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Remembering Leo Cardenas, The Superstitious One

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Classic Twins Game of The Week: Carew & Co. 19-12 Beatdown of White Sox - Sunday, June 26, 1977

This great game photo, and the one below of Carew and Adams come
courtesy of Tom Shide's wonderful "Iowa Twins Fan" post of Feb., 2015.
Trust me, it's a damn side better than my post, much MUCH better.
In fact, I'm not sure what you're doing here, reading this slop.
[Last revision, June 26, 2016]


The June 26, 1977 game boxscore is a Twins fan's delight. There were 14 rbi's just for Rod Carew(6) and Glenn Adams (8, the team individual player record) alone!

Adams was bought from the San Francisco Gigantes the previous Dec. 6, to DH and play a statue-like rightfield.  This was his career game obviously, going 4 for 5, totaling 8 total bases. In my memory, he is the team all-time leader in dramatic, warning track fly outs that aroused excitement but, sadly, were mere precursors to crashing disappointment.

Our man Glenn, on his 1978 Topps Card: 
the unofficial holder of all-time Twins
 warning track flyouts!  Uncanny,
 his ability to find the fielder's glove!

This is actually one post I have a difficult time extracting game memories...I wish you could have a direct link-up to my mind, to view all the warm, fuzzy memories (if not the dirty bits). I remember being at the game on that sunshiny day with my Uncle Jake, and cousin's Bill and Bob. Jake was a wonderful guy, who would chaperone us from our little farm town in Minnesota to the comparatively cosmopolitan environs of Bloomington, Minnesota. It was marvelous timing on our part, as this was the same game in which Carew went over the .400 mark for the first time that season. The feat was announced on the team's magnificent, but cheesy, Twins-O-Gram Scoreboard (story link). Dave Wright in his excellent book "162-0: The Greatest Twins Wins" at Google Books gives some insight into this day to aid, as I am too emotionally invested (or too old!) to be of much use. I'm suggesting you make liberal use of the text enlarging + tool:


NOTE - clicking on the news images to follow will produce a larger version for reading...


Perhaps forgotten in the game recap was that Twins starter Bill Butler was removed after 2-plus innings, and St. Paul-born "closer" Tommy Johnson (who had an otherwise excellent year in '77) finished the contest with 6.2 innings of relief.  He shut down the Pale Hose with a line of 10 hits, 2 walks, 7 earned runs, 6 k's and two homeruns.  Git 'er done, indeed!

Rod and Glenn Adams, seen here sharing in the spoils of victory

The buildup to .400 had been tremendously exciting, and rival teams and managers were as captivated by Carew's hot streak as we fans:

Both above clips, Spartenburg Herald

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Postscript

No one ever said life was fair. Same in baseball. If it were, Rod Carew would have played in a World Series at least ONCE, and have been its MVP. As it was, players of far less talent and renown who played in this game DID go on to higher glories. Bombed Chicago starter Steve Stone would garner a 1980 All-Star Game starting nomination and AL Cy Young Award hardware to his trophy case for his out-of-nowhere performance that same season. And no less than FIVE other players would go on to enjoy Big Dance glories, including Oscar Gamble (twice with the Yankees, in '77 and '81), Chet Lemon ('84 Tigers), and quite infamously, by no fault of his own Jorge Orta (see 1985 World Series with Kansas City). And from the Twins, Dan Ford would win a ring with the 1983 Orioles, Roy Smalley with the 1987 Twins, and that's about it. Rob Wilfong got to the post-season in 1982 (ironically as an Angel teammate of Rod's), and then again with the same Halos in another, losing effort in 1986 versus the Red Sox. 

And so it goes. As far as the more meaning game we call "life," Twins winning pitcher Tommy Johnson followed his heart and faith, and with his wife, he went on to a very fruitful career as a Christian missionary (Fox Sports link). 

"So long, everybody!"" - Herb Carneal

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Listened to this game on the radio, and will never forget it.

--Chris Schons

jdgoeke said...

I also was at this game. The father of one of my high school friends drove us up from northeast Iowa for the game that day. We sat out in the sunshine in the left field lower deck.
Do I remember correctly that someone tried to climb the left field foul pole that day? Does anyone else remember that?
It was a great day to be a Twins fan at the old Met!

-Jim Goeke

TWINS TWINKLER! (so named as "TT" was title of player features in Minn. Twins game programs of 1960's) said...

Jim, for some reason, my memory is pretty vague about the pole-climbing incident. Probably because was so bizarre, my not understanding why someone would have done so. As it turns out, the fan responsible was none other than Minnesota Twins and sports historian S tew Thornley. He was a teenager in '77, and a drunk one at that. He has gone on to a pretty interesting life (see site - http://www.angelfire.com/mn3/cardinal73/Stew_Thornley.htm ), and is now one of the Twins official scorers. You can read a ton of things on him at his web site: stewthornley.net. Oddly enough, I saw no mention of that game anywhere at this site.

Eric apland said...

I was 3 years old and I remember going to that game, I remember because my dad bought me a twins jersey that went down to my feet and a batting helmet that I accidentally dropped onto right field causing play to stop and Disco Dan Ford threw it back to me. I would love to find out if there's any footage of that anywhere.

tshide said...

Michael, thanks again for this post, this is a great recounting of a wonderful day in Twins' history. Thanks for the photo credits above, your reference to my blog from last year made my day, http://www.iowatwinsfan.com/2015/02/15/first-and-only-game-at-the-met/.

Speaking of the person climbing the flag pole, I did not remember it until someone mentioned it in a comment on my article. There were so many things that happened at that game, it is fun to hear about all the different memories.