Changes or additions to the site

  • Updated Twins Minor League History page to include 2015 stats. 11/13/2015.
  • Added 2015 Twins Season Summary Media Guide to the Twins Media Guide page. 10/26/2015
  • Updated the Twins TV Ratings page. 10/9/2015
  • Updated 2015 attendance stats on “Attendance” page. 10/5/2015
  • Updated Audio & Video clips page with cool 22 minute video about the 1970 Twins narrated by manager Bill Rigney. 8/16/2015
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The Twins 2015 Turkey of Year winner is:

Turkey CartoonHappy Thanksgiving! It is once again that time of the year to select our annual Twins Turkey of the Year winner. This year we get to select our seventh annual Twins Turkey of the Year award winner, who will be lucky number seven? As always we have plenty of blue-chip candidates to scrutinize, analyze, and reflect on. First off we need to narrow the list down to a manageable size.

Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe

Didn’t make the final fiveTrevor Plouffe – Trevor makes the list not because of bad hitting or fielding but he makes this list because he managed to make three outs on the base paths in just one game. In the June 19 game in which the Twins beat the Chicago Cubs 7-2 at Target Field, Plouffe seemingly forgot how to run the bases. Mike Berardino did a nice piece on it that you can read here. Plouffe went 2 for 4 with 4 RBI in a game the Twins won so everyone got some chuckles out of Plouffe’s misadventures but it was still a game that Plouffe will never forget. Box score.

Phil Hughes 2015Didn’t make the final fivePhil Hughes – In his first season with Minnesota in 2014 had a 3.52 ERA and a 16-10 record with a record-breaking BB9 of 0.7 for a team that won 70 games. In 2015 Hughes spend a month on the DL due to lower back issues and missed 32 games. Because of his injury he pitched just 155 innings versus 209+ in 2014 and had a 4.40 ERA with an 11-9 record when the Twins won 83 games. The only thing that Hughes was a league leader in was home runs allowed with 29. The Twins were so pleased with Hughes work that after the 2014 season ended that Hughes, 28, was rewarded with a three-year extension worth $42 million that brings his total contract value to $66 million over six years, including 2014 when he made $8 million. Hughes, who was slated to make $8 million in both 2015 and ’16, will now make $9.2 million each of those years before making $13.2 million per season from 2017-19. I sure hope that Hughes doesn’t turn out to be another money pit.

Glen Perkins 2015Didn’t make the final fiveGlen Perkins – You have to wonder why a closer who has made the AL All-Star team for the last three seasons was nominated for the 2015 Twins Turkey of the Year award and an opportunity to become the first two-time winner of this honor. That won’t happen this year because there were so many more qualified candidates so why is he even here? During the first three months of the season Perkins had 28 saves but from July 9 until the season ended opposing batters hit .348 off Perkins and he had a total of 4 saves, a 6.97 ERA and gave up 7 home runs in 20.2 innings and in the process lost his closer role to Kevin Jepsen. In 2014 Perkins had a similar meltdown from about mid August through the end of the season although he was shut down for the season on September 17.  From August 19 until the season ended Perkins had a 9.64 ERA and allowed batters to hit .342 off him (not to mention giving up five home runs)  while he registered 3 saves and lost 3 games. Has Perkins who will be 33 when the 2016 season opens lost it? Perkins is kind of a Jeckle and Hyde personality. He has a reputation for being a big community guy in the limelight and in public but one on one with fans when there are no cameras around Perkins can be a snob and pretty mean to fans trying to get his autograph. But what gets me is that Perkins doesn’t bring up the fact that he is injured until he has a number of bad outings in a row and then he blames his injuries for his bad pitching. Perkins is all about Perkins and not exactly a team player or leader in my book.





Danny Santana

Danny Santana

Didn’t make the final five – troika of Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas and Oswaldo Arcia – The Twins expected all three of these guys to win starting jobs in 2015 and they all failed miserably and yet the Twins improved by 13 wins from the previous season. If just one of these guys had the kind of season that was expected of them the Twins would have been playing playoff baseball in October. I know, I know, “if the bear hadn’t stopped to take a dump in the woods he would still be alive today.” All three of these guys will turn 25 in 2016 so it is too early to give up on them but at the same time their futures with the Twins have dimmed considerably. The Twins have already stated that Eduardo Escobar is the lead dog at shortstop going into 2016. The Twins are exploring selling Kennys Vargas to a team in Korea and Oswaldo Arcia is supposedly trade bait. It would be a shame if all three fail to become major league players with Minnesota. Each of them have shown they can be quality players in their rookie seasons but the sophomore year has proven to be much tougher. I hope the Twins hang on to these guys for at least one more season so they have another opportunity to prove they can help the Twins. And now we move on to the finalists!

Tim Stauffer

Tim Stauffer

Fourth runner-up – Tim Stauffer – The Twins signed Stauffer as a free agent on December 23, 2014 for $2.2 million and it made for a great Christmas gift for Stauffer but for the Twins it turned out to be lump of coal. The Twins said that they would give the 33 year-old Stauffer who had started just four games since 2011 an opportunity to make the starting rotation in the spring but he failed there so the Twins moved him to the bullpen. In April, Stauffer appeared in 8 games pitching 9.2 innings, allowing 16 hits, 6 walks, 10 runs, allowed opposing batters to hit .372 and put up a 8.38 ERA. To be fair I should mention he did strike out 2 of the 50 batters he faced. Stauffer went on the DL on May 1 for a “right intercostal strain” and was reactivated on May 22. Who recovers from an intercostal strain in just three weeks? Anyway, the Twins used Stauffer two times in May and three times in June before the Twins released him on June 17 and sent his butt packing. Stauffer eventually signed as a FA with the Mets. That was a quick $2.2 million down the crapper. I give the Twins credit for trying to upgrade the bullpen with this signing but this will certainly not go on anyone’s resume as one of their better finds.

Torii Hunter 2015Third runner-up – Torii Hunter – The Twin paid $10.5 million to free agent Torii Hunter to get his services for the past season. That is a lot of money to pay an outfielder who was starting his nineteenth big league season and would turn 40 at mid-season. Torii was the Twins number one selection and 20th overall in the 1993 draft. Technically, Torii was a compensation pick from the Cincinnati Reds after they signed Twins free agent pitcher John Smiley. The Twins also had a supplemental pick in round 1 number 33 overall for losing Smiley and they selected RHP Marc Barcelo but he never reached the big leagues. The Twins own pick was number 21 and they used that to select catcher Jason Varitek but he decided not to sign with Minnesota. That same year they received another first round supplemental pick in round 1 which was number 38 overall for the loss of Greg Gagne to and they used that pick on outfielder Kelcey Mucker who never reached the big leagues either. After being drafted in 1993 Hunter made his major league debut with the Twins on August 22, 1997 as a pinch runner in his only big league appearance that season. So why is Torii on the list after all this? He is here because he made a fool of himself and the Minnesota Twins during his news conference to announce his return to the Minnesota Twins after a seven year hiatus. Hunter responded to a question from Twins beat reporter Mike Berardino by calling the reporter a “prick.” Not once, twice, thrice but four times. You can see it here on the Deadspin video. Hunter is no rookie in front of a microphone and could have handled the situation much better versus creating a scene at an event to reintroduce him to Twins fans. Very unprofessional in my opinion for a person that was brought back not only to play right field but was brought back to help teach the Twins younger players how to act and play the game the right way in the major leagues. Shame on you Torii!

Joe Mauer 2015Second runner-upJoe Mauer – Mauer’s 12th season in a Twins uniform had its up’s and down’s, he played in a career high 158 games and had a career high 666 plate appearances but on the other side of the coin he had career lows in batting average by hitting .265 and OBP with a .338. In the last four seasons he has struck out 88, 89, 96 and 112 times as to compared to his previous high strike out mark of 64. The former MVP and six-time all-star hung up his catchers gear after the 2013 season primarily due to concussion issues and took over first base duties on a full-time basis. Joe and his wife Maddie also started a family in 2013 when Maddie gave birth to twin girls on July 24. Since 2013 Mauer’s batting skills have gone down hill quicker than Ingemar Stenmark. The question is why, is it just age, is it his personal life where all of a sudden his marriage and children become more important on his list of priorities (as they should) or was it giving up catching and moving to first base. No one knows the answer to that except Mauer himself but I think that Mauer saw himself as a Hall of Fame catcher and once he realized his catching career was over the game just wasn’t the same challenge it once was and subconsciously Mauer has lost interest in doing what it takes to be the best, and family time has moved up on his list of priorities. The problem is that Mauer’s $23 million salary chewed up about 23% of the teams opening day payroll, he is so even-tempered he never seems to show any emotion, he shows no outward signs of being a team leader and he is a local legend born in St. Paul. Right or wrong, the general public associates big money with leadership and Mauer has shown nothing in that regard. Twins fans want to see the team win and when you have a guy that hits 10 home runs, knocks in just 66 RBI hitting in the three hole and makes $23 million, you have a problem. Manager Paul Molitor had Mauer in the number 3 spot in the batting order 133 times this past season. Mauer has appeared in 1,453 games and he has started a game in the number 3 spot a total of 1,143 times and he has hit in the number 2 spot 228 times. Back in 2004 and 2005 he hit in the 6, 7 and 8 hole a total of 22 times. Yet, Molitor continues to say this off-season that there is no real reason not to have Mauer bat third. I can’t believe that Mauer would object to being put in a lower spot in the order to help the team win. If he does, then we have a real problem because the Twins are on the hook to pay Mauer who has a full no trade clause $23 million for the next three seasons. If Joe Mauer is in the three spot in the batting order in 2016 (unless he is on a tear) it will be on Paul Molitor and he will be high on next years Twins Turkey of the Year ballot and he should be updating his resume.

Ervin Santana 2015This years Twins Turkey of the Year runner-up isErvin Santana – Last December Ervin Santana agreed to a four-year deal with the Twins worth around $54 million. That would be the largest free agent contract in Twins history, narrowly topping last year’s four-year, $49 million deal with RHP Ricky Nolasco. So how did the right-handed throwing Santana repay the Twins? MLB announced on April 3, 2015 just days before the 2015 season started that Santana has been suspended for 80 games without pay leaving the Twins without their number two starter. Santana was suspended after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. In a statement released through the players’ union, Santana said he did not know how the PED got into his system. Stanozolol is by far one of the most popular anabolic steroids of all time. This is an anabolic steroid that has gained worldwide media attention numerous times. It was the Stanozolol hormone that made headlines during the 1988 Olympics when Ben Johnson was stripped of his medal, and has been linked to the MLB more times than can be counted. It is important to take stanozolol regularly to get the most benefit. If that is the case then how could Santana not know that he ingested it? If you know you are in line to sign a big contract why would you take a chance and take anabolic steroids? Questions only Santana can answer. The good news? It saved the Twins $6.75 million but the bad news is that it probably cost the Twins a playoff spot. The Twins have Santana for the next three years plus another possible option year, Santana better start paying back some of the faith the Twins placed in him.

Ricky Nolasco 2015The Twins 2015 Turkey of the Year winner in a landslide is pitcher Ricky Nolasco. The Minnesota Twins announced on December 3, 2013 that they have signed free agent right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco to a four-year contract worth $49 million with a club option that could vest in 2018. Twins fans were ecstatic, this was the biggest free agent deal the Twins had ever done and it was for a starting pitcher. What could go wrong? Nolasco will earn a guaranteed $12 million salary in each year of the contract (2014-2017). Nolasco was 6-12 with a 5.38 ERA in 27 starts in 2014. Nolasco missed 32 games with right elbow soreness that season by spending July 7 through September 15 on the disabled list. This past season Nolasco had a deceiving 5-2 record with a 6.75 ERA. In 37.1 innings Nolasco gave up 50 hits and walked 14 more while striking out 35. It seems Nolasco can’t stay healthy, in his first trip to the DL this year from April 11 through May 2 for right elbow inflammation, he missed 21 games. His next trip to the DL lasted from June 4 to September 25 for a right ankle impingement issue which caused him to miss 103 games. When he returned from his second trip to the DL, Nolasco appeared in 2 games, relieving in one and starting the other. In those two games he pitched a total of 4.2 innings, allowed 8 earned runs, walked four, and allowed 6 hits, two of them were home runs. On the plus side, he struck out 7 batters. WOW! I wonder what he can do for an encore! I sure hope we Twins fans get more than what Nolasco has shown us so far for that $49 million that Jim Pohlad spent to get him to come to Minnesota. So far all Nolasco has given us are excuses.



Previous Twins Turkey of Year Winners

2014 – Outfielder Aaron Hicks
2013 – Twins President Dave St. Peter
2012 – Twins owner Jim Pohlad
2011 – Catcher Joe Mauer
2010 – Infielder Brendan Harris
2009 – Pitcher Glen Perkins



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No-hitters and near no-hitters in Twins history

No-hitterSince the Twins started play in April of 1961 there have been 148 complete game no-hitters thrown in the majors, Minnesota Twins pitchers have thrown five of them.

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP R BB SO Pit BF
1 Francisco Liriano 2011-05-03 CHW W 1-0 SHO9, W 9.0 0 6 2 123 30
2 Eric Milton 1999-09-11 ANA W 7-0 SHO9, W 9.0 0 2 13 122 28
3 Scott Erickson 1994-04-27 MIL W 6-0 SHO9, W 9.0 0 4 5 128 31
4 Dean Chance 1967-08-25 (2) CLE W 2-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 5 8 31
6 Jack Kralick 1962-08-26 KCA W 1-0 SHO9, W 9.0 0 1 3 28

During that same time frame (1961-present) MLB pitchers have thrown 534 complete game one-hitters and came with-in spitting distance of getting their name on the no-hitter list. Eleven different Twins pitchers accomplished that feat and Bert Blyleven did it three times in a Twins uniform.

Bert Blyleven

Bert Blyleven

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R BB SO Pit BF
1 Scott Baker 2007-08-31 (2) KCR W 5-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 1 9 111 29
2 Scott Erickson 1992-07-24 (1) BOS W 5-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 2 3 106 30
3 Ken Schrom 1985-06-26 KCR W 2-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 1 5 4 32
4 Geoff Zahn 1980-06-06 TOR W 5-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 3 6 32
5 Dave Goltz 1977-08-23 BOS W 7-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 3 10 32
6 Bert Blyleven 1974-07-04 TEX W 3-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 1 4 6 32
7 Bert Blyleven 1973-09-26 OAK W 4-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 1 1 8 29
8 Jim Kaat 1973-07-01 CAL W 2-1 CG 9, W 9.0 1 1 0 7 29
9 Bert Blyleven 1973-05-24 KCR W 2-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 2 7 30
10 Dean Chance 1967-05-11 KCA W 8-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 6 8 34
11 Dave Boswell 1966-07-30 BAL W 7-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 1 11 30
12 Mudcat Grant 1965-09-25 (1) WSA W 5-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 2 7 30
13 Gerry Arrigo 1964-06-26 (1) CHW W 2-0 SHO9, W 9.0 1 0 1 8 31

In 55 seasons of play the Twins have had one or fewer hits in a game 36 times and on five of those occasions they were not able to muster even a single hit. This past season the Twins had only a single hit in a game three times which tied them with 1980 when they also were one-hit three times.

Rk Date Opp Rslt PA R H BB SO LOB GmLen
1 2015-08-14 CLE L 1-6 28 1 1 1 7 0 146
2 2015-07-31 SEA L 1-6 30 1 1 1 11 2 143
3 2015-06-09 KCR L 0-2 31 0 1 4 5 4 170
4 2013-05-24 DET L 0-6 31 0 1 3 12 4 155
5 2012-05-05 SEA L 0-7 30 0 1 2 10 3 153
6 2012-05-02 LAA L 0-9 29 0 0 1 9 2 148
7 2011-09-05 (2) CHW L 0-4 28 0 1 0 9 1 146
8 2011-04-02 TOR L 1-6 30 1 1 4 7 2 150
9 2010-08-23 TEX L 0-4 32 0 1 6 9 5 160
10 2008-05-06 CHW L 1-7 32 1 1 3 5 4 147
11 2005-08-23 CHW W 1-0 27 1 1 2 3 2 128
12 2000-08-01 BAL L 0-10 32 0 1 2 15 5 173
13 1998-07-16 SEA L 0-3 31 0 1 3 11 4 151
14 1998-05-17 NYY L 0-4 27 0 0 0 11 0 160
15 1988-05-21 TEX L 0-3 30 0 1 2 2 3 139
16 1987-06-26 TEX L 0-1 31 0 1 6 7 4 146
17 1985-08-19 MIL L 1-4 29 1 1 0 8 1 138
18 1985-07-14 DET L 0-8 31 0 1 3 7 4 148
19 1982-09-28 (1) TOR L 0-3 28 0 1 1 2 1 93
20 1982-09-04 BAL L 0-3 30 0 1 2 7 3 123
21 1980-10-05 KCR L 0-4 32 0 1 3 2 5 125
22 1980-08-21 (2) DET L 2-4 31 2 1 3 6 2 127
23 1980-04-23 CAL L 0-17 33 0 1 4 1 6 161
24 1976-08-10 BAL L 0-2 29 0 1 1 5 2 127
25 1976-06-14 BOS L 0-5 30 0 1 4 2 3 140
26 1974-09-28 CAL L 0-4 35 0 0 8 15 8 142
27 1970-09-21 OAK L 0-6 28 0 0 1 9 1 141
28 1970-08-13 WSA L 0-1 28 0 1 1 7 1 122
29 1969-08-10 BAL L 0-2 31 0 1 3 8 4 118
30 1969-05-15 BAL L 0-5 29 0 1 2 6 2 141
31 1968-05-08 OAK L 0-4 27 0 0 0 11 0 148
32 1967-04-30 (2) WSA L 0-3 29 0 1 2 0 2 120
33 1964-09-06 BOS W 2-1 27 2 1 1 4 1 125
34 1964-09-02 BAL L 0-2 29 0 1 1 10 2 134
35 1962-09-10 LAA L 0-5 31 0 1 2 9 4 128
36 1961-09-24 WSA L 1-4 30 1 1 2 6 2 140
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/20/2015.


A great summary of near no-hitters by Stew Thornley called Lost in the Ninth.

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Remembering 1965 – Part 35 – Versalles landslide winner in AL MVP voting

versalles, Zoilo 6The Minnesota Twins 25 year-old two-time All-Star shortstop became the first Twins player in their short five-year history to win the American League MVP award when he garnered 275 points, just five short of a perfect score. Second place finisher Tony Oliva received the only other first place vote. The Twins had four players in the top ten with pitcher Mudcat Grant finishing sixth and catcher Earl Battey finishing tenth.

Latino’s make up a large percentage of MLB team rosters today but back in the 60’s that was not the case. When Zoilo Versalles won the 1965 AM MVP award he became the first Latino to ever win a MVP award in the major leagues. Roberto Clemente, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, and Rod Carew are all Hall of Fame players and considered to be great Latino players but many other Latino players like Zoilo Versalles and Tony Oliva should not be forgotten for all the great contributions they made in establishing Latino’s as major league ball players. I am not saying that Versalles is a Hall of Fame player by any means but the man was a very good player and his play, particularly in 1965 should not be forgotten.

Sporting News Nov 27, 1965 P6

Sporting News Dec 6, 1965 P15

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Looking at consecutive games strike out streaks

Byron Buxton 2015The 2015 Twins struck out 1,254 times, their third highest total in team history but well short of their 1,430 strike outs in 2013 which was an all time franchise high. I wanted to find out what Twins batter holds the record for striking out in the most consecutive games when looking over the entire 55 years that the Twins have called Minnesota home. So I checked with B-R play index and was surprised to find out that it was Byron Buxton and second on the list was Miguel Sano. Buxton struck out in 21 consecutive games between June 16 and September 2. Number 2 on the list is Sano with an 18 consecutive game strike out streak. So here is the top ten list of Twins batters with strike outs in the most consecutive games ranging from 21 to 15. Oddly enough four Twins players made the list this year. Joining Buxton and Sano we have Brian Dozier with a 16 game and Eddie Rosario with a 15 game streak. The name on this list that jumps out at me is Joe Mauer, the young Mauer hardly ever struck out and the older Mauer, well, that’s another story.

Rk Name Strk Start End Games AB SO BA
1 Byron Buxton 2015-06-16 2015-09-02 21 80 32 .200
2 Miguel Sano 2015-08-13 2015-09-02 18 67 32 .299
3 Chris Colabello 2014-04-25 2014-05-15 17 64 27 .125
4 George Mitterwald 1971-08-23 1971-09-26 17 60 26 .300
5 Brian Dozier 2015-07-19 2015-08-06 16 65 25 .185
6 Joe Mauer 2013-04-30 2013-05-19 16 65 23 .415
7 Tim Laudner 1984-04-27 1984-06-17 16 58 22 .190
8 Eddie Rosario 2015-08-16 2015-09-02 15 58 24 .259
9 Chris Colabello 2013-08-15 2013-09-09 15 51 23 .157
10 Dustan Mohr 2003-06-01 2003-06-22 15 47 21 .170
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/12/2015.


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“Earning” the big bucks?

American dollar bills raining down According to the MLB Salary Rankings the following players earned pocketed the biggest salaries in 2015. Some earned their money and others did not but it is fun to be an arm-chair quarterback and review the results. You can argue that nobody deserves the kind of money that baseball players receive today but you would be shoveling sand against the tide. Owners are willing to pay these players the big bucks because in some cases they want to win at any cost and in other cases because (in my opinion) they are just plain stupid.

Here in Minnesota we have Minnesota born Joe Mauer earning $23 million a year and he still has three years on his contract. Fans have been all over Mauer for his performance or lack there of for a number of years now but the complaining has gotten louder and more vocal since Mauer threw away his catching gear and bought himself a first baseman’s mitt. It hasn’t helped that the team lost 90+ games each season from 2011 through 2014 before turning things around in 2015.

  1. The highest paid player was Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw who pocketed a cool $32,571,428 in 2015. The Dodgers won their division with 92 wins but lost in the NLDS and they were done. Kershaw was the highest paid player in baseball in 2015 but an argument can be made that he was only the second best pitcher in the Dodgers starting rotation.  Kershaw has five more years remaining on his contract and each season will cost at least $34.5 million. Was Kershaw worth $32 million this year? I don’t think so, he had a good year but was not worth $32+ million.
  2. The second highest paid player in baseball this year was Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander at $28,000,000. Verlander will be 33 when he starts the 2016 season and he is guaranteed $28 million a year for four more seasons and then there is a $22 million vesting option for the following season (2020) if he finished in the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019. Did Verlander earn his keep in 2015? No way, he only started 20 games and won five of them, so the cost per win was $5.6 million. Ouch!
  3. The third spot on the big money list is a tie between pitchers Cliff Lee and Zack Greinke along with first baseman Ryan Howard at $25,000,000. Nobody won fewer games (63) than the hapless Phillies, the manager resigned, the GM was fired and Cliff Lee due to injuries contributed zero innings pitched to the Phillies cause. The Phillies have a team option on the 37 year-old Lee in 2016 for $27.5 million but more than likely will buy him out for $12.5 million. The soon to be 36 year-old Ryan Howard’s case for $25 million was darn just as bad. Howard hit .229 with a .227 OBP in 129 games. Howard has the Phillies on the hook for another $25 million in 2016 and a team option at $23 million in 2017 with a $10 million buyout. Howard should be arrested for “grand theft”. Lee was hurt but that is no excuse, he contributed zippo and hasn’t had double-digit wins since 2013. Dodger pitcher Zack Greinke had a very good season and if you argue that a good pitcher is worth $25 million a season then “the Donald” (Yes that is really his first name) is your guy based on his 19-3 record and 1.66 ERA.
  4. The next man up is King Felix, the ace of the Mariners staff. Felix Hernandez was 18-9 with a 3.53 ERA, it was his highest ERA since 2007 and he fell short of 200 strikeouts for the first time since 2008. However, he did all this for a team that won just 76 games. Hernandez who will only be 30 when the 2016 season begins earned his $24,857,000 salary in 2015 and will make between $25 million each season for the next four years. Oddly enough the team has a $1 million option on him in 2020 based on some injury stipulations.
  5. From  King Felix we go to Prince Albert Pujols the soon to be 36 year-old first baseman in the land of the Angels. Pujols who earned $24 million bounced back in 2015 with 40 round trippers and 95 RBI in 157 games but he hit only .244 and his OBP has been dropping like a rock since 2010. But Pujols has to love fantasy land because he will collect $25 million next season and then is guaranteed a million dollar raise each season through 2020. In 2021 when Pujols is 41 the Angels have a $30 million option and best of all, Pujols has a 10 year $10 million personal services deal with the team once he quits playing. We should change Pujols nickname from Prince Albert to Jesse James. Earth to Angels……..anybody there? This contract makes Joe Mauer’s deal look like child’s play. Next man up is another prince, Prince Fielder 1B and DH from the Texas Rangers. After missing most of 2014 due to injury the Prince bounced back this past season and was selected as the AL Come-Back player of the year. Keep in mind that Fielder has been in the big leagues for 10 full seasons and in nine of those seasons he played in 157 or more games and four times he played in 162 games. The man comes to play. The six-time All-Star hit .305 and had 23 home runs and 98 RBI also made $24 million this season and will continue to be paid at that rate for five more season’s. Only $18 million of the money is paid by the Rangers as the Tigers will chip in $6 million each year. Did Prince earn his money? You make the call, but I should tell you that 13 other major league players hit more than 23 home runs and knocked in more than 98 runs and did not make this kind of money. Let’s move on to the third of the $24 million dollar amigo’s, Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano has been in the big leagues for 11 season’s, nine of them with the Yankees. Cano is a very good player but at 33 years of age is on the decline. However, his salary is not as he is owed $192 million by the Mariners over the next 8 season’s and in his last season under this deal he will be 40 years old. Good luck with that deal!
  6. Next man up is Yankee 1B Mark Teixeira who earned $23,1215,000 this past season and is in the books to earn the same amount in his final year of his contract in 2016. Tex will be 36 early next season and last played a full season in 2011. Teixeira did hit .255 with 31 home runs this past year in that bandbox that they call Yankee Stadium. Can Tex look in the mirror and ask himself “Did I earned my pay?” I don’t think so, even in today’s world of inflated salaries you have to show up for work more than 69% of the time to make that kind of money.
  7. We move on to the fifth pitcher making this list, 35 year-old lefty CC Sabathia from the New York Yankees who made $23 million this past season. CC is guaranteed $25 million for 2016 and $25 million more in 2017 if he avoids a couple of injury stipulations. The man has made at least 28 starts a year in 14 of his 15 big league seasons, you have to give the big guy credit for that. Does he still pitch like a $23 million pitcher? No way!

This past post season only three of the teams mentioned above (Dodgers, Yankees and Rangers) made the playoffs and none of them advanced past the ALDS round. Just goes to show that money can’t buy you happiness. Let’s take a look at recent World Series winners and see how much money their highest paid player made.

2015 Royals – Alex Gordon at $12.5 million

2014 Giants – Matt Cain at $20 million (pitched total of 90 inning & did not appear in post season play)

2013 Red Sox – John Lackey at $15.25 million

2012 Giants – Barry Zito at $19 million (15-8 with a 4.15 ERA)

2011 Cardinal – Matt Holliday at $16.318 million

2010 Giants – Barry Zito at $18.5 million (9-14 with 4.15 ERA)

The fans keep pressuring team owners to sign their stars and acquire additional free agents to long-term deals. Just for discussion let’s assume a long-term deal is five years or longer. What percentage of long-term deals pays off for the team over the length of the contract? I don’t know of any study that has analyzed that but I believe that the percentage has to be low. Assuming that is the case, why sign players to these long terms?

I believe the main reason is that team owners feel they need to offer long-term deals to be competitive with the other teams competing for the same player. To me that seems just plain dumb. Offer the player a more lucrative deal for a shorter time frame and you will still get players to sign and you will save money and probably a roster spot. Another dumb move by team owners is the fact that they give players the option to bail out on a long-term deal after a certain number of years. Again, D-U-M-B! Why doesn’t the team get an option to terminate the deal after a few years if they wish to do so?

I am not trying to side with the owners here, I am looking to see how teams can avoid getting bogged down with a player or two on the roster making too high a percentage of the overall team payroll and thus making that team un-competitive because they can’t afford to pay the rest of their players.

On the other side of the coin star players draw fans and fans spend money, buy tickets, watch more games on TV and the teams revenue increases. But the excitement of signing a new player to a big deal is short-lived and then fans often turn on the player and the team for not performing based on the huge deal he signed. It appears to me that signing players to shorter deals lessens the owner risk and give the team the opportunity to sign another player and start the excitement all over again.

Joe Mauer 2015The Twins have a unique situation with the St. Paul born Joe Mauer. Mauer signed an eight year deal back in 2010 for $184 million with a full no trade clause. Now, Mauer who was a catcher at the time has moved to first base and his hitting no longer measures up. What do you do with a home born player making that much money, who will be 33 in April, hit 10 home runs and knocked in only 66 runs with a .265 batting average in 666 plate appearances primarily in the number three spot in your batting order? The Twins are not a team that can put a guy making $23 million on the bench and he has a full no trade deal. If you could trade him who would take him? The Twins would have to pay someone big bucks to take him but yet if you leave him in the line-up he is taking up a spot that is not producing as it should for a young team that is getting ready to make the playoffs. What kind of message does that send to the team and the fans? A heck of a dilemma, but have faith, all is not lost, baseball owners and GM’s have proven over the years that there is always somebody out there that is willing to take your deadwood off your hands because there is always a chance that he will have one more great season in him and that they can catch lightning in a bottle one more time.

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10th Annual Fall Stars Game to be televised and played on Saturday

AFL logoThe Arizona Fall League’s 10th annual Fall Stars Game presented by Bowman Baseball Cards will be played at 6:08 p.m. AZ (7:08 p.m. CT) this Saturday, November 7 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. MLB Network and plan to televise the game.

Burdi, Nick 2Walker, Adam Brett 2015 AFLTwo players from the Twins system, outfielder Adam Brett Walker and pitcher Nick Burdi have been selected to represent the Minnesota Twins in 2015. Last year outfielder Eddie Rosario was the Twins representative.


2015 AFL Fall Stars Game Rosters

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This Day in Twins History – November 6

Jim Perry

Jim Perry

11/6/1970 – Minnesota Twins pitcher Jim Perry wins the American League Cy Young award in a close race. Perry receives 55 points to edge out Dave McNally (47), Sam McDowell (45), and Mike Cuellar (44). Perry is the first Twins Cy Young award winner.

Bill Campbell11/6/1976 – After having a career year with the Twins, reliever Bill Campbell becomes one of the first players to cash in on the new free-agent system. The reliever signs with the Red Sox for big money, a four-year, one-million dollar contract with an option for a fifth season.

11/6/2001 – MLB owners vote 28-2 to contract two teams before the 2002 season.  They tell the players’ association that the Minnesota Twins and the Montreal Expos are the targeted teams.  It was determined later that Carl Pohlad, the Twins owner voted for contraction.

11/6/2009 – The Twins trade outfielder Carlos Gomez to the Milwaukee Brewers for shortstop J.J. Hardy.

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Birth of the Twins: Here’s the Real Story

The 2015 baseball season is over and the Kansas City Royals won the World Series over the New York Mets last night. The Minnesota Twins finished their 2015 season and 55th season in Minnesota with a 83-79 record and 12.5 games behind the AL Central Division champion Royals and missed getting in the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.

Griffith, Calvin 5Just for fun let’s revisit October of 1960 and get the low down from Minneapolis Tribune writer and sports editor Charles O. Johnson (who was there and in the thick of things) on the demands that Senators owner Calvin Griffith put in place before the Washington Senators could move to Minnesota and become the Minnesota Twins.  According to his article in the October 30, 1965 Sporting News, here is what happened.

Sporting News Oct 30, 1965 P5

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all you ghosts and goblins out there. We hope you have a great day and don’t over indulge in all that candy. By the way, we switch back to standard time tonight so don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour tonight.

Pumpkin Twins 1

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Remembering 1965 – Part 34 – Game 7 recap and Sam Mele

Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor

A couple of days ago the Sporting News named Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor as their AL Manager of the Year in a vote from a panel of 27 MLB managers. The Sporting News award is not the “official” vote for AL Manager of the Year but it carries some weight in my eyes because the votes are cast by your peers. Astros skipper A.J. Hinch was the runner-up.

Sam MeleFifty years ago when the Twins won the pennant and advanced to the 1965 World Series, Twins manager Sam Mele won the same award that Molitor won. I am sure that Molitor earned a few dollars more than Mele did in 1965 as his (Mele’s) pay checks totaled about $30,000. Shortly after the 1965 season ended Mele signed a two-year deal for $48,000 a season. Here is a write-up that the Sporting News did on Mele and his award.

Sporting News Oct 23, 1965 P7

Sporting News Oct 23, 1965 P31 (Game 7 recap)

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The “Old Fart” Twins

old fart hatWith all the discussion since the season ended about what to do with free agent outfielder Torii Hunter I thought it might be interesting to see who some of the “old farts” were that put on a Minnesota Twins uniforms over the years.

Torii Hunter 2015Hunter is on the list below because he turned 40 on July 18, 2015 and this kind of search only takes into account your age as of June 30th and Torii turned 40 on July 18, 2015. I heard that the Twins are interested in bring Hunter back but not as a full-time player and Torii has not made up his made as yet what he wants to do. Having said that, Hunter’s 2015 season looks pretty good stat wise on the list below.

Only two players on this list were actually signed by Minnesota to begin their professional careers, and they are Hunter and Jesse Orosco. The others were traded for, purchased, acquired on waivers or signed as free agents. Oddly enough Orosco was a second round selection in the 1978 draft and was traded by the Twins to the Mets as the PTBNL in the Jerry Koosman deal before he made his major league debut and did not pitch for Minnesota until his 24th and final season. Hunter as you all know was the Twins number one draft pick (20th overall) in 1993 and left as a free agent after the 2007 season only to return again in 2015 after stints with the Angels and Tigers.

Jesse Orosco

Jesse Orosco

Rk Name Year Age G PA R H HR RBI SB BA OPS Pos
1 Jesse Orosco 2003 46 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 /*1
2 Steve Carlton 1988 43 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 /*1
3 Joe Niekro 1988 43 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 /*1
4 Joe Niekro 1987 42 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 *1
5 Terry Mulholland 2005 42 49 0 0 0 0 0 0 *1
6 Dave Winfield 1994 42 77 328 35 74 10 43 2 .252 .746 *D/9
7 Steve Carlton 1987 42 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 /*1
8 Dave Winfield 1993 41 143 594 72 148 21 76 2 .271 .767 *D9/H3
9 Pat Borders 2004 41 19 44 3 12 0 5 2 .286 .683 *2/H
10 Terry Mulholland 2004 41 39 2 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 *1
11 Paul Molitor 1998 41 126 559 75 141 4 69 9 .281 .718 *D/3H
12 Paul Molitor 1997 40 135 597 63 164 10 89 11 .305 .786 *D3/H
13 Elmer Valo 1961 40 33 36 0 5 0 4 0 .156 .469 *H/7
14 Jim Thome 2011 40 71 242 21 50 12 40 0 .243 .827 *DH
15 Al Worthington 1969 40 46 6 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 *1
16 Ruben Sierra 2006 40 14 33 3 5 0 4 0 .179 .487 /*H*D
17 Jim Dwyer 1990 40 37 75 7 12 1 5 0 .190 .558 *H*D/79
18 Torii Hunter 2015 39 139 567 67 125 22 81 2 .240 .702 *9D/H
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/23/2015.
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Remembering 1965 – Part 33 – Koufax just too tough – Twins lose 2-0

1965 Twins World Series game 7 ticketGame 7 matched Sandy Koufax and Jim Kaat, who traded scoreboard zeroes until the top of the fourth, when Dodger left fielder Lou Johnson lined a homer off the left-field foul pole. Ron Fairly followed with a double, and he scored on Wes Parker‘s single just a moment later. Kaat was lifted by manager Sam Mele and he brought in his closer Al Worthington, who quickly put a stop to the Dodgers scoring spree, but the Dodgers had two big runs on the board and Koufax on the mound. Would a manager bring in his closer in the fourth inning today, I think not. Worthington was followed by Johnny Klippstein, Jim Merritt, and Jim Perry and they each held the Dodgers off the scoreboard. Jim Gilliam made a great play in the fifth to squelch a Twin rally, and Koufax cruised from there, retiring 13 of the next 14 hitters to finish with a World Series-clinching, three-hit shutout.

Sandy Koufax - World Series MVP

Sandy Koufax – World Series MVP

What more can you say? Some times teams don’t lose the game, the other team wins, I think that was the case here. You have to give credit where credit is due.

If you want to watch game 7 again you can see it on our Twins Audio and Video clips page.

Box score.

Sandy Koufax and the 1965 World Series on a site called Baseball Analysts.

The Twins have to be satisfied with this AL Championship ring instead of a World Series championship ring.

The Twins have to be satisfied with this AL Championship ring instead of a World Series championship ring.

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Remembering 1965 – Part 32 – Twins win 5-1, on to game 7

1965 Twins World Series game 6The Twins come back to tie the Series at 3 games apiece when Mudcat Grant hits and pitches the Twins to a 5-1 win on just two days rest in front of 49,578 delirious fans at the Met. The Mudcat and Bob Allison each hit home runs to power the team to a game 7. Dodger outfielder Ron Fairly hit a home run for the Dodgers only run.

World Series Press Pin

World Series Press Pin

Grant pitched a complete game allowing just six hits and one earned run while striking out five Dodger batters. Claude Osteen known to his teammates as “Gomer,” was the losing pitcher in game 6 after shutting out the Twins in game 3 at Dodger Stadium.

On to game 7 !!!!

I wish I had been.

I wish I had been.

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Dean Chance passes away at the age of 74

Dean Chance It has been reported that Dean Chance died of a heart attack at the age of 74 yesterday in his hometown of Wooster, Ohio. Chance was born in Wooster on June 1, 1941 and went on to attend Northwestern High School in Wayne, Ohio where he became a sports legend. Chance was considered by many to be the best high school pitcher in Ohio history, throwing 17 no-hitters (eight in one season) and posting a 52-1 record in high school, including 32 consecutive victories. The Baltimore Orioles signed Chance out of high school for $30,000. After two season in the Orioles organization the team exposed him to the 196o expansion draft and he was taken by the Washington Senators in the 48th round but his stay as a Senator was short-lived as they traded him to the Los Angeles Angels that same day for Joe Hicks in one of several forced trades by AL President Joe Cronin.

Dean Chance who would go on to become a two-time All-Star and Cy Young winner made his big league debut against the Minnesota Twins on September 14, 1961 at Met Stadium and lost 5-2 to Jim Kaat. Chance pitched well going 7.1 innings allowing 10 hits and 3 earned runs and two strike outs. Dean Chance blossomed the following year for the Angels and was 14-10 with a 2.96 ERA 206 plus innings.

Dean Chance met Bo Belinsky for the first time in spring training in Clearwater, Florida, in 1959. When the Angels selected Belinsky from the Orioles in the Rule 5 Draft on November 27, 1961, and the two subsequently made the Angels in 1962, they became teammates and then roomed together during the 1963 and 1964 seasons. Belinsky and the already married Chance made the rounds in Hollywood, and probably became more famous for their off-the-field exploits than they did on a pitching mound.

After the season 1964 season in which Chance led the American League in wins with 20, ERA with 1.65, 15 complete games, 11 shutouts, and 278.1 innings pitched, Chance was rewarded with the Cy Young Award, at the time given out to only one pitcher in baseball. Chance also finished fifth in MVP voting behind Brooks Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard and Tony Oliva. Chance pitched for the Angels from 1961-1966 before the Angels traded him along with shortstop Jackie Hernandez to the Minnesota Twins for 1B Don Mincher, outfielder Jimmie Hall and RHP Pete Cimino in December 1966.

Chance, Dean 3The Twins just missed winning the pennant in 1967 but Dean Chance could not blamed for that as he went 20-14 and had a 2.73 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP in a league leading 283.2 innings with a league leading 18 complete games in 39 starts, again league leading. He had two no-hitters that season: a 5-inning perfect game (that’s no longer an official no-hitter) and then a 2-1 no-hitter over Cleveland on August 25th. In 1968 Chance was 14-14 but had a stellar ERA 2.53 and a 0.98 WHIP in 292 innings. The 1969 Twins under Billy Martin won the AL Western Division with 97 wins but Dean Chance was only 5-4 in 15 starts due to a back injury and he missed all of June and July and this was the beginning of the end of Chance’s baseball career. Chance’s only playoff experience took place in game 3 of the 1969 ALCS in a mop-up role when he pitched 2 innings in a 11-2 Orioles win.

In December of 1969 the Twins traded Chance,RHP Bob Miller, 3B Graig Nettles, and OF Ted Uhlaender  to the Cleveland Indians for RHP’s Luis Tiant and Stan Williams. Chance was 9-8 for the Indians in 1970 before being sold to the New York Mets in September where he finished the season. The Mets then traded Chance to the Tigers in March of 1971 where he pitched in 31 games going 4-6 with a 3.51 ERA. The Tigers released Chance in October 1971 and the baseball career of Dean Chance was in the books.

Chance was known for getting his sign from the catcher and then turning his back to the batter until he threw the ball, that motion Chance said, shortened his career according to him, he felt he was lucky to last in the majors the 11 years that he did. As good a pitcher as Chance was, hitting was not his forte, he was a terrible hitter, batting a mere .066 in 662 at-bats for his career, striking out 420 times for one of the highest strikeout rates in history. Chance still holds the Minnesota Twins record for most consecutive at bats without a hit, in 1967 between April 19 and July 23 Chance was 0 for 52 with 35 strikeouts.

Dean Chance was tough on the New York Yankees and Mickey Mantle in particular although Mantle did hit .242 off Chance with three home runs. “Every time I see his name on a lineup card, I feel like throwing up” – Mickey Mantle. Mantle once uttered this memorable quote during Chance’s remarkable 1964 season. As sportswriter Phil Pepe wrote that year, “It’s Chance, not CBS, who owns the New York Yankees. Lock, stock and barrel.” Chance pitched 50 innings against the Yankees that year, allowing only 14 hits and one run, a homer by Mantle. In five starts he threw four complete games and three shutouts, going 4-0 with a 0.18 ERA.

After his baseball ended at the age of 30 Dean Chance did not move to a rocking chair, he went into the carnival business where he owned numerous games “where you can win an item off the top shelf” and traveled all over the country. He was a boxing promoter for a while and he started and was still president of the International Boxing Association (IBA) when he died. Chance also invested in real estate, played Gin Rummy on a professional level and attended many sports memorabilia shows. It is ironic to me that he attended so many memorabilia shows because I mailed him numerous baseball cards over the  years asking for his autograph but I never got a single card back, with or without an autograph. The man was one of baseball’s great characters.

Rest in Peace Dean Chance and thank you for all the great memories.

Dean Chance SABR BioProject

Dean Chance Obit – Star Tribune

Los Angeles Times Obit

Dean Chance: baseball, carnies, boxing. He was worthy of a book.

Bo and Dean: A Lifetime of Fun and Friendship

Chance of a lifetime: Area legend was one of a kind

Mis-Management 101: The American League Expansion for 1961

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Remembering 1965 – Part 31 – Twins have backs to the wall after third loss in a row

Dodger Stadium 1965 World Series

Dodger Stadium 1965 World Series

Sandy Koufax

Sandy Koufax

The Minnesota Twins lose game 5 of the World Series to Sandy Koufax and the Dodgers, 7-0 and now find themselves down 3 games to 2. The Dodgers steal four bases including three by Willie Davis who sets a single game World Series record. Koufax who won 26 games during the regular season strikes out 10 Twins batters and faces just 29 hitters, aided by four double plays behind him

Jim KaatTwins starter and 18 game winner Jim Kaat lasted just 2.1 innings giving up four runs and took the loss. Twins hitters didn’t fare much better getting just four hits to go with the five hits they had in each of the two previous games at Dodger Stadium. The Twins return to Minnesota needing to win the next two games to hoist the World Champions banner at Met Stadium. Box score.

1965 World Series game 5

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Remembering 1965 – Part 30 – Dodgers beat Twins 7-2, Series knotted at 2 games apiece

1965 World Series Game 4

Don Drysdale

Don Drysdale

There were 55,920 baseball fans at Dodger Stadium to watch the Dodgers tie the World Series at 2 games each when Don Drysdale turns the tables and beats Mudcat Grant 7-2 in game 4. Drysdale allowed just five hits, two walks and struck out 11 Twins batters enroute to his game four win. The Twins trailed from the first inning on and played bad baseball through-out the game, being charged with two errors and making numerous mental mistakes that the Dodgers took advantage of. Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva both hit home runs in a losing effort. Box score.


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Remembering 1965 – Part 29 – Osteen shuts out Twins and Battey injured

1965 Dodgers World Series ticket vs Twins

Claude Osteen

Claude Osteen

Claude Osteen shuts out Camilo Pascual and the Twins 4-0 in game 3 of the World Series in Los Angeles but the Twins still lead the series 2 games to one. The Dodgers out hit the Twins 10 to 5 and Osteen a 25-year-old left hander acquired from the Washington Senators as part of the Frank Howard trade the previous off-season pitched a complete game for the win. Did you know that every winning pitcher in the 1965 World Series for the Twins and the Dodgers pitched a complete game?

This was also the game when catcher Earl Battey was injured. An injury he sustained in the seventh inning when he hit his throat against a dugout railing in Chavez Ravine while chasing a foul pop hit by Willie Davis. He left the game, but returned to start every game in the Series. Box score.

Dodgers Down-And Up

Claude Osteen Bio

This site is about baseball and the Minnesota Twins but every now and then I run across a story or a picture that I think is worth sharing that has nothing to do with the great game of baseball. Earlier this year The Atlantic did a piece called “50 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1965”. There are 50 wonderful photo’s that you all should see and it will give you a chance to see what life and the world was like in 1965. Those were the good old days?

50 Years Ago: A Look Back at 1965


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Remembering 1965 – Part 28 – Twins beat Koufax, up 2-0 in World Series

1965 World Series pennantIt has started raining shortly after game one ended and rained until nearly game time. The Twins ground crew used flame-throwers and two helicopter’s to help dry the field and prepare it for game two.

1965 Twins World Series ticket

Jim Kaat

Jim Kaat

Under dark skies which required the lights to be on for the entire game the Twins win game 2 of the World Series when Jim Kaat beats Sandy Koufax 5-1 in front of 48,700 delirious fans at the Met. In addition to pitching a complete game, Kaat was one for four with the bat knocking in two runs. Bob Allison makes a fantastic catch sliding across the left field line and to this day this is one of the finest fielding plays ever seen in a World Series. Box score



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Remembering 1965 – Part 27 – Twins whip Dodgers 8-2 at the Met

Mudcat Grant

Mudcat Grant

October 6, 1965 – The Twins play their first World Series game at Metropolitan Stadium with 47,797 fans in the stands against the Los Angeles Dodgers and win the game 8-2 behind the complete game pitching of Mudcat Grant. Grant becomes the first African-American to win a World Series game. In the third inning the Twins scored six times and rookie second baseman Frank Quilici had a double and a single in the same inning in his first World Series game. Don Drysdale took the defeat. Don Mincher and Zoilo Versalles hit round trippers. Sandy Koufax (26-8) refuses to pitch the first game of the World Series against the Twins because game is scheduled on Yom Kippur, the most sacred of the Jewish holidays. Tony Oliva tied a World Series record for most putouts in a nine-inning game in right field (7). Box score

1965-world-series-openingHubert Humphrey, Vice-President of the United States, and a former mayor of Minneapolis threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

1965 Twins World Series game 1

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Remembering 1965 – Part 26 – Oliva, Killebrew, Hall, Lentz, Kindall

The Minnesota Twins are ready to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1965 World Series. But first here are a couple more Sporting News from back in September 1965.

Sporting News Sep 18, 1965 P7

Sporting News Sep 25, 1965 P13

Sporting News Sep 25, 1965 P22

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According to ELIAS

MLB – Ventura avenges loss to Twins by eliminating them

Yesterday, Yordano Ventura earned his ninth win in his last 10 decisions as the Royals snapped a 1-1 tie with four runs in the seventh inning and went on to defeat the Twins, 5-1, eliminating the Twins from postseason eligibility. Ventura avenged a loss to the Twins on September 7, which had been the only blemish in his last 10 decisions. Jake Arrieta has won his last 11 decisions, but other than him, Ventura stands among eight other active pitchers who have won nine of their last ten.

Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe

The loss had a bitter tinge for the Twins, who committed two errors on one play during Kansas City’s winning rally. The usually reliable Trevor Plouffe committed one of those miscues, just his 11th error in 140 games at third base this season. Until that play, he was on the verge of breaking the franchise record for the fewest errors in one season by a third baseman playing 140-or-more games; now, at best he will tie Gary Gaetti‘s record of 11 errors in 150 games in 1987.

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Remembering 1965 – Part 25 – “A Pennant for the Twins Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins”

A Pennant for the Twin CitiesThe Twins chances for a 2015 wild card spot are “slim and none” as they prepare to play their final two games of 2015 at Target Field. Yes, mathematically they still have a chance but the odds are stacked against them. The Twins have had a wonderful season and stranger things have happened so there is still hope.

But 50 years ago the 1965 Minnesota Twins were playing their final game of the season at their home park (Metropolitan Stadium) too and they would go on to beat the California Angels 3-2 to post win number 102, the most ever wins in the Senators/Twins franchise history. Just a few days later this great team would take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1965 World Series.

A new book about that team and its players has just hit the market and if you are a fan of Minnesota Twins baseball you have to get your hands on that book. I have my book on order and can’t wait to start reading it. The book is called “A Pennant for the Twins Cities: The 1965 Minnesota Twins” and the author is Gregory H. Wolf.

Here is a portion of how the book is described on “Included are the life and baseball stories of all 35 roster players, the coaches, and manager of the 1965 Twins, plus team owner Calvin Griffith; broadcasters Herb Carneal, Halsey Hall, and Ray Scott; and sportswriters Dick Gordon and Max Nichols. A comprehensive summary of the regular season, as well as meticulous essays highlighting important games and the All-Star Game played in Minnesota, an overview of the 1965 Dodgers, and thorough summaries the World Series games are included. Chapters about how the Griffith family built its pennant winner, the fate of the Twins after 1965, Metropolitan Stadium, and the 1965 season “by the numbers” round out the book. Members of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) researched and wrote all of the biographies and essays in this book“.

I am proud to say that I played a small part in this book by contributing the BIO on Twins catcher John Sevcik and as I said earlier, I can’t wait to get my hands on this book to read the rest of the story. The is definitely a book that you want on your book shelf and it will make a great gift for any Minnesota Twins fan.

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According to ELIAS

Twins top Indians with two runs in the ninth

The Minnesota Twins scored two runs in the ninth inning to snap a 2-2 tie and register a 4-2 win over the Indians in Cleveland last night. Minnesota has now scored 40 runs in the ninth inning on the road this season, which is the second highest total for any American League team behind the Houston Astros (43).

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According to ELIAS

Six scoreless innings for Gibson

Kyle Gibson 2015Kyle Gibson pitched six shutouts innings in game one of a scheduled double-header as the Twins beat the Indians. Gibson is 3-5 in his 14 starts since the All-Star break. He has not allowed a run in 19.1 innings pitched in his three wins, compared to 48 runs allowed (47 earned) in 61.2 innings pitched in his 11 other starts (6.86 ERA).

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Remembering 1965 – Part 24 – 100 wins

100 winsThe Minnesota Twins beat the Hank Bauer managed Baltimore Orioles 3-2 at Memorial Stadium and post win number 100 for the only time in franchise history in a 2 hour and 7 minute game. The Twins trailed 2 to 1 going into the 8th inning but Bob Allison hits a two run home run in the top of the eighth inning and the Twins are up 3-2. The Orioles however; were not going to go down without a fight, they load the bases with no one out against Twins starter Mudcat Grant on a walk, a single and a Frank Quilici error and Twins manager Sam Mele brings in Jim Merritt who induces pinch-hitter Bob Johnson to hit into a RF-C double play. Mele then pulls Merritt and brings in 37 year-old reliever Johnny Klippstein to face pinch-hitter Norm Siebern. Klippstein gets Siebern to fly out to center field to earn the save and the Twins put victory 100 into the books.

Box score

The Twins go on to win 102 games in 1965, the most in franchise history. The most games that the Washington Senators ever won was 99 in 1933 when they finished first but lost the World Series 4 games to 1 to the New York Giants.

1965 twins 50th anniversary banner

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According to ELIAS

If only Sano had arrived earlier

Miguel Sanol 2015Miguel Sano drove in the first run of the Twins’ win in Cleveland last night, giving him 51 RBIs this season. Sano, who made his major-league debut on July 2, is the second rookie in major-league history to drive in more than 50 runs in a season without having any before July. The other player to do that was Josh Phelps, with 58 RBI for Toronto in 2002.

Sports Illustrated did a nice piece on Miguel Sano earlier this month that you can view here.

The story of how the Twins landed top prospect Miguel Sano 

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According to ELIAS

Santana is as good as ever

Ervin Santana 2015


Ervin Santana, who allowed only one run in seven innings to beat the Tigers on Sunday, is 5-0 with a 1.47 ERA over his last six starts for the Minnesota Twins. Santana has posted such a low ERA over a span of six starts in only one other season of his 11-year major-league career. That was in 2011, when Santana produced ERAs of 1.09 and 1.24 for the Angels during two overlapping spans of six starts from July to August.Escobar’s two long hits key Minnesota win

Eduardo Escobar 2015Eduardo Escobar tripled and homered in the Twins’ 6-2 win at Detroit on Saturday. The only other Minnesota shortstop in the last 10 years to hit a triple and a home run in the same game was Escobar himself, last August 22, also against the Tigers.

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This Day in Twins History – September 27

There are lots of cool events that occurred on September 27 in Minnesota Twins history. Stop by our Today in Twins History page daily to learn about the Twins wonderful history and bring back those great memories. Have fun!

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Remembering 1965 – Part 23 – Twins clinch the pennant

1965 Twins clinch pennat on September 26

September 26, 1965 – The Minnesota Twins beat the Washington Senators 2-1 at D.C. Stadium and clinch their first American League pennant with their 99th victory of the season. It is a bit ironic that the Twins win the pennant in Washington since they themselves were the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota after the 1960 season.

1965 Twins celebrationTwins pitcher Jim Kaat pitched a complete game and struck out 10 while allowing one run (0 earned) on eight hits to earn his 17th win of the season. The Twins scored their two runs on a passed ball and a Sac fly. Senators pitcher Pete Richert also pitched a complete game allowing only three hits but end up the hard luck loser for the Gil Hodges managed Senators. Box score.

1965 Minnesota Twins win the Pennant (40 minute video)



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Congratulations to Pete Mackanin on being named as Phillies skipper

Pete MackaninFormer Twins infielder and baseball lifer Pete Mackanin has been named as the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies for 2016 and a team option for 2017. Mackanin served as the Phillies interim manager since June and has also been an interim manager for the Pirates and the Reds but this will be his first full-time gig as a big league skipper.

“The Phillies are pleased that Pete has accepted the position of manager for the 2016 season,” team president (and former Twins GM) Andy MacPhail said in a statement. “We believe that Pete is the best fit for the role. Since assuming the interim manager position in June, Pete has developed an excellent rapport with our players and has also connected well with the media and our fans. Equally as important is his eagerness to take on the challenge of rebuilding the team and further developing our players. We look forward to his contributions.”

Mackanin, PeteMackanin was a fourth round selection by the Washington Senators in 1969 and  played in 548 games in the majors from 1973 to 1981 with the Rangers, Expos, Phillies and Twins. The Twins acquired Mackanin from the Phillies on December 7, 1979 for pitcher Paul Thormodsgard. Mackanin played in 185 games in a Twins uniform hitting .252 before leaving the team as a free agent after the 1981 season. Mackanin did not play in the majors again after leaving Minnesota. Mackanin’s tie to Minnesota Twins history is that he hit the last Twins home run in Met Stadium and also scored the last Twins run there.

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