Part time outfielder and first baseman Walt Bond played in just 10 games for Minnesota and he was never a star but he had an interesting history. Although his time in Minnesota may have been short, he still should be remembered for wearing a Minnesota Twins uniform before passing away at the age of just 29 on September 14, 1967 of leukemia.
One of the mainstays at all baseball ballparks today are the Hot dogs and Brats but apparently that was not always the case. When the 1967 season opened at Metropolitan Stadium on Friday, April the 14th with the Twins facing the Detroit Tigers there was a new comestible on the menu for fans to try, bratwurst and sauerkraut. So tomorrow will mark 50 years since the Twins first sold Brats at the home ballpark. Twins concessionaire Jimmy Robertson had 16 ounce draft beer on the menu for 50 cents and he said he would consider tortillas, pizza, fish and chips, chow mein and who knows what if someone was willing to buy it. I wonder what a Brat went for back then.
The 1967 Minnesota Twins opened the 1967 season on April 11th on the road at Memorial Stadium taking on the Baltimore Orioles and their starter Dave McNally, the Twins countered with their big lefty Jim Kaat.
The game started with a bang when Cesar Tovar hit a double off McNally but the excitement for Twins fans was short-lived when Rich Rollins flew out to left-fielder Curt Belfray who quickly doubled-off Tovar off second base. Oliva followed with a ground out and McNally was out of the inning. Twins starter Jim Kaat must have been a bit nervous because he hit lead-off hitter Curt Blefary and then proceeded to give up a double to Luis Aparicio with Blefary scoring, a single to Frank Robinson that scored Aparicio and then gave up a home run to Brooks Robinson. After facing just four Oriole batters Kaat and the Twins found themselves down 4-0 with still no one out. Kaat shut the door after that but was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fifth still trailing 4-0.
The Twins scored 3 runs in the fifth knocking McNally out of the game but that was a close as they would get as reliever Jim Perry allowed two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Orioles sent their 39,812 fans home happy after just 2 hours and 32 minutes of play. Rookie second baseman Rod Carew who played for the Wilson Tobs in the class A Carolina League in 1966 hit sixth in the Twins line-up in his first big league game and went 2 for 4 and his Hall of Fame career was under way. Jim Kaat took the loss and reliever Moe Drabowsky got the win for the O’s while Stu Miller got the save.
You can check out the four previous blogs on the great 1967 AL pennant race by clicking here.