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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Encounter With Calvin Griffith

No, clotheshorse Calvin wasn't wearing argyle
 that night at the Dome. Too bad.
(from 1977 Minnesota Twins Yearbook)

I was introduced to Calvin by a former student of mine.  In case you weren't aware, Griffith was the first Owner of the Twins.  It was about 1996, a couple years before he passed on, and I was attending a Twins game versus Cleveland.  It was during a time of perennial losing for our home nine. Distressing times, watching a team vastly overmatched.  Especially against the powerhouse Indian squads of that period.  So, the distraction was pretty welcome.

I wasn't sure what to expect, though I didn't really think he would be curmudgeonly.  He was, actually, quite accessible, and down to earth.  I asked him several questions relating to his thoughts one the then-current Twins squad (Matt Lawton comes to mind: "He'll be a good one.") 

Mainly, I think he was pleased to be recognized and shown respect.  Which was his due, despite his well-publicized fiascoes in the print media (see Nick Coleman's 1978 article on Calvin who was speaking before the Waseca Lion's Club).  

It bears repeating...without Cal Griffith and his lobbying in 1960, there would be no Twins, and perhaps no Major League Baseball in Minnesota.  Period.

May Your Taters Fly Far!

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