Saturday, July 26, 2014
As a young player on some dreadful Stars teams, he led them in scoring in each of his first two seasons. In his sophomore year of 1976-77, Young was an NHL All Star selection. That same year, he scored 95 points, shattering Dennis Hextall's previous team record of 82 in a season. (That record would stand until 1981-82, when Smith, Ciccarelli, and Broten each passed him.)
One record Young will hold for all time is the North Stars mark for goals in a single game. On January 15, 1979 at Madison Square Garden, Young lit the lamp five times in a 8-1 North Stars victory over the Rangers. He was the only North Star to ever have a five-goal game.
On the North Stars all-time lists, Young ranks eighth in goals (178) and fifth in assists (316). His 494 total points as a North Star is sixth all-time, trailing only Broten, Bellows, Ciccarelli, Smith, and Bill Goldsworthy.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Black Top Bar.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
It wasn't just Carew who had a career year for the '77 Twins, though. Minnesota native Dave Goltz was a 20-game winner. The late Lyman Bostock finished second in the AL (to Carew) with a .336 average, while adding 14 homers, 90 RBI, 104 runs, and a .897 OPS -- all personal bests in his tragically short career. Tom Johnson had an incredible year of of the bullpen with 17 saves and 16 relief wins.
In the shadow (and, in part, because) of Carew, Larry Hisle had the finest season of his career as well. He hit .302 with 28 home runs, 21 stolen bases, and a league-leading 119 runs batted in. Unfortunately for the Twins, that was also the final season of Hisle's contract. Notorious penny-pincher Calvin Griffith would predictably not pony up to sign him, and Hisle left for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
Sunday, July 13, 2014
Friday, July 11, 2014
While Baylor may have saved the Lakers from folding, he could not save them from moving to Los Angeles. After his second season in Minneapolis, the team headed west. In L.A., Baylor would team with fellow Hall of Famers Jerry West and (later on) Wilt Chamberlain to lead the Lakers to seven NBA Finals appearances, though they would lose each time to the Boston Celtics. The Lakers would finally break through in 1972. Baylor retired earlier during that season and did not appear in the Finals, but he was awarded his first NBA Championship ring anyway.
He is now best known nationally as the head coach who has helped turn the fortunes of the perennial doormat Columbus Blue Jackets. This past season he guided the Blue Jackets to their first-ever playoff win while taking the heavy-favorite Pittsburgh Penguins to six games in their first-round series. Of course, prior to landing in Columbus, Richards spent two years at the helm of his home-state Wild. Despite talent-starved and injury-plagued rosters, Richards finished over .500 in both of his seasons with the Wild, but was still ousted after just two years on the job. Perhaps I'm biased because he's a fellow Armstrong Falcon, but I still feel he got a raw deal in Minnesota. It's cool to see him having so much success in Columbus.
Smith is presently in his 21st season as the manager of the Elizabethton Twins (the Twins' rookie-ball minor league affiliate in the Appalachian League). Over two stints (1987-1994 and 2002 until now), he has led the E-Twins to 13 post-season appearances and seven Appalachian League championships. Smith's teams have not had a losing record since 1988. Among the players who have played for Smith: Marty Cordova, Eddie Guardado, LaTroy Hawkins, Corey Koskie, Jesse Crain, Pat Neshek, Denard Span, Glen Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, Matt Garza, Brian Dozier, and many more, including most of the Twins' current crew of top prospects (Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, etc.)