Friday, December 17, 2010

Ghosts of Twins Team Photos Past: The 1981 Spring TrainingTeam Picture!


Ah-ha, so the Twins Twinkler is not AWOL. Can't believe...this is my 1st December post! The rigors of snow removal, and participating in Christmas Choirs (which - SUPER BUMMER! -  never included the Win! Twins! theme song in performance) have sadly reduced my time for nurturing our little museum of Twins past.

OK, now pay attention to the prose, not the ho's!

Hopefully, this amounts to a nice exercise in beginning scanner use 101. This photo has to be counted as interesting, and telling at the same time.  Where's Hrbek? Where's Gaetti? Discoursing in the men's room on the relative merits of Jaclyn Smith versus Morgan Fairchild? Negative, as they didn't even have invites to spring training. Frank Viola wouldn't be drafted by the Twins until June 8 in the 2nd round (the 11th pick of the '81 amateur draft), Kirby Puckett wouldn't be drafted until January of '82 (in the 1st round, 3rd pick of the amateur draft), while Randy Bush was still in AA at the Twins minor league Orlando affiliate.
Back off, she-vixen.


The team leaders were Gary Ward, John Castino, Roy Smalley, Butch Wynegar, Ron Washington and 1969 World Series hero, Jerry Koosman (BTW: thank you Jerry, for lending your lovely daughter to our Patron Service Staff at Canterbury Downs, circa 1987. Good genes really stand out!).
Growlin' Gary Ward: in a sea of smiling faces, he retains his penitentiary face!
Among the reasons he was my favoite Twin. He was the Twins answer to
Don Baylor as a clubhouse enforcer long before Baylor became a Twin in '87.



"Forget ladies, I bring the Bombs, si?"
Bombo Rivera, 1979 Topps Card
You had guys on the way out ( the enigmatic Landreaux, who would surface later that fall with the eventual World Champ Dodgers), Glenn Adams, Bombo Rivera - all guys who had played for a few '70s edition Twins, plus coaches who had played or been on the Twins playing roster in the 1960's (pitching coach Podres, Manager Johnny Goryl, his successor, Billy "Shotgun" Gardner).  Recall too that Johnny Pods guru'd Sweet Music in his use of the circle change up. Those damn Brooklyn boys always stick together!


So, all in all, a '60's coaching staff, with a roster of mostly '70's guys buttressing (buttressing? Isn't that illegal in several states?) a core group of young '80's guys who would come up after the rosters expanded (Tim Laudner and Smalley are the only players who would make it to 1987, not counting coach Rick Stelmaszek). Stelmaszek, just beginning his time that spring with the Twins and now a four-decade guy, is the longest tenured member of the organization - if you completely ignore the existence of Jim Rantz


'Sall for now.  Hope you enjoyed the trip.
May Your Taters Fly Far!
TT

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