Spending some time with Roger Erickson

Roger EricksonBack in early December I did an interview with former Twins pitcher Roger Erickson who pitched for Minnesota from 1978 until May of 1982 when the Twins traded him to the evil empire New York Yankees but for a variety of reasons I have not been able to get it out here for everyone to enjoy until now. It was a fun interview and it actually sheds some light on a previous blog that I did almost a year ago called Top Twins rookie starting pitchers about how the Twins abused their young pitchers over the years and shortened some players careers. The right-handed Erickson burst on the Twins scene in 1978 like a comet but injuries cut this young mans career short. Was Erickson just injury prone or did pitching coaches contribute to the problem? Erickson who comes from a family of baseball players had a 31-47 record with a 4.10 ERA in 106 starts in a Twins uniform but these numbers don’t really tell the story of Roger Erickson. I think there is a lesson in this story that tells us “don’t fix what ain’t broke.” Not everyone pitches the same way and teams and their pitching coaches should not try to pigeon-hole these pitchers to pitch in a manner that worked for them and in a manner they perceive to be the correct delivery. But you can make up your own mind about after you listen to this interview. I remember vividly when Roger first came up with the Twins because WCCO radio was the Twins flagship station and I always listened to WCCO. The station had some great personalities on the air back then and the morning show had a couple of characters by the names of Charlie Boone and Roger Erickson, “legends in their own minds” they liked to say. These guys were good and they provided some funny but always squeaky clean entertainment and with the Twins adding Roger Erickson to the team, the radio Roger Erickson used to have a ball with the fact that Roger Erickson the pitcher was having a season to remember during his rookie season in 1978. I guess you had to be there to understand….. So sit back, relax and listen to Roger as he talks about his career, baseball  in general, how a black widow spider bite can change your life, and that one day in Spring Training when he thought he had a game winning hit to right field and ended up getting thrown out at first base by Ellis Valentine. You can learn a little more about Roger Erickson and listen to the interview by going here. By the way, if you stop by our Interview Archives page you can check out all of the other interviews we have done over the years.

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