This Day in Twins History – March 21

3/21/1970 – The Twins acquire outfielder Brant Alyea from Washington and part ways with pitcher Joe Grezenda and pitcher Charley Walters who will later become a St. Paul Pioneer Press sports writer.

Brant Alyea

Brant Alyea

Alyea was red-hot in his first month in Minnesota hitting .415 by going 22 for 53 with four doubles, five home runs and knocking in 23 RBI’s. Alyea was also involved in a bizarre strikeout that ended in a 7-6-7 put out (yes, that’s left fielder to shortstop to left fielder!). Here’s how it happened, according to the Project Retrosheet ( newsletter of May 1997: “From Dave Smith: How about a strikeout with the batter being retired 767? In the game of April 25, 1970, Tigers pitcher Earl Wilson struck out to end the seventh inning in the Twin Cities. Or so it appeared to everyone except Detroit third base coach Grover Resinger. He saw that Twins catcher Paul Ratliff trapped the pitch in the dirt, did not tag Wilson and rolled the ball to the mound. Resinger told Wilson to start running as most of the Twins entered the dugout. Earl got to first easily and headed for second. Since no one interfered with him, he started for third. By this time, Brant Alyea, who was trotting in from left field, heard Resinger shouting at Wilson. Alyea hustled to the mound but had trouble picking up the ball. Wilson headed for home where Twins Leo Cardenas and Ratliff had returned. Alyea finally picked up the ball and threw to Cardenas. Wilson turned back to third but was tagged out by Alyea for a K767. Rookie catcher Ratliff was charged with an error. After the game, Detroit catcher Bill Freehan said “If Alyea had been hustling, Earl might have made it [home]. Tell him [Alyea] to start coming in and off the field a little quicker.” The aftermath of the story is that Wilson pulled a hamstring muscle running the bases and had to leave the game.”

3/21/1989 – 2B Steve Lombardozzi is sent packing to the Astros and the Twins acquire 2B Mica Lewis and outfielder Ramon Cedeno.

3/21/2010 – The Twins get some bad news as they learn that star closer Joe Nathan will undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a tear in a ligament in his pitching elbow. Joe misses the entire 2010 season.

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