Brant Alyea was born on this date in 1940. His name came up a bit when Chris Colabello was having his great start last season, and I can still remember when Brant Alyea had his moment in the sun. As a 29-year-old journeyman who landed with the Twins in 1970, Alyea came out of nowhere (i.e. Washington Senators, 1969) to open April in left field for the Twins, and he had a pretty good April, hitting .415 in 17 games, with 5 HR and 23 RBI. Pretty good. Good enough to make the cover of the Sporting News.
Then-manager of the Twins Bill Rigney starting platooning guys in left then; I guess there was some question about Brant’s fielding out there. So Alyea shared time in left field with Jim Nettles, Rick Renick, Cesar Tovar, Charlie Manual, Jim Holt, Bob Allison, Steve Brye, and Herman Hill. And the bat boy, probably.
Too bad, because that was Brant Alyea’s season to shine.. In 94 games and 258 at bats he hit .291, with 16 HR and 61 rbi. I might have let him play out there a bit more, I guess.
Alyea played six years in the majors, and his batting average goes like this:
1965 – .231
1968 – .267
1969 – .249
1970 – .291
1971 – .177
1972 – .180
I guess he got hurt pretty bad in 1972, and that was the end of Alyea’s career in baseball. I still remember that month of April he had, though. Those were the years when the Twins rocked, and Alyea looked like he was going to rock with them. And he did, for a while.
Happy birthday, Brant Alyea. Thanks for April 1970. Good game.