Dick Woodson interview

A chat with Dick Woodson

Dick Woodson – Twins pitcher from 1969 – 1974

Dick “Woody” Woodson, a 6’5” right hander born in Oelwein, Iowa was signed by Minnesota as an amateur free agent prior to the 1965 season. Dick pitched for Minnesota in 1969-1970 and again from 1972-1974. His best season was 1974 when Dick started 36 games and pitched 251+ innings compiling a 14-14 record with an ERA of 2.72 and a WHIP of 1.16. Woodson had an appearance in each of the LCS against the Baltimore Orioles in 1969 and 1970. After becoming the first player to go through the new arbitration process in the spring of 1974 and winning his case, Dick was traded to the New York Yankees . Calvin Griffith was true to his word when he said that he would never pay Woodson the salary he had won at the arbitration hearing and sent Woodson packing in May 1974. An arm injury cut Dick’s career short and he pitched in his last major league game on July 8, 1974 against the Texas Rangers as a member of the New York Yankees and was the winning pitcher in relief that day. Today, Dick is retired and enjoying life in Menifee, California.

John: Hello Dick, I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with me, I am not a reporter, just a Twins fan looking to share some information with today’s Twins fans about Twins players from the past.

Dick: Thank you, I am actually on your www.Twinstrivia.com site now and it is looks a great site. I don’t know how many interviews you have done prior to the one with Jim Kaat but the Kaat interview was a great interview. I wish the owners would let Jim be the next commissioner because Jim is very level headed and he has some great insights that some times on the owners side that they don’t see and Jim has a great perspective on all sides of any of these issues and baseball is going to have I think even more dramatic issues in the future when it comes to the next thing of sharing any kind of revenues because it looks like things are headed for only a pay for view type of scenario. I think that will be interesting on what the union does with that one. I sure would like to see Jim have the opportunity to become the commissioner, I think he could do a lot better job than the current one is doing today.

John: I think Jim would make a great commissioner.

Dick: Yes, I would like to see him do that and just from reading the interview reminded me of what a great and extremely fair person he is but I don’t think that the owners would ever allow a player to do that even though the commissioner is supposed to represent both sides of whatever issue there is but the commissioner is paid for by the owners so it is kind of tainted on how the commissioner is going to react to issues.

John: So Dick, you are retired today?

Dick: Oh yes, I retired at the age of 60, I finally tired of corporate life and burnt out from working so my wife and I have retired here in Menifee, it is actually not a town, just an area code. It is not incorporated or anything, actually it is named after Menifee Valley, a huge valley here. It has grown quite a bit and we are in a gated community and we are the youngest retirees living here, people are always asking us if we have met the age requirement. My wife watches the grand kids a couple days a week so I am left to hacking around some of the golf courses here.

John: What did you do after baseball?

Dick: I went into sales, after I got out of baseball on short notice, I really was not prepared to get out of baseball, it was a very quick thing for me and I wasn’t prepared and I found that sales perked my interest so I got into that and was very successful at it. For the last twelve years of my working career I had my own business with a partner and we did site planning with AUTOCAD for companies with large sites and it is easy to make changes in AUTOCAD without having to redraw the entire plant. One day as we were leaving a plant after an inventory someone was walking in with more equipment so it struck me that the next thing I needed to look at was bar-coding. So along with a programmer, I developed my own bar-coding software. Then I did a lot of presentations to companies to help them barcode and track and monitor their assets. I think we brought a lot of value to the table. We did that until I said that I just did not want to work anymore.

John: What do you enjoy doing now? I think you mentioned golf?

Dick: I golf. My wife got me involved in a reading tutoring program for one of the local elementary schools here so two days a week we go in for a couple hours and help kids who are slow readers. This “no kid left behind” program has huge problems in that it forces kids to advance when they are not ready to advance and having been one of those kids myself that was a slow learner I can appreciate the kids that are supposed to read at a 4th grade level (and the 3rd grade is what we are with) and some of the kids are having trouble with 1st and 2nd grade reading. I took a keen interest in that because of my own background of not having to like to read just because I was not a good reader and today I have over a 1,000 books in my own personal library and I am an avid reader. Sharing those kinds of things with the kids and I have my own ways of making reading a little more fun than just cut and dried reading by having fun introducing new words and how to pronounce them and how they apply to real life and how the words apply to them. My wife dragged me into it kicking and screaming because I am not a teacher like she was when she taught junior high Math for 25 years. You know I said, I am not a teacher and then I found out that I really was because that is what I have actually done my entire life by teaching people how to sell or teaching people how to use software or things like that. I found it came very easy to me and it is extremely gratifying to me to interface with those kids and see the improvement and to have the kids actually say good things about me that I had actually perked their interest in reading. So it has been a lot of fun, this is my second year and my wife has been in it for three years and it has been fun, I get a kick out of it.

John: That is great Dick, how nice for both of you to do that, what a wonderful way to give back to the community and to help today’s kids. What do you remember about playing for the Twins, what is one of your fondest memories?

Dick: I have several but first and foremost is the fact that I was actually signed by accident. I was really a basketball player and I went to college on a basketball scholarship. I was very successful as a basketball player but I had a falling out with the coach and I was going to change schools. I never played baseball for my high school team but I liked to play baseball. I went out for baseball in college and they told me that all I was going to be able to do was to pitch but I had never pitched before. One day I had to pitch because the pitcher had gotten sick, we had a lot of doubleheaders and I was the only guy on the bench so they kind of had to put me in there. I didn’t know at the time that there were a lot of scouts at the game to scout a player by the name of Jerry Davanon who went on to play shortstop for St. Louis. So I went out there and lost the game 3-2, struck out Jerry Davanon 4 times but I lost the game on those 3 unearned runs. Well, this guy by the name of Dick Wiencek came down from the stands and introduced himself to my father and me as the western regional scout for the Twins. I know you are a basketball player he said, have you ever considered playing baseball? I mentioned that I was ready to transfer to another school and he said that maybe this would be a good time to try baseball. Dad and I were thinking about it and Wiencek said look, I can’t offer you any money, all I can offer you is incentive bonuses which means you got to stay in AA for 90 days, AAA for 90 days and the big leagues for 90 days and each level will get you a bonus. He went on to say that he would get me a plane ticket there and back but he could only pay me $500, if you don’t think that will give you a good enough shot I can get you a shot with the Angels because I have connections with them too. That was my first big thrill, getting a chance to become a professional ballplayer. My next biggest thrill was doing well enough that Billy Martin had extreme faith in me and over Calvin Griffiths objections, took me to the big leagues. I will forever be beholding to Billy for having that kind of faith and even though Calvin Griffith was so against it and he still took me and that was Billy’s way and giving me that chance to get into the big leagues.

John: That leads into my next question, you played for three managers in your time with the Twins, Billy Martin, Bill Rigney, and Frank Quilici and I was going to ask who your favorite manager was and it sounds like it was Billy Martin.

Dick: Billy Martin and Frank Quilici were my favorites and the least favorite was Rigney. I did not care for him and he didn’t care for me, so.

John: Billy Martin was interesting because he was a real character and back then managers like he and Earl Weaver were real characters, they would come out and argue, throw their hats, kick dirt on the umpires, go nose to nose, and I thought that was really fun to watch and a big part of the game. You don’t see that very much anymore, they were real showmen back then.

Dick: I look at baseball overall and quite frankly, regardless of the money, I am so happy I was able to play baseball when I did. Because, being a purist I liked the way the game was played, and one of my favorite baseball movies is “For love of the game” with Kevin Costner. Truly, when you look at what we were payed, compared to today’s standards, you really played for the love of the game. In my first three years in baseball I made $500 a month for five months and then after that you had to go out and get what they called a real job because we were considered seasonal workers, just like any migrating person, I was a seasonal worker. To do that and have your life and family subjected to basically three moves a year, you know, you had to really love the game to stay in and to have the hope of making it to the big leagues and experiencing that. But the players that I played with and against, I would not trade that for anything the world. But let me say that the one thing that I would have liked is the medical processes that they have today, rotary cuff injuries back then were death, you were done. Today you have ways of over-coming that. With the year around training and they pay you enough now that you can actually do that without having to doing something else and you can prepare for baseball year around versus starting to get ready in January to prepare for spring training. Yes, we had some real characters back then; you know that Billy and Earl Weaver used to go at it back when they were players. I also played for a guy named Clint Courtney in my final year of ball in the Braves minor league organization and he shared some stories with me how he and Martin used to really go at it, fighting and everything, that went at it hard back then. Billy and I butted heads a lot, he was a fiery person and I was a little fiery myself but the one thing about Billy was after the game was over you went out and had a beer together and that was the end of it. The next day was a new day and I really appreciated that. I also really appreciated Frank Quilici because during the 1972 season when I was having some problems with Rigney and Rigney was fired and Frank came on the scene, as a manager, he had confidence in me to where I had to prove that I could not pitch my way out of problems. Frank gave me that opportunity and I went on to prove him right and I went on to have the best year I ever had, albeit in a short career because of Frank. Billy gave me my start and Frank enhanced it by having the faith in me to allow me to show what kind of a pitcher I really was. It is close between the two of them but I have a lot of love in my heart for Frank too, because of that.

John: In that 1972 season you pitched over 250 innings.

Dick: Yes, I was really coming into my own then and I say that because the rotary cuff problem hit me at the end of the 1973 season. Because Frank gave me the opportunity to pitch and not take me out for some silly reason, I showed that I had a lot of endurance and that I could pitch the inning and win some ball games. Finally, everybody’s faith in me from Dick Wiencek on, I showed that their faith was well justified and I was able to come through and pitch like everyone thought that I could.

John: I wanted to ask you about arbitration. Back in February of 1974 a number of major league players invoked the new arbitration process. My understanding was that you were the first player to go through that process.

Dick: Yes, I was hand-picked by Marvin Miller. I found the article that you had written about Calvin Griffith very interesting because Calvin Griffith was the main person responsible for arbitration. You got an inkling of it in your interview with Jim Kaat. But in my case, and I have to try to be nice here, Griffith had 18 relatives on the payroll and more than half of them earned more money than I did as a major league ballplayer. I always had a problem with that, he never wanted to pay us but yet they earned their revenue from us playing baseball and winning, but he did everybody that way. I don’t think you can find one Twins player from that era that would disagree with me on that. But I was handpicked because of how abusive he was to me as far as paying me any kind of money, as a matter of fact I was so badly paid after the 1972 season that I was only given a $2,000 raise, which was ridiculous but his response when I brought that to his attention his response was “if you don’t like it, either sign the contract or go and carry a lunch bucket”. That was his attitude, what I found was that arbitration had a good side and a bad side for me. Being the first one, no one really understood how it would work, I was going in to double my salary from $15,000 to $30,000 and I thought that was fair. What I did not realize was that they also compare you to the National league pitchers. You know I didn’t have any representation, a guy making $15 grand can’t afford that, but what Richard Moss (Marvin Miller’s assistant and an attorney) who attended the meeting brought up in some statistics, shocked me, in that players who had worse records, worse innings pitched, the same number of years of service and so on, were, even if I won my arbitration case, they were making $20,000 – $25,000 more already then I was hoping to make. Yes, they were making in the $50,000 range and then I saw that I had really screwed up, big time, because I never even thought of doing comparisons and I thought that my stats should stand on their own and I should be paid accordingly but I found that was not how the game was played. I was kind of like the sacrificial lamb, a lot of guys, revisited their figures after that and that is how and why the players for several years won almost every single arbitration case because the owners thought that they were still under the old rules and had the players under their thumbs and whatever we say is what you are going to get. But the rules had changed and it was now based on your stats and comparable stats and the owners got their heads beat in because of that. On one hand I was honored that Marvin Miller would pick me for that but on the other hand I was really sacrificed, I don’t think it wasn’t really Marvin Millers intention, I just did not know how the game was played until after I went through the process.

John: From what I have read, you went in to arbitration seeking $29,000 and the Twins were offering $23,000, are those accurate numbers?

Dick: The number I went in with was $30,000, I have seen the $29,000 floating around and I am not sure where that came from and I have seen that too but the number was always $30,000. The Twins came in with $23,000 and that just amazed me and they kept asking me what is my figure and I kept telling them that they were not even close and had to raise their figure. They kept asking what my figure was and to be honest I did not trust them, it was a situation I felt that if I gave them my number, they would come to within a couple of thousand under my number and increase the likelihood of losing the case and getting several thousand dollars less then what I was asking for, that is just the way they were. What is interesting is that Clark Griffith and the Twins lawyer represented their side and they never disputed my stats, all they talked about was the price of oil because 1974 was when the first oil crisis took place. They kept bringing up how the fans would not attend the games because they could not afford the price of the gas to drive to the stadium. That is what they based their entire argument on. What was also interesting when the meeting was over and we were getting up to leave, Harry Platt who was the arbitrator, said that he only had one more question that he really wanted to ask me and I said go ahead, what is it? He then asked, “Why did you ask for so little?” By that time he had already told me that I had won and I said that I did not understand how this was done, I did not understand that other players were already making $20,000 more even if I got the win in this hearing. He just shook his head and that was the end of it. Interesting enough, this was in February and in May I was traded to the Yankees.

John: That was going to be my next question; you were traded to the Yankees in May 1974 that had to be the reason for the trade, right?

Dick: Well, Calvin was quoted as saying that in spring training, that he would never pay me that money, that he would trade me before he would ever pay me on that contract.

John: Wow! How things have changed.

Dick: Yes they have, one of the toughest things for me now is to see the numbers on the current arbitration rulings and compare their stats to what mine were and I can only shake my head and hope that the current players appreciate how they got to where they are today. Making the kind of money that they do and I think becoming vested on their first day in the majors. The major league minimum my first year which was 1969 was $10,000. The minimum in 1968 was $7,000 and in 1969 it was $10,000 and in 1970 I think it went up to $12,000 and today it is $380,000.

John: We have talked about arbitration a little bit, what about your relationship with Calvin?

Dick: Well, it was never good, it probably stemmed back to my relationship with Billy (Martin), in 1968 I was pitching AA in Charlotte and was 8-14 and Billy was trying to bring me up to AAA he told me and that Calvin was against doing that. Billy ended up bring me up for two games at the end of the season and I gave up 1 earned run in 18 innings there. After the season was over Billy wanted to bring me to major league winter ball in St. Petersburg and again against Calvin’s objections. Then I had an outstanding spring training which is what got me the shot to the major leagues and again Calvin was very vocal and put it in the paper that he was against taking me north to the major leagues. I think all these things added up to Calvin and me not getting along. I think I proved that Billy was right and Billy was his own man and was going to do things his way and Calvin resented it. I think that is why Billy was fired after the 1969 season and even had we gone on to and even if we won the World Series I think Billy would still have gotten fired because he and Calvin butted heads so badly.

John: When you played for the Twins, who were some of your favorite Twins players?

Dick: There was a bunch; the biggest character on the club was Dave Boswell. One of my best friends was Tommy Hall and I lockered next to Jim Kaat and Harmon Killebrew and I was kind of known as the wild Tasmanian so they put me up with the more conservative guys to calm me down and provide me with good guidance. I first roomed with Jim Perry; I think they were trying to tell me something. We had a great club, Nettles at 3B, Cardenas at SS, Carew at 2B and Killebrew at 1B, Olive in right, Uhlaender in CF and Allison and several others shared LF. Then you get to some of my all time favorite people, one of my all time favorite people is John Roseboro (I am a long time Dodger fan) at catcher, and in the bullpen I got to sit with Bob Miller and Ron Perranoski and they would share stories with me about Koufax and Drysdale and what happened when they were Dodgers. So I was in seventh heaven being able to share experiences with those guys and especially being able to throw to John Roseboro who had caught some of the greatest pitchers of all time by catching Koufax and Drysdale. It always astounded me that I was pitching to John Roseboro after watching him play for so many years as a kid. It was quite a group, I was there and it was a great baseball team, it really was. It was great team in 1972 also.

John: You guys just could not get past the Orioles.

Dick: The Orioles were a great team, both years 3-0, devastating, but Baltimore was great. We had some great confrontations with other teams like Oakland, Detroit when Kaline was still there, there were just some great teams, and Boston and New York were great to compete and pitch against too. I really appreciated being able to do that. I have to tell you, that the new Twins organization broke my heart, I understand that in 1999 they had a 30 year reunion for the 1969 ball club and I never got invited and the reason they gave me was that they could not find me. My response to that was that they could have asked any Twins fan because I have been inundated with autograph seekers ever since I left baseball or they could just look in the phone book. It really broke my heart because I would have loved to have gone back to visit with all the guys from that team and I will never get that opportunity again I guess.

John: Well, hopefully another opportunity will come up again that will bring you back here to Minnesota.

Dick: I have to tell you as an interesting side note here that the Yankees, and I did hardly anything for them because I was hurt, but the Yankees have reached out and made me feel like I was a long time player for them, they just made me feel that way. Contrastingly, the Twins have not made me feel that way and I spent most of my career with them, I spent 10 years in that organization. They never treated me the same way as the Yankees did and I find that very strange but I guess it shows the class of the Yankee organization, in spite of Steinbrenner. I don’t know, I just have never felt that the Twins really cared that much about me or what I did in the history of the Twins, I may have been a small blip but having been on the team for that long and contributing I would think that I would be treated with a little more respect.

John: The big news here is the Santana deal, what do you think about that?

Dick: I don’t think the Twins got much in return at all, first of all, Santana deserves to make that kind of money and I think the Twins have always been I think, short sighted. When you have an elite player, you are going to have to pay that elite player and Santana has proven to be one of the best pitchers in the American League as far as pitchers. You have to find a way to keep those kinds of players. I think the Mets got a heck of a deal and I look for Santana to do great things. I just don’t understand it, the guy has earned it but I don’t own the ball club.

John: From the fans perspective we hear that the Twins offered Johan $20 million a year, how do you not take that? On the other hand I have read on the Internet that Santana and his agent have stated that they are setting a precedent here for future players. The fact that his salary came in on the backs of the players before him, he had a responsibility to do the same for the future players and he had to kind of carry that forward so to speak.

Dick: You are talking to a guy that made $30,000 at most, today’s players make that in a month and some make it in a day. On one hand yes, it is hard to understand how someone can turn down $20 million a year, on the other hand, if a guy is at a certain level of earnings, then that guy should make that level of earnings. If that level is $30 million a year, then that is what his earnings should be. Santana is proven, he was at that upper level, I always said, you are not worth a tinkers damn unless someone is willing to pay it and obviously he was worth it because someone was willing not only to pay what the Twins offered but a heck of a lot more.

John: I think that the fans can kind of understand that but I am disappointed at what the Twins received in that trade. I think the Yankees and the Red Sox both offered better deals at least by what was reported in the papers and I understand that may not be what was really offered by these teams.

Dick: He was not going to stay in the American league.

John: You don’t think so?

Dick: No, that’s what I think. I think they wanted to get him out of the American League. I never thought that they would trade him to anyone in the American League because they did not want to have to face him and have him stick it up their gazoo and have everybody jump all over them when he did it. With the Twins it’s always about the money, look at Carew, he was traded to the Angels back then. Calvin didn’t want to pay it and Carew had earned the right to make that kind of money. That is the history of the Twins.

John: Absolutely it is, Pohlad is supposedly the richest owner in baseball and he is what, ninety some years old, and he is not going to spend that money.

Dick: I have always said this, that these owners in their own environments where they made their wealth, be it shipbuilding, banking or whatever, that is what they are really good at doing. But just because you become a baseball owner does not mean that you carry over that same smartness because baseball or any professional sport is an entertainment industry and it is different. The Twins are still dear to my heart even though I think I have been treated badly by them to this day. I will forever be a Twins fan because of the relationships I had with the fans there but especially the players. It was difficult when I was traded to the Yankees, being a Dodger fan and to play for the Yankees, my Dad wouldn’t even talk to me for six months. I could not even look at myself in the mirror with pinstripes on, it was really hard but I will always be a Twins person, they were my first love, the organization and Dick Wiencek took the chance to sign me and guys like Billy Martin, Frank Quilici and all the guys that supported me and I will forever be that way. It is one of those things but it really hurts when I see these kinds of moves made and it seems that they weaken the team when they moves like the one with Santana.

John: Do you follow baseball a lot today?

Dick: I am not really a fan; I am a participator rather than an observer, I kind of scan through things and follow up on certain items like the Santana deal. For the longest time I was kind of bitter when I got out of baseball due to the arm injury and I did not follow baseball at all. I would not watch it, I would not read about it, nothing, it was very hard on me. I still signed autographs and coached little league and things like that and I stayed in touch that way but as far as staying in touch with the players, Tommy Hall was the only guy I ever contacted in all the years I have been out of baseball. I had some wonderful acquaintances but it just brought back too many painful memories for me so I just stayed away from it. Time heals and here I am 63 so, it has taken a long time for me but I am finally getting back to the point where I have gotten involved with the alumni association. That was a big step for me and getting in touch with the Yankees and the Twins. I still have some issues with the Twins because I often wonder why am I reaching out, they are not reaching back.

John: That is kind of strange because the Twins seem to take pride in their history and they hold a Twins Fest annually where they bring in a number of current, future, and some alumni players for autographs interviews and things like that. It would be great to have you come back here for that event.

Dick: Well actually, last year or the year before and it was about a week before opening day and they asked me if I would come back but I had to pay my own way and my own expenses. I told them I would love to come back but could you pick up the expenses and they said no they couldn’t and I told them that I a retired now and don’t have that kind of money laying around. I would love to come back but I can’t spend my own money on something like that, ever since I left I have never even been back in the Midwest. I find it really interesting on the autograph side that I am getting autographs requests from people whose Dad or Grandfathers had gotten my autograph when I was playing. I guess I am getting old. I find it really interesting because I am but a blip in baseball history but I am always shocked at how many people want my autograph. It is really amazing because I have moved several times and they always find me, within a couple weeks of moving someone already has my new address. To be honest, signing autographs has always embarrassed me because I have never seen that I was somebody that important to give my autograph but in the 34 years that I have been out of baseball, autograph requests have always been a constant, the one thing I didn’t like but it is the one thing I have done, begrudgingly sometimes, but I have done it.

John: I know I have taken up a lot of your time Dick but can I ask you for your thoughts on steroids and HGH and those kinds of things that we are dealing with today?

Dick: I agree with Jim Kaat’s thoughts and I loved his thoughts on how we were doing things illegal, not to the point of steroids but doing corked bats, using pine tar, Vaseline, things like that, those things are also illegal. The thing I have a problem with is that a player even if is hopped up on that stuff, he still has to produce, and he still has to hit the ball. I can’t imagine a pitcher using steroids to get stronger or anything like that because it works against throwing a baseball. But for recovering from an injury like Pettitte was doing, I can sure understand that, I would have probably done the same thing. You try to find anything that will help you to get well again. With the rotary cuff injury I had and if somebody had said this will be the answer and your arm will be all better and you will be able to continue your career, you bet I would have done it. So I do have mixed feelings but my biggest problem is that the kids would be doing it and they are not adults making their own decisions that could impact their lives. That is the one reason I think it maybe should be made illegal. I think baseball took way too long to react to steroid use because they were benefitting with the homerun resurgence and players hitting 60 or 70 home runs per year and the fan excitement coming back to baseball which made the owners a lot of money. Now for baseball to come back and try to crucify these guys, I have a problem with that. I don’t think it was wrong at that time when it wasn’t illegal for these guys to use it. You use whatever you can to enhance and improve your livelihood so from that professional perspective I didn’t have a problem with that. If everyone used it, I don’t think that the stats are going to be that much different to tell you the truth. If other players were using it when and if Barry Bonds was on steroids, how many of those guys had the same kinds of seasons that Barry Bonds had? I just don’t see it; I don’t see the vast improvement of production over all. I think it is more mythical, in guy’s heads that they think they take something that will help them. Maybe if they took a placebo and believed the same thing they might turn out to have great stats simply because in their heads they thought that it was helping them. It is a mixed bag for me but it is from the kid’s perspective that I think they had to do something but I think baseball dragged their feet way too long.

John: One question I like to ask everyone is if you had a chance to play baseball in another era, what era would you have chosen?

Dick: Probably in the modern era but not for the reason that people would think which is the money, but instead for the way that the medical treatments are, the way you stay in shape, you can actually be an athlete now versus just a ballplayer. We were kind of like golfers back then until Tiger Woods came along and said you know what, I am an athlete. So from a medical, nutritional, and exercise standpoint, today would be when I would want to play. Yeah, the money is there but my thing was competition, no matter the money they paid me, I loved to get out there and compete, get on the mound and pit myself against the batter and compete that way. Competition what always what I have been about so no matter what era you put me in, that would never change.

John: Well thank you Dick so very much for all you time today, I have really enjoyed talking with you.

Dick: I really hope that the Twins break down and bring me out there, I would really love to get back there and see the Twin Cities again because I just know it has grown immensely but mostly just to get back in that environment again because that would really warm my cockles if you will.

John: You better make it in the summer time Dick because it is kind of cold here.

Dick: I know, I spent two winters there and would never do it again. I am out here where it is 68 degrees and sunny.

John: Good enough Dick, I will see what I can do to get the Twins to bring you back here.


There is another interview I did with Dick in early 2011, an audio interview where Dick and I discuss his salary arbitration case, the first case ever in MLB and you can find it on my “Salaries” page.

7 Responses to Dick Woodson interview

  1. Marilyn Vinson says:

    Hi Dick and Julie.
    I was wondering about you two.
    I have. Nephew from WA! State that was just signed with the Twins.
    We were your some of your first neighbors in Spring Valley.
    I still live here. We lost my husband 5 years ago. We still have 7 of the original owners on the street.
    I know the area where you reside now. I have a granddaughter who lives in Hemet. And some friends in Menifee also.
    Well I just wanted to touch base with you two.

    • jjswol says:

      Marilyn, I will try to forward your note to Dick. Thanks for stopping by this site.

    • jjswol says:


      Who was your nephew that just signed with Minnesota?

      • Marilyn Vinson says:

        John, Thank you for forwarding the information to Dick and Juli Woodson. It was a surprise that they would reply so soon. They are a very nice couple. We followed them through his career and then lost contact.
        The nephew is a nephew of my grandson’s wife side of their family. I am attempting to get the name. we will certainly follow his career path if he makes the team.
        Thanks again,

  2. Daniel Kerr says:

    My first attendance at a Twins game – I don’t recall the year – but some guy I had never heard of made mincemeat of the Angels. Some guy named Dick Woodson. I’ll never forget that game! He gave up a dinger to Jim Fregosi but shut the Angels down the rest of the way. Twins won 8-1. That game, and Dick Woodson, remain near and dear to my heart. Always wondered what happened to him. Good interview! And yeah, he was treated unfairly by the Twins. Few players weren’t. That’s life in the Twins org, sorry to say.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *