Category Archives: Keeping Track

1970 Rewind: Game Thirteen


Date: Saturday, April 25.

Batting stars: Tony Oliva was 2-for-4 with a home run (his third) and two runs. Rich Reese was 1-for-3 with a home run.

Pitching star: Jim Kaat pitched 8.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits and two walks and striking out five.

Opposition stars: Mickey Stanley was 2-for-3 with a home run. Elliott Maddox was 2-for-3. Willie Horton was 2-for-4. Earl Wilson pitched six innings, giving up two runs on three hits and no walks and striking out two.

The game: Maddox led off the third with a single and was bunted to second. Wilson then doubled, but Maddox was only able to make third--presumably it was a fly ball that he thought might be caught. Stanley walked to load the bases, but Dick McAuliffe hit into a double play to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on solo homers by Oliva and Reese. Stanley hit a solo homer in the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1. It stayed 2-1 until the eighth, when Paul Ratliff doubled, went to third on a Frank Quilici single, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kaat. But in the ninth, Horton singled and Jim Northrup hit a one-out triple to cut the lead to 3-2. Kaat left in favor of Stan Williams, who allowed a sacrifice fly by Norm Cash to tie it at three.

In the bottom of the ninth, Oliva hit a one-out single and went to second on an error. Harmon Killebrew then delivered a single to right to score Oliva and give the victory to the Twins.

WP: Williams (2-0).

LP: Tom Timmerman (0-1).

S: None.

Notes: Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew. Ratliff was behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald. Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea for defense in the eighth.

Carew would not play again until May 6. I don't know if he was injured or if he was fulfilling a National Guard commitment.

Alyea was 1-for-3 and was batting .421.  Cesar Tovar was 0-for-4 and was batting .357.  Oliva was batting .339.  KillebrewRatliff, and Quilici were all batting .333.  Kaat had an ERA of 2.86.  Williams continued to have an ERA of zero.

Leo Cardenas was moved up to the second spot in the order with Carew out, but went 0-for-4 and was batting .191.

The Tigers' third was interesting.  Maddox, batting in the seventh spot, led off with a single.  Eighth-place batter Cedar Guttierez then bunted, with pitcher Earl Wilson coming up next.  It worked, as Wilson delivered a double, but how often do you have the eighth-place hitter bunt with the pitcher coming up next?  But Wilson was a pretty good batter.  His career batting line is .195/.265/.369 with 35 home runs in 740 at-bats.  A .195 average may not sound like much, but he played almost his entire career in the 1960s.  There are middle infielders who had substantial careers in the 1960s with lower batting averages than that.

The Twins had won four, lost two, won four, lost two, and now have won one.  We'll see if they can win four again.

Record:  The Twins were 9-4, in first place in the American League West by winning percentage, but a half game behind California.

Happy Birthday–October 18

Candy Cummings (1848)
Cliff Carroll (1859)
Walt Wilmot (1863)
Boileryard Clarke (1868)
Hans Lobert (1881)
Burt Shotton (1884)
Charlie Berry (1902)
Skeeter Newsome (1910)
Roy Cullenbine (1913)
Andy Carey (1931)
Bobby Knoop (1938)
Willie Horton (1942)
Ed Farmer (1949)
George Hendrick (1949)
Andy Hassler (1951)
Jerry Royster (1952)
Mike Walters (1957)
Alan Mills (1966)
Doug Mirabelli (1970)
Alex Cora (1975)
David Murphy (1981)
Yoenis Cespedes (1985)

Alex Cora was drafted by Minnesota in the twelfth round in 1993, but he did not sign.

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

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 18

1970 Rewind: Game Twelve


Date:  Friday, April 24.

Batting stars:  Brant Alyea was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-5 with a triple and a double.  Rich Reese was 2-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-1 with a home run (his third), four walks, and three runs.

Pitching stars:  Stan Williams struck out two in 1.2 innings, giving up one hit.  Ron Perranoski struck out two in a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Al Kaline was 5-for-5 with two doubles.  Bill Freehan was 2-for-3 with a home run (his second), two walks, and three RBIs.  Cesar Gutierrez was 2-for-5 with two runs.  Dick McAuliffe was 1-for-5 with a home run, his third.  John Hiller pitched 5.2 innings of relief, giving up one run on three hits and three walks and striking out three.

The game:  McAuliffe led off the game with a home run.  Gutierrez singled and scored on Kaline's double, making the score 2-0 Tigers before an out was recorded.  The Twins tied it in the bottom of the first.  Tovar doubled, and walks to Jim Holt and Killebrew loaded the bases.  With two out, Alyea delivered a two-run double, making the score 2-2.

Detroit went back ahead in the third.  Singles by Gutierrez, Kaline, and Norm Cash loaded the bases with none out.  Willie Horton struck out, but Jim Northrup's ground ball was booted by second baseman Tovar, resulting in all three runs scoring and Northrup ending up at second base.  Freehan's RBI single made it 6-2 Tigers.

The Twins again came back.  Tony Oliva doubled, Killebrew walked, and with two out Alyea again hit a two-run double, making it 6-4 after three.  In the fourth Tom Hall singled and Tovar tripled, cutting the lead to 6-5.  Killebrew homered leading off the sixth, tying the score 6-6.

But in the seventh, the Tigers went into the lead to stay.  Northrup drew a one-out walk and Freehan hit a two-run homer, making it 8-6.  The Twins put two on with two out in the seventh, but never got a man past first base after that.

WP:  Hiller (1-0).

LP:  Tom Hall (0-1).

S:  None.

Notes:  Tovar was at second base, rather than in center field, with Rod Carew out of the lineup.  Holt went to center field.  Minnie Mendoza pinch-hit for Holt in the seventh and stayed in the game at second, with Tovar moving to center.  Bob Allison pinch-hit for Williams in the eighth.  Frank Quilici pinch-ran for Killebrew in the ninth.

Alyea was batting .429.  Tovar was batting .385.  Killebrew was batting .343.  Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .327.  Williams had an ERA of zero.  Perranoski had an ERA of 2.31.  Jim Perry started and gave up six runs (four earned) on eight hits and no walks in three innings and had an ERA of 2.57.  Hall gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in 3.1 innings and had an ERA of 2.84.

Reese raised his average to .194.  George Mitterwald was 0-for-4 and was batting .167.

Joe Niekro started for Detroit and pitched 3.1 innings, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks.  He struck out none.  No other players with Twins connections played for the Tigers in this game.

Despite the fact that Twins were trailing late, Perranoski appeared for the fifth time in six games.  He had pitched 9.2 innings in those games.  It would be six days before he pitched again.

Alyea was really tearing it up early, batting .429/.474/.857 in the season's first twelve games.  He had three doubles, four home runs, and twenty RBIs.

Detroit manager Mayo Smith apparently decided Killebrew was not going to beat them in this game, as he walked four times.  It's not that there was always a base open--he walked in the first with men on first and second, walked in the third with a man on second, walked in the seventh with the bases empty, and walked in the ninth with the bases empty.  The one time they pitched to him he led off the fifth with a home run.  The walks were not intentional, but it seems clear the Tigers were trying hard not to give Harmon much to hit.

Hall pitched better than his line looks.  He pitched three scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to Freehan.  One could argue that he was left in the game too long, but on the other hand, Freehan was a fine batter (200 career home runs), so it's possible that he simply hit a good pitch.

The Twins had won four, lost two, won four, and lost two.  We'll see if they could start another four-game winning streak.

Record:  The Twins were 8-4, tied for first in the American League West based on winning percentage, but a half game back of California.

1970 Rewind: Game Eleven


Date:  Thursday, April 23.

Batting stars:  Paul Ratliff was 2-for-3 with two runs.  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, his fifth.

Pitching stars:  Steve Barber pitched 2.2 innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk and striking out two.  Stan Williams struck out two in a scoreless inning, giving up on hit.

Opposition stars:  Luis Aparicio was 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.  Bobby Knoop was 3-for-5 with a home run, his second.  Gail Hopkins was 2-for-3 with a double.

The game:  Each team got a man to second in the first, but there was no score until the second, when Hopkins doubled and scored on Buddy Bradford's single.  The White Sox put two on again in the third and scored again in the fourth on singles by Bradford, Knoop, and Aparicio.

The Twins got on the board in the fifth:  Ratliff singled, Leo Cardenas walked, a bunt advanced the runners, and a sacrifice fly scored Ratliff.  Chicago got the run back in the sixth when Knoop singled, was bunted to second, and scored on an Aparicio single.

The Twins took the lead in the bottom of the sixth.  With one out Harmon Killebrew walked and Rich Reese singled.  With two out Ratliff delivered an RBI single and Cardenas followed with a two-run double, putting the Twins up 4-3.  They put two in the seventh with one out, but did not add to their lead.

It cost them, as Chicago went into the lead to stay in the eighth.  Knoop led off the inning with a home run to tie the score.  Syd O'Brien pinch-hit a single and was bunted to second, with bunter Walt Williams also reaching base on a fielder's choice.  Aparicio then reached on a three-base error on pitcher Ron Perranoski, putting the White Sox up 6-4.  A sacrifice fly then made it 7-4.

The Twins got one in the ninth.  Tovar singled and went to second on a wild pitch.  Killebrew reached on an error, scoring Tovar and bringing the winning run up to bat.  But pinch-hitter Rick Renick flied out to center to end the game.

WP:  Tommie Sisk (1-0).

LP:  Perranoski (0-1).

S:  Wilbur Wood (3).

Notes:  Ratliff was again behind the plate in place of George Mitterwald.  Mitterwald would pinch-hit for him in the eighth and go behind the plate.

Rod Carew started the game, but was pinch-hit for in the first inning by Minnie Mendoza.  One assumes he was dealing with an injury or illness.  Charlie Manuel and Bob Allison pinch-hit for pitchers.  It was the first action Allison had seen in what would be his last season.  Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea in left field in the seventh.  Renick pinch-hit for Reese in the ninth.

Bill Zepp started and pitched three innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and one walk and striking out one.

Alyea was 0-for-2 and was batting .419.  Tovar was batting .383.  Tony Oliva was 1-for-5 and was batting .340.  Ratliff was batting .333.  Manuel was 0-for-1 and was batting .333.  Killebrew was 1-for-4 and was batting .324.  Holt and Renick were each 0-for-1 and each was batting .300.  Zepp had an ERA of 2.25.  Perranoski gave up four runs (one earned) in two innings and had an ERA of 2.53.  Tom Hall struck out the only man he faced and had an ERA of zero.  Williams also had an ERA of zero.

Reese was 1-for-4 and was batting .161.

This was the last good season Perranoski would have, and part of the reason may be that Bill Rigney seemed determined to drive him into the ground in April.  In the space of five games, Perranoski had come in four times, pitching a total of 8.2 innings.  I know men were men back then, but even so, this seems like overdoing it, especially in the first month of the season.

The White Sox' starter was Gerry Janeski.  He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks and striking out four.  He was a rookie, and this was just his third major league start.  He started the season strong, with a 2.91 ERA in his first eight starts, but would end going 10-17, 4.77, 1.51 WHIP.  1970 was his only full major league season.  He would be traded to Washington after the season and would make 27 more appearances (11 starts) over two seasons for the Senators/Rangers.  His career numbers were 11-23, 4.73, 1.55 WHIP.  After baseball, Janeski had a successful career in real estate in California.

This would be the last win of Tommie Sisk's career.  He'd had some solid seasons with PIttsburgh, but had a poor year in 1969 with the expansion San Diego Padres and would struggle in 1970, his last major league season.  The White Sox traded him to Cleveland in June and he was traded to Montreal after the season, but he never pitched in the majors for either of those clubs.

The loss snapped a four game winning streak for the Twins.  They had won four, lost two, then won four again.  We'll see if they go on to lose two again.

Record:  The Twins were 8-3, in first place in the American League West by winning percentage, but a half game behind California.

1970 Rewind: Game Ten


Date:  Wednesday, April 22.

Batting star:  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer (his second) and two runs.

Pitching star:  Luis Tiant pitched a five-inning complete game, giving up one run on four hits and two walks and striking out two.

Opposition star:  Carlos May was 1-for-2 with a double.

The game:  Tovar led off the bottom of the first with a single, went to second on a ground out, and scored on a Tony Oliva single.  There were no real threats until the fourth, when Luis Aparicio hit a one-out single and scored from first on May's double, tying it 1-1.  In the fifth, Leo Cardenas hit a one-out single and was bunted to second.  Tovar then hit a two-run homer to put the Twins up 3-1.

The third out was made, the inning ended, and then so did the game.  It doesn't say, but it seems likely that weather ended the game after five innings.  It also seems likely that the White Sox were not very happy about the game ending right after the Twins took the lead.

WP:  Tiant (2-0).

LP:  Joel Horlen (1-2).

S:  None.

Notes:  Paul Ratliff was behind the plate, giving George Mitterwald his first day off of the season.

Brant Alyea was 1-for-2 and was batting .448.  Tovar was batting .372.  Rod Carew was 1-for-3 and was batting .357.  Oliva was also 1-for-3 and was also batting .357.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-2 and was batting .333.

Rich Reese was 0-for-2 and was batting .148.  Ratliff was 0-for-1 and was batting zero.  Tiant lowered his ERA to 5.02.

Horlen also pitched a five-inning complete game, giving up three runs on seven hits and one walk and striking out one.

Alyea was caught stealing in the second inning.  He was 3-for-6 in stolen base attempts in 1970.  For his career, he was 5-for-12.

Record:  The Twins were 8-2, in first place in the American League West by percentage points, but tied in games with California.

Happy Birthday–October 16

Art Devlin (1879)
Goose Goslin (1900)
Boom-Boom Beck (1904)
Matt Batts (1921)
Dave DeBusschere (1940)
Tim McCarver (1941)
Don Hood (1949)
Brian Harper (1959)
Kevin McReynolds (1959)
Billy Taylor (1961)
Darren Reed (1965)
Josias Manzanillo (1967)
Jonathan Schoop (1991)
Bryce Harper (1992)

Goose Goslin was a star for the franchise in the 1920s, when it played in Washington.

Better known as a basketball player, Dave DeBusschere pitched for the White Sox from 1962-1963.

It clearly doesn't mean anything, but it seems like kind of an odd coincidence that Brian Harper and Bryce Harper were born on the same day.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to spookymilk’s daughter, Sour Cream.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 16

1970 Rewind: Game Nine


Date:  Tuesday, April 21.

Batting stars:  Cesar Tovar was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and a stolen base (his fourth).  Harmon Killebrew was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer, his second.

Pitching star:  Jim Kaat pitched 7.2 innings, giving up three runs (one earned) on seven hits and no walks.

Opposition stars:  Carlos May was 2-for-4 with a double.  Tommy John pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks and striking out one.

The game:  The White Sox opened the game with singles by Ken Berry and Luis Aparicio.  An error then allowed Berry to score and put Chicago up 1-0.  The Twins did not threaten until the fifth, when Rick Renick singled and George Mitterwald drew a one-out walk, but Kaat hit into a double play.  Chicago added a run in the sixth when John singled, went to second on an error, and scored on May's single.

The Twins took the lead in the sixth.  Tovar walked, Rod Carew doubled, and Killebrew hit a three-run homer to make it 3-2.  The Twins added a run in the seventh when Kaat reached on an error and scored on a triple by Tovar.

The White Sox pulled back within one in the eighth when May hit a two-out double and scored on a Bill Melton single.  Syd O'Brien led off the ninth with a single and was bunted to second, but a strikeout and a line out ended the game.

WP:  Kaat (2-1).

LP:  John (0-4).

S:  Perranoski (3).

Notes:  Renick was at third, with Killebrew moving to first and Reese on the bench.  In the eighth Frank Quilici replaced Renick and Jim Holt replaced Brant Alyea in left.  In the ninth Reese replaced Killebrew.

Alyea was 1-for-3 and was batting .444.  Carew was 1-for-4 and was batting .359.  Oliva was 0-for-4 and was also batting .359.  Tovar was batting .350.  Renick was 1-for-3 and was batting .333.  Holt was 0-for-1 and was batting .333.  Killebrew was batting .321.

Kaat had an ERA of 2.70.  Stan Williams pitched two-thirds of an inning and had an ERA of zero.  Perranoski retired both men he faced and had an ERA of 2.08.

Mitterwald was 0-for-2 and was batting .188.

It's fun to second-guess manager's decisions from games that were played over fifty years ago.  In the fifth the Twins were down 1-0, had men on first and second with one out, and Kaat up to bat.  Manager Bill Rigney did not have Kaat bunt, but rather allowed him to swing away, and he hit into a double play to end the inning.  Kaat was considered a good batter, but it was in the sense of "a good batter for a pitcher" rather than an actual good batter.  His lifetime slash line was .185/.227/.267.  In the prior year, 1969, he had batted .207/.247/.368.  So a bunt, with Tovar on deck and Carew in the hole, would seem to have been the play.  It's easy to say that now, of course, after we know what actually happened.  Had Kaat gotten a hit we probably wouldn't even have the discussion.  But again, it's always fun to second-guess a manager.

Perranoski now had saves in three consecutive games.  There was a day off before this one, of course, but he had still pitched 6.2 innings in three games.

Syd O'Brien was a mostly-regular in 1970, starting 105 games.  65 were at third, 38 at second, and 2 at short.  He got 441 at-bats; his next-highest total was 263.  He really wasn't up to the task, batting .247/.285/.340.  He was traded to California after the season, then finished up his career with Milwaukee, to whom he was traded in mid-1972 (a trade which involved ex-Twins Ron Clark and Paul Ratliff).

Record:  The Twins were 7-2, in first place in the American League West by winning percentage, but even with 9-4 California in games.


Happy Birthday–October 14

Joe Start (1842)
Paul Radford (1861)
Ivy Olson (1885)
Oscar Charleston (1896)
Harry Brecheen (1914)
Ken Heintzelman (1915)
Tom Cheney (1934)
Tommy Harper (1940)
Frank Duffy (1946)
Al Oliver (1946)
Ed Figueroa (1948)
Kiko Garcia (1953)
Willie Aikens (1954)
Jesus Vega (1955)
Joe Girardi (1964)
Midre Cummings (1971)
Ryan Church (1978)
Boof Bonser (1981)
Carlos Marmol (1982)
Kole Calhoun (1987)
Willians Astudillo (1991)

Outfielder Oscar Charleston is considered by some to have been the greatest player in Negro League history.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–October 14

1970 Rewind: Game Eight


Date:  Sunday, April 19.

Batting stars:  Cesar Tovar was 3-for-3 with a stolen base (his third) and two walks.  Brant Alyea was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourth), a double, and four RBIs.  Rich Reese was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched seven innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks and striking out four.  Ron Perranoski struck out two in two perfect innings.

Opposition stars:  Rick Monday was 2-for-4 with a double.  Dick Green was 2-for-4.  Reggie Jackson was 1-for-4 with a home run, his second.  Mudcat Grant pitched two shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins started the scoring in the third inning, when Perry singled, Tovar walked, and Rod Carew hit an RBI single.  A sacrifice fly made it 2-0 Twins.  In the fourth, Reese led off with a single and Alyea hit a two-run homer to increase the Twins' lead to 4-0.

The Athletics got on the board in the bottom of the fourth when Monday doubled, went to third on a passed ball, and scored on a ground out.  In the sixth, however, Harmon Killebrew singled, Reese doubled, and Alyea delivered a two-run double to make it 6-1.

Oakland loaded the bases in the sixth but did not score.  In the seventh, Green singled and Jackson followed with a two-run homer to cut the lead to 6-3.  But the Athletics had just one single after that, and the Twins went on to victory.

WP:  Perry (3-0).

LP:  Chuck Dobson (0-3).

S:  Perranoski (2).

Notes:  Jim Holt pinch-ran for Alyea in the sixth and stayed in the game in left field.  Frank Quilici replaced Killebrew at third base in the seventh.

Alyea raised his average to .458.  Tony Oliva was 0-for-3 and was batting .400.  Holt was 0-for-1 and was batting .375.  Carew was 1-for-5 and was batting .371.  Tovar was batting .324.

Reese got his average into triple digits at .160.

Perry had an ERA of 1.44.  Perranoski had an ERA of 2.25.

I mentioned yesterday the rarity of the four-inning save.  I has to be rarer still to get a four-inning save and then get a two-inning save the very next day.  I don't have time to research that, but it would be cool if someone did.

It's also probably rare for a team to use two pitchers, and have each pitcher have the same first four letters of their last name.

Dobson pitched five innings, allowing six runs on ten hits and a walk and striking out five.  His ERA for the young season was 9.22.  He would get straightened out--he would go 16-15, 3.74, and lead the league is starts (40) and shutouts (5).  Those were the only times he ever led the league in anything, but he was a fine pitcher until an elbow injury derailed his career after the 1971 season.

Oakland used three ex-Twins:  Don Mincher, Grant, and Jim Roland.

Record:  The Twins were 6-2, in first place in the American League West, a half game ahead of California.