Thursday, September 25, 2014
Vargas made his Target Field debut at the 2014 All Star Futures Game. Days later, he leaped from AA to the Twins' everyday lineup. With his size and smile (and sprinkled with the eternal resentment Twins fans feel over losing David Ortiz for nothing 11 years ago), he was annointed "Little Papi." Vargas became the third player in MLB history to tally at least 34 hits and at least 24 RBI over his first calendar month in the majors. The other two: Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Battey won his first Gold Glove award in his first season as an everyday player for the Washington Senators in 1960. He would three-peat as the AL's Gold Glove catcher over the Twins' first two seasons in 1961-1962. In 1962, he appeared in both the mid-season and post-season All Star Games -- the first two of his five All Star appearances as a Twin.
Battey passed away in 2003 after a battle with cancer. The following year, he was posthumously inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Prince signed with the Twins as a 36 year old free agent in 2001. That was, of course, the pivotal year in Twins history where, in the face of contraction, the young nucleus of Hunter, Mientkiewicz, Jones, Koskie, and Guzman came together to give the Twins their first winning season in nine years (in manager Tom Kelly's final season). Prince appeared in 64 games as A.J. Pierzynski's backup and mentor. In his 15th big league season, he established new career highs with 215 plate appearances and seven home runs.
Adams spent four years as a part-time player for the Kansas City Chiefs in the mid 1970s. His career numbers were unimpressive, and he moved on to the CFL for a couple of years. There is no documentation of him playing pro ball between 1980 and his three-game stint with the Vikings in 1987.
The 2009 documentary film The Lost Son of Havana chronicles Tiant's return to his native Cuba for the first time in 46 years. It's one of my absolute favorite baseball films. Check it out.