Saturday, June 24, 2017

Don Mincher and memories of the 1965 Minnesota Twins

We remember Don Mincher, who was born on this day in 1938.     

Don had a good baseball career:  .249 average, 200 HR & 646 RBI in 1,400 games with the old Senators who became the Twins in 1961, Angels, the Pilots who became the Brewers in 1970, the Senators who became the Rangers in 1972 and finally the A's.    He died in 2012.

In 1965, I was a new kid in the US and fell in love with the Minnesota Twins.   Don played first for the AL champ Twins and hit 23 HR with 65 RBI.    He hit a HR off Don Drysdale & Sandy Koufax in the '65 Series.   

He is also remembered for this:
 On June 9, 1966, Mincher was part of baseball history again when he was one of five Twins who hit home runs in one inning, an American League record. The Kansas City Athletics were the victims; the others besides Mincher to go deep in the seventh inning that day were Rich Rollins, Tony Oliva, Zoilo Versalles, and Harmon Killebrew.
A few years ago, I reconnected with those '65 Twins by reading Jim Thielman's "Cool in the evening".   He wrote the book in 2005 or the 40th anniversary of that wonderful team that lost to the LA Dodgers in 7 games.

Like me, Thielman fell in love with the Twins, his hometown team.

In my case, the Twins were the first team that I loved after arriving in the US.   (I discuss this in my book "Cubanos in Wisconsin" linked below)

Our family was relocated to Wisconsin and we learned that the Twins had 4 Cuban players.  It was a treat.  It was great.  I spent many evenings in the summer of '65 tuning my little radio to a station in central Wisconsin that carried the Twins.

Why the Twins and not the Braves?    The Braves left Milwaukee in 1965. So I did not have much of a chance to follow them.   By '65, most Wisconsin fans were turned off by Braves' ownership and few people showed up at County Stadium.     So I became a Twins fans over the radio!

Thielman's book is wonderful and full of the kind of information that a baseball fan would love: 




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