1969 Rewind: Game One Hundred Fifty-nine


Date:  Sunday, September 28.

Batting stars:  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with a double.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-4.  Rod Carew was 1-for-4 with a home run, his eighth.

Pitching star:  Bob Miller pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out three.

Opposition stars:  Dick Baney pitched eight innings, giving up one run on eight hits and a walk and striking out five.  Ex-Twin Don Mincher was 3-for-4 with a home run (his twenty-fifth), a double, and three RBIs.  Wayne Comer was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Steve Hovley was 2-for-4 with a double.  Tommy Harper was 2-for-4.

The game:  Carew hit a home run with one out in the first to give the Twins a 1-0 lead.  Killebrew followed with a double, but Tony Oliva and Graig Nettles struck out to end the inning.  In the second the Twins got singles from Leo Cardenas and Tom Tischinski with one out, but Miller hit into a double play.

The Pilots missed a huge chance in the second.  Singles by Mincher, Hovley, and Jim Pagliaroni loaded the bases with none out.  But ex-Twin Sandy Valdespino hit into a force out at the plate, and Fred Stanley and Baney were caught looking.  Seattle took the lead in the third, though.  With two out, Comer doubled and Mincher hit a home run to give the Pilots a 2-1 lead.

Seattle threatened again in the fourth, getting one-out singles from Valdespino and Stanley, but could do nothing with them.  The Twins meanwhile, could do nothing, period.  They did not get a man past first base in innings three through eight.  In the bottom of the eighth, Comer hit a one-out single, followed by back-to-back doubles by Mincher and Hovley, building the lead to 4-1.  That's where it was when the game ended.

WP:  Baney (1-0).  LP:  Miller (5-5).  S:  Diego Segui (12).

Notes:  Reese remained out of the lineup, with Killebrew at first and Nettles at third.  Cotton Nash replaced Nettles in the fifth inning and went to first base, with Killebrew moving to third.  Cesar Tovar started the game in center but came out in the second inning.  He was replaced by Charlie Manuel, who went to left with Ted Uhlaender moving to center.  Tom Tischinski was behind the plate, with Johnny Roseboro on the bench.

Carew was batting .333.  Oliva was 0-for-4 and was batting .304.  Jim Holt got a pinch-hit single and was batting .364 (4-for-11).

Mincher had a fine year for the Pilots, batting .246/.366/.454 with 25 homers and 78 RBIs and making the all-star team.  He had another fine year for Oakland in 1970, batting ,246/.327/.460 with 27 homers and 74 RBIs.  Oakland traded him to Washington in early May of 1971 and he again put up good numbers, batting .280/.386/.427, although with just 12 home runs.  He became a part-time player in 1972 and retired after that.  He is the only man to play for both Washington Senators franchises and for the two teams they became, the Twins and the Rangers.

This was the first win of Dick Baney's major league career and his only start of 1969.  In 18.2 innings he was 1-0, 3.86 at age 22.  He spent the next three seasons in AAA, not making it back to the majors until 1973 as a September call-up with the Cincinnati Reds.  He again did well, going 2-1, 2.93 in 30.1 innings.  He was with Cincinnati for about four months in 1974 and did not do well, going 1-0, 5.49 in 41 innings.  If you take out two really bad appearances, though, in which he gave up 11 runs in 1.2 innings, his ERA becomes 3.20.  Apparently no one wanted to look at it that way, though, and he never played in the majors again.  He did have a successful career after that, however, first working in his father's contracting business and then working as a real estate investor and property manager.

Record:  The Twins were 95-64, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Oakland.  They had clinched first place in the division.