Happy Birthday–May 28

Spider Baum (1882)
Jim Thorpe (1887)
Warren Giles (1896)
John Allyn (1917)
Bob Kuzava (1923)
Frank Saucier (1926)
Kirk Gibson (1957)
Bill Doran (1958)
Duane Ward (1964)
Mike Maksudian (1966)
Mike Difelice (1969)
Jhonny Peralta (1982)
Craig Kimbrel (1988)
Lester Oliveros (1988)
Huascar Ynoa (1998)

Spider Baum won 325 games in the minors between 1902-1920.  267 of those wins came in the Pacific Coast League.

Warren Giles was president of the National League from 1951-1969.

John Allyn was the owner of the Chicago White Sox from 1961-1975.

Frank Saucier is the player Eddie Gaedel pinch-hit for in 1951.

We would also like to wish a happy anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Philosofer.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–May 28

Random Rewind: 1985, Game One Hundred Fifty-three


Date:  Thursday, September 26.

Batting star:  Kent Hrbek was 3-for-4.

Pitching star:  Mike Smithson pitched an eight-inning complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks and striking out four.

Opposition stars:  Jose Guzman pitched 8.2 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and a walk and striking out five.  Gary Ward was 3-for-3 with a stolen base, his twenty-second.  Pete O'Brien was 1-for-1 with a home run (his twenty-first) and three walks.  I guess they should've walked him the other time, too.

The game:  The Twins put man on second and third with two out in the first inning but did not score.  That was as close as the Twins would come to scoring all night.

The Rangers didn't get anything accomplished in the first three innings, either, but in the fourth O'Brien hit a one-out homer to give Texas a 1-0 lead.  They added a run in the seventh on singles by Ward and Bob Jones, a walk to Duane Walker, and an infield out.

The Twins put one more threat together in the ninth, when Kent Hrbek and Tom Brunansky singled with two out.  Dwayne Henry came in and struck out Mark Salas to end the game.

WP:  Guzman (2-2).  LP:  Smithson (14-13).  S:  Henry (2).

Notes:  Jeff Reed, who was a September call-up, started behind the plate in place of Salas.  Salas mostly platooned with Tim Laudner in 1985.

Roy Smalley was at shortstop in place of Greg Gagne.  Smalley was used at DH more than any other position, but he still played a significant number of games at short in 1985.  Salas was the DH in this game.

Dave Engle pinch-hit for Reed in the eighth and stayed in the game behind the plate.  Gagne replaced Smalley at shortstop in the eighth.  Smalley would miss the next couple of games--perhaps he tweaked something.  If not, it seems odd to make a defensive substitution in a game you're losing by two runs.

Salas was batting .301.  He would be the team's lone .300 hitter, at least of players with a significant number of at-bats, as he finished at exactly .300.

The team leader in home runs was Brunansky at 27.  Hrbek had 21 and Gary Gaetti 20.  Also in double figures were Smalley (12), Randy Bush (10), and Tim Teufel (10).

Smithson had eight complete games in 1985.  From 1983-1986 he had 36 complete games and led the league in starts in two of those seasons.  That may be why he was pretty much done after 1986.

This was the year Bert Blyleven came back to the Twins in early August.  He was easily the team's best starter the rest of the season.  Other starters were SmithsonFrank ViolaJohn Butcher, and Ken Schrom.  Viola was the best of the rest, going 18-14, 4.09, 1.32 WHIP.

Even though he shut them down in this game, the Twins did pretty well most of the time against Guzman.  He was 5-6, 4.25, 1.45 WHIP against them.  This was only the fourth start of his major league career, as he came up as a September call-up.

Texas really didn't have a closer in 1985.  Seven different pitchers had saves, with Greg Harris leading with eleven.  Henry was in his rookie year, coming up in mid-August.

Record:  The Twins were 70-83, in sixth place in the American League West, 16.5 games behind California and Kansas City.  They would finish 77-85, tied for fourth with Oakland, 14 games behind Kansas City.

The Rangers were 58-94, in seventh (last) place in the American League West, 28 games behind California and Kansas City.  They would finish 62-99, in seventh place, 28.5 games behind Kansas City.

Random record:  The Twins are 29-27 in Random Rewind games.

Twins Top Moments: Final Four

Okay, no more need to show the videos.  I'm guessing you know who you're voting for.  We are down to four #1 seeds so I'm guessing I seeded this okay.

Which moment of the 1991 World Series was the best?

The Better Moment

  • Puckett Walk-Offs Game 6 (63%, 12 Votes)
  • Larkin Walks Off Game 7 (37%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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And finally, how do you compare these two moments?

The Better Moment

  • Twins Win 87 Series (79%, 15 Votes)
  • Mauer's Final Game (21%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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Happy Birthday–May 27

Frank Snyder (1894)
Pinky Higgins (1909)
Terry Moore (1912)
George O’Donnell (1929)
Jerry Kindall (1935)
Fred Bruckbauer (1938)
Jim Holt (1944)
Gary Nolan (1948)
Terry Collins (1949)
Mark Connor (1949)
Mark Clear (1956)
Ed Nunez (1963)
John Jaha (1966)
Jeff Bagwell (1968)
Frank Thomas (1968)
Todd Hundley (1969)
Jose Berrios (1994)

Terry Collins was the manager of Houston from 1994-96, of Anaheim from 1997-99, and of the Mets from 2011-2017.

Mark Connor pitched in the Twins’ minor league system from 1971-1972 before he suffered a career-ending arm injury.  He has been a pitching coach for the Yankees, Arizona, Toronto, Texas, and Baltimore.  He also was the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–May 27

Random Rewind: 1968, Game One Hundred Forty-three


Date:  Saturday, September 7.

Batting stars:  Ron Clark was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Graig Nettles was 2-for-4 with two home runs, his second and third.

Pitching stars:  Jim Perry pitched seven innings, giving up one run on seven hits and three walks and striking out four.  Al Worthington pitched two shutout innings, giving up a hit and a walk.

Opposition stars:  Pat Dobson pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and three walks and striking out four.  Mickey Stanley was 3-for-5.  Don Wert was 1-for-4 with a home run, his twelfth.

The game:  The Tigers had men on second and third with none out in the first, but a line drive double play took them out of the inning.  They had men on first and second with one out in the fourth, but the next two batters could not get the ball out of the infield and they were again turned aside.

Detroit got on the board in the fifth when Wert led off the inning with a home run.  Again, however, they missed a chance to get more, as they loaded the bases with two out and could not add to their lead.  It cost them, because in the next half-inning Nettles hit a two-out home run to tie it 1-1.

The Tigers got a man to second with two out in the seventh, and the Twins did the same in the eighth, but the score remained tied until the ninth, when Nettles led off the inning with a home run to give the Twins their first lead of the game at 2-1.  The Tigers got a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth, but did not advance the man past first base.

WP:  Worthington (4-5).  LP:  Dobson (5-6).  S:  None.

Notes:  Bruce Look was behind the plate in place of Johnny Roseboro.  This was Look's only season in the majors.  He batted .246 with an OBP of .353, pretty good numbers for 1968.  Granted, it was 139 plate appearances, but still, you'd think he might have gotten another chance.  Instead, he went to AAA Denver in 1969, batted .223, and played just two more season, both in AAA, before his career came to an end.

Rich Reese was at first base in place of Harmon Killebrew.  This, or course, was the year Killebrew was injured in the all-star game.  He came back in September but was mostly used as a pinch-hitter, never playing a full game the rest of the season.

Frank Quilici was at second base in place of Rod Carew, who missed a few games.  Clark was at shortstop.  Jackie Hernandez played the most games at short in 1968 with 79, but Clark was second with 44.  Rich Rollins was at third base.  Cesar Tovar played the most games at third in 1968 with 77, but Rollins was second at with 56.  Tovar was in center field in place of Ted Uhlaender, who missed a couple of weeks.  Nettles was in right field in place of Tony Oliva, whose season ended on August 31.

To sum up, of the eight regular listed by b-r.com, the only one to start the game at his regular position was left fielder Bob Allison.

Killebrew pinch-hit for Perry in the seventh.  Rick Renick came into the game at shortstop in the ninth inning, with Clark moving to third and Rollins coming out of the game.  Frank Kostro came into the game in left field and Jim Holt came into the game in right field, replacing Nettles and Allison.

Oliva led the team in batting at .289.  Uhlaender batted .283 and Carew it .273.  Of players used in this game, Tovar had the highest batting average at .272.

Allison led the team in home runs with 22.  Oliva had 18 and Killebrew had 17.

Perry was essentially the fifth starter in a four-man rotation, getting starts because of doubleheaders or injuries.  He had a tremendous season, though, going 8-6, 2.27, 1.00 WHIP.  The Twins' starters numbers sound impressive:  Dean Chance (16-16, 2.53, 0.98), Jim Kaat (14-12, 2.94, 1.12), Jim Merritt (12-16, 3.35, 1.09), and Dave Boswell (10-13, 3.32, 1.24.  On the other hand, the league ERA was 2.98, and the league WHIP was 1.19, so those numbers are perhaps not as impressive as they sound.  There's a reason they call it The Year of the Pitcher.

Record:  The Twins were 68-75, in seventh place in the American League, 22 games behind Detroit.  They would finish 79-83, in seventh place, 24 games behind Detroit.

The Tigers were 90-53, in first place in the American League, 8 games ahead of Baltimore.  They would finish 103-59, in first place, 12 games ahead of Baltimore.

Rewind record:  The Twins are 29-26 in rewind games.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.