1969 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty-one

CHICAGO 4, MINNESOTA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, October 1.

Batting stars:  Tony Oliva was 3-for-5.  Harmon Killebrew was 1-for-3 with a home run (his forty-ninth) and two walks.

Pitching stars:  Dick Woodson pitched two shutout innings, giving up two walks.  Al Worthington pitched a scoreless inning, giving up two hits.  Ron Perranoski pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Bob Christian was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Bobby Knoop was 2-for-3 with a walk.  Bill Melton was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer (his twenty-third) and a walk, scoring twice.  Billy Wynne pitched 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on nine hits and four walks and striking out one.  Wilbur Wood pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.

The game:  The Twins took an early lead.  With two out and none on in the first, Oliva singled and Killebrew hit a two-run homer to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead.  In the second, Christian doubled and Doug Adams singled, putting men on first and third, but Angel Bravo hit into a double play to end the inning.  The White Sox tied it in the fourth, however, as Gail Hopkins led off the inning with a single and Melton followed with a two-run homer.

With two out in the bottom of the fourth Leo Cardenas singled and Dave Boswell walked, but Graig Nettles struck out to end the inning.  In the fifth, Luis Aparicio singled, Melton drew a two-out walk, and Christian hit a two-run double to give Chicago a 4-2 lead.

The Twins got one back in the seventh but missed a chance for more.  With one out, Nettles singled and Rod Carew doubled, putting men on second and third.  Oliva singled home a run to make it 4-3, but Carew was held at third.  Killebrew was intentionally walked to load the bases, pushing Oliva to second with the go-ahead run.  The strategy worked, because Rich Reese popped up and Charlie Manuel grounded out.

The Twins mounted one more threat in the eighth.  George Mitterwald led off with a double-plus-error, reaching third with none out.  But Cardenas hit back to the pitcher, Bob Allison lined to short, and Nettles popped up.  The Twins went down in order in the ninth.

WP:  Wynne (7-7).  LP:  Boswell (20-12).  S:  Wood (15).

Notes:  The Twins used what had become their regular lineup for the first time in a while.  Reese was back at first base, his first appearance there since September 24.  Johnny Roseboro was back behind the plate.  They did use some substitutes.  Nettles came in to play left for Uhlaender in the second inning.  Manuel replaced Cesar Tovar in center field in the seventh inning, the only time in his career that Manuel played center field.  George Mitterwald replaced Roseboro in the sixth.

Carew was 1-for-5 and was batting .332.  Reese was 1-for-4 and was batting .320.  Oliva raised his average to .308.  Jim Holt was 1-for-1 and was batting .385.  Perranoski lowered his ERA to 2.12.

It is unusual, certainly, to walk a man with runners on first and third, especially when the man on first is the go-ahead run.  It shows the respect Killebrew was given at the time.  And they walked him to face Reese, who was having an excellent season.  They gained a platoon advantage, but Reese hit left-handers to the tune of .322/.367/.600, which is a pretty good tune.  Of course, this left-hander was the knuckleballing Wood, which may have made a difference.  At any rate, it worked.

This was the last major league game of Doug Adams' career.  It was a short career, as he was a September call-up in 1969 and never got back to the majors again.  I was really hoping to discover that forty-two was a significant number in his career, but sadly that is not the case.  A catcher, he played in 8 games and had 14 at-bats.  His career numbers are .214/.267/.214.  He presumably was considered a good defensive catcher, because he never hit much in the minors, either.  His career minor league numbers are .235/.321/.367.  His minor league career started in 1965 and ended in 1970.

Record:  The Twins were 96-65, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Oakland.  They had clinched first place in the division.

Happy Birthday–March 17

Fred Pfeffer (1860)
Oscar Stanage (1883)
Joe Fitzgerald (1897)
Charlie Root (1899)
Sammy Baugh (1914)
Hank Sauer (1917)
Pete Reiser (1919)
Vic Voltaggio (1941)
Cito Gaston (1944)
Kurt Russell (1951)
Tim Lollar (1956)
Frank Wren (1958)
Danny Ainge (1959)
John Smiley (1965)
Dan Masteller (1968)
Bill Mueller (1971)
Raul Chavez (1973)
Scott Downs (1976)
Robb Quinlan (1977)
Chris Davis (1986)

Joe Fitzgerald had a long association with the Minnesota/Washington franchise, serving as bullpen catcher from 1945-1947, coach from 1948-1956, and scout from 1957 until he passed away in 1967.

Hall of Fame quarterback Sammy Baugh was an infielder in the minors for St. Louis in 1938, batting .200 in the American Association and the International League.

Vic Voltaggio was an American League umpire from 1997-1996.

Actor Kurt Russell spent three years in the low minors (1971-1973), batting .292 in 356 at-bats.

Frank Wren has been the general manager of the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

NBA star Danny Ainge was a third baseman for Toronto from 1979-1981.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to AMR's sister.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 17

1969 Rewind: Game One Hundred Sixty

MINNESOTA 4, CHICAGO 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Tuesday, September 30.

Batting stars:  Leo Cardenas was 3-for-4.  Ted Uhlaender was 2-for-2.  Tony Oliva was 2-for-5.  Jim Holt was 1-for-1 with a home run.  George Mitterwald was 1-for-3 with a home run, his fifth.

Pitching star:  Jim Perry pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits and no walks and striking out two.

Opposition stars:  Walt Williams was 3-for-4 with two RBIs.  Tommy John pitched six innings, giving up two runs on nine hits and no walks and striking out four.

The game:  The Twins got two-out singles from Cesar Tovar and Oliva in the third, but did not score.  The White Sox got on the board in the fourth.  Williams led off with a single but was replaced on the bases by Luis Aparicio when Aparicio hit into a force out.  A ground out moved him to second and a Bill Melton single gave Chicago a 1-0 lead.

The Twins got the run back in the fourth.  Bob Allison led off with a single and went to second on a fly ball.  With two out, Cardenas delivered an RBI single to make it 1-1.  The Twins missed a chance to take the lead in the fifth, when two-out singles by Oliva and Harmon Killebrew went nowhere, but they went up 2-1 in the sixth when Mitterwald led off the inning with a home run.

The lead didn't even last a half-inning.  The first two White Sox were retired in the seventh, but then singles by Ken Berry, Bobby Knoop, and Ron Hansen loaded the bases and Williams hit a two-run single to make it 3-2 White Sox.

The Twins tied it in the eighth when Holt hit a two-out home run.  In the ninth, Rick Dempsey singled with one out.  Killebrew drew a two-out walk, and Uhlaender ended the game with a single that scored Dempsey.

WP:  Jim Kaat (14-13).  LP:  Danny Murphy (2-1).  S:  None.

Notes:  Allison started the game in left field, with Uhlaender on the bench.  Uhlaender pinch-hit in the eighth inning and went to center field.  Cesar Tovar had started the game in center field, but came out of the game when Dempsey entered the game to catch.  George Mitterwald had started the game at catcher, but Graig Nettles pinch-hit for him in the eighth.  Nettles remained in the game in left field.

Cotton Nash started the game at first, with Killebrew on third.  It was his only start of 1969 and one of two starts he made in his major league career.

Frank Quilici was at second base, with Rod Carew on the bench.  Regular catcher Johnny Roseboro was also on the bench.

Holt's home run in the eighth came as a pinch-hitter.  It was the first home run of his major league career.  He hit nineteen homers in his career, eleven of them in 1973, when he was the Twins' mostly-regular left fielder.  He actually did pretty well that season, batting .297/.341/.442.  It was the only good year he had, though.  The Twins traded him to Oakland in August of 1974, and by 1976 he was out of baseball.

It seems strange that Kaat was used for three innings of relief in a meaningless game, especially when the expanded rosters allowed for more pitchers.  I'm sure Kaat was fine with it--from what I've read he'd have pitched every day if they'd let him--but it doesn't seem like it was necessarily the smartest move.

This was the first loss of Danny Murphy's career.  He had come up in the middle of August and pitched really well, going 2-1, 2.01, 1.21 WHIP in 31.1 innings (17 games).  He could not sustain it in 1970, going 2-3, 5.69, 1.26 WHIP, although he did manage to stay with the club all season.  The White Sox traded him to Boston, he was in AAA for all of 1971, and then he was done.  Murphy had actually started his major league career in 1960 as a seventeen-year-old outfielder for the Cubs.  He had been a big star in high school and received a $100,000 bonus from the Cubs--while no source actually says so, I suspect he got caught in the "bonus baby" rule that required him to be in the majors.  He was used as a reserve and clearly wasn't ready, batting .120/.175/.187 in 81 plate appearances.  He played briefly with the Cubs in 1961 and 1962 as well.  He hit well in AA in 1963 and 1964, but struggled when promoted to AAA in 1965.  He made a handful of appearances as a pitcher in 1965 but turned to it full-time in 1966, at age twenty-three.  One has to wonder what would've happened had he been allowed to make a normal progression to the major leagues, but of course we'll never know.

Record:  The Twins were 96-64, in first place in the American League West, nine games ahead of Oakland.  The Twins had clinched first place in the division.

Happy Birthday–March 16

Bud Fowler (1847)
Blondie Purcell (1854)
Jerry Denny (1859)
Patsy Donovan (1865)
Jake Flowers (1902)
Buddy Myer (1904)
Lloyd Waner (1906)
Ken O'Dea (1913)
Tom Gorman (1919)
Clint Courtney (1927)
Hobie Landrith (1930)
Don Blasingame (1932)
Rick Reichardt (1943)
Rick Renick (1944)
Charles Hudson (1959)
Fieldin Culbreth (1963)
Abraham Nunez (1976)
Curtis Granderson (1981)
Stephen Drew (1983)
Brandon League (1983)
Mickey Storey (1986)

Bud Fowler was the first African-American to play professional baseball, playing in the minors in 1878 and from 1884-1894.

Tom Gorman was a National League umpire from 1951-1977.  His son Brian is currently a major league umpire.

Fieldin Culbreth has been a major league umpire since 1993.  His full name is Fieldin Henry Culbreth III.

Mickey Storey was drafted by Minnesota in the 22nd round in 2007, but did not sign.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–March 16

FMD — Super Groups

Remember back in the 70s when Super Groups were a thing? For all you youngsters, a Super Group was when members of various bands or solo artists would get together to form one Super Group or band. Creem is generally considered the first Super Group (or at least named as such) CSNY is an obvious one, perhaps the Travelling Wilbury's too, although that band could've been considered a "one-off."

Generally Super Groups fell out of favor by the 80s, another version of dinosaur rock that was bestowed on these aging rockers. I bring this up because there seems to be a slight surge in Super Group-ism. Boy Genius was formed by three accomplished solo artists and on Saturday I saw the Flesheaters, which consisted of Punk poet Chris D, but two members of X, two members of The Blasters, and the saxophone player from Los Lobos. Clearly a Super Group of the early 80's Punk scene.

Any favorite Super Group? Any Super Group that was more popular or accomplished than the bands they came from? Any Super Groups you wish had never formed?

Of course drop your lists if you got 'em.

Remodeled basement. Same half-baked taste.