1965 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-eight

MINNESOTA 5, NEW YORK 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, August 25.

Batting stars:  Rich Rollins was 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk, scoring once and driving in two.  Bob Allison was 1-for-4 with a home run, his nineteenth.  Joe Nossek was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.

Pitching star:  Jim Merritt pitched 8.1 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts.

Opposition stars:  Elston Howard was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his sixth) and a walk, scoring twice.  Tom Tresh was 2-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-first) and two runs.  Bill Stafford struck out one in a perfect inning.

The game:  Allison homered in the fourth and Nossek delivered a two-out RBI double in the fifth to give the Twins a 2-0 lead.  In the seventh, Tresh homered and Hector Lopez later hit a sacrifice fly to tie it 2-2.  In the bottom of the seventh, Rollins had a two-run triple and Earl Battey a run-scoring double to give the Twins a 5-2 lead.  They needed all those runs, as Howard hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth to cut the margin to 5-4.  Merritt left and Al Worthington came in.  He gave up a two-out double to Clete Boyer but struck out Ray Barker to end the game.

Of note:  Zoilo Versalles was 0-for-2 with two walks and a run.  Tony Oliva was 0-for-1.  Battey was 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Record:  The win made the Twins 81-47.  Chicago lost to Baltimore 2-1, once again giving the Twins a 7.5 game lead.

Notes:  Jimmie Hall did not start, with Andy Kosco playing right and Oliva moving to center.  Oliva left the game after the first inning, which he ended with a ground out.  Nossek then came in to play center.  Oliva would miss the next five games, a tough thing for a team already missing Harmon Killebrew...Oliva continued to lead the team in batting at .311.  Battey was at .304...Elston Howard had his worst year as a Yankee in 1965.  He made the all-star team for the ninth consecutive time, but he hit only .233 and had only nine homers with an OPS of .623.  He bounced back some in 1966 but had a terrible year in 1967, getting traded to Boston during the season.  He would play only one more season after that.  He had a pretty good career, though, winning the MVP in 1963 and reaching the top twenty in balloting four other times.  He also won two Gold Gloves.  He was primarily a catcher, but played 265 games in the outfield and 85 at first base.  He passed away in 1980 at the young age of fifty-one.

Happy Birthday–February 11

Jimmy Ryan (1863)
Kenjiro Tamiya (1928)
George Alusik (1935)
Ollie Brown (1944)
Ben Oglivie (1949)
Tom Veryzer (1953)
Todd Benzinger (1963)
Scott Pose (1967)
J. R. Towles (1984)

Kenjiro Tamiya is a member of the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, playing from 1949-1963.  He began as a pitcher, and came within one out of pitching the first perfect game in Nippon Pro Baseball history.  A shoulder injury required him to switch to the outfield in 1952.  He was a seven-time all-star.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to Moss.  Live Moss.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 11

Happy Birthday–February 10

Horace Wilson (1845)
Jim Keenan (1858)
Curt Welch (1862)
Billy Evans (1884)
Herb Pennock (1894)
Bill Adair (1913)
Allie Reynolds (1917)
George Sobek (1920)
Randy Jackson (1926)
Billy O'Dell (1933)
Dick Bogard (1937)
Jim Barr (1948)
Larry McWilliams (1954)
Lenny Dykstra (1963)
Lenny Webster (1965)
Jayhawk Owens (1969)
Alberto Castillo (1970)
Bobby Jones (1970)
Kevin Sefcik (1971)
Lance Berkman (1976)
Cesar Izturis (1980)
Duke Welker (1986)
Liam Hendriks (1989)
Max Kepler (1993)

Horace Wilson was an American professor English at Tokyo University.  He is credited with introducing baseball to Japan in either 1872 or 1873.

Billy Evans was the youngest umpire in major league history, starting his career at age 22.  He was an American League umpire from 1906-1027.  He would later become general manager of the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers, and was president of the Southern Association from 1942-1946.

Bill Adair was a long-time minor league player (1935-1956) and manager (1949-1973).  He also was the scout credited with signing Andre Dawson and Tim Raines.

George Sobek was a long-time scout for the White Sox, credited with signing Denny McLain, Steve Trout, and Mike Squires.  He also played in the NBA and was a long-time college basketball referee.

Another long-time scout, Dick Bogard played in the minors for six years, managed for three, and was a scout for nearly thirty years, mostly for Houston and Oakland.  He is credited with signing Walt Weiss, Jason Giambi, and Ben Grieve.

Jim Barr was drafted six different times before finally signing.  Minnesota drafted him in the sixth round of the January Secondary draft in 1970, but he did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 10

1965 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-six

MINNESOTA 4, NEW YORK 3 IN MINNESOTA (10 INNINGS)

Date:  Monday, August 23.

Batting stars:  Zoilo Versalles was 3-for-5 with a home run (his sixteenth) and two runs.  Earl Battey was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run.  Bob Allison was 1-for-4 with a walk and a run.

Pitching stars:  Mudcat Grant pitched eight innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts.  Dick Stigman pitched a scoreless inning, giving up a walk with one strikeout.  Al Worthington struck out two in a scoreless inning despite giving up one hit and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Whitey Ford pitched 8.1 innings, allowing three runs on ten hits and one walk with six strikeouts.  Clete Boyer was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his fourteenth), a stolen base (his third), and a walk.  Roger Repoz was 2-for-4 with a run.

The game:  It was close all the way.  Versalles homered in the third to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Each team scored in the sixth, leaving the Twins up 2-1.  Boyer hit a two-out two-run homer in the seventh to give the Yankees their first lead of the game at 3-2.  The Twins had two out in the bottom of the ninth when Tony Oliva delivered an RBI double to tie it 3-3.  The Yankees loaded the bases in the tenth, but did not score.  In the bottom of the tenth, Allison and Don Mincher each walked to put men on first and second with none out.  A strikeout followed, but then Jerry Kindall came through with an RBI single to end the game.

Of note:  Rich Rollins was 1-for-3 with a walk.  Oliva was 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Record:  The win made the Twins 80-46.  The White Sox lost to Baltimore in twelve innings, so Minnesota's lead increased to  7.5 games.

Notes:  Oliva's average went to .310, while Battey went to .308...Roger Repoz was supposed to be "the next Mickey Mantle".  That would be too much for anyone, and it was too much for Repoz.  He spent all or part of nine seasons in the majors,  His career numbers were .224/.314/.390 with 82 home runs.  His career high in homers was eighteen in 1970.  Still, he played in 831 major league games and had 2,145 at-bats, and that's a lot more than a lot of people can say.

Happy Birthday–February 9

Harry Pulliam (1864)
Heinie Zimmerman (1887)
Specs Toporcer (1899)
Bill Veeck (1914)
Jodie Phipps (1918)
Vic Wertz (1925)
Erv Palica (1928)
Clete Boyer (1937)
Eddie Solomon (1951)
Mookie Wilson (1956)
Pete O'Brien (1958)
John Kruk (1961)
Doug Linton (1965)
Todd Pratt (1967)
Vladimir Guerrero (1975)
Dioner Navarro (1984)

Harry Pulliam was president of the National League from 1903-1909.

Bill Veeck was the owner of the Cleveland Indians (1946-49), St. Louis Browns (1951-53), and Chicago White Sox (1958-61, 1975-81).

Pitcher Jodie Phipps played in the minors from 1939-1957, winning 275 games.  He also managed in the minors for seven seasons.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to LBR.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 9

1965 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-five

CALIFORNIA 4, MINNESOTA 1 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Sunday, August 22.

Batting stars:  Jim Kaat was 2-for-2.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-1 with an RBI.  Zoilo Versalles was 1-for-4 with a run and a stolen base, his seventeenth.

Pitching star:  Mel Nelson pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk with one strikeout.

Opposition stars:  Dean Chance pitched a complete game, allowing one run on six hits and no walks with eight strikeouts.  Chance was also 1-for-4 with a run and two RBIs.  Jim Piersall was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his second.

The game:  Versalles led off the game with a single, stole second, and scored on an Oliva single.  The lead held until the fifth, when Paul Schall doubled and Piersall hit a two-run homer to give the Angels the lead 2-1.  With the bases loaded and two out in the sixth, Chance delivered a two-run single to right to make it 4-1.  The Twins got only one hit after that.

Of note:  Sandy Valdespino was 0-for-4.  Jimmie Hall was 1-for-4.  Earl Battey was 0-for-4.  Jim Kaat struck out six in 5.2 innings but gave up four runs on eight hits and one walk.

Record:  The loss made the Twins 79-46.  The White Sox swept a doubleheader from Kansas City, so they cut the Twins' lead to 6.5 games.

Notes:  Oliva left the game immediately after his RBI single in the first inning.  Bob Allison, who was not starting, took his place in right field.  Valdespino was in left...Oliva regained the team batting lead at .311.  Battey fell to .309...Dean Chance was a fine pitcher, twice winning twenty games and winning the Cy Young Award in 1964, when he led the league in wins (20), ERA (1.65), complete games (15), shutouts (11), and innings (278.1).  He was, however, a notoriously bad batter.  He batted over .100 only once in his career, in his Cy Young season of 1964.  He holds the record for worst batting average among players with more than 500 at-bats (.066).  One can only imagine the cheering when he delivered a clutch two-run single in this game.

Happy Birthday–February 8

Bug Holliday (1867)
Bob Cobb (1899)
Don Heffner (1911)
Danny Carnevale (1918)
Buddy Blattner (1920)
Dewey Soriano (1920)
Willard Marshall (1921)
Hoot Evers (1921)
Joe Black (1924)
Larry Dolan (1931)
Fritz Peterson (1942)
Bob Oliver (1943)
Aaron Cook (1979)

Bob Cobb was the president of the AAA Hollywood Stars from 1938-1957.  He later was involved in bringing an American League expansion team to Los Angeles.  In addition, he opened the famous Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles in 1928.

Danny Carnevale was a minor league player (1937-1953) and manager (1947-55, 1962-63, 1972; five league championships) and was also a scout for many years.

Dewey Soriano was a minor league pitcher in the 1940s.  He was later co-owner and president of the Seattle Pilots.

Larry Dolan has owned the Cleveland Indians since 2000.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to ubelmann.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 8

1965 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-Four

MINNESOTA 4, CALIFORNIA 2 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Saturday, August 21.

Batting stars:  Zoilo Versalles was 2-for-5 with a stolen base (his sixteenth) and two runs.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-3 with a run and two RBIs.  Earl Battey was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Pitching star:  Jim Merritt struck out seven in seven innings, giving up one run on seven hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Fred Newman struck out seven in seven innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk.  Bobby Knoop was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  Albie Pearson was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

The game:  Each team had only two hits in the first five innings.  With one out in the sixth, though, the Twins got singles from Versalles, Sandy Valdespino, and Oliva and later got a two-run single-plus-error from Battey to go ahead 3-0.  Knoop doubled in a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-1.  in the eighth, Versalles singled, stole second, went to third on a bunt, and scored on an Oliva sacrifice fly to give the Twins a 4-1 advantage.  Pearson had a two-out RBI double in the ninth to make it 4-2 and bring the tying run up to bat, but Jim Fregosi popped up to short to end the game.

Of note:  Valdespino was 1-for-3 with a run.  Jimmie Hall was 0-for-4.

Record:  The win boosted the Twins to 79-45.  Chicago defeated Kansas City and Detroit lost to Boston, so the White Sox moved back into sole possession of second place, eight games back.

Notes:  Valdespino, who saw a lot of playing time in August, replaced Bob Allison...Battey once again took over the team batting lead at .313.  Oliva went to .310.  Hall fell below .300 at .297...The Angels used seven bench players, not counting pitcher Marcellino Lopez who was a pinch-runner.  When the last time, other than a September game, a team even had seven bench players?...All of the bench players were used in the seventh inning or later.  For the record, they were Lou Clinton (PH), Joe Koppe (PH), Tom Satriano (C-3B), Willie Smith (PH), Tom Egan (C), ex-Twin Vic Power (1B), and Al Spangler (PH).

Happy Birthday–February 7

Tom Daly (1866)
Pat Moran (1876)
Charlie Jamieson (1893)
Earl Whitehill (1899)
Paul Owens (1924)
Dick Wiencek (1926)
Al Smith (1928)
Juan Pizarro (1937)
Burt Hooton (1950)
Benny Ayala (1951)
Dan Quisenberry (1953)
Damaso Garcia (1957)
Carney Lansford (1957)
Ralph Citarella (1958)
Endy Chavez (1978)
Brad Hennessey (1980)
Scott Feldman (1983)

Paul Owens spent over forty years in the Phillies organization, serving at various times as a player, scout, manager, and general manager.

Dick Wiencek was a minor league infielder from 1947-1949,  He then became a scout, working at various times for Washington/Minnesota, Detroit, and Oakland.  Among the players he was responsible for signing are Jim Kaat, Graig Nettles, Bert Blyleven, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, and Mark McGwire.

Right-hander Ralph Citarella was drafted by Minnesota in the first round of the January draft in 1978, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Mrs. AMR.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 7

1965 Rewind: Game One Hundred Twenty-three

MINNESOTA 3, CALIFORNIA 1 IN CALIFORNIA

Date:  Friday, August 20 (Game 2 of doubleheader).

Batting stars:  Rich Rollins was 1-for-4 with a double and a run.  Andy Kosco was 1-for-3 with an RBI.  Sandy Valdespino was 1-for-1 with an RBI.

Pitching stars:  Dave Boswell pitched 6.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts.  Johnny Klippstein struck out two in two shutout innings, giving up only a walk.

Opposition stars:  George Brunet pitched 8.1 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and no walks with five strikeouts.  Jose Cardenal was 1-for-4 with a home run (his eleventh) and a walk.  Bobby Knoop was 2-for-3 with a walk.

The game:  Cardenal homered leading off the bottom of the third to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.  The Twins managed only three singles in the first eight innings, and after a one-out single by Kosco in the fourth the next fourteen Twins were retired.  In the ninth, however, Zoilo Versalles led off with a single and Rollins doubled, putting men on second and third with none out.  Tony Oliva hit a fielder's choice that did not result in an out, scoring Versalles to tie the score.  Kosco followed with a sacrifice fly and Valdespino delivered a pinch-hit RBI single, giving the Twins a 3-1 lead.  California was retired in order in the bottom of the ninth.

Of note:  Versalles was 1-for-4 with a run.  Oliva was 0-for-4 with a run and an RBI.  Earl Battey was 1-for-1.

Record:  The win made the Twins 78-45.  Detroit swept a doubleheader from Boston and moved into a tie for second with Chicago, eight games back.

Notes:  Kosco was in right field, with Oliva moving to center.  Jimmie Hall was rested...Battey was removed in the fourth inning due to either injury, illness, or exhaustion--he had been asked to catch both games of a doubleheader in the middle of August.  He would be back in the lineup the next day.  Jerry Zimmerman took over at catcher...Oliva and Battey were now in a tie for the team batting lead, each at .310...Jose Cardenal was in the rookie year of what would turn out to be a long and successful career.  He would be a major league regular from 1965-76 and was a reserve from 1977-80.  His best years would be with the Cubs, for whom he played from 1972-77.  He was named on a few MVP ballots in 1972 and 1973, but his best season was probably 1975, when he batted .317 with an OBP of .397.  He was a major league coach for a number of years as well, with his coaching career ending in 2003 with Cincinnati.  He is a cousin to longtime Oakland infielder Bert Campaneris.

Happy Birthday–February 6

Frank LaPorte (1880)
Babe Ruth (1895)
Jake Levy (1900)
Glenn Wright (1901)
Dale Long (1926)
Smoky Burgess (1927)
Augie Garrido (1939)
Richie Zisk (1949)
Larry Young (1954)
Bob Wickman (1969)
Chad Allen (1975)

Pitcher Jake Levy had a minor league career that started in 1921 and lasted until 1945.  He played under a variety of names, making it difficult to determine his true record, but he won at least two hundred games.  He was also a good hitter, and early in his career played in the field when he was not pitching.

Augie Garrido is the baseball coach at the University of Texas and has the most coaching wins of anyone in Division I.

Larry Young was a major league umpire from 1983-2007.

You may have heard of that "Babe Ruth" fellow.

Continue reading Happy Birthday--February 6

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.