Just came across this gem on youtube:
Perhaps it would be more gem-like if the picture wasn’t a bit elongated, and if the Twins would have won. Vin Scully and Ray Scott calling the game.
Seems like every little town has got their baseball field. Something nostalgic about that. I don’t see many kids out there playing, though maybe it’s just in my neighborhood. This is Franklin Minnesota, farm country, south central Minnesota. Catfish Capital of Minnesota, or so they claim. They do not field a team known as the Franklin Catfish, however. I haven’t been able to find any hometown team mentioned, or a name for this little ballpark.
Ahh, well, it’s a nice looking little ballpark. Probably called Franklin Ballpark. Good enough.
Jim Bouton battles Curt Simmons in the Series.
The game goes 1-1 through 8 innings, and then Mickey Mantle homers in the bottom of the 9th, and the Yankees win, 2-1.
Which just reminds me that, back in the old days, we’d be seeing an Angels-Nationals Series. Those were the clubs that came through the “pre-season” with the best records, the Angels, 98-64, the Nationals 96-66. Sure the playoffs have some exciting ball, how could you not love that? But a part of me that thinks the old way was better, you play the whole season to find out who’s the best in each league, and then the best two teams play for the championship. Case closed.
Well, we won’t see that again. It will probably go the other direction, another level of playoffs.
Anyway, good game, bulldog.
Joe “no nickname yet” Mauer is moving to first base next year, rather than risk further injuries behind the plate. Joe’s 2013 season was shortened when he sustained a concussion from a foul tip off the catcher’s mask, and they figure that putting Mauer at first will keep him healthy and in the line up. Well, hard to argue with that. The downside of this is that while Mauer ranks very highly as an offensive force at catcher, he has lacked the home-run swing you traditionally like to see in a first baseman. However his OPS numbers are plenty respectable as a first baseman, and perhaps he’ll hit with more power since he won’t be banged-up from catching.
Mauer’s move to first makes it even more unlikely that the Twins will sign free agent first baseman Justin Morneau, who some might remember as having played first base a bit for the Twins in the past. At catcher the Twins have high hopes for young Josmil Pinto, who hit .342 with four home runs for the Twins in 21 games in 2013. There’s also Ryan Doumit — who also suffered a concussion that kept him from behind the plate at the end of last season.
I wonder if Doumit can play short?
While Morneau is now unlikely to return, (even more unlikely,) former Twins shortstop Jason Bartlett has returned, signing a minor league deal with the club. Bartlett is 34 now (how did that happen?) and last played in the majors in 2012 with the San Diego club. He had a knee injury that limited his play in 2012, and he spent 2013 trying to heal up. As you recall, Bartlett was traded to Tampa Bay along with the pitcher Matt Garza for Delmon Young, who now happens to be back with the Rays. Garza is a free agent currently, and certainly the Twins could use him. Is it crazy to think that the Twins will sign Santana, Santana, and Garza? Yep. It is.
It would be nice to see Bartlett regain some of his old form. With Florimon’s limited offense, perhaps there might be a place for Bartlett, if he’s healthy and capable and regains some significant portion of his misspent youth.
Okay, seriously, Bartlett’s a long shot. And I like Florimon in the field. Bartlett has sentimental value, but he’s a long shot.
There was a great comment on the Twins Daily website about Bartlett’s signing:
“This is the kind of serious move I think we all have been waiting for.”
Well said, jctwins, well said. Funny, but I think not serious criticism.
Joe “The Tower of Power” Mauer? I’m sure somebody’s suggested that all ready. No good.
The Minnesota Twins clinch their first American League Pennant on this date in 1965.
Jim Kaat gets the win in a 2-1 victory over the Senators. Washington scored its run when Kaat tried to pick Frank Howard off first, (Frank Howard? A threat to steal?) but threw the ball away, I think, and the runner on third scored. The Twins score their two runs on a sacrifice fly (Versalles scoring) and a passed ball (Quilici scoring.)
A little of that Old-Time small-ball.
Kaat went the distance, striking out 10.
A team of destiny.
The 1965 World Series, the Twins vs. the Dodgers, was the first World Series where both teams had losing records the previous year. Oddly enough, this has happened two other times since 1965: in ’87 (Twins vs. the Cardinals), and again in ’91 (Twins vs. the Braves). [This tidbit of information comes via Wikipedia.]