The 1966 Minnesota Twins finished the season in second place with a 89-73 record, a full nine games behind the AL pennant winning Baltimore Orioles and they were looking to regain the pennant they felt should have been theirs for the second year in a row in 1966.
The 1966 Orioles were no slouches themselves having won 97 games on the back of Triple Crown winner Frank Robinson and their top four starters Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Wally Bunker and Steve Barber who won 48 games between them.
Twins owner Calvin Griffith was eager to get back to the World Series and made some moves in December of 1966 that he felt would ensure him the AL pennant in 1967. He traded pitcher Pete Cimino, 1B Don Mincher and OF Jimmie Hall to the California Angels to acquire pitcher Dean Chance and shortstop Jackie Hernandez and the very next day he traded 2B Bernie Allen and P Camilo Pascual to the Washington Senators for reliever Ron Kline.
Manager Same Mele wasn’t entirely pleased with how the Twins did in spring training, finishing with a 11-17 mark in Grapefruit League play. It didn’t make him feel any better when Starter Jim Grant was hit in the forearm by a line drive that took him out of action for several weeks just before the 1967 season was about to start.
The April 15, 1967 Sporting News lays out the Twins plan to win it all with pitching and defense and gives you a look at the roster of the 1967 Twins as they prepare to open the season in Baltimore on April 11. It also has a short piece on Twins rodeo bronc riding third baseman Ron Clark.
All of my previous blogs on the 1967 pennant race can be found here.