This Day in Twins History – February 3, 1979

Rod Carew

The Twins traded 7-time batting champion 2B Rod Carew to the California Angels for outfielder Ken Landreaux, catcher Dave Engle, and pitchers Paul Hartzell and Brad Havens. A trade was demanded by Carew after team owner Calvin Griffith made his infamous speech to the Lions Club in Waseca, Minnesota back in September of 1978. According to some reports, Griffith first agreed to trade Carew to the San Francisco Giants but Carew had veto power and nixed that deal. At the time of the trade to California, Carew had been a fixture in the Twins line-up for 12 seasons hitting .334 with 2,085 hits and being named an All-Star each of those 12 seasons. Carew went on to play for the Angels for seven more seasons making post season play in 1979 and 1982  but Rodney never won a batting title as an Angel.

Outfielder Ken Landreaux only played in Minnesota for two years before the Twins traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers on March 30, 1981 for Mickey Hatcher and minor leaguers Kelly Snider and Matt Reeves, neither of whom ever played in a big league game. Landreaux hit .294 with 22 home runs and 145 RBI’s and had 19 stolen bases but what Ken Landreaux is best remembered for is his 31 game hitting streak early in 1980 which is still a Minnesota Twins record. Landreaux was an All-Star in 1980 while a Minnesota Twin. Landreaux played for the Dodgers from 1981-1987 and won a World Series ring there in 1981.

Dave Engle began his career with the Twins as an outfielder but was converted to a catcher in 1982 when his hitting was not considered up to par for an outfielder. Engle played for the Twins from 1981 through 1985 making the All-Star team in 1984 but he did not get a chance to appear in the game at Candlestick Park. In 1985 Engle started having throwing issues and his troubles appeared to have begun during batting practice one day when one of his throws glanced off the top of the protective screen and broke his pitcher’s nose. Engle then began lobbing his throws with a pronounced arc. Engle had the misfortune of having a base runner (Alfredo Griffin) stealing a base on one of his tosses back to the mound. Engle caught jst 17 games for Minnesota in 1985 and the Twins traded him to the Detroit Tigers in January of 1986. Dave went on to play for the Montreal Expos in 1987-1988 and closed out his big league career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989 but he only caught 18 games after he left Minnesota. Dave is the brother-in-law of another former Minnesota Twin, Tom Brunansky.

Right-handed pitcher Paul Hartzell only pitched in Minnesota during the 1979 season putting up a 6-10 record with a 5.36 ERA in 26 starts. The 6’5″ Hartzell was one of those pitch-to-contact pitchers who gave up 193 hits in 163 innings while striking out just 44 batters which was also the number of batters he walked that season. The Twins released Hartzell in April of 1980. Hartzell appeared in a handful of games with the Orioles in 1980 and the Brewers in 1984.

 

Lefty Brad Havens pitched for the Twins from 1981-1983 posting an 18-28 mark with a 5.00 ERA in 58 starts. The Twins sent Havens to Toledo in 1984 and he spent the entire season there before the team traded him to Baltimore in the spring of 1985 for pitcher Mark Brown. Havens pitched for the Orioles in 1985-1986 before moving on to the Dodgers in 1987-1988, the Indians in 1988-1989 and Havens closed out his big league career with the Tigers in 1989. Havens put in the big leagues for all or parts of eight seasons and finished his career with a 4.81 ERA and a 24-37 record.

The same day, the Twins make another deal when the Red Sox shipped outfielder Dave Coleman to Minnesota and the Twins give up 3B Larry Wolfe. Coleman spent the 1979 in AAA Toledo and never put on a Minnesota Twins uniform. In 1980-1981 Coleman played for the Yankees AAA team in Columbus but there is no information on how he ended up there.

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