Do you remember Twins All-Star catcher Dave Engle?

Dave Engle was drafted in 1978 by the California Angels in the third round (66 over all) as a third baseman out of USC. His stay in his home state however; was short-lived as he was traded on February 3, 1979 with pitchers Paul Hartzell and Brad Havens and outfielder Ken Landreaux to the Minnesota Twins for Rod Carew who wanted out of Calvin Griffiths Minnesota Twins organization.

Engle spent 1979 in AAA Toledo as a third baseman and in 1980 he again found himself in Toledo but that year he played in the outfield. Engle made the 1981 Twins team out of spring training and debuted on April 14, 1981. Engle was always first a hitter and finding a position for him was a struggle for Minnesota and they decided to turn him into a catcher. Engle must have been a quick study because by 1983 he was catching for Minnesota. In 1984 he was the Twins lone representative to the All-Star game but did not get a chance to play in the game at Candlestick Park. In 1984 Engle started having more issues throwing the ball back to the pitcher although he had no problems throwing to second or third base if needed. The problem continued to plague him in 1985 and he soon found himself a part-time player. In January of 1986 he was traded by the Twins to the Detroit Tigers for Chris Pittaro and Alejandro Sanchez in one of those “I’ll take yours if you take mine” trades. 

Dave Engle stay in Minnesota lasted 439 games, 176 of them behind the plate. Engle hit .268 as a Twin with 28 home runs and 13 triples which is not too shabby for a catcher. The Tigers released Engle in August of 1986. Engle went on to play for Montreal in 1987-1988 and finished out his big league career in 1989 with Milwaukee.

Did you know that Dave Engle hit the first home run at the Metrodome and that he is Tom Brunansky‘s brother-in-law?


Catcher Dave Engle’s ‘stardom’ with Twins was short-lived

Q&A: Engle reflects on childhood with Ted Williams


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