Remembering 1965 Part 1

1965 Twins team picture

The 1964 Minnesota Twins were a disappointing 79-83 under manager Sam Mele after winning 91 games the previous season and they finished tied for sixth with the Cleveland Indians in the 10 team American league. Twins owner and GM Calvin Griffith felt that his team had suffered some bad luck in 1964 and he expected his team to be much improved in 1965.

The 1965 Twins would go on to win 102 games (most in franchise history) and lose only 60 in 1965 and walked away with the AL pennant seven games ahead of the Chicago White Sox. The 1965 Twins were the first Minnesota Twins team to taste post season action as they went on to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series that Fall but ended up losing the series in game seven to Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. Previous to 1965 the last team in franchise history to appear in the World Series were the 1933 Washington Senators who lost that series four games to one to the New York Giants.

It will be 50 years this season since that 1965 Minnesota Twins team won 102 games and went to the World Series so this year we at are going to try to bring back memories of what transpired that year and relive 1965 as the season progresses. So follow us this season as we bring back some fun and interesting facts about that 1965 Twins team who some say was the best Twins team to ever step on a baseball diamond.

The beginning of this series starts with a page out of the January 23, 1965 Sporting News which was truly thee baseball Bible back in those days. Check out the Twins roster, I believe it has 42 players and some of the names there would never play for the Minnesota Twins and of course team owner Calvin Griffith wasn’t about to over pay his players even though team star Harmon Killebrew would become the first player in Twins history to make over $50,000 in a single season.

Sporting News Jan 23 1965 Twins coverage

If you remember the 1965 Twins season and have special memories that you would like to share with today’s Twins fans please feel free to share them in the comments section. I only witnessed that season through early August of 1965 and missed the Twins post season play because I had chosen to join the US Navy and by early August I was on a train from Minneapolis to the Great Lakes Naval Training center to start boot camp. Back in 1965 Navy boot camp had no TV, radio, newspapers and certainly no computers and internet, it was all business so following the Twins run to the pennant was not in the cards for me. I hope we can bring back some great memories for you Twins fans that were lucky enough to witness that great year in Twins history.

As a side note, after boot camp was over for me in late 1965 I was assigned to Radar “A” school, again at Great Lakes and the following spring on April 16, 1966 when I did get a few hours of liberty where did I go? I went to Comiskey Park to see the Chicago White Sox play the Kansas City A’s.  I remember it was kind of cool that day and of course the game went into extra innings, the White Sox won the game 2-1 in the bottom of the 11th inning on a walk-off walk of all things. Back then the White Sox let active military personnel attend the games for free I believe. Here are a few pictures I took that day of old Comiskey Park in 1966.

Comiskey Park April 16, 1966

Comiskey Park April 16, 1966

Comiskey Park scoreboard April 16, 1966

Comiskey Park scoreboard April 16, 1966

April 16, 1966 White Sox host the Kansas City A's - note the green and gold A's in the field.

April 16, 1966 White Sox host the Kansas City A’s – note the green and gold A’s in the field.

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3 Responses to Remembering 1965 Part 1

  1. Craig H says:

    This is fantastic. I love the Sporting News article and the photos. Not too many fans at Comiskey that day! Thanks a lot, John.

  2. Fantastic, great series you have here, John! There’s something so cool about you being an eyewitness (albeit from afar while in the service, out of necessity). But then, you drop in these ultra-beautiful color shots from the period. Let’s see another blogger in Twins Territory try to replicate the first-person aspect you are able to lend here! I hope you choose other years, late ’60s, early ’70s for focus at TT.

  3. John Skowronski says:

    Hard to believe 50 years has past since this great season. Will be looking at season box scores on a daily basis to relive the magic. Does anybody remember Cesar Tovar’s debut with the Twins? He played second base and continually dropped easy pop ups that led to scoring. Happy to say he got it together and became a great Twin. Great web site.

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