle” in reverse in a 13-1 Twins win versus the White Sox in Chicago. Gomez led off the game with a home run, and then hit a triple, double and single. Gomez had three RBI, two runs scored and also struck out twice. Nick Punto hit the first of his two home runs of the season. Livan Hernandez pitched the complete game for the Twins, improving to 5-1. Keep in touch with the @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  4. May 8, 1967 Rookie Carew Has Twins' First 5-Hit Game Rookie Rod Carew became the first Twin to collect five hits in a single game in a 7-4 Twins loss to the Senators at home in Bloomington. Rodney was 5-for-5 on the day with a double, an RBI, and run scored. The Twins had 11 hits in total, but no other Twin had more than one. Kirby Puckett set a new Twins record by going 6-for-6 with two home runs and two doubles in a 10-6 Twins win in Milwaukee on August 30th, 1987. Puckett had gone 4-for-5 with two home runs the day before, making him 10-for-11 with six RBI and seven runs on the weekend. He had gone 0-for-4 on Friday in the first game of the series, a 1-0 Twins loss. May 8, 1968 Catfish Hunter Pitches a Perfect Game 22-year-old Catfish Hunter pitched a perfect game against the Twins in Oakland, striking out 11 in the Athletics’ 4-0 win. Harmon Killebrew struck out in each of his three plate appearances. In addition to pitching the perfect game, Hunter went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in three of the Athletics’ four runs. Reggie Jackson was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. May 8, 1979 Twins Hit Team-Record 12 Extra Base Hits The Twins set a team record when 12 of their 19 hits went for extra bases in a 16-6 shellacking of the Blue Jays at home in Bloomington. Roy Smalley and Craig Kusick each hit two home runs. Ken Landreaux hit a home run and a double. Bombo Rivera hit two doubles, while Willie Norwood, Glenn Borgmann and Bob Randall hit one each. John Castino hit a triple. Roy Smalley had the best day of anybody, going 4-for-5 with the two home runs, a walk, four RBI and four runs scored. May 8, 1984 Puckett Goes 4-for-5 in MLB Debut Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with a run scored in his major league debut as the Twins beat the first place Angels 5-0 in Anaheim. Puckett, hitting leadoff, grounded out to short to start the game. He collected singles in his next four at-bats, becoming the sixth player in American League history to debut with four-hit performance. Frank Viola pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout. Kirby collected 16 hits in his first seven major league games, hitting .485. He would finish the season with 165 hit in 128 games, batting .296 and finishing third to Seattle’s Alvin Davis and Mark Langston in American League Rookie of the Year balloting. Minnesota’s Tim Teufel came in fourth. 22-year-old Twins catcher Wilson Ramos also went 4-for-5 in his major league debut on May 2, 2010. The following night he went 3-for-4 with a double, becoming the third player in major league history with seven hits in his first two games, and the first since Nanny Fernandez in 1942. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch with the @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  5. 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.
  6. And here is the Labor Day weekend edition of the Twins Almanac. While you're reading this I'll be attending my first State Fair of the millennium. Expect the next Almanac to read like it was written by someone five pounds fatter. September 3, 1971 Eric Soderholm’s Eventful MLB Debut Making his major league debut versus Oakland at home at Met Stadium in Bloomington, Eric Soderholm homered off of Diego Segui in just his second big league at-bat. A closer look at the game, though, reveals that Soderholm’s debut was even more eventful that it appears at first-glance. He reached on a fielder’s choice ground-out in his very first major league at-bat. He moved up to second on a Phil Roof single. Pitcher Jim Perry then singled to right and Soderholm was thrown out at the plate by Reggie Jackson for the second out of the inning. With the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Soderholm came up with runners on second and third and one out. In just his third major league at-bat, Soderholm was intentionally walked to load the bases. Oakland brought Mudcat Grant in from the bullpen to pitch to Phil Roof with the bases loaded. The Twins, however, called upon Harmon Killebrew who hit a pinch-hit grand slam driving in Steve Brye, Steve Braun and Soderholm. In his fourth and final at-bat, Soderholm was hit-by-pitch to load the bases, but George Mitterwald struck-out to end the threat. The Twins beat the first-place Athletics 9-4. Soderholm had been on base in each of his first four major league at-bats. In addition to homering in his first major league game, he was thrown out at home by one Hall of Famer and scored on another Hall of Famer’s grand slam. What a memorable debut. September 3, 1990 Mark Guthrie Complete Game Shutout In the first game of a doubleheader in Milwaukee, Mark Guthrie pitched a complete game 4-hit shutout. The Twins won 6-0. It was the major league debut of Brewers catcher Tim McIntosh, a Hopkins High School and University of Minnesota alumnus. He went 0-for-3. Fellow Golden Gopher Paul Molitor went 0-for-4 against Guthrie. Kirby Puckett went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and 2 runs scored. Pedro Munoz, who had made his major league debut two days earlier, went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Check out the first six Brewers batters in game two, with a combined 31 All-Star selections between them: Paul Molitor (7), Robin Yount (3), Gary Sheffield (9), Dave Parker (7), B.J. Surhoff (1) and Greg Vaughn (4). The fact that Robin Yount was only selected to three All-Star teams is always a little startling. He wasn’t even an All-Star in 1989 when he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. The only other American Leaguer to win MVP without being named an All-Star that season was Hank Greenberg in 1935. September 3, 2006 Bert Blyleven Said a Naughty Word on Television Bert Blyleven had a tough time with a pre-game segment that he thought was being taped. “We’re gonna do this f*cking thing over again,” Bert said, “‘cause I just f*cked it up,” to which Anthony LaPanta said “well we’re live.” Bert would enjoy a five-game vacation. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Gagne.Score91WS_zpsk4x8yotk.jpg September 4, 2010 Greg Gagne Inducted into Twins Hall of Fame The Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame inducted its 22nd member, Greg Gagne, who played shortstop for the Twins from 1983-’92 before spending his final five seasons with the Royals and Dodgers. Gagne originally came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Ron Davis/Roy Smalley trade. On October 4, 1986 Gagne hit two inside-the-park home runs against the White Sox at the Metrodome. As a personal aside, I think an error should have been charged on 99% of inside-the-park home runs. Gagne, never a power hitter, hit 4 postseason home runs between 1987 and ‘91. He hit two in the ‘87 ALCS vs. Detroit and one in each World Series. Probably his most memorable was a game-winning three-run home run in Game One of the 1991 World Series off of Charlie Liebrandt. It was Leibrandt who also gave up Kirby’s Game Six walk-off home run. After the induction ceremony, the first-place Twins hosted the first-place Rangers, with the Twins winning 12-4. Carl Pavano picked the the 16th of his 17 wins on the season. Matt Tolbert had 2 triples and drove in 5 runs. And Jim Thome hit a pair of home runs, passing Mark McGwire for ninth most all-time. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/discodan_zpsoiuveo4r.jpg September 5, 1978 "Disco" Dan Earns His Nickname In a 4-3 home loss to the Larry Doby-managed White Sox, "Disco" Dan Ford earned his nickname. Ask @RoySmalley5 how. And keep in touch with @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  7. And here is the Twins Almanac for Monday, August 29 to Friday, September 2, 2016. Mrs. Johnson broke the internet at my folks' place where we're staying, so I'm posting this from across the pasture at my sister's house. I kind of forgot about this whole humidity thing here in Minnesota. It's alright, though, I'm just pretending I'm on safari. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/killebrewallison_zpsq2qqq1gi.jpg August 29, 1963 Twins Hit 12 Home Runs The Twins hit a team record 8 home runs in the first game of a doubleheader in Washington, DC. Vic Power and Harmon Killebrew each hit a pair, with Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, Bernie Allen, and Rich Rollins connecting for the other four. First baseman Power went 4-for-6 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Killebrew, playing left field, was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and 3 runs in the 14-2 Twins win. The Twins would hit another 4 home runs in the second game. August 29, 1987 Kirby Puckett Has Himself a Day Kirby Puckett goes 4-for-5 with 2 HRs in Milwaukee. The best is yet to come. August 29, 1990 Greg Gagne Has Himself a Day Greg Gagne went 2-for-4 with a HR and 3 stolen bases including home plate in a 6-1 Twins win over the White Sox at home in the Dome. Gagne only had 5 steals coming into the game. Gene Larkin, playing right field, went 3-for-4 with a run scored. Mark Guthrie, meanwhile, pitched the complete game allowing just the 1 run on 5 hits and a walk. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/ortiztimberrattlers_zpsb9rc0abc.jpg August 29, 1996 Twins Trade Dave Hollins for David Ortiz The Twins traded veteran third baseman Dave Hollins to the Mariners in exchange for hot prospect David Ortiz who was hitting .322 with 18 HR and 93 RBI in 129 games with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at the time of the trade. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/koosman_zpstztj0och.jpg August 30, 1981 Twins Trade Jerry Koosman The Twins trade Appleton, MN-native Jerry Koosman to the White Sox for outfielder Randy Johnson and two others. August 30, 1987 Kirby’s 10-for-11 Weekend Kirby Puckett collects a team-record 6 hits in 6 at-bats including 2 HRs and 2 doubles in a 10-6 win in Milwaukee. Puckett had gone 4-for-5 with 2 HRs the day before, making him 10-for-11 with 6 RBI and 7 runs scored on the weekend. He had gone 0-for-4 on Friday in the first game of the series, a 1-0 Twins loss. 10 hits in two games tied a major league record. Kirby also had 6 hits in an extra-inning game in 1991. No other Twin has ever had a 6-hit game. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/baylor_zpsse3vlmci.jpg August 31, 1987 Pennant-Chasing Twins Acquire Big Bat The Twins acquired veteran slugger Don Baylor from the Red Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Enrique Rios. It was the Twins seventh trade of the season. They had acquired Tom Nieto, Jeff Reardon, Al Newman and Dan Gladden in pre-season trades, Joe Niekro and Dan Schatzeder in June, and Steve Carlton in July. August 31, 1993 Munoz HR Ends Record-Length Game The Twins trailed Cleveland 4-2 with two out in the bottom of the ninth when Terry Jorgenson hit a double, driving in David McCarty. Thirteen innings later, in the bottom of the 22nd, Pedro Munoz ended the longest game in Twins history with a walk-off home run. Munoz crossed the plate at 1:22 AM. The game lasted 6 hours and 17 minutes. Brian Harper went 4-for-8. August 31, 1994 Twins Deal Dave Winfield In the midst of the ‘94 strike the Twins sent future-Hall of Famer, St. Paul-native Dave Winfield to the Cleveland club for straight cash, homey. August 31, 2003 Twins Acquire 46-Year-Old Jesse Orosco The Twins acquired 46-year-old pitcher Jesse Orosco from the Yankees. He would pitch 4.2 over 8 games for the Twins, the ninth and final team he would pitch for in his 24-year career. Orosco made his major league debut in 1979, meaning he pitched in four decades. Nobody in major league history has pitched in more games than Jesse Orosco (1,252). August 31, 2005 Twins Get 13 Hits, Do Not Score The Twins collected 13 hits, 2 walks and a reached-on-error for a grand total of 16 base runners and still managed to lose to the Royals 1-0 at Kaufman Stadium. Starting pitcher Kyle Lohse pitched 7 innings of shutout ball, allowing only 3 hits. The game was still scoreless entering the bottom of the ninth when former Twin Denny Hocking hit a lead-off single off reliever Matt Guerrier. Facing Terry Mulholland, Emil Brown drove-in Hocking for a walk-off Royals win. August 31, 2007 Scott Baker Flirts with Perfect Game Scott Baker had a perfect game going against the Royals at home in the Dome when he walked catcher John Buck leading off the ninth. Two batters later he allowed a one-out single to pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney. That was all the offense the Royals would muster, though, as Baker completed the 1-hit shutout for a 5-0 Twins win. September 1, 1972 Rod Carew Steals Home for the Win With the Twins and Cleveland tied 4-4 with two out in the bottom of the tenth, Rod Carew stole home for the walk-off (or run-off) win. Rod Carew would steal home 17 times in his career. Right fielder Bobby Darwin drove in the Twins’ first 4 runs. He was 4-for-4 with a HR and double when he struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the tenth. September 1, 1992 Rick Aguilera Becomes Twins All-Time Saves Leader Rick Aguilera pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve a 5-4 Twins win at Tiger Stadium in Detroit. It was Aggie’s 35th save of the season and 109th of his Twins career, surpassing Ron Davis as the Twins’ all-time leader. Aguilera would go on to save 254 games in a Twins uniform. He saved 42 games for the Twins’ 1991 World Series champion team. In total, Aguilera earned 318 major league saves. He saved 7 games for the ‘89 Mets, 20 during his brief stint with Boston in 1995, and 37 for the Chicago Cubs between 1999 and 2000, his final season. Joe Nathan surpassed Aguilera as the Twins’ all-time saves leader in 2011. Nathan finished his Twins career with 260 saves before signing with the Rangers following the 2011 season. He was an All-Star with Texas in 2012 and ‘13, saving a combined 80 games those two seasons and another 35 for Detroit in 2014. September 2, 1965 Bob Allison Strikes Out 5 Times in 5 At-Bats The Twins 5-hitter, left fielder Bob Allison, went 0-for-5 with 5 strikeouts in a 5-4 home loss to the Tigers. Tigers leadoff hitter, Bloomington High School and University of Minnesota alumnus George Thomas, went 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored. Thomas doubled off of Nimrod, MN-native Dick Stigman leading off the top of the ninth. The major league record for strikeouts in a game is six. Six players have done so. Only Alex Gonzalez (2009) did it in just 6 plate appearances. The most recent to do so, Geoff Jenkins in 2008, had 7 plate appearances. The other four came to the plate eight times in their respective games. Sammy Sosa had four 5-K games in his steroid-addled career. Ray Lankford had three such games, and Jim Thome had two. Ryan Howard is the all-time leader with 27 4-strikeout games, followed by Reggie Jackson (23) and Jim Thome (20).
  8. And here is the Twins Almanac for the weekend of August 27-28, 2016. Mrs. Johnson and I have been busy getting settled here in Minnesota. It's good to be back after a decade out west. Look for a fresh batch of Twins trivia by open of business Monday. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105324_zpsinrwxudh.jpg August 27 Happy 46th Birthday, Jim Thome It’s the birthday of Jim Thome, born in 1970 in Peoria, IL. He had already hit 564 home runs when he signed with the Minnesota Twins prior to the 2010 season. He hit a dramatic walk-off home run on August 17, 2010, the first Twins walk-off hit at Target Field. On August 15, 2011 Thome hit two opposite field home runs in Detroit, the 599th and 600th of his career. The Twins sold him to Cleveland 10 days later. In total he hit 40 home runs as a Twin. Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs. He hit 61 home runs against the Twins. The only team he more against was Detroit, 66. Jim Thome is eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2018. August 27, 1975 Kusick Ties Record, Blyleven Hurls Gem Craig Kusick tied a major league record by being beaned three times in the Twins’ game versus the Brewers in Milwaukee. That record stands to this day. Bert Blyleven, meanwhile, pitched an 11-inning shutout as the Twins won 1-0. Don Baylor, incidentally, owns the American League record for times hit-by-pitch in a career. He was beaned 267 times in his career played entirely in the AL. He was beaned four times while played for the 1987 World Series-champion Twins. August 27, 2012 Mauer Passes Battey for Most Games Caught Joe Mauer caught his 832nd game, surpassing Earl Battey for most games caught in Twins history. Battey played for Minnesota from 1961-’67. The game versus Seattle at Target Field was a pitchers duel between Felix Hernandez and rookie Liam Hendricks who would go the distance allowing only 3 hits. The Twins could only muster 5 hits off of Herndandez, with Mauer hitting a two-out single to center in the fourth. With the game still scoreless, Justin Morneau led-off the bottom of the seventh with a triple but was stranded there as three straight Twins batters grounded out. With Hendricks pitching a 2-hit shutout into the eighth, Seattle’s Eric Thames hit a leadoff home run and Seattle went on to win 1-0, with both Hendricks and Hernandez pitching complete games. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Laudner.82D.89DAS_zpsl4ir6evw.jpg August 28, 1981 Tim Laudner Homers in MLB Debut 1976 Park Center High School graduate Tim Laudner homered in his major league debut, a 6-0 Twins win versus the Tigers in Bloomington. Laudner singled in his first MLB at-bat leading off the third and worked a walk in his second at-bat. In the seventh inning, in his third big league at-bat, Laudner hit a home run driving in Gary Ward. He popped out to the catcher in his final at-bat. Minnesota-native Jerry Koosman entered the game in the seventh inning, earning a seven-out save. Laudner hit his second major league home run the following day against Tigers pitcher Dan Schatzeder who would later win game 6 of the 1987 World Series for the Twins. Laudner had hit a whopping 42 home runs at AA Orlando in ‘81. The 44 he hit in total between the minors and majors led all of professional baseball. Laudner was one of three Twins to homer in his major league debut in 1981. Just four days earlier Kent Hrbek -- who, like Laudner, had also played his high school ball in the Twin Cities area -- hit a twelfth-inning home run in his major league debut off of George Frazier at Yankee Stadium. Frazier, like Schatzeder, would also go on to pitch for the ‘87 Twins. On September 20th, Gary Gaetti homered in his first major league at-bat. Keep in touch with @@TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  9. August 20, 1961 Two Twins Pitchers Homer in Same Game Twins starting pitcher Jack Kralick and reliever Al Schroll both hit solo home runs vs. the Angels at Los Angeles’s Wrigley Field. The Twins, incidentally, won by 2 runs, 9-7. Twins center fielder Lenny Green homered to lead-off the game. Bloomington High School graduate George Thomas tied the game for the Angels with an RBI single in the second. The Angels went on to build a 3-1 lead in the inning. Then, leading off the third inning, Twins pitcher Jack Kralick pulled a home run to right. Lenny Green then made it back-to-back to tie the game at 3-3. The Twins scored 3 to take a 6-3 lead in the fourth. Kralick, however, gave all 3 runs back in the bottom of the inning, including back-to-back home runs by Earl Averill and future-Golden Gophers head coach George Thomas to lead-off the inning. Kralick was out after 3 ⅔ innings having allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Twins reliever Al Schroll was solid in relief, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits in 4 ⅓ innings. He also pulled a home run to left to lead-off the eighth inning. Ray Moore came in in the ninth to convert his 11th save of the season. August 21, 1965 Nothing Happened Today… …unless you count the Beatles concert at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. August 22 Happy 60th Birthday, Paul Molitor It’s the birthday of Paul Molitor, born in 1956 in St. Paul, MN. Molitor graduated from Cretin High School in 1974 and attended the University of Minnesota from 1975-’77 where he was an All-American his final two seasons. He was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers with the third overall pick in the 1977 draft behind Harold Baines and Bill Gullickson, who was born in Marshall, MN but attended high school in Joliet, IL. In 1978 Molitor was runner-up to Detroit’s Lou Whitaker for American League Rookie of the Year. Molitor set a World Series record with 5 hits in game 1 of the ‘82 Series which the St. Louis Cardinals won in seven games. He played 15 seasons for Milwaukee before signing with the Toronto Blue Jays following the 1992 season. In ‘93, at age 37, Molitor had his first 100-RBI season, collecting 111. He was the 1993 World Series MVP, hitting .500 (12-for-24) with 2 HRs and 10 runs scored, tying the record set by Reggie Jackson in 1977. Molitor signed with the Twins for the 1996 season, when, at age 40, he hit .341, collected 113 RBI and led the American League with 225 hits. Molitor retired following the 1998 season with 3,319 hits and 504 stolen bases. He was only the sixth player in major league history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases following Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins, Lou Brock and Rickey Henderson. Ichiro has since joined the club. Paul Molitor was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Dennis Eckersley on July 25, 2004. It was Molitor’s first year of eligibility. 85.2% of Hall of Fame voters voted for Molitor, meaning a staggering 75 members of the BBWAA were complete ignoramuses. Molitor was named Twins manager prior to the 2015 season. August 22, 1975 Dave McKay Homers in First MLB At-Bat With the Twins and Tigers tied 1-1 at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Dave McKay, in his first major league at-bat, led-off the bottom of the third with a home run off the Tigers’ Vern Ruhle. Ruhle’s rookie card is 1975 Topps #614, which he shares with Edina High School and University of Minnesota alumnus Paul Siebert. It is the only major league baseball card on which Siebert appears. The Twins won 8-4 with 1967 Rothsay High School graduate Dave Goltz earning an ugly win, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits in just 5 innings pitched. McKay was the second of six Twins to homer in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, McKay, Gary Gaetti, Luke Hughes and Eddie Rosario. August 22, 2014 Twins Win 20-6 at Target Field The Twins beat the Tigers 20-6, the first time the Twins had scored 20+ runs at Target Field. Center fielder Danny Santana, batting leadoff, went 3-for-6 with a walk, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Trevor Plouffe also went 3-for-6 with 3 RBI and 4 runs scored. Santana and Plouffe homered, as did Eduardo Escobar. Despite the lopsided victory, the Twins used six pitchers, with Tommy Milone being knocked out in the fifth after giving up 5 runs on 10 hits, including a home run to Ian Kinsler leading off the game. August 23, 1977 Dave Goltz Pitches 1-Hit Shutout Rothsay, MN-native Dave Goltz pitched a 1-hit shutout versus Boston at home in Bloomington. The only hit Goltz allowed was a Jim Rice single over a leaping Roy Smalley leading off the fourth. Goltz also walked 3 while striking out 10. The Twins won the game 7-0, scoring 5 runs against 1991 Hall of Fame-inductee Fergie Jenkins who lasted only 4 ⅓ innings. Rod Carew, also elected to the Hall in ‘91, homered off Jenkins in the first inning. All nine Twins batters had at least one hit. August 23, 2005 Twins Win on One Hit The White Sox’s Freddy Garcia had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning at the Metrodome when Jacque Jones hit a leadoff home run. It was the only hit that Garcia would allow. Johan Santana, meanwhile, allowed just 3 hits over 8 innings, and, more importantly, did not allow a run. Joe Nathan held the pale hose hitless in the ninth for a 1-0, 1-hit Twins win. It was the second time the Twins have won on 1 hit. This has happened at least 65 times since 1914. The Yankees won on 1 hit on May 29, 2016. David Schoenfield wrote an interesting Sweet Spot blog post on 1-hit wins. August 23, 2009 Michael Cuddyer Hits 2 HRs in Same Inning The Twins and Royals were tied 1-1 entering the top of the seventh at Kauffman Stadium when Michael Cuddyer hit a leadoff home run off Kansas City starter Brian Bannister. Delmon Young, Denard Span and Orlando Cabrera combined to drive in 5 more runs before Cuddyer came up again, this time with Joe Mauer on first, and homered for the second time in the inning. The third place Twins would go on to win 10-3. They, of course, would finish the 162-game schedule in a tie with Detroit before winning the division in game 163. Cuddyer is the only Twin to homer twice in the same inning. There have been 59 occurrences in major league history. The first was the Braves’ Charley Jones in 1880. The most recent was Mark Trumbo on April 15, 2016. Andre Dawson did it twice, first in 1978 and again in 1985. Pittsburgh’s Jeff King did so in ‘95 and ‘96. Two switch-hitters have homered from each side of the plate in the same inning: the Cubs’ Mark Bellhorn in 2002, and Cleveland’s Carlos Baerga in 1993. The Cardinals’ Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning on April 23, 1999. August 24, 1981 Kent Hrbek Homers in MLB Debut In his major league debut at Yankee Stadium, 1979 Bloomington Kennedy graduate Kent Hrbek hit a 12th-inning home run off of George Frazier, giving the Twins a 3-2 victory. He also hit an RBI single in the fifth, tying the game at 1-1 at the time. Hrbek made the jump to Yankee Stadium straight from Class A Visalia (California League) where he was hitting .379 with 27 HRs and 111 RBI. Hrbek was the first of three Twins to homer in their major league debut in less than a month. Four days later Tim Laudner would do so. And on September 20th Gary Gaetti homered in his first big league at-bat. August 25, 1967 Dean Chance Pitches No-Hitter In the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, Dean Chance pitched the second no-hitter in Twins history. Interestingly, Cleveland led the game 1-0 with 1 out in the bottom of the first. Chance walked the first two batters of the game before getting a strikeout for the first out. Cleveland’s cleanup hitter reached on an error to load the bases. Chance then unleashed a wild pitch, allowing Cleveland to score without the benefit of a hit. Chance would issue 5 walks in the game but not allow a hit. He struck out 8 as the Twins won 2-1. Chance had pitched a rain-shortened five-inning perfect game on August 6th. Though Major League Baseball considers a game official after five innings, in 1991 MLB dictated that a pitcher only gets credit for a no-hitter if the game goes the full nine innings. This rule was enacted retroactively, and, therefore, Chance and 35 other pitchers had no-hitters wiped from the record books. In high school in Ohio, Chance pitched 17 no-hitters (I’ve also read 18), including 8 in one season. He posted a 52-1 high school record. August 25, 2008 Twins Trade Mark Hamburger for Eddie Guardado The Twins traded minor league pitcher Mark Hamburger to Texas for veteran reliever Eddie Guardado. Hamburger was born in St. Paul in 1987, graduated from Mounds View High School and attended Mesabi Range Community and Technical College in Virginia, MN before signing with the Twins in 2007. Hamburger made 5 relief appearances for the Rangers in 2011. He currently pitches for the St. Paul Saints. Guardado made his major league debut with the Twins in 1993. He pitched for the team until 2003, leading the league with 45 saves in 2002 and representing the Twins at the 2002 and ‘03 All-Star Games. He signed with the Mariners after the ‘03 season. Guardado only pitched in 9 games in his 2008 return to the Twins. He re-signed with the Rangers following the season. Eddie Guardado pitched in more games than any other pitcher in Twins history, and it’s not even close. “Everyday” Eddie appeared in 648 games for Minnesota. Rick Aguilera is second at 490. Guardado was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2013. He was named Twins bullpen coach prior to the 2015 season. August 26, 1962 First No-Hitter in Twins History Jack Kralick pitched the first no-hitter in Twins history versus the Kansas City Athletics at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. The Twins won 1-0. Their only run came in the bottom of the seventh inning. Bernie Allen singled to right leading off the inning. Zoilo Versalles then laid down a sacrifice bunt. Kansas City tried and failed to get the lead runner at second with Versalles reaching on the fielder’s choice. Pitcher Jack Kralick then sacrificed the runners up a base. With a runner on third and one out, Lenny Green hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the Twins’ only run of the game. Kralick had a perfect game going into the ninth inning when he issued a one-out walk. He completed the no-hitter having thrown 97 pitches, striking out 3. Right fielder Bob Allison robbed Kansas City’s Ed Charles of a home run in the fourth. The End Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook.
  10. The Twins Almanac for August 13-19 http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105206_zpsixc8dcyp.jpg And here is the first full-fledged Twins Almanac in awhile. In my absence from Twins Daily, many of you have been keeping in touch on Twitter, with over 1,000 new people following @TwinsAlmanac over the past month. It's good to be back writing posts of greater than 140 characters, though. This was a fun week in Twins history to write about. My childhood hero Kent Hrbek's number 14 was retired this week in 1995, Tom Kelly's 66th birthday is this week, and Jim Thome hit two very memorable home runs. In other news, after nearly a decade in Seattle (and lately Bellingham...) I'm moving back to Minnesota next week, and I'm bringing Mrs. Almanac with me. We are expecting our rookie to make it's debut in January. I'm sure we'll make it out to Target Field a time or two before winter sets in. Hopefully we'll be seeing you. August 13 Happy 81st Birthday, Mudcat Grant It’s the birthday of Jim “Mudcat” Grant, born in 1935 in Lacoochee, FL. Grant had a 14-year major league career spanning from 1958 to 1971. The Twins acquired Grant in a trade with Cleveland on June 15, 1964. He was an All-Star in ‘65 and finished sixth in American League Most Valuable Player balloting. He led the league with 21 wins and 6 shutouts. He also tied with St. Louis’s Bob Gibson for most home runs allowed with 34. Grant started three games in the 1965 World Series, winning games one and six before Sandy Koufax outdueled Jim Kaat in game seven. Following the 1967 season, the Twins traded Grant and Zoilo Versalles to the Dodgers for 1969 All-Star catcher John Roseboro, Ron Perranoski, and Bob Miller. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105721_zpsvx70ievr.jpg August 13, 1986 Twins Swap Ron Davis for George Frazier The Twins traded pitchers Ron Davis and Dewayne Coleman to the Chicago Cubs for Julius McDougal, Ray Fontenot and George Frazier. Davis, who was the supposed centerpiece of the trade that sent Roy Smalley to the Yankees and brought Greg Gagne to Minnesota in 1982, had a shaky tenure as Twins closer. In 1984 he tied a single season record with 14 blown saves, a dubious feat which no pitcher has since matched. Four pitchers had blown 14 saves in a season prior to Davis, including Hall of Famers Rollie Fingers (1976) and Bruce Sutter (‘78). George Frazier pitched in 54 games for the Twins’ 1987 World Series champion team. It was his final season. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Hrbek.teamissue_zpsfdujvojg.jpg August 13, 1995 Kent Hrbek’s Number Retired Kent Hrbek grew up in Bloomington, less than a mile from Metropolitan Stadium. He graduated from Kennedy High School in 1978 and was drafted by the Twins that spring in the 17th round. He jumped straight from A ball to make his major league debut on August 24, 1981 at Yankee Stadium. With the game tied at 2-2 in the 12th, Hrbek hit a home run off of future-Twin George Frazier for his first big league hit. Four days later Tim Laudner would also homer in his major league debut, and less than a month later Gary Gaetti would homer in his first at-bat. In 1982, his first full season in the show, Hrbek batted .301 with 160 hits, 23 HRs and 92 RBI, made his only All-Star appearance, and finished second to Cal Ripken Jr. for American League Rookie of the Year. In 1984 Hrbie was runner-up to Tigers pitcher Willie Hernandez for American League MVP. Kent Hrbek hit a career-high 34 home runs in 1987. It would be the Twins’ last 30-home run season until Justin Morneau hit 34 in his 2006 MVP season. So much for the Steroid Era in Minnesota. Only Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett played more games in a Twins uniform than Kent Hrbek. His 293 career HRs, 1,086 RBI and 838 walks are each second in Twins history to only Harmon Killebrew. In addition to being one of the most prodigious sluggers in Twins history, Hrbek is widely praised for his defense. Many, in fact, go so far as to rank Hrbek among the greatest defensive first basemen in baseball history. And though he was not the fastest man, Tom Kelly regarded Hrbie as an excellent baserunner. Hrbek’s number 14 was the fourth number retired by the Twins, after Harmon Killebrew in 1974, Rod Carew in 1987 and Tony Oliva in 1991. Kent Hrbek was inducted along with Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kirby Puckett and Calvin Griffith as the inaugural class of the Twins’ Hall of Fame on August 12, 2000. August 14, 2010 Brian Duensing Pitches 3-Hit Complete-Game Shutout On a Saturday night at Target Field Brian Duensing pitched the first of two career shutouts as the first-place Twins beat the Athletics 2-0. Duensing gave up a hit in each of the first three innings before holding the A’s hitless the final six innings of the ballgame. He also walked two batters while striking out four. Reigning American League MVP Joe Mauer went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Orlando Hudson drove in the Twins’ other run. The Twins went on to win the Central Division in 2010, their sixth division crown in nine seasons. They were swept out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105519_zpskdl32b6s.jpg August 15 Happy 66th Birthday, Tom Kelly It’s the birthday of Tom Kelly, born in 1950 in Graceville, MN, though he grew up in Sayreville, New Jersey and attended Monmouth University also in New Jersey. Graceville, with a population of 565 at last check, is also the birthplace of Bill Davis, who played sparingly for Cleveland and San Diego in the sixties. Davis attended Richfield High School just south of Minneapolis. Kelly was drafted in the 8th round by the Seattle Pilots in 1968. After three lackluster seasons in the Pilots/Brewers organization, TK was signed by the Minnesota Twins prior to the ‘71 season. He made his major league debut on May 11, 1975 at age 24. He played 49 games in the majors, going 23-for-117 (.181) while playing primarily first base. In his tenth game, May 26th, TK hit his one and only big league home run in Detroit off of Vern Ruhle. Ruhle makes at least one other appearance in the annals of Twins home run history. On August 22, 1975, Ruhle, who shares a 1975 Topps rookie card with Edina High School and University of Minnesota alumnus Paul Siebert, gave up a home run to the Twins’ Dave McKay in his first big league at-bat. Kelly spent the 1976 season in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization playing for the Rochester Red Wings, who were Baltimore’s AAA affiliate at the time. Kelly returned to the Twins’ organization in 1977 as a player-manager. Kelly joined the major league club as a coach in 1983 under manager Billy Gardner. Kelly, only 35-years-old, was named Twins manager with 23 games remaining in 1986, replacing Ray Miller. In 1987, with a cast of characters many of whom he played a large role in cultivating down on the farm, Kelly “became the youngest non-playing manager to win the World Series since John McGraw in 1905” (per Baseball Reference). Following back-to-back losing seasons in 1989 and ‘90, TK won his second World Series in 1991 with only seven players and four starters remaining from the ‘87 World Series roster. The only pitcher remaining from 1987 was Allan Anderson who only played in 4 regular season games in ‘87 and did not play in either postseason. After eight of the most miserable seasons in Twins history, TK piloted the club to second place in the Central in 2001 before handing the helm to Ron Gardenhire who won three consecutive division championships in his first three seasons, a total of five in the decade and another in 2010. Tom Kelly’s number 10 was retired on September 8, 2012. August 15, 2011 Jim Thome Joins the 600-HR Club The Twins traded outfielder Delmon Young to the Tigers prior to the first game of their series against them in Detroit. Young, batting third in his debut with his new team, hit a 2-out home run off of Francisco Liriano in the first inning. It would prove to be Jim Thome’s day, though. With the Twins and Tigers tied at 3 in the sixth, Thome hit a 2-run opposite field home run to left-center off of Rick Porcello, driving in Jason Kubel. It was the 599th home run for the 40-year-old Thome, playing in his 21st big league season. Then, just one inning later, the Twins clinging to a 6-5 lead, two on and two out, Thome hit Daniel Schlereth’s 2-1 offering to straightaway left field and into the Tigers’ bullpen, becoming the eighth member of the 600-HR Club. The Twins went on to beat the first place Tigers 9-6. Thome finished the day 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and the 2 runs scored. Thome, whose final season was 2012, officially retired on August 2, 2014 with 612 home runs. He hit 66 of those home runs against the Tigers, more than he hit against any other team. The team he hit the second-most against was the Twins, 61. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_110645_zpskw8dunrg.jpg August 16, 1975 All Nine Twins Get 2+ Hits Twins batters collected 20 hits in a 9-1 victory over Cleveland at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. All nine Twins batters got at least 2 hits. Center fielder “Disco” Dan Ford and catcher Phil Roof each got 3 hits. Of the 20 hits only five went for extra bases, with Roof hitting a home run. The starting lineup that day was Lyman Bostock, Dan Ford, Rod Carew, John Briggs, Tony Oliva, Eric Soderholm, Steve Braun, Jerry Terrell (Waterville High School ‘64; Minnesota State, Mankato ‘68), Phil Roof. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_105324_zpsinrwxudh.jpg August 17, 2010 Jim Thome Walk-Off Home Run Trailing the Twins by three games in the Central Division standings, the White Sox were in town for the first of a three-game series. The Twins jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first against Chicago pitcher John Danks. Entering the top of the ninth, however, the Twins clung to a 5-4 lead. White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez, hitting in the 8-hole, tied the game on closer Matt Capps’ second pitch of the inning. The White Sox threatened to take the lead, but after intentionally walking Alex Rios to load the bases, Capps induced an inning-ending double play from none other than Paul Konerko. Alexei Ramirez came to the plate again in the tenth, this time with big Jon Rauch on the mound, and this time with a runner in scoring position. Ramirez singled to center, driving in the go-ahead run. Delmon Young led off the bottom the tenth with a single against 2010 All-Star Matt Thornton. Jim Thome then hit Thornton’s 1-0 offering, a belt-high fastball, well-over the limestone facade onto the plaza for the first walk-off hit in Target Field history. It was Thome’s 17th home run of the season, and 581st of his career. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160810_110930_zpshmzusjfs.jpg August 18, 1986 Tom Seaver Wins 311th and Final Game Pitching for the Red Sox, 41-year-old Tom Seaver won his 311th and final major league game in a narrow 3-1 Boston victory over the Minnesota Twins in the Metrodome. Seaver pitched 8 ⅔ innings, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 4 walks while striking out 7. Seaver gave up a single to the first batter he faced, leadoff hitter Kirby Puckett. In the bottom of the third he gave up a solo home run to Roy Smalley, tying the game at 1-1. Seaver, though he would issue 4 walks over the course of the game, would not give up another hit until he had two outs in the ninth. Frank Viola, too, pitched a strong game. After finding himself in a 1-0 hole two batters into the game, he held the Red Sox scoreless, allowing just 4 hits in the second through eighth innings. Tied 1-1 in the ninth, however, Viola gave up a single to center fielder Tony Armas and 2-run home run to catcher Rich Gedman to give the Red Sox a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. With two out in the ninth, Seaver gave up a his third and final hit, a double to Randy Bush. With Tom Brunansky pinch-hitting for Billy Beane and representing the tying run, Red Sox manager John McNamara brought in Bob Stanley who got Bruno looking to secure Tom Seaver’s 311th win. It is also interesting to note that Tom Seaver earned his 300th win the previous August while pitching for the White Sox against the Yankees in the city that he is most associated with, New York, on the same day that Rod Carew got his 3,000th hit off of Frank Viola, pitching, of course, for Carew’s former club. August 19 Happy 58th Birthday, Gary Gaetti It’s the birthday of Gary Gaetti, born in 1958 in Centralia, IL. The 20-year major leaguer played 10 seasons in Minnesota, 1981-1990. On September 20, 1981, Gaetti homered in his first major league at-bat. He was the third Twin that season to homer in his first major league game (Kent Hrbek, August 24, and Tim Laudner, August 28). Six Twins have homered in their first major league at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gaetti, Andre David, Luke Hughes and Eddie Rosario. Like Eddie Rosario, Andre David's home run was on the first pitch. The pitcher was Jack Morris and it was the only major league home run he would ever hit. Gaetti won Gold Gloves at third in 1986, ‘87 and ‘88 and represented the Twins in the 1988 and ‘89 All-Star Games. He hit 201 home runs in a Twins uniform, eighth most in team history, one spot behind Kirby Puckett (207). August 19, 1991 Randy Bush Hits Record Pinch-Hit Double In an 8-7 loss to division-rivals Oakland at the Metrodome Randy Bush got his seventh consecutive pinch-hit dating back to July 5, tying an American League record set in 1981 by the Rangers’ Bill Stein. Jose Canseco and Kirby Puckett had traded solo home runs in the first inning. Tied at 7-7 in the ninth, 1980 New Ulm High School graduate Terry Steinbach drove in Dave Henderson with a two-out line drive single to center off of Steve Bedrosian. After Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley struck out Mike Pagliarulo to lead-off the ninth, Bush pinch-hit for Al Newman, hitting a 1-0 double to right. Eckersley, however, retired Knoblauch and Larkin to preserve the victory for the Athletics. August 19, 2007 Johan Santana Strikes Out Twins Record 17 In a Sunday afternoon game at the Metrodome versus Texas, reigning Cy Young Award-winner Johan Santana struck out a team record 17 batters in only eight innings. Santana struck out all nine Rangers at least once. The only two hits that Santana allowed were to the designated hitter, known steroid user Sammy Sosa who singled in the fifth and doubled in the seventh. Santana finished strong, striking out the side in his eighth and final inning. He did not issue a walk. Joe Nathan came in in the ninth to preserve the 1-0 Twins win. Michael Young, who had struck out in all three at-bats against Santana, struck out swinging to end the game. The only run that the Twins could muster against Rangers starting pitcher Kevin Millwood was a Michael Cuddyer home run leading off the second. The End Well, that's all. Thanks for reading. And if your townball team is looking for a legitimate 32-year-old base stealing threat for next summer, stop into Johnson's Hardware Hank & Rental in scenic downtown Zimmerman and ask for the prodigal son. And keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook.
  11. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160525_170738_zpsyytecp4e.jpg May 26, 2011 Twins Pay Final Respects to Harmon Killebrew On an off day, the Twins and about 4,000 of their fans paid their final respects to Harmon Killebrew, who had passed away on May 17, with a beautiful memorial service on the infield at Target Field. In attendance was Commissioner Bud Selig, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Rod Carew, Paul Molitor and Bert Blyleven, as well as Tony Oliva and an All-Star lineup of Twins old and new. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160525_170841_zpsxzzdwuop.jpg May 27, 1961 First 5-Hit Game in Twins History Twins leadoff hitter, Zoilo Versalles, went 5-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC. It was the first 5-hit game in Twins history. The Twins jumped out to a 1-0 lead as Harmon Killebrew drove in Versalles in the top of the first. But Twins starting pitcher, Ed Palmquist, was only able to record one out, giving up 4 runs before being relieved by Winona, MN-native, Paul Giel, who gave up one more, giving the Senators a 5-1 lead after the first inning. They went on to win 14-4. May 28, 1986 Five Twins Pitch in Eighth Inning Five Twins pitched in the eighth inning versus the Blue Jays at the Metrodome, establishing a team record for pitchers used in a single inning. Gary Gaetti had tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh. Toronto slugger, George Bell, however, led-off the eighth with a homer off of Twins starter, Bert Blyleven. After Blyleven gave up a single to the next batter, the Twins went to the bullpen. The Blue Jays just kept hitting, however, scoring seven more off of Keith Atherton, Juan Agosto, Ron Davis and Roy Lee Jackson for an 8-run eighth inning. Tom Brunansky hit a 2-run HR in the ninth, but Toronto held on to win 14-8. May 28, 2011 Twins Combine For One-Hit Shutout In his second start and fourth appearance of the season, Anthony Swarzak held the Angels hitless for 7 1/3 innings at Target Field and allowed just one hit and two walks over eight innings before giving way to the bullpen. Meanwhile, the Angels' Jered Weaver pitched a two-hit shutout through nine innings. Matt Capps and Alex Burnett held the Angels hitless in the ninth and tenth. In the bottom of the tenth, Justin Morneau hit a one-hit single off of Angels reliever Hisanori Takahashi. Morneau was replaced by pinch-runner Jason Repko while Takahashi was relieved by Kevin Jepsen, who allowed singles to Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young, and, after just three pitches, the Twins had the bases loaded for Danny Valencia. Valencia delivered a walk-off single to right, driving in Jason Repko. Both teams had combined for just 3 total hits prior to the Twins' 4-hit bottom of the tenth. Prior to the bottom of the tenth, Denard Span was the only Twins runner to reach second, doing so in the sixth inning. Span was also picked off twice in the inning. He reached on an infield single, and was then picked up off first, but advanced to second on an error. Five pitches later Weaver picked him off of second for the final out of the inning. May 29, 1982 Sal Butera Catches Four Stealing Sal Butera threw out a Twins record four baserunners in a 6-4 loss to the Yankees at home at the Metrodome. Twins starting pitcher Terry Felton, who retired with an 0-16 Major League record, gave up singles to Bobby Murcer and former-Twin, Graig Nettles, to open the second inning. The Yankees’ Roy Smalley struck out with the runners moving. Sal Butera’s throw to Gary Gaetti at third beat Murcer so badly that he retreated back toward second, which was occupied by Nettles who backtracked toward first. Gaetti threw to Kent Hrbek at first who tagged Nettles out. When Murcer decided to try taking third again, Hrbek threw to the pitcher, Felton, who was covering the bag, completing a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out triple play. Butera was credited with having caught both runners stealing. Butera had thrown out Ken Griffey as part of a strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play to end the first inning. Then, with Griffey batting in the third, Butera threw out Willie Randolph trying to steal second for the third out of the inning. All three Yankees pitchers that day went on to have brief careers with the Twins. Starting pitcher, Tommy John, worked as a Twins broadcaster from 1994-’96. George Frazier pitched for the 1987 world championship team. And Shane Rawley, who was an ‘86 All-Star with the Phillies, pitched for the Twins in 1989. All three threw to former Twins catcher, Butch Wynegar, who had been traded to the Yankees a little more than two weeks earlier. Twins rookie, Kent Hrbek, went 3-for-4 with a triple. It was already his third triple of the season. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160525_170503_zpsmlozhwhq.jpg May 30, 1980 Landreaux Hits in Twins Record 31 Straight Games Tied 2-2 versus Baltimore in the seventh at home in Bloomington, Ken Landreaux hit a one-out double to extend his hitting streak to 31 games. Landreaux would be stranded on third and the Twins went on to lose in ten innings. Baltimore’s Scott McGregor held Landreaux hitless the following day, snapping his Twins-record hitting streak. McGregor would go on to win 20 games in 1980 and be named to the All-Star team the following season. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160525_170628_zps2lfjvoyq.jpg May 30, 1986 Roy Smalley Homers From Both Sides of Plate Roy Smalley became the first Twin to homer from each side of the plate in the same game in a 13-5 win versus the Red Sox at home in the Dome. He hit a leadoff home run batting left-handed in the bottom of the third, and a 3-run home run batting right-handed in the seventh, driving in Greg Gagne and Kirby Puckett. All nine Twins in the starting lineup plus pinch-hitter Mickey Hatcher had at least one hit in the game. Starting pitcher, Frank Viola, gave up 5 runs on 10 hits in just 3 ⅔ innings, but Keith Atherton, acquired just nine days earlier, pitches 5 ⅓ scoreless innings in relief. Two Twins have homered from each side of the plate in the same game since Smalley did it. Chili Davis did it on 10/2/1992, and Ryan Doumit on 7/22/2012. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher each homered from both sides of the plate in the same game a Major League record fourteen times. Mickey Mantle did so ten times. The Padres’ Ken Caminiti homered from each side of the plate a record four times during his Most Valuable Player season of 1996. Three players have homered from each side of the plate in the same inning: Cleveland’s Carlos Baerga in 1993, the Cubs’ Mark Bellhorn in 2002, and the Angels’ Kendrys Morales in 2012. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160525_171008_zps5qqttr2m.jpg May 31, 1976 Bert Blyleven Gives Twins Fans the Middle Finger With contract negotiations at a standstill and trade rumors swirling, Bert Blyleven walked off the mound after the top of the ninth trailing the Angels 3-1. There were only 8,379 fans at Metropolitan Stadium that day, some of whom were giving the pitcher grief, singing “bye-bye Bertie.” Before he got to the dugout, Blyleven, visibly angry, looked to the stands and gave the hecklers the middle finger. The next day he was traded with Danny Thompson to the Texas Rangers for four players, including Roy Smalley. Thompson, who had been diagnosed with leukemia prior to the 1973 season, died on December 10, 1976 at age 29. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  12. May 23, 1991 Kirby Puckett Has Second 6-Hit Game http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_105636_zpswcgiqwij.jpg Kirby Puckett collected 6 hits for the second time in his career, going 6-for-7, scoring 2 runs in an eleven inning loss to Texas at the Metrodome. Kirby had 5 singles and a triple. His 6th hit, a single, came in the eleventh inning. The game was tied 5-5 entering the eleventh, but the Rangers were able to score 5 runs off of Steve Bedrosian. Kent Hrbek drove in Shane Mack in the bottom of the eleventh, but the Rangers hung on to win 10-6. There have only been two 6-hit games in Twins history, both by Kirby Puckett, one is each of the Twins’ championship seasons of ‘87 and ‘91. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_105248_zpsg9mlivpp.jpg May 23, 2009 Anthony Swarzak Pitches 7 Scoreless in MLB Debut Anthony Swarzak pitched seven scoreless innings in his Major League debut versus the Brewers at the Metrodome. He gave up 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3. Swarzak struck out Prince Fielder on three pitches in the first for his first Major League strikeout. The Twins went on to win the game 6-2. Joe Mauer was 3-for-3 with a walk, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored, hitting his 9th home run of the season. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_105847_zpsudfpo3os.jpg May 24, 1973 Bert Blyleven One-Hitter Bert Blyleven pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout at Metropolitan Stadium as the Twins beat the Royals 2-0. George Mitterwald and Danny Thompson drove in the Twins’ 2 runs. Blyleven pitched three one-hitters in his career, two in 1973 and another in ‘74. Jim Kaat also pitched a one-hitter for the Twins in 1973. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_105410_zpsm0bretv3.jpg May 24, 2013 Joe Mauer Breaks Up No-Hitter The Twins extended their losing streak to 10 games with a 6-0 loss in Detroit. Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez was tossing a no-hitter until Joe Mauer broke it up with a one-out single in the ninth. It was the third time that Joe Mauer had broken up a no-hitter in the ninth inning. Cesar Tovar broke up five no-hitters in his career, tied for the Major League record. He broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another while playing for the Texas Rangers. He broke up two no-hitters in the ninth inning in 1969. He broke up the other three prior to the ninth inning. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_105520_zpssyokwh3b.jpg May 25, 1977 Lyman Bostock Ties MLB Record for Outfielder Putouts Centerfielder Lyman Bostock tied a Major League record with 12 putouts in a 9-4 Twins win to sweep a doubleheader at Fenway. The Twins had beaten the Red Sox 13-5 in the first game. Dave Goltz (Rothsay HS class of ‘67) was the winning pitcher in game 1 with Tom Burgmeier (St. Cloud Cathedral class of ‘61) earning a 3 ⅔ innings save. Paul Thormodsgard earned the win for the Twins in game 2. Though “Thormodsgard” sounds like a good Minnesotan name, but he was actually born in San Francisco. However, Tom Johnson (St. Paul Murray class of ‘69) pitched the final inning of game 2. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160522_110215_zpsntnnkffs.jpg May 25, 1997 Kirby Puckett’s Number Retired Culminating a three day celebration of his career, the Twins retired Kirby Puckett's #34 before a dramatic 7-6, 10-inning victory versus the Oakland Athletics. The Twins led 6-4 entering the bottom of the ninth, but Rick Aguilera allowed 2 runs, blowing his 4th save of the season. He held the A's scoreless in the tenth, however, and picked up the win when Rich Becker delivered a two-out, walk-off single, driving in Matt Lawton, pinch-running for Terry Steinbach. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  13. May 20th has been such an eventful day in Twins history that it gets its own dedicated edition of the Twins Almanac. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_175318_zpswka0qtce.jpg May 20, 1970 Rod Carew Hits for Twins’ First Cycle Rod Carew hit for the first cycle in Twins history in a 10-5 win in Kansas City. He completed the cycle with an eighth inning triple, driving in Cesar Tovar. Carew was 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored on the day. After Carew’s triple, St. Cloud Cathedral High School graduate and future-Twin, Tom Burgmeier, came in to finish the game for Kansas City. Ten Twins have hit for the cycle: Carew (1970), Cesar Tovar (‘72), Larry Hisle (‘76), Lyman Bostock (‘76), Mike Cubbage (‘78), Gary Ward (‘80), Kirby Puckett (‘86), Carlos Gomez (‘08), Jason Kubel (‘09) and Michael Cuddyer (‘09). May 20, 1984 Clemens Allows First HR to Brunansky Roger Clemens earned the first of his 354 career victories, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits and a walk over 7 innings in a 5-4 Red Sox win at the Metrodome. With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Tom Brunansky hit the first of the 363 home runs that the Rocket would allow over his 24-year career. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_175448_zpsm9zodssu.jpg May 20, 1986 Keith Atherton Acquired from Oakland The Twins traded a player to be named later and cash to Oakland for pitcher Keith Atherton. The player to be named wound up being minor league pitcher, Eric Broersma, who never made it to the Majors. Atherton, on the other hand, pitched in 62 games for the 1987 Twins, including games 1 and 5 of the World Series. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_174744_zpsvl9n18r9.jpg May 20, 1989 Randy Bush Collects Twins Record 8 RBI Randy Bush drove in a Twins single game record 8 runs in a 19-3 win in Texas. Six of those RBI came in the final two innings of the game, as Bush hit 3-run home runs in the eighth and ninth. He was 3-for-4 with a walk, 8 RBI (one on a sac fly) and 2 runs scored on the day. Leadoff hitter Dan Gladden tied a Major League record with 7 plate appearances in the game, going 1-for-7 with an RBI and run scored. Two players have driven in 12 runs in a game, both playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. Hall of Fame first baseman Jim Bottomley did so versus the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in 1924. And, in 1993, Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten drove in 12 of the Cardinals’ 15 runs with 4 home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, versus the Cincinnati Reds. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_174845_zpsgs6izqlc.jpg May 20, 1994 16 Twins Bat in 11-run Inning Already beating Boston 10-1 at the Metrodome going into the bottom of the fifth, the Twins sent a team record 16 men to the plate, tying team records for runs in an inning (11), hits (10) and consecutive hits (8). The Twins won 21-2, improving to 21-19 on the season. Kirby Puckett had a huge day, going 3-for-3 with a HR in the fifth, 7 RBI and a run scored. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_175027_zpsyn16c1hs.jpg May 20, 1995 Marty Cordova Homers in Fifth Consecutive Game Marty Cordova tied a Twins record, homering in his fifth consecutive game as Scott Erickson and the Twins fell to Lou Piniella’s Seattle Mariners 10-6 at the Metrodome. Cordova would hit a career-high 24 home runs in 1995 en route to being voted the American League’s Rookie of the Year. Harmon Killebrew homered in five consecutive games on two separate occasions during the Twins’ 1970 Division championship season. Twenty players have homered in at least six consecutive games. Barry Bonds is the only player with two such streaks, homering in six straight in 2001 and seven straight in ‘04. Jim Thome homered in seven straight for Cleveland in 2002. The Major League record for consecutive games with a home run is eight. Pittsburgh’s Dale Long did so in 1956, followed by Don Mattingly in 1987 and Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. May 20, 2005 Silva Needs Only 74 Pitches for Complete Game Win Carlos Silva allowed just 1 run on 5 hits, no walks and 3 strikeouts in a complete game 7-1 Twins win over Milwaukee at the Metrodome. Silva needed only 74 pitches to complete the game, an average of 8.2 per inning. Second baseman Nick Punto was 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. The Twins had 16 hits as a team. The only Twin without a hit was Torii Hunter, though he did drive in Punto with a sac fly. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_175202_zpslqen5mz3.jpg May 20, 2011 Twins Attend Funeral of Harmon Killebrew Putting a silver lining around an otherwise sad situation, the Twins were in town to play the Arizona Diamondbacks and able to attend the funeral of Harmon Killebrew, who had passed away three days earlier. Bert Blyleven spoke at the funeral, while Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, Joe Nathan, Michael Cuddyer, Justin Morneau, Ron Gardenhire and Paul Molitor served as pallbearers. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160518_174554_zpsqw69tkl4.jpg May 20, 2012 Drew Butera Pitches a Scoreless Inning Trailing 16-4 in Milwaukee, Ron Gardenhire called on Drew Butera to pitch the bottom of the eighth. Butera pitched a scoreless, hitless frame, walking one and striking out Carlos Gomez. Drew threw several pitches in the 90s, topping out at 94 on the radar gun. While playing with the Dodgers in 2014, Butera pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning versus the Miami Marlins. He pitched again for Los Angeles just three days later, this time giving up a 2-run HR to Paul Goldschmidt as he recorded the final two outs of the game. Drew’s dad, fellow catcher Sal Butera, did not allow a hit in his two Major League pitching appearances. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning in his big league pitching debut for Montreal in 1985. In 1986 he pitched a scoreless ninth for the Cincinnati Reds, walking one and striking out one. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  14. May 15th Happy Birthday, Justin Morneau It’s the birthday of 2006 American League MVP, Justin Morneau, born on this day in 1981 in New Westminster, British Columbia. The Twins drafted the 6’4” Canadian in the 3rd round in 1999, behind B.J. Garbe and Rob Bowen, neither of whom made it to the Majors. Morneau hit cleanup in his Major League debut in June, 2010, hitting a two-strike line drive single to center in his first at-bat and going 2-for-4 on the day. He hit 19 home runs in just 74 Major League games in 2004, and another 22 with Rochester. In 2006, just his second full season in the Majors, Morneau hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI en route to being voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Morneau was hitting .345 midway through 2010 when he suffered a season-ending concussion sliding into second. Though Twins fans saw glimpses over the next three seasons, Morneau never fully returned to all-star form before being traded in August 2013 to Pittsburgh, in the heat of a pennant race. Prior to the 2014 season, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies, where he won the National League batting championship with a .319 average. Former Twins teammate, Michael Cuddyer, had won the NL batting crown with the Rockies the previous season, hitting .331. Morneau, currently a free agent, will be out until at least midseason 2016 as he recovers from elbow surgery. May 15, 1969 Cesar Tovar Breaks Up No-Hitter With one out in the bottom of the ninth and Baltimore’s Dave McNally pitching a no-hitter, Cesar Tovar singled to left-center. Rod Carew then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play as McNally completed the one-hit shutout for a 5-0 Orioles win. This was the first of two times that Tovar would break up a no-hitter in the ninth inning in 1969. Tovar is tied with Eddie Milner for the Major League record of breaking up five no-hitters in his career. Tovar broke up four no-hitters as a Twin, and another as a Ranger when he broke up Catfish Hunter’s no-hit bid in 1975. May 15, 1991 Paul Molitor Hits for the Cycle vs. the Twins Paul Molitor led off the game at the Metrodome with a triple on Kevin Tapani’s first pitch. He promptly put the Brewers up 1-0 on a Jim Gantner groundout. Molitor singled in the third, doubled in the fifth, and, leading off the seventh, homered off of Tapani to complete the cycle. Reliever Steve Bedrosian finally retired Molitor in the ninth. He went 4-for-5 in the Brewers’ 4-2 win. The Twins went on to have a good season. May 16 It’s the Birthday of Billy Martin Twins player, coach and manager, Billy Martin, was born on this date in 1928 in Berkeley, California. Martin, who won four World Championships as a member of the 1950s New York Yankees, was traded by the Milwaukee Braves to Minnesota on June 1st, 1961, where he played out his final Major League season. Martin served as a Twins scout from 1962-’64, and rejoined the Major League team as third base coach in 1965. He was sent down to Triple A Denver midway through the 1968 season, where he served as manager. He succeeded Cal Ermer as manager of the Twins in 1969, winning the American League West in his only season as manager. Martin was hugely popular as a Twins coach and manager, and instrumental in the development of Cesar Tovar, and, to a less extent, Rod Carew. Martin went on to manage 16 Major League seasons, including five stints with the Yankees, who he led to a World Series championship in 1977. Martin passed away in 1989 at the age of 61. May 16 Happy Birthday, Jack Morris It’s the birthday of Jack Morris, born in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1951. Morris attended Highland Park High School in St. Paul and Brigham Young University, and was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 5th round in 1976. The Tigers had drafted Alan Trammell in the 2nd round, and Lou Whitaker in the 5th round a year earlier. All three would make their Major League debuts in 1977, with Trammell and Whitaker debuting in the same game. Morris was the Tigers’ opening day starter in 1980, beginning a Major League record streak of 14 consecutive opening day starts (1980-1993). Morris won his first of four World Series in 1984 as the Tigers beat the Padres in 5 games. Morris pitched complete game victories in games one and four. Morris won more games in the 1980s (162) than any other pitcher. On February 5th, 1991, Jack Morris signed a one-year, $3.7 million contract with the Twins, making him the highest paid pitcher in the American League, a distinction which he previously held and 1987 and ‘88, and would hold again in 1993. Morris won 18 games during the regular season and another four in the postseason, including the legendary 10-inning shutout of the Atlanta Braves in game 7 of the World Series. 1991 would be Morris’s only season with the Minnesota Twins. On December 18, 1991, he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he had just won two games in the American League Championship Series. Morris led the league with 21 wins in 1992 and the Blue Jays went on to win the World Series, beating the Braves in six games. The Blue Jays won the Series again in 1993, though Morris pitched poorly, accumulating a 7-12 record with a 6.19 ERA before he season was cut a month short by injury. Fellow St. Paul-native, Paul Molitor, would be the 1993 World Series MVP. Morris pitched for Cleveland in 1994 but was released in August just prior to the strike. The following spring he unsuccessfully attempted a comeback with Cincinnati. In 1996, the 41-year-old Morris went 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 10 starts with the St. Paul Saints before retiring for good. May 16, 2010 Jason Kubel Hits Grand Slam Off Mariano Rivera The Twins had not beat the Yankees since August 13, 2008. They had been swept by the Yankees in both the 2009 regular and postseason. Now, trailing 3-1 in the third game of a series at Yankee Stadium, the Twins loaded the bases against Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. With two out and the bases full of Twins, manager Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera to face Jim Thome. Rivera had converted his last 51 home save opportunities, tying the Dodgers’ Eric Gagne’s all-time record. Rivera walked Thome, forcing in Orlando Hudson. Trailing now by just 1 run, Jason Kubel hit Rivera’s 1-0 pitch into the right field seats for a grand slam. The Twins went on to an improbably 6-3 victory, with Jon Rauch converting his 10th save of the season. May 17, 1963 Bob Allison Hits 3 Home Runs Bob Allison became the first Minnesota Twin to hit 3 home runs in a game in an 11-4 Twins win in Cleveland. He was 3-for-5 on the day with 6 RBI. His batting average at the end of the day was .330. He would finish his all-star ‘63 season with a .271 average, 35 HRs and 91 RBI. Harmon Killebrew and Zoilo Versalles also hit home runs in the game. Pitcher Jim Perry, who had played for Cleveland the previous season, was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored on Allison’s first home run. May 17, 1998 David Wells Pitches a Perfect Game 50,000 fans, including Billy Crystal, came out to Yankee Stadium for Beanie Baby Day, and what turned out to be the fifteenth perfect game in major league history. David Wells threw 120 pitches, striking out 11. The last perfect game at Yankee Stadium was pitched in game 5 of the 1956 World Series by Don Larsen, who attended the same high school as Wells, Point Loma High in San Diego. Don Larsen actually threw out the first pitch before baseball’s next perfect game, pitched by David Cone in 1999 on Yogi Berra Day at Yankee Stadium. Cone threw only 88 pitches in his perfect game. The major leagues’ first two perfect games were pitched in 1880, just five days apart. The next perfect game wasn’t pitched until 1904 by the Boston Americans’ Cy Young. The most recent perfect game was pitched by the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez on August 15th, 2012. May 17, 2011 Harmon Killebrew Passes Away On May 17th, 2011, the greatest Minnesota Twin passed away at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was 74. May 18, 1969 Rod Carew Steals Second, Third and Home With the Billy Martin-managed Twins trailing 2-0 in Detroit, Cesar Tovar led off the bottom of third with a single off of Mickey Lolich. Then, with Rod Carew at the plate, Tovar was balked to second and stole third. Perhaps distracted by Tovar, Lolich walked Carew. Then, with Harmon Killebrew at the plate, the Twins executed a double steal, with Carew swiping second as Tovar stole home. With Killebrew still at bat, Carew stole third and home to tie the game. Killebrew ultimately struck out, and the Twins went on to lose the game 8-2. They would, however, go on to win the division but were beat in the League Championship Series by Baltimore. Forty players have stolen second, third and home consecutively a total of 50 times in MLB history, 11 since 1940. The feet was accomplished four times in the '80s, twice in the '90s, once in the '00s, and, most recently, by Dee Gordon in 2011. Paul Molitor pulled it off in the 1st inning versus Oakland on July 26, 1987. May 19, 1990 Tom Brunansky’s Big Day The Twins had an ugly day at Fenway. The Red Sox’s Tom Brunansky drew first blood, driving in Wade Boggs with a one-out double in the first. The Red Sox went on to score five runs on five hits in the first off of Twins starter, Allan Anderson, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Brunansky went 5-for-5 with 2 HRs, 7 RBI and 3 runs scored as the Red Sox pummelled the Twins 13-1. Tom Kelly called upon outfielder John Moses to pitch the bottom of the eighth. He gave up just 1 run on 2 hits in his second pitching appearance for the Twins. His previous appearance had also come at Fenway, in 1989, as he pitched a scoreless eighth inning, not allowing a hit but walking one. He would pitch a third time for the Twins in July, 1990. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  15. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160507_171027_zpsfuptnh3h.jpg May 8, 1967 Rod Carew Gives Twins First 5-Hit Game Rookie Rod Carew became the first Twin to collect 5 hit in a single game in a 7-4 Twins loss to the Senators at home in Bloomington. Rodney was 5-for-5 on the day with a double, an RBI and run scored. The Twins had 11 hits in total, but no other Twin had more than one. Kirby Puckett set a new Twins record for hits in a game when he went 6-for-6 with 2 home runs and 2 doubles in a 10-6 Twins win in Milwaukee on August 30th, 1987. Puckett had gone 4-for-5 with 2 home runs the day before, making him 10-for-11 with 6 RBI and 7 runs on the weekend. He had gone 0-for-4 on Friday in the first game of the series, a 1-0 Twins loss. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160507_104617_zpsrhgchzsa.jpg May 8, 1968 Catfish Hunter Pitches a Perfect Game 22-year-old Catfish Hunter pitched a perfect game against the Twins in Oakland, striking out 11 in the 4-0 win which was only attended by 6,298 fans despite it being the Athletics’ first season in Oakland. Harmon Killebrew struck out in each of his three plate appearances. In addition to pitching the perfect game, Hunter went 3-for-4 at the plate, driving in 3 of the Athletics’ 4 runs. Reggie Jackson was 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts. May 8, 1979 Twins Hit Team-Record 12 Extra Base Hits The Twins set a team record when 12 of their 19 hits went for extra bases in a 16-6 shellacking of the Blue Jays at home in Bloomington. Roy Smalley and Craig Kusick each hit 2 home runs. Ken Landreaux hit a home run and a double. Bombo Rivera hit 2 doubles, while Willie Norwood, Glenn Borgmann and Bob Randall hit one each. John Castino hit a triple. Roy Smalley had the best day of anybody, going 4-for-5 with the 2 home runs, a walk, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160501_110914_zpsrrdo52fb.jpg May 8, 1984 Kirby Puckett Goes 4-for-5 in MLB Debut Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with a run scored in his Major League debut as the Twins beat the first place Angels 5-0 in Anaheim. Puckett, hitting leadoff, grounded out to short to start the game. He collected singles in his next four at-bats, becoming the sixth player in American League history to debut with 4-hit performance. Frank Viola pitched a complete game, 4-hit shutout. Kirby collected 16 hits in his first 7 Major League games, hitting .485. He would finish the season with 165 hit in 128 games, batting .296 and finishing 3rd to Seattle’s Alvin Davis and Mark Langston in American League Rookie of the Year balloting. Minnesota’s Tim Teufel came in 4th. 22-year-old Twins catcher, Wilson Ramos, also went 4-for-5 in his Major League debut on May 2nd, 2010. The following night, he went 3-for-4 with a double, becoming the third player in Major League history with 7 hits in his first two games, and the first since the Chicago Cubs’ Coaker Triplett in 1938. May 9th It’s Oswaldo Arcia’s Birthday Nothing happened today, unless you count the birth of Oswaldo Arcia in Venezuela in 1991. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Arcia.2015Topps_zps8pe4y60u.jpg May 10, 1962 Twins Hit Back-to-Back Home Runs to Begin Game Lenny Green and Vic Power hit back-to-back home runs to lead off the game versus Cleveland pitcher and future-Twin, Jim Perry. Cleveland came back to win the game 9-4. Back-to-back home runs to begin a game tied the Major League record at the time. Has a team since started with three? Anybody? Let’s get collaborative here. May 11th It’s Frank Quilici's Birthday Frank Quilici was born on this day in 1939 in Chicago. He played for the Twins in 1965 and 1967-’70, including the ‘65 World Series and 1970 American League Championship Series. He spent the ‘66 season at Triple A, Denver. He retired as a player after the 1970 season but was brought back as a coach in 1971. In July of ‘72 he replaced Bill Rigney as manager, a position which he held through the end of the 1975 season. He was succeeded by Gene Mauch. Quilici, who turns 77 today, makes his home in Burnsville, MN. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160507_110427_zpsfve038ml.jpg May 11, 1967 Dean Chance Pitches a One-Hitter Dean Chance pitched a complete game, one-hit shutout versus the Kansas City Athletics at home in Bloomington. Chance struck out 8 and walked 6 as the Twins won 8-0. Chance would get his no-hitter on August 25th of that season. 21-year-old Catfish Hunter, already in his third season, started for the Athletics, allowing all 8 Twins runs on 7 hits and 6 walks in just 5 innings. He would pitch a perfect game against the Twins 363 days later. May 11, 1982 The Twins Trade for Tom Brunansky The Twins traded Doug Corbett and Rob Wilfong to the California Angels for Tom Brunansky, pitcher Mike Walters, and $400,000 cash. Brunansky, a southern California-native, was drafted in the first round in 1978 out of high school by the Angels. He had played 11 games with the Angels in 1981, and was at Triple A Spokane at the time of the trade. Brunansky was, of course, an integral part of the Twins’ 1987 championship season when he hit 32 home runs, drove in 85 and scored 83 runs. He played for the Twins until an ill-advised April ‘88 trade to St. Louis for clubhouse cancer, Tommy Herr. Brunansky’s 163 home runs in a Twins uniform are ninth most in team history. He hit a total of 271 home runs over his fourteen year Major League career. Bruno has served as the Twins’ hitting coach since 2013. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160507_110719_zpszjb70wil.jpg May 12, 1961 Twins and Angels Pitchers Homer Off Each Other Pitcher, Eli Grba, homered in the top of the fifth to give the Angels a 3-2 lead. Twins pitcher, Pedro Ramos, led off the bottom of the inning with a home run of his own, tying the game. Ramos added a 2-run single the following inning and the Twins held on to win 5-4, with Ramos driving in the Twins’ final 3 runs. May 12, 1982 Twins Trade Butch Wynegar to the Yankees Just one day after trading two bonafide big leaguers for a minor league pitcher and the unproven Tom Brunansky, the Twins traded pitcher Roger Erickson and standout catcher, Butch Wynegar, to the Yankees for not a whole lot. Wynegar was an all-star in his first two seasons and finished second to Detroit’s Mark Fidrych in 1976 American League Rookie of the Year balloting. Despite the Brunansky deal working out very well in retrospect, both trades were seen at the time as cheap cost-cutting measures by Twins ownership. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160507_110827_zpsrm91abas.jpg May 13, 1989 Kirby Puckett Hits Four Doubles Kirby Puckett hit a team record 4 doubles as the Twins beat the Blue Jays 10-8 at the Metrodome. Kirby, who was 4-for-5 with 3 RBI and a run scored, hit two doubles each off of Dave Stieb and Tom Henke. May 14th It’s the Birthday of Hosken Powell Nothing happened today, except the birth of Hosken Powell in 1955 in Selma, Alabama. The '75 Minnesota draft choice played for the Twins from 1978-'81 before playing his final two big league seasons in Toronto. Powell hit his first Major League home run off of Hall of Famer, Jim Palmer, in May of his rookie season. His third home run was off of Hall of Famer, Fegie Jenkins. Powell hit the final home run of his career off of Hall of Famer, Don Sutton. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  16. May 7, 1965 Twins Commit Seven Errors The Twins committed 7 errors in a 13-5 loss to the White Sox at home. Shortstop Zoilo Versalles and third baseman Rich Rollins each committed two errors, while Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey and St. Paul-native, Jerry Kindall, added one each. Every infielder plus the catcher committed an error. Despite the 7 errors, Twins pitching still gave up 10 earned runs. Nimrod, MN-native, Dick Stigman, started the game for the Twins and lasted just 3 ⅔ innings, allowing 4 runs (all earned) on 5 hits. May 7, 1978 Roy Smalley Walks Team-Record 5 Times Roy Smalley set a team single game record when he walked 5 times in a 15-9 Twins win in Baltimore. Smalley also hit a double in his sixth at-bat, driving in left fielder, Willie Norwood. Smalley walked in each of the first three innings, the first two vs. 1990 Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Palmer, who only lasted 1 ⅔ innings, allowing 6 runs on 3 hits and 5 walks. Willie Norwood stole second during each of Smalley’s first three at-bats, which eventually ended in walks anyway. The Twins scored 9 of their 15 runs in the first three innings. Starting for the Twins was Alexandria (MN) High School alumnus, Gary Serum, who only lasted 4 ⅓ innings, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, but did not walk a batter. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_104832_zpsefqvhtjl.jpg May 7, 1989 Dan Gladden Makes Second Pitching Appearance Dan Gladden made his second big league pitching appearance in a 12-1 loss in Cleveland. Gladden allowed only 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. Not bad considering that Cleveland had scored 11 runs over seven innings against Minnesota’s full-time professional pitchers. May 7, 2000 Tom Kelly Wins 1,000th Game Tom Kelly became the 46th manager in Major League history to win 1,000 games as Minnesota beat Detroit 4-0 at the Metrodome. Joe Mays, who entered the game with an 0-4 record, pitched a complete game, 5-hit shutout for the Twins. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_103740_zpsnc7c6kkk.jpg May 7, 2008 Carlos Gomez Hits for the Cycle Leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez hit for the “natural cycle” in reverse in a 13-1 Twins win versus the White Sox in Chicago. Gomez led off the game with a home run, and then hit a triple, double and single, in that order. Gomez had 3 RBI, 2 runs scored and also struck out twice. Nick Punto hit the first of his two home runs of the season. Livan Hernandez pitched the complete game for the Twins, improving to 5-1 Keep in touch by like the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and by following @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  17. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_104657_zpswsn6rbqy.jpg May 5th It’s the Birthday of Larry Hisle It’s the birthday of Larry Hisle, born on this day in 1942 in Portsmouth, OH. The 14-year Major Leaguer played five seasons for the Twins, from 1973 to ‘77 when he hit .302 with 28 home runs and an American League-leading 119 RBI. In 2010, Fox Sports North included Hisle among their “50 Greatest Twins.” Hisle was the hitting coach for the back-to-back World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and ‘93. In ‘93 the Blue Jays’ John Olerud, Paul Molitor and Roberto Alomar had the first, second and third best batting averages in the American League. Hisle is currently the Milwaukee Brewers’ Manager of Youth Outreach. May 5, 2001 LaTroy Hawkins Blows First Save After Record Streak On a Saturday night in Kansas City, the first place (20-8) Twins handed LaTroy Hawkins a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the ninth. Hawkins had converted the first 23 save opportunities of his career, an MLB record. After pulling within a run on a sacrifice fly, however, former Twin David McCarty tied the game with a two-out, line drive single to center, scoring Jermaine Dye. With McCarty aboard in the twelfth, Royals outfielder Dee Brown hit a walk-off home run off of Travis Miller. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_103847_zpsqmjepuuy.jpg May 6, 2011 Twins Score Two Runs on Balks The Twins scored two runs on balks en route to a 9-2 win over the Red Sox at Fenway. In the second inning, Denard Span scored on a Tim Wakefield balk, after which manager Terry Francona was ejected. Up 8-2 in the sixth, Trevor Plouffe scored the Twins' second run on a balk, this time by Alfredo Aceves. May 6, 2015 Eddie Rosario Homers on First MLB Pitch Leading off the bottom of the third against Oakland’s Scott Kazmir at Target Field, Eddie Rosario hit the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues for an opposite field home run. He was hitless in three subsequent at-bats. The Twins went on to beat Oakland 13-0. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/Rosario.2015Topps_zpsn20jsyqv.jpg Six Twins have homered in their first Major League at-bat: Rick Renick, Dave McKay, Gary Gaetti, Andre David, Luke Hughes and Rosario. Fifteen players in the history of Major League Baseball have homered on their first big league pitch. In 2010, Boston’s Daniel Nava hit a grand slam on his first Major League pitch. In 1981, in the span of less than a month, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner and Gary Gaetti each homered in their first Major League game. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and by following @Twins Almanac on Twitter.
  18. May 3, 1986 Puckett Leads-Off Consecutive Games with First-Pitch Home Runs Facing Walt Terrell on the road in Detroit, leadoff hitter Kirby Puckett homered on the first pitch of the game for the second game in a row. It was already his 11th home run of the young season. The previous night Kirby hammered St. Paul-native Jack Morris’s first pitch for a home run. Morris struggled mightily as the Twins collected 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks in just 1 ⅓ innings. Even Steve Lombardozzi got in on the act, leading off the second inning with a home run. Kirby was 3-for-6 with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored in the Twins 10-1 win. 23 games into the ‘86 season, Kirby was hitting .396. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_100940_zpslshvx98b.jpg Tigers pitching fared better on May 3rd, however. In addition to Kirby’s first-pitch home run, Gary Gaetti also homered in the first, driving in Tom Brunansky. Walt Terrell recovered, though, and kept the Twins off the board until, leading 7-3 with two out in the ninth, he gave up a solo home run to Gaetti. He then struck out pinch-hitter Billy Beane to complete the 7-4 Tigers victory. May 3, 2011 Francisco Liriano Pitches a No-Hitter Francisco Liriano pitched the fifth no-hitter in Twins history on a chilly, 42 degree night in Chicago, beating the White Sox 1-0. Liriano entered the game with a 1-4 record and 9.13 ERA. The Twins’ only run came on a Jason Kubel home run in the fourth. Liriano was far from perfect, giving up six walks, although he did induce three ground ball double plays. Despite averaging 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings on the season, and 9.3 per nine over the course of his career, Liriano only struck out two batters in his no-hit performance. He threw 123 pitches, only 66 of which were strikes. Liriano would finish the season with a 9-10 record and 5.09 ERA. The no-hitter was Liriano’s only complete game as a Twin. He pitched 2 complete games for the Pirates in 2013. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_103944%201_zps2v0sbu73.jpg This was the second Twins no-hitter in which six runners reached base. The first was the Twins’ first no-hitter, thrown by Dean Chance on August 25, 1967 in the second game of a doubleheader in Cleveland. Chance completed the no-hitter despite giving up an earned run. He walked the first two batters of the game and then the bases were loaded on an error by third baseman, Cesar Tovar. Chance then threw a wild pitch, giving Cleveland an early 1-0 lead. The Twins would go on to win 2-1 as Chance walked 5 and struck out 8. Cleveland hit into two double plays. May 4, 1975 The Twins Retire Their First Number Harmon Killebrew signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals in January, 1975. The Twins retired his number in a ceremony before the Sunday series finale against Kansas City. Killebrew’s #3 was the first number retired by the Twins. The Killer went 1-for-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored that day but the Twins won 6-3, completing the series sweep. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_100247_zpsgrrwfdxn.jpg Minnesota natives Dave Goltz and Tom Burgmeier picked up the win and the save in the first game of the series as the Twins won 4-1. Killebrew sat out game 2 in which Bert Blyleven pitched the complete 14-5 Twins win. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and by following @Twins Almanac on Twitter.
  19. May 2, 1963 Twins Trade Jack Kralick for Jim Perry The Twins traded pitcher Jack Kralick, who had come with the team from Washington, to the Cleveland Indians for Jim Perry. Kralick pitched the Twins’ first no-hitter the previous season, on August 26, 1962, as the Twins beat the Kansas City Athletics at home 1-0. Kralick lost the perfect game by giving up a walk with one out in the ninth. The final two outs were recorded on foul pop flies. Though the Twins’ first season in Minnesota, 1961, was probably Kralick’ best, he did garner his lone all-star selection with Cleveland in 1964. Perry’s career got off to a hot start in Cleveland. In 1959 he was runner-up to the Senators’ Bob Allison for American League Rookie of the Year. He tied with Baltimore’s Chuck Estrada for the American League lead with 18 wins in 1960, and made his first all-star team in 1961. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_194048_zpsqon7m9qi.jpg During Perry’s first five seasons with the Twins he was used both as a starter and relief pitcher, including the ninth inning of game 7 of the 1965 World Series. In 1969 he started 36 of the 46 games he appeared in, winning 20 as the Twins won the American League West pennant. Perry won the Cy Young award in 1970, his first season in Minnesota in which he was used exclusively as a starter, and tied for the league lead with 24 wins as the Twins again won the West. Perry played ten seasons in Minnesota. He is fifth in Twins history in both wins (128) and innings pitched. In 2011, Perry became the sixteenth player inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame. May 2, 1964 Twins Hit Four Consecutive Home Runs Tony Oliva gave the Twins a 2-0 lead vs. the Athletics in Kansas City with a third inning home run. The teams were tied 2-2 entering the top of the ninth when Harmon Killebrew hit a solo home run to put the Twins in front. Rocky Colavito, however, tied it up in the bottom of the inning, singling in Ed Charles. The A’s came perilously close to the walk-off win. After Colavito advanced to second on a passed ball, the Twins filled first with an intentional walk. Both runners moved up on a ground out to the pitcher, the second out of the inning. The Twins then issued a second intentional walk, loading the bases. Manager Sam Mele then brought Bill Pleis in from the bullpen. With zero margin for error, Pleis struck out his man, forcing extra innings. Neither team threatened to score in the tenth. Then Tony Oliva led off the top of the eleventh with a home run, followed by Bob Allison and Jimmie Hall. Kansas City then went to the bullpen, but to no avail, as Harmon Killebrew made in four in a row and the Twins beat Kansas City 7-3. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_104505_zpslpeqgcvm.jpg Seven teams in the history of Major League baseball have hit four consecutive home runs, most recently the Diamondbacks in 2010. The last American League team to do so was the White Sox in 2008 when Jim Thome, Paul Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe went back-to-back-to-back-to-back. This wasn’t the only time the Twins made home run history against the Kansas City Athletics. The Twins set an American League record by hitting five home runs in a single inning on June 9, 1966 against KC at the Met in Bloomington. The Athletics erupted for four runs in the first off Camilo Pascual, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Facing 1987 Hall of Fame inductee, Catfish Hunter, the Twins pulled within 4-3 on a Bob Allison RBI double in the fifth and a two-run Killebrew homer in the sixth. Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Rich Rollins and Zoilo Versalles connected for back-to-back home runs off of Hunter to take the lead. Reliever Paul Lindblad retired Sandy Valdespino before allowing back-to-back homers to Tony Oliva and Don Mincher. The Athletics then turned to John Wyatt who allowed the Twins’ third consecutive home run, and the fifth of the inning, to Harmon Killebrew, his second of the game. Four National League teams have hit five home runs in an inning. The first time was in 1939 and the most recent in 2006. All four were against the Cincinnati Reds. May 2, 2010 Wilson Ramos Debuts with 4-Hit Game 22-year-old Venezuelan catcher, Wilson Ramos, made his Major League debut going 4-for-5 with a double and run scored in Cleveland. The following night, at home versus Detroit, Ramos went 3-for-4 with a double, becoming the third player in Major League history with 7 hits in his first two games, and the first since the Chicago Cubs’ Coaker Triplett in 1938. Ramos played 7 games for the Twins before being traded to the Washington Nationals for closer, Matt Capps. The Twins would go on to win the American League Central with a 94-68 record. They were swept out of the playoffs by the New York Yankees. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160501_110914_zpsrrdo52fb.jpg Ramos was the second Twin to debut with a 4-hit game. 24-year-old Kirby Puckett went 4-for-5 with a run scored in his Major League debut on May 8, 1984 in Anaheim as the Twins won 5-0. Hitting leadoff, Kirby grounded out in his first at-bat before collecting four straight singles. Kirby would finish third in American League Rookie of the Year balloting behind Seattle’s Alvin Davis and Mark Langston. The Twins’ Tim Teufel finished right behind Kirby in fourth place. Roger Clemens came in sixth. In the National League, future-World Series Hero Dan Gladden finished fourth behind Doc Gooden, Juan Samuel, and Orel Hershiser. Keep in touch by following @Twins Almanac on Twitter. And, in case you missed it, here is the Twins Almanac for May 1: May 1, 1996 Twins Win on Paul Molitor Walk-Off Hit-By-Pitch The Twins held a 5-3 lead vs. Kansas City heading into the top of the ninth when 1994 AL Rookie of the Year, Bob Hamelin, hit a two-run home run off of Dave Stevens with Jose Offerman aboard to tie the game. Hamelin had also homered with Offerman aboard in the second. Royals all-time saves leader, Jeff Montgomery, set the Twins down in order in the bottom of the ninth. His second inning of relief did not go so smoothly. After popping Pat Meares up for the first out, Montgomery walked Rich Becker and Chuck Knoblauch. A single by Chip Hale loaded the bases for the future-Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor, who Montgomery beaned, forcing in the winning run. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_080543_zpsyfgsqcho.jpg May 1, 2005 Johan Santana Loses for First Time in 20 Starts Johan Santana pitched 8 strong innings versus the Angels at the Metrodome, allowing only 2 runs on 2 hits, solo home runs by Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Molina. Bartolo Colon, however, held the Twins scoreless, allowing only 2 hits through 7 ⅓ innings. Shannon Stewart drove in the Twins only run with a solo home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Santana had gone 17-0 in his last 20 starts going back to his 2004 Cy Young-winning season. He would go 16-7 in 2005 and finish 3rd in Cy Young balloting. He won the award again in 2006 when he and the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang tied for the Major League lead with 19 wins. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_104141_zpsogidtzul.jpg May 1, 2009 Joe Mauer Homers in First At-Bat Back from Disabled List After missing the first 22 games of the season with a lower back injury, Joe Mauer homered in his first at-bat back from the disabled list. Playing Kansas City at the Metrodome, Mauer came up with two down in the first. After taking Sidney Ponson’s first two pitches, Mauer deposited his 2-0 pitch in the left-center field seats. Mauer led-off the fourth inning with an opposite field double and scored on a Justin Morneau single up the middle. Mauer walked in the fifth and scored on Morneau’s sixth home run of the season. Mauer finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk and 3 runs scored as the Twins beat the Royals 7-5. Mauer went on to hit 11 home runs and drive in 32 runs in the month of May en route to his third batting title and being named the 2009 American League MVP. The Twins won the Central Division in ‘09 with a dramatic 12th inning walk-off win in Game 163 vs. Detroit, but were swept by the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_100755_zpspkq3dnwz.jpg Keep in touch by liking Facebook.com/TwinsAlmanac.
  20. May 1, 1996 Twins Win on Paul Molitor Walk-Off Hit-By-Pitch The Twins held a 5-3 lead vs. Kansas City heading into the top of the ninth when 1994 AL Rookie of the Year, Bob Hamelin, hit a two-run home run off of Dave Stevens with Jose Offerman aboard to tie the game. Hamelin had also homered with Offerman aboard in the second. Royals all-time saves leader, Jeff Montgomery, set the Twins down in order in the bottom of the ninth. His second inning of relief did not go so smoothly. After popping Pat Meares up for the first out, Montgomery walked Rich Becker and Chuck Knoblauch. A single by Chip Hale loaded the bases for the future-Hall of Famer, Paul Molitor, who Montgomery beaned, forcing in the winning run. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_104141_zpsogidtzul.jpg May 1, 2005 Johan Santana Loses for First Time in 20 Starts Johan Santana pitched 8 strong innings versus the Angels at the Metrodome, allowing only 2 runs on 2 hits, solo home runs by Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Molina. Bartolo Colon, however, held the Twins scoreless, allowing only 2 hits through 7 ⅓ innings. Shannon Stewart drove in the Twins only run with a solo home run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Santana had gone 17-0 in his last 20 starts going back to his 2004 Cy Young-winning season. He would go 16-7 in 2005 and finish 3rd in Cy Young balloting. He won the award again in 2006 when he and the Yankees’ Chien-Ming Wang tied for the Major League lead with 19 wins. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160430_100755_zpspkq3dnwz.jpg May 1, 2009 Joe Mauer Homers in First At-Bat Back from Disabled List After missing the first 22 games of the season with a lower back injury, Joe Mauer homered in his first at-bat back from the disabled list. Playing Kansas City at the Metrodome, Mauer came up with two down in the first. After taking Sidney Ponson’s first two pitches, Mauer deposited his 2-0 pitch in the left-center field seats. Mauer led-off the fourth inning with an opposite field double and scored on a Justin Morneau single up the middle. Mauer walked in the fifth and scored on Morneau’s sixth home run of the season. Mauer finished the day 2-for-3 with a walk and 3 runs scored as the Twins beat the Royals 7-5. Mauer went on to hit 11 home runs and drive in 32 runs in the month of May en route to his third batting title and being named the 2009 American League MVP. The Twins won the Central Division in ‘09 with a dramatic 12th inning walk-off win in Game 163 vs. Detroit, but were swept by the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. Look for the next Twins Almanac on Monday. It's the anniversary of a significant trade, a record-setting barrage of Twins home runs, and a historic Major League debut. Keep in touch with the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and by following @Twins Almanac on Twitter.
  21. 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 as the Twins scored a team record 24 runs. Scott Erickson pitched the third no-hitter in Twins history. Camilo Pascual hit his 2nd 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. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160423_083303_zps6wofircu.jpg 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 RBI and 5 runs scored (he reached on two fielder’s choices). Catcher Greg Myers went 5-for-6 with 5 RBI 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 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 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, and 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, 5th 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 3rd 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 2nd 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.
  22. April 21, 1961 Inaugural Home Opener The 5-1 Twins played their first ever home game, taking on the expansion Washington Senators at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. The teams were tied 3-3 when the Senators scored 2 off of Ray Moore in the top of the 9th to win 5-3. Only 24,606 fans attended the game, 6,000 short of a sell-out despite a gametime temperature of 63 degrees. April 21, 1985 John Butcher 1hr 55min Complete Game Shutout The Twins had lost 9 in a row, falling to 2-9 on the season, entering the Sunday series finale in Oakland when Twins pitcher John Butcher hurled a remarkable complete game shutout. Butcher allowed 3 hits, but faced just 28 batters, one over the minimum. He threw just 81 pitches and the game was over in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Leadoff hitter Kirby Puckett went 3-for-5, driving in both Twins runs in the 2-0 victory. It was the beginning of a 10-game Twins winning streak. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160417_192941%201_zpsqyt6tfrd.jpg April 21, 2007 Twins Start Season with 19 Consecutive Stolen Bases In the 17th game of the season, Alexi Casilla stole second base for the Twins' 19th consecutive successful steal attempt to start the season. Torii Hunter was caught stealing in the 8th to end the streak. With a 7-5 lead in Kansas City, Joe Nathan pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, with all three outs coming on called third strikes. April 21, 2012 Willingham Begins Twins Career with 15-Game Hit Streak First-year Twin, Josh Willingham, led off the top of the 9th in Tampa Bay with a line drive single to center, extending his season-opening hit streak to 15 games. Willingham would score on a Ryan Doumit sac fly, but the Twins lost 4-1. Willingham’s streak was the longest to begin a Twins career, and tied Kirby Puckett’s 1994 streak for the longest by a Twin to begin a season. For more Minnesota Twins history, like the Twins Almanac on Facebook, and follow @TwinsAlmanac on Twitter.
  23. And here is The Twins Almanac for the week of April 17th through the 23rd. Two of the 50 Greatest Twins share a birthday this week. This week in 1961 the Twins played their first home opener and celebrated their first walk-off win. Several impressive streaks began and ended. The Twins put together a 6-run inning on just 1 hit. And this week in Twins history, just 14 games removed from the 1987 World Series, Minnesota made a demoralizing trade with St. Louis for a pontificating clubhouse cancer. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160416_184936_zpsnp5gyhwp.jpg April 17, 2009 Kubel Completes Cycle with Game-Winning Grand Slam Playing the LA Angels at the Metrodome, the Twins trailed 4-9 going into the bottom of the 8th. They scored 3 runs on RBI hits by Mike Redmond and Denard Span. After Brendan Harris struck out looking for the second out, the Angels, still leading by 2, intentionally walked Justin Morneau to load the bases for Jason Kubel, who had already gone 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored and was a HR shy the cycle. Kubel hit the 0-1 pitch out of the park, completing the Twins’ 7-run 8th inning rally. Joe Nathan retired the Angels in order in the top of the 9th for the save and an 11-9 Twins win. April 17, 2014 The Twins 8-Walk 8th Inning (aka, Minnesota’s 6-Run, 1-Hit Inning) The Twins and the Blue Jays played two cold ones on April 17th after having been snowed out the previous night. The Twins won game 1 by a score of 7-0. The gametime temperature of 31 degrees was a record for a Twins home game. The temperature was up to 42 for the start of game 2. The Twins trailed 3-5 going into the bottom of the 8th when they would score 4 runs before their first hit, and ultimately score 6 runs on just 1 hit. Blue Jays pitcher, Steve Delebar, walked Josmil Pinto and Chris Hermann to start the inning. Eduardo Nunez then dropped down a successful sacrifice bunt. In retrospect the sacrifice was completely unnecessary, as Sergio Santos (replacing Delebar) and J.A. Happ combined to walk the next five Twins batters. Three runs scored on Santos wild pitches, and a fourth run scored when Happ walked Chris Colabello with the bases loaded. Finally, after having already scored 4 runs, the Twins got their first hit of the inning, a 2-run Jason Kubel single to right. Josmil Pinto then walked for the second time in the inning before the Blue Jays finally recorded the final two outs of the inning. Glen Perkins sat down the Jays in order in the 9th, securing a 9-5 Twins victory. April 19th Twin Birthdays 4/19 is the birthday of Frank Viola (born in 1960 in East Meadow, NY) and Joe Mauer (born in 1983 in St. Paul). The Twins drafted Frank Viola in the 2nd round in 1981 out of St. John’s University (Queens, NY). Viola was the MVP of the 1987 World Series, and was an All-Star and Cy Young Award-winner the following season when he won a Major League-leading 24 games. On July 31st, 1989, the Twins traded Viola to the New York Mets for pitchers Rick Aguilera, Kevin Tapani, David West, Tim Drummond, and Jack Savage. As a Met, Viola was an NL All-Star in 1990 and ‘91, finishing 3rd in NL Cy Young balloting in 1990. Viola was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame with Carl Pohlad in 2005. Cretin-Derham Hall alumnus, Joe Mauer, was the #1 overall draft choice in 2001. Mauer made his Major League debut on Opening Day, 2004, at age 20. He went 2-for-3 with a strikeout, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored. Mauer was on second in the bottom of the 11th with 2 out when Shannon Stewart hit a 3-run walk-off homer, giving the Twins a 7-4 win over Cleveland. The Twins went on to win the AL Central in Mauer’s rookie season before losing to the Yankees in the Divisional round. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160416_185555_zpsxnup2udc.jpg Joe Mauer has won three American League batting championships (2006, ‘08 and ‘09). No other American League catcher has ever won a batting title. The last National League catcher to win a batting title was Cincinnati’s Ernie Lombardi in 1942. Lombardi was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986. Mauer was the 2009 American League MVP, hitting a career-high .365, and collecting career-highs in hits (191), home runs (28), and RBI (96). He is a 6x All-Star. April 19, 1961 A crowd of 3,000 fans gathered at the airport to welcome home the 5-1 Twins, two days before their inaugural home opener. April 19, 1988 Niekro Called for 3 Balks After the Yankees’ Rickey Henderson led off the game with a single to center, Joe Niekro was called for back-to-back balks, advancing Henderson to second and to third. Henderson scored on a Don Mattingly double. Henderson came up again in the 2nd inning, this time hitting a 2-RBI single to left. Niekro was promptly called for his 3rd balk of the game, moving Henderson up to second. After giving up a 2-run home run to Mike Pagliarulo to make it 7-0 Yankees in the 2nd, Niekro was replaced by Juan Berenguer. Berenguer, Keith Atherton and Jeff Reardon did not allow a run the rest of the game. Trailing 3-7 in the bottom of the 9th, the Twins scored 3 runs on RBI hits by Kirby Puckett and Tom Brunansky before Hrbek lined out to first, ending the game with the tying runner, Mark Davidson, stranded on third. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160416_184731_zpsini02nam.jpg April 21, 1961 Inaugural Home Opener The 5-1 Twins played their first ever home game, taking on the expansion Washington Senators at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. The teams were tied 3-3 when the Senators scored 2 off of Ray Moore in the top of the 9th to win 5-3. Only 24,606 fans attended the game, 6,000 short of a sell-out despite a gametime temperature of 63 degrees. April 21, 1985 John Butcher 1hr 55min Complete Game Shutout The Twins had lost 9 in a row, falling to 2-9 on the season, entering the Sunday series finale in Oakland when Twins pitcher John Butcher hurled a remarkable complete game shutout. Butcher allowed 3 hits, but faced just 28 batters, one over the minimum. He threw just 81 pitches and the game was over in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Leadoff hitter Kirby Puckett went 3-for-5, driving in both Twins runs in the 2-0 victory. It was the beginning of a 10-game Twins winning streak. April 21, 2007 Twins Start Season with 19 Consecutive Stolen Bases In the 17th game of the season, Alexi Casilla stole second base for the Twins' 19th consecutive successful steal attempt to start the season. Torii Hunter was caught stealing in the 8th to end the streak. With a 7-5 lead in Kansas City, Joe Nathan pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, with all three outs coming on called third strikes. April 21, 2012 Willingham Begins Twins Career with 15-Game Hit Streak First-year Twin, Josh Willingham, led off the top of the 9th in Tampa Bay with a line drive single to center, extending his season-opening hit streak to 15 games. Willingham would score on a Ryan Doumit sac fly, but the Twins lost 4-1. Willingham’s streak was the longest to begin a Twins career, and tied Kirby Puckett’s 1994 streak for the longest by a Twin to begin a season. April 22, 1961 Twins 1st Walk-Off Win In game 2 of their first ever home series, the Twins and expansion Senators played to a 4-4 tie through nine. In the bottom of the 10th, with the bases loaded and one away, Zoilo Versalles gave the Twins their first ever walk-off win, driving in Earl Battey with a sacrifice fly to center. The freshly minted Twins improved to 6-2 on the season. April 22, 1980 Geoff Zahn pitched a complete game for an 8-1 Twins win in the 1980 home opener. The gametime temperature was a balmy 89 degrees outside the Metrodome. Hosken Powell, Ron Jackson and Roy Smalley each hit home runs in the game. April 22, 1988 Twins’ Day Goes from Bad to Worse Bert Blyleven gave up 7 runs on 9 hits and 4 hit batters in 4 2/3 innings in an 11-6 loss to Cleveland at the Metrodome. Four of those runs came on a Cory Snyder grand slam. Later in the game, Joe Carter also hit a grand slam off of Keith Atherton. To add insult to injury, after the game the Twins traded Tom Brunansky to the Cardinals in exchange for clubhouse cancer, Tom Herr. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160416_184502_zpslydldyma.jpg April 23, 1961 In the final game of the Twins' first ever home series, Jack Kralick pitched a complete game, 4-hit shutout in a 1-0 Twins win versus the expansion Senators. Kralick's bat provided the Twins' only run, driving in Billy Gardner with a 5th inning single. The Twins improved to 7-2 on the season. April 23, 1980 Ken Landreaux begins a 31-game hitting streak by breaking up Angel pitcher Bruce Kison's no-hitter with a one out double in the 9th. California holds on to win 17-0. 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.
  24. April 16, 1961 Twins 1st Grand Slam 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 RBI for the game. The Twins won 10-5. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160407_110823_zpsjtwaa2qr.jpg 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.
  25. http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w413/mjohnso9/20160320_155536_zpshtz95lga.jpg 4/3/82: The Twins beat the Phillies 5-0 in an exhibition game, the first Major League game played at the Metrodome. Pete Rose collected the new stadium’s first hit, and Bloomington-native Kent Hrbek hit the Dome’s first two home runs. 4/4/90: The Twins traded future-KARE 11 anchor, Mike Pomeranz, to Pittsburgh in exchange for Junior Ortiz and a minor league pitcher. Ortiz, who wore #0, is best-remembered as Scott Erickson’s personal catcher during the Twins’ 1991 World Championship season. 4/5/14: The Twins beat the Indians 7-3 in Cleveland for Ron Gardenire’s 1,000th managerial win. Leadoff hitter Brian Dozier homered on the second pitch of the game. Leading 7-1 in the 9th, 2001 Stillwater Area High School graduate and former Golden Gopher, Glen Perkins, gave up 2 runs before securing the Kyle Gibson victory. 4/6 is the birthday of Rik Aalbert “Bert” Blyleven, born in Zeist, Holland (1951). Blyleven grew up in Garden Grove, CA and was drafted by Minnesota out of high school in the 3rd round in 1969. After only 21 minor league starts, Bert made his Major League debut on June 2nd, 1970 at age 19. Blyleven would pitch for 22 seasons, 11 in Minnesota (‘70-’76, ‘85-’88). He is a 2x World Series champion, winning his first in 1979 as a Pittsburgh Pirate, and his second as a member of the ‘87 Twins. Blyleven won 149 games as a Twin, 2nd only to Jim Kaat (190). His 3,701 career strikeouts rank 5th in Major League history. Bert Blyleven was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2011, his 14th year on the ballot. His number 28 is retired by the Minnesota Twins. 4/6/66: The Twins traded Nimrod, MN-native and 1954 Sebeka High School grad, Dick Stigman, and a player to named later to the Boston Red Sox for backup catcher Russ Nixon and second baseman Chuck Schilling who never appeared in a Major League game for Minnesota and retired rather than accept a minor league assignment. Schilling became a math teacher in Long Island, NY. 4/6/73: Tony Oliva hit the first home run by a designated hitter in Major League history off of Oakland’s Catfish Hunter in the top of the 1st, driving in Rod Carew. Bert Blyleven pitched the first of his season’s 25 complete games in the Twins’ 8-3 victory. 4/7/70: Outfielder Brant Alyea drove in 7 runs to back winning pitcher Jim Perry in the season-opener. Alyea went on to collect 21 RBI in the Twins’ first 12 games, 19 of which came in Perry’s first 4 starts of the season. 4/8/88: The Twins beat the Blue Jays 6-3. Dan Gladden went 4-for-5 with 3 runs scored, 4 RBI and 2 home runs. He homered in the 1st and 8th and, and stole home off of David Wells in the 7th with Kent Hrbek batting. Gladden stole home 3 times in his career, twice in ‘88 and once in ‘89. He was caught attempting to steal home 5 times. Rod Carew stole home 17 times, and Paul Molitor 10 times. 4/9/00: The Twins hit back-to-back-to-back home runs is a 13-7 win in Kansas City. Already leading 6-0 entering the top of the 6th, Corey Koskie led off the inning with a base hit. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones and Matt LeCroy then proceeded to hit three consecutive home runs on four total pitches, Coomer and Jones hitting first-pitch homers, and LeCroy taking an 0-1 pitch out of the park. Coomer homered again in the 7th, again with Koskie on base. Eric Milton had retired the first 20 batters in order and had a 2-hit shutout going into the 8th. After retiring the first two batters, including former Twin David McCarty, Milton allowed two hits and was relieved by Eddie Guardado. Guardado gave up an RBI single and then back-to-back home runs to Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye. He was relieved by Hector Carrasco who surrendered the Royals’ third consecutive home run to Mike Sweeney. It was the first game in Major League history in which each team hit back-to-back-to-back home runs. The Twins are one of seven teams to have hit four consecutive home runs, doing so on May 2, 1964 in Kansas City versus the Athletics. With the score tied 3-3 entering the top of the 11th, Tony Oliva hit a leadoff home run followed by Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall, and Harmon Killebrew, giving the Twins a 7-3 victory. The Twins set the American League record by hitting 5 home runs in a single inning on June 9, 1966, also against the KC Athletics, but this time in Bloomington at the Met. The Athletics erupted for four runs in the first off of Camilo Pascual, who only lasted ⅔ of an inning. Facing 1987 Hall of Fame inductee, Catfish Hunter, the Twins pulled within 4-3 on a Bob Allison RBI double in the 5th and a 2-run Killebrew homer in the 6th. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, Rich Rollins and Zoilo Versalles connected for back-to-back homers off of Hunter to take the lead. Reliever Paul Lindblad retired Sandy Valdespino before allowing back-to-back homers to Tony Oliva and Don Mincher. The Athletics then turned to John Wyatt who allowed the Twins’ third consecutive home run, and the fifth of the inning, to Harmon Killebrew, his second of the game. Four National League teams have hit 5 home runs in an inning. The first time was in 1939 and the most recent in 2006. All four were against the Cincinnati Reds. For the history of the Minnesota Twins told one day at a time, 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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