Today’s Baseball History Highlight

I picked up a copy of This Day in Baseball from the St. Paul Public Library last week, and have been casually flipping through the pages. It’s a nice little collection. Some things seem a bit more historical than others, but there’s something for everyone. Today’s entry notes that in 1979 the Minnesota Twins traded young Jesse Orosco to the Mets, as part of a deal for Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman.

this day in baseball

Orosco goes on to pitch in more games – 1,252 – than any other pitcher in major league history.

But Koosman was okay for the Twins. He was 39-35 for the them in 94 total games over 3 seasons. He was 20-13 in 1979,  for an 82-80 4th place club, making the trade look great for the Twins. In 1980 he was 16-13 as the Twins went 77-84, so another pretty good season. He had a bad start in 1981, 3-9, and was traded to the Pale Hose for Ivan Mesa, Ronnie Perry and Randy Johnson.

No, not that Randy Johnson.

This is the Randy Johnson that hit .248 for the Twins in 1982 as a designated hitter. The Randy Johnson who was then was traded to the Pale Hose, with Ron Scheer, (yes, that Ron Scheer) for shortstop Roy Smalley.

So, perhaps the Orosco – Koosman deal worked out okay for both clubs. Orosco pitched a long time, had a good ERA, and finished with an 87-80 record over 24 years. And — Circle of Life — he eventually came back to the Twins, in 2003, from the Yankees. He went 1-1 in 8 games, with a 5.79 ERA.


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