Happy Birthday–June 3

Don Osborn (1908)
Jim Gentile (1934)
Steve Dalkowski (1939)
Duane Josephson (1942)
Ron Keller (1943)
Jim Dwyer (1950)
Ed Glynn (1953)
Barry Lyons (1960)
Steve Lyons (1960)
Nelson Liriano (1964)
Carl Everett (1971)
Bryan Rekar (1972)
Jose Molina (1975)
Travis Hafner (1977)

Don Osborn won 201 games in the minors.  He later was a minor league manager, pitching coach, and scout.

Some old-timers say Steve Dalkowski had the fastest fastball ever.  He struck out 1,396 batters in 995 minor league innings.  However, he also walked 1,354, which is why he never made the majors.

We also wish a happy birthday to hungry joe's son, Ravenous Rick!

Continue reading Happy Birthday–June 3

Random Rewind: 1977, Game One Hundred Eighteen


Date:  Monday, August 15.

Batting stars:  Dan Ford was 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base (his sixth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Larry Hisle was 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, a stolen base (his eighteenth), two runs, and two RBIs.  Craig Kusick was 2-for-4 with two home runs (his ninth and tenth) and five RBIs.  Bob Gorinski was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his second).  Bobby Randall was 2-for-5 with two runs.

Pitching star:  Ron Schueler pitched three innings, giving up one run on two hits and no walks and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Ken Singleton was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer (his eighteenth), a walk, and two runs.  Eddie Murray was 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.  Lee May was 2-for-4 with a home run, his ninteenth.  Al Bumbry was 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.  Andres Mora was 2-for-5 with two home runs (his eighth and ninth) and three RBIs.

The game:  Roy Smalley led off the game with a walk, was bunted to second, went to third on a ground out, and scored on Hisle's single to put the Twins up 1-0.  The Orioles took the lead in the bottom of the second when Bumbry and Singleton singled, May walked to load the bases, and Murray delivered a two-run single.  The Twins went back in front in the second when Butch Wynegar walked and Gorinski followed with a two-run homer.  It was 3-2 Twins after an inning and a half.

Baltimore took the lead back in the third when Singleton walked and Mora hit a two-run homer.  They added to their lead in the fourth when Dave Skaggs singled and scored on Bumbry's double-plus-error.  But in the fifth, Randall singled, Hisle walked, and Kusick hit a three-run homer to put the Twins ahead 6-5.

The Orioles loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but did not score.  It cost them, as the Twins scored five times in the sixth.  The first two batters went out, but then Smalley walked, Randall doubled, Ford had a two-run single, Hisle had an RBI double, and Kusick hit a two-run homer, making the score 11-5.

Baltimore tried to get back into it.  Singleton hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Mora a solo shot in the seventh to cut the lead to 11-8.  But the Twins got a run in the eighth when Ford doubled and scored on a Rod Carew single and one more in the ninth Lyman Bostock doubled and scored on a Bud Bulling single.  May homered in the ninth to complete the scoring, but the Orioles did not get the tying run even to the on-deck circle.

WP:  Schueler (5-4).  LP:  Rudy May (13-11).  S:  None.

NotesKusick, normally the DH, was at first base in place of CarewBulling was in the lineup at DH.  Jerry Terrell was at third in place of Mike Cubbage.  Bostock, normally in center, was out of the lineup, with Hisle moving from left to center and Gorinski in left.

Carew pinch-hit for Kusick in the eighth and stayed in the game at first base.  Cubbage pinch-hit for Terrell in the eighth and stayed in the game at third base.  Bostock pinch-hit for Gorinski in the ninth and stayed in the game in left.

Oddly, Bostock played 90 games in center and 60 in left, while Hisle played 71 games in left and 63 in center.  I don't remember, but it appears Gene Mauch couldn't make up his mind which way his defense would be stronger.  On the other hand, knowing Mauch, he may have based it on the field they were playing in, which way the wind was blowing, whether his pitcher was a groundball or a flyball pitcher, or any of a hundred other factors.

Carew was leading the team in batting at .380.  He would finish at .388.  Bostock was batting .334.  He would finish at .336.  Hisle would also finish over .300, at .302.  Unsurprisingly, the Twins led the league in batting average at .282.

Hisle led the team in homers with 28.  Carew and Bostock each hit 14.  Kusick has 12, Ford 11, and Wynegar 10.  The Twins were eleventh in the league in home runs.

Dave Goltz started for the Twins.  He had a good year in 1977, but you couldn't tell it from this game.  He lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out three.  By game scores, it was tied for his second-worst game of the season.  For the season, he was their best starting pitcher, and in fact their only reliable starting pitcher, going 20-11, 3.36.  The others were Paul Thormodsgard (11-15, 4.62), Geoff Zahn (12-14, 4.68), and Pete Redfern (6-9, 5.18).  It was pretty much a four-man rotation all year, as no one else made more than seven starts.  Reliever Tom Johnson was second on the team in wins, going 16-7, 3.13.  He also had 15 saves.

This was one of three games Bulling had at DH, and one of fifteen games he played as a Twin.  He was normally a catcher.

This was the only season of Gorinski's major league career.  The home run he hit was one of three in his career.  He had hit 28 home runs at AAA Toledo in 1976, and was one of a long line of "next Killebrews" before the Twins finally realized that you can't just create a "next Killebrew".

The Twins had three regulars out of the lineup, two of who were batting well over .300, and yet scored thirteen runs.  That's baseball.

Record:  The Twins were 68-50, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of Chicago.  They would finish 84-77, in fourth place, 17.5 games behind Kansas City.  The Royals went 38-10 after this date.

The Orioles were 67-49, in second place in the American League East, 3.5 games behind Boston.  They would finish 97-64, tied for second with Boston, 2.5 games behind New York.  The Yankees went 34-12 after this date.

Random Record:  The Twins are 35-27 in Random Rewind games.

Happy Birthday–June 2

Jack O’Connor (1866)
Frank Verdi (1926)
Bob Lillis (1930)
Larry Jackson (1931)
Bob Bennett (1933)
Jerry Lumpe (1933)
Gene Michael (1938)
Horace Clarke (1940)
Jim Maloney (1940)
Roger Freed (1946)
Jack O’Connor (1958)
Darnell Coles (1962)
Bryan Harvey (1963)
Mike Stanton (1967)
Kurt Abbott (1969)
Raul Ibanez (1972)
Neifi Perez (1973)
Jared Burton (1981)
Tim Stauffer (1982)

Bob Bennett was the baseball coach at Fresno State for many years, winning 1,302 games.

Roger Freed was drafted by Minnesota in 1966, but the pick was voided.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–June 2

June 2, 2020: Smokeboys Wanted

Okay, I am not a grill master whatsoever, but I've been dabbling a bit. I'm curious about smoking, though it feels beyond my abilities. Anyone want to put together a Smoking on a Grill for Dummies Nation Has An Appetite post for next Monday? Pay is you get to eat smoked meat sometime between now and next Monday!

Random Rewind: 1961, Game Six


Date:  Tuesday, April 18.

Batting stars:  Lenny Green was 4-for-4 with a stolen base, his second.  Jim Lemon was 2-for-4 with a home run and a double.

Pitching stars:  Jim Kaat pitched 7.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks and striking out six.  Bill Pleis pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a walk and striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Dave Hillman pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.  Pumpsie Green was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

The game:  In the first, Green singled, went to third on a stolen-base-plus-error, and scored on a Bob Allison single to put the Twins up 1-0.  In the third, Zoilo Versalles singled, was bunted to second, and scored on a Don Mincher single to make it 2-0 Twins.  It stayed there until the sixth, when Lemon homered to make it 3-0.

The Twins loaded the bases in the seventh but did not score.  Still, the Red Sox had only one hit to this point, and the lead looked secure.  In the eighth, however, Green doubled and Rip Repulski singled, putting men on first and third with none out.  A ground out scored a run, Gary Geiger walked, and Jackie Jensen was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two out.  Frank Malzone grounded to short, but the ball was booted by Versalles, allowing a run to score and cutting the margin to 3-2 with the bases still loaded and Carl Yastrzemski up to bat.  He flied to center, however, ending the inning.

The Twins again left the bases loaded in the ninth, so the lead remained just one.  Green drew a one-out walk, but Lou Clinton fanned and Chuck Schilling popped to short to end the game.

WP:  Kaat (1-0).  LP:  Billy Muffett (0-1).  S:  Pleis (1).

Notes:  Mincher was at first base in place of Harmon Killebrew, who missed a couple of weeks.  Billy Gardner was the starting second baseman at this point in the season, but would be replaced later by Billy Martin, who the Twins acquired in a trade for Billy Consolo.  Reno Bertoia was the starting third baseman at this point, but would be traded for Bill Tuttle, who would take his place at third.

The only non-pitcher substitute was Dan Dobbek, going in to replace Lemon in left field in the eighth inning.

This early in the season there are always extreme batting averages.  Versalles was batting .429--he would finish at .280.  Allison was batting .375--he would finish at .245.  Green raised his average to .304--he would finish at .285.  Earl Battey, who was batting just .211 at this point, would lead the team with an average of .302.

On the other end, Bertoia was batting .150.  He would leave the Twins with an average of .212.

Killebrew would lead the team in home runs with 46.  Allison was second with 29, followed by Battey (17) and Lemon (14).  The Twins were fourth in home runs in the ten-team league.

The Twins rotation in 1961 was Pedro Ramos (11-20, 3.95), Camilo Pascual (15-16, 3.46), Jack Kralick (13-11, 3.61), and Kaat (9-17, 3.90).  Ray Moore led in saves with 14.  Ramos, who led the team in starts with 34, also had two saves.

Muffett, who started for Boston, pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and a walk and striking out none.  He would go on to go 3-11, 5.67.  He played from 1957-1962.  He had good years in 1957 (3-2, 2.25, 1.09 WHIP in 23 relief appearances (44 innings)) and 1960 (6-4, 3.24, 1.22 WHIP in 11 starts and 27 relief appearances (112.2 innings)).  In the other years, though, he was not good at all.  His next lowest season ERA was 4.93 in 1958 and his next lowest WHIP was 1.47 in 1961.  For his career, he was 16-23, 4.33, 1.43 WHIP.  He was in 125 games, 32 of them starts, and pitched 376.1 innings.  He went into coaching after that, and continued to be a major league coach through 1994.

The Twins were off to a fine start in their inaugural season.  I suspect this fueled some high hopes, which were ultimately to be dashed.

Record:  The Twins were 5-1, in first place in the American League, one game ahead of Cleveland.  They would finish 70-90, in seventh place, 38 games behind New York.

The Red Sox were 2-2, in fifth place in the American League, two games behind Minnesota.  They would finish 76-86, in sixth place, 33 games behind New York.

Random Record:  The Twins are 34-27 in Random Rewind games.

Happy Birthday–June 1

Ted Breitenstein (1869)
Otto Miller (1889)
Hank Severeid (1891)
Guy Morton (1893)
Johnny Mostil (1896)
Ray Moore (1926)
Jack Kralick (1935)
Roy Majtyka (1939)
Dean Chance (1941)
Randy Hundley (1942)
Ken McMullen (1942)
Jeff Nelson (1965)
Derek Lowe (1973)
Carlos Zambrano (1981)

Roy Majtyka was a long-time minor-league manager, winning 1,832 games.

Jeff Nelson has been a major league umpire since 1997.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–June 1

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.