Monday, March 29, 2010

Alexi Casilla Gets Roster Space Over Matt Tolbert & Jacque Jones! AAAAAAHHHHHHRRRGH!!

Yesterday the Twins announced they would be sending veteran left fielder Jacque Jones (playing great in asubstitute role) and infielder
Matt Tolbert (playing lousy!) to their minor league camp, with later placement on the Rochester AAA roster.  This meant that now-perennial underachiever Alexi Casilla, a Dominican Republic native, would retain a spot on the big league roster.  This is obvious partly because the Twins know that any other team could claim Casilla on the spot, as the quota of roster moves (referred to as "options") involving him have been exhausted.

The Twins received Alexi in a swap for another under-achieving headcase pitcher named J.C. Romero from the Anaheim/California/Los Angeles Not-the-Dodgers in 2005.  They felt fortunate to get him in the exchange, in light of the tortuous travails they were experiencing with the headstrong, afraid to-throw-a-strike
Romero.  How ironic that they were making what looks like now an even trade!

The reason for the Twins holding this mindset is that they obviously still view him as a talented, promising player, with room to grow.  Undoubtedly, he has all the requisite physical characteristics for the job.  It's when Alexi is asked to think with some foresight about what's happening on the baseball field that trouble follows...he's just not all that, to coin a term, very "baseballically" intelligent. And that's being kind!

He takes impatient, bad at-bats, swinging at pitches he can't handle ( those over his head, or thrown in the dirt). He always seems to behind in the count 0-2.  Conversely, Joe Mauer is seemingly always ahead at 2(balls)-0(strikes).  He's out of position in the field unless the coaches are waving towels or semaphores to get his attention to move one way or the other, depending on the batter. He has excellent speed, but he doesn't get on base enough to steal bases at a great clip. He made a critical baserunning error (see link at Rotoworld, for detail) in Twins game 163 when the Twins defeated the Tigers.  Basically, he just doesn't appear to play at a high level of intensity to suit my taste...[sigh]...I guess I've turned calloused and mean in my old age!

He did get the game winning hit later in that same game, in a clutch situation (see game photo).  But those moments have been too few and far between for him.

The time has come for the Twins to fish or cut bait with 'Lexi.  He's 26.  He's too old to be called a "prospect."  He adds NOTHING to the team, realistically, especially when you can't depend on him to play heads-up and intelligently, the "Twins way."  Alexi, you coulda made us proud.

Twinkler Out!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Twinkler Lost in Upcoming Post Brainstorm!

What shall we feed the masses next?  Target Field haiku?  An ode to Dave Boswell's swollen eye socket?  Twins book reviews?  What was it about Paul Thormodsgard's name that prevented him from finding stardom?
Or all of that in addition to the Target Field "get to know it" posts?

Shoot the Twinkler a line, I'll aim to feed the beast.
Twinkler Out!

Picture caption, right"  "Anything ya [CENSORED] wanna know about [DELETED] hitting  and the Twins, Rod, just ask Teddy [BLEEPIN'] Ballgame."
-  Ted Williams, the last .400 hitter of the 20th Century.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Are We Men or Are We Devo? Twinkler Rants On The Pros of Target Field! Part I

Before I forget, check out this interesting Twin Cities Business article with some fine Target Field info before enduring my rant!  Most excellent!


I hope the coming posts give you some basic information about the Twins new Target Field.  If it sounds like old-school propaganda, so be it.  But perhaps there may be something interesting to you regarding it's no-roof structure, a kind of antithesis to  Milwaukee's Miller Park. Which is mainly, what Target field is not!

Primarily, I think the greatest appeal about Target Field is it's simplicity in design.  It's without a retractable roof, which I feel is its greatest plus.  Now, I realize there is the opinion that a modern ballpark without a roof is going to make it difficult for those visiting from outside the Metro area to know if a game will take place with a certainty ( is it going to be a rainout?  A snowout?).  And that former Twins like Harmon Killebrew felt that perservering through wet and cold games at the old Metropolitan Stadium was more an act of endurance than an athletic contest. 

I would state that #1: "that's life, and #2: at least it's a genuine experience, as opposed to the sterile indoor game we knew at the Metrodome. But this takes the cake for me: take a gander at these
photos of Miller Park in Milwaukee: aesthetically, this structure is an overwrought mess.  Like all the songs of "Yes" in the Seventies. Yeah, you heard me right, Miller Park isn't the greatest park ever built!

It's a matter of taste.  To digress, I've heard people rave about Celine Dion for years.  It's always "Oh that big majestic, so powerful." And...LOUD!  Where's the soul? Listen to me, Pedro, she's a "thrower":  Celine is a talent, for sure, but she's no "pitcher" in the Frankie Viola sense: no finesse, it's all "look at how hard I can throw," or in her case, how high up the scale she can bleat.  She's not even Scott Baker.  And don't even try to tell me she can pitch it like Aretha Franklin!!

The same argument goes for Miller Park.  Big, brawny & bulbous.  Go ahead - click on the photos for a better look!  Yuck!  All dangling gridwork, billowing metal erector sets...gawd, it's as if the mother ship just crashed unexpectedly in/on top of Milwaukee, with ET ready to jump out and request a "phone home" just to excape all the box girder ugliness.
That comment isn't even taking into account the horrific screech the structure makes as it's being closed when storms are blowing in.  You mean to tell me that's preferrable to a structure like Target Field, just to make sure we never feel any discomfort, any apprehension, that we never have to take a calculated risk that things won't go as planned?  Isn't life itself a calculated risk?

As Arnold Szwarzeneggar might say, have we become a race of little girly men?  C'mon now!  What, has humankind devolved since 1982 (year Metrodome opened) to the point it can't assimilate to temperatures that fall below 68 degrees with a slight wind?

So, I guess I'm of the opinion that, number one, I'll put up with a little rain, sleet and wind.  I'm a rough, calloused descendants slept on sacks of potatoes for pillows...give me the simplicity and cleanness of design, the time-honored cracker jack, sunshiny ambience of the historic baseball venues like Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field.  I want full sunshine when we have it in the short, Minnesota summer, not subterranean shadows that darken large portions of places like Safeco (Seattle), Miller and Minute Maid Minute Maid (OMG, talk about airplane hangers: "Stewardess, get me mt airsick bag!!") (Houston) Parks.

The ideal ballpark should merely be the vehicle for the spectacle, which is the game, and shouldn't be encumbered by 400 foot high arches that deliver metal blankets on pulleys.  So cold, and it leaves my baseball loving soul lonely!  I'll take what we've got!  And you can thank your shiny, little stars its ours!!
Twinkler Out.

Click on any of these photos for a larger view...
nothing in these would dispel the idea that Target Field is indeed attractive!  Comprende?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here's Some Happy Time Twins Music Kids! Joe Mauer Signs Contract At 6:09 P.M. (CDT)

To celebrate this world historical event, here's the original Twins theme song, "We're Gonna Win Twins" from 1961, eggregiously abandoned in the late 80's for some other version.  Courtesy of Rick Prescott at the Ballpark Magic blog!

Yes, I know it's all overdone. I for one know there's more to life and a higher priority to this existance than this one baseball's just that I can't think what that might be!! I'm so blasted happy Joe-Joe is ours ALL OURS for the next 8 plus years!!!  Start the Minnesota Mardi Gras now!!!!

Twinkler Out!!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

What Comes Around Goes Around: Twins To Offer Schweigert Hotdogs Again!!

Now that the Twins have left the dome, they've also left behind Hormel, and the Domedog.  "The Times They Are a-Changin," as Baseballin' Bob Dylan sang. 

But this is no reason to cry and become a little girly man, unless it's for nostalgic purposes!

The Twins have "repartnered" with Schweigert's, and will sell four different products from the distributor again this year this year. Hope you enjoy the July, 1962 Twins game program ad., with the famous scoreboard and clock in the background.

Who would have thought Merv Griffin got his start hawkin' dogs?

Super duper interesting  details about the back to the future hotdog at the Twins official home  page.

Twinkler Out!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Twins Guru Commercial - Gotta Love How Tony Oliva Say's "Mr. Young"!

We get to see Delmon's snotty look, closeups of Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew smiling approvingly. A favorite.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Twins Trade Glen Perkins & Francisco Liriano In Exchange For Pitching Legends!

After the devastating news Tuesday of Joe Nathan's ligament damage, Twins General Manager Billy Smith had seen the usually bright and happy Twins spring training clubhouse transform into something akin to the apocalyptic cover of Led Zeppelin's "Houses Of The Holy" album.
In one corner of the room was Delmon Young, seen giving "How To Be Unfriendly With The Press" lessons to All American Joe Mauer, while Justin Morneau and Jim Thome were in another cold-cocking one another with their bats, tiffing over who gets to bat fourth this year. Thus, to turn the tide, Smith went out and procured two of the best available free agents still on the market - veteran right hander Charlie Brown of the Charlie Brown All-Stars, and the eccentric Nuke LaLoosh of the Durham Bulls. 

Brown, a soft-tosser best known for giving up a record 100 runs to a pickup team of girls in the 1969 movie "He's Your Dog Charlie Brown," is thought by Smith to be useful in a specialist relief role, to pitch to righthanded batters.  "You never know - guys like him, Bugs Bunny for instance, throw so slow that they can get cartoon hitters to swing and miss three times on one pitch, what with the pinwheeling effect. "

One concern Smith voiced is Brown's makeup, as he's historically demonstrated a lack of confidence in pressure situations, an attribute not appealing in relief pitchers.
Also, line drives hit up the middle have left him undressed,with tiny imaginary birds spinning about his head; the specter of Brown lying scantily clad on the mound, causing potential morals violations (not even getting into child labor issues), is a situation the Twins have never had to deal with. "But for American schoolchildren," Smith went on "he's been an iconic figure for almost three generations, and should be a draw for people to come out to Target Field this year!"

Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, who threw nearly 100 MPH in the movie "Bull Durham," and wore bad leisure suits in the same,  is a character of another sort.  Best known for his off-beat attitude, he is thought to be the best closer candidate because of his brash approach.  Asked how he would have pitched to Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded in the 2009 ALCS, he scoffed and said "[I'd] want to give him the heat and announce my presence with authority!

When told that Manager Ron Gardenhire is a "player's manager," one who likes to help his players stay relaxed so that they can perform well and have fun, he was overheard muttering "Have fun?  He's old, what does he know about fun?  I'm young...I know how to have fun.  I have a Porsche." 

Stay tuned...this should be an interesting year!

Meanwhile, equally brash and crybaby-ish lefthanders Glen Perkins and Francisco Liriano tearfully cleaned out there lockers, after vengefully loading the clubhouse clothes dryer with wet bubblegum (remember: they're lefties...EVIL!).  Perkins stalked about, ordering clubhouse boys to fill his satchel and carry it for him to the taxi.  Liriano went about Dazed and Confused(as is his norm).  GM Smith said "We're happy as can be to get rid er, provide them with a new venue to showcase their talent." And save on the clubhouse food budget, in the process!

Twinkler Out!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bad Bad Bad News! Closer Nathan Has Issues With Torn Ulnar Colateral Ligament Damage In Elbow!

It was reported a few minutes ago on AM1500 by veteran reporter Jim Souhan that top closer Joe Nathan of the Minnesota Twins has a damaged ligament in his elbow, as revealed by cat scan and MRI yesterday.

Generally this means that a player with this development will need to miss the season with surgery, rest and rehabilitation.  In any event, not a happy situation for our home team!

The team at this moment figures to be scrambling for substitutes.  There are minor leaguers just at the cusp of major league readiness, like Rob Delaney, Anthony Slama, et. al., or established guys like Jose Mijares, or even past starters like Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins.

Either way, its a tall task for any one to take his place, as he is perhaps the best closer in team history.  Stay tuned for updates!

Twinkler out (if not down)!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Embarassed Twinkler Conjures Billy Martin "Fighting" Post To Distract From Failed Mauer Prediction!

Much has already been said and written about the August, 1969 bar fight involving Manager Billy Martin and Dave Boswell.  So, I thought I'd merely post these photos of the major particpants, plus this link describing that incident.  He also let it all hang out in another incident, this time with Cubs pitcher, Jim Brewer, in 1960.

 Needless to say, the thoughtful, reflective photo of Martin and "always ready to oblige the little people" pic tend to belie Martin's tendency to knock an opponent's teeth out first and discuss Socractic dialogues later.  And the wonderful irony therein is all the justification for inclusion here.

Twinkler Out!
"Nun's Day"?  Really? Hopefully, the sisters were advised to be on their best behavior, what with Billy lurking.
 I don't suppose the Twins have gone so far as to schedule a "Muslim Clerics" day in the near future at Target Field?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Historic Mauer Contract Signing "Imminent"!!

Not to be labeled rash and as one who posts indiscriminately, I'd like nonetheless to be rash and indiscriminate by going on record and saying the Twins will sign Joe Mauer within the next 72 hours to a contract extension. 

That is based upon the fact that Joe Mauer's agent, Ron Shapiro of Baltimore, has been seen loitering about the Twins spring training camp holding a fancy ball point pen and official-looking forms with blank lines flanked by dollar signs - leading me to think he's trying to forge a deal to sign the Twins star to a multiyear contract. And upon the fact that the blogs and radio shows are lighting up with chatter about the matter.

Rumors that the Twins were trying to annex the BCA in Mauer's name and a license to cut to the front of the line at all Minnesota Dairy Queens as a means to convince him that staying in Minnesota is his best move haven't been substantiated.

 Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Baseball reporter, had a number of nice things in his latest published piece to say about Joe, presumably beyond the "Joe as 'Baby Jesus'" blather you hear bandied about the Twins blogs and call in shows.

Twinkler Out

Remembering: "Disco" Danny Ford 1975-1978

Would not stretch out without the playing of
"Shining Star" or "Give Up The Funk"
[updated from original post, March 5, 2010]

1975. "Do The Hustle." Studio 21.  Saturday Night Live. "Saturday Night Fever." Leisure suits.  Hip-huggin' synthetic double-knit baseball uniforms.  The provocative, green and plaid jumpers worn by my female classmates at St. Wenceslaus Elementary. And..."Disco" Danny Ford, a true sign of his times, joined the Minnesota Twins out of spring training. 

Dan, seen here gettin' his groove thing on to Parliament Funkadelic, was a talented, if not always attentive outfielder for our Twins. He really could do a lot of things well, a fellow with tools, but...
He goes down in Twins lore as the guy who one day, September 5, 1978 (BBRef game box), slowed down on the basepaths between third and homeplate, high-steppin and elbows pumping for maximum effect (for the ladies, apparently). He then turned and watched the next baserunner make his way home on a basehit (Jose Morales). The problem?  In doing so, he allowed himself to be passed on the basepath by the oncoming teammate.  According to the baseball rules book (see below link), that second baserunner should be ruled "out" -  and so it went down.

Managing the Twins was tougher-than-nails Gene  Mauchknown for his steely stare when things weren't going well by him, besides having the ability to make grown men wet their pants in fear.  So, he definitely had the respect of the Twins players. 

He also knew the baseball rule book inside-out, better than even the umpires.  If he'd been cast instead as Charlton Heston to play Moses in the Ten Commandments, he'd likely have found loopholes to confound The Almighty. That is, for most every other rule except for Baseball Rule 7.08H, which is impervious to any other interpretation than what is obvious.

Check the card of Mauch from 1978, in one of his light-hearted moments. Imagine this as his reaction to the baserunning folly crime above.

Never let substance get
in the way of style, kids.

According to no less an expert witness than Roy Smalley, here's what transpired after Ford's un-triumphant boogie to the dugout: "You can keep right on going..." growled the manager through clenched teeth as Ford approached the dugout (implying he should feel free to get dressed and go home)," not wanting to look at the abomination standing before him.  "What are you talking about?" said Ford, walking towards Mauch. "I can't stand to look at you...Get the hell out of here." So, Ford indeed left as requested, and thus the nickname "Disco Dan" was born. 

Right after his dirty deed. ..Danny just being Danny. And those White Sox
 vintage knickers! Richard Olsenius/Star Tribune Minneapolis-St.Paul. From
Bob Showers, "The Twins At The Met."

Danny did go on to redeem himself, adopting one of the most incredible closed batting stances ever seen in history, while playing for two pennant winners in subsequent years. He was a major factor in the 1979 California Angels pennant year, and clubbed a homer against the Philadelphia Phillies and Steve Carlton (for Baltimore-see video) in Game 3 of the 1983 World Series. 

I remember standing near the players entrance at Met Stadium (aerial photo) with my cousin before a game in '77, when we spied Ford making his way from the players lot.  In roaring past two young autograph hounds, he displayed far more speed in evading us than he did on the famous play described earlier.  And in the process, certainly looking every part the disco dancin' lovin' young man he was cracked up to be.  But a breathtaking brush with fame for me, nonetheless! Think of the Twins pride that would have swelled our chests had we known we were in the presence of a future Playgirl centerfold (see story). Which would call into question our judgement regarding our choice of heroes, in a way.

Dan Ford was certainly not alone in this instance. Check out the list of famous players in this link's list!!

Passing Runners on the Bases

5/9/2016 - In the bottom of the second inning, Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto's fly to CF just cleared the fence. Marcell Ozuna returned to 1B in case the ball was caught as Realmuto rounded the 1B bag.
As our Hall Of Fame Broadcaster Herb Carneal would say: "So long, everybody!" - TT

[Thanks to Bob Showers, and background info, "The Twins At The Met."]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Minnesota Twins Camera Day - 1965

"How'd I get here with these little short pants white boys?  Is the Family Von Trapp on break from the set of "Sound of Music"?, catcher Battey seems to be saying.  Young Hans and Franz and Kurt appear highly pleased.

The other day I was rummaging around in the dusty, old treasure chest up in the attic of Minnesota Twins relics past, and came across this photo and others of similar vintage from the trove.  The ocassion, near as can be deciphered, is an outtake from Camera Day, circa 1965.

Twins All-Star Catcher Earl Battey appears slightly verklempt  posing with the adorable lads on the first base line at the Met.  One of the giveaways on the year might be the fact that the left field grandstand is still not completed.  That wouldn't be in the can until just before the All-Star game, held that year in Minnesota.

More of these from the set will be appearing at intervals.  Hope you enjoy the common, Kodak prints that would be similar in format with the white edges until well into the '70's.

Twinkler Out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rally 'Round The Flag Boys - The Twins Raise It High, 1966!

Cool picture I decided to post.  Decided to publish while I take forever for my '68 Twins Post To resolve!  Don't criticize, great art takes time!  Uh, sure Twinkler, sure...

This event most likely occured in April, 1966, involving, left to right: Twins Manager Sam Mele, 1965 MVP Zoilo Versalles, Harmon Killebrew, Earl Battey, Jim "Mudcat" Grant and '65 American League Batting Champion, Tony Oliva.  The expressions very much appear genuine - guys sharing in the joy of a shared experience, having played together in the 1965 World Series the previous autumn.

I'm partial to the cool Metropolitan Stadium grandstand background, under what looks to be a cold, gray, spring sky.  How's that for vintage mint?  Except for the scratch marks at knee level in the photo, it's really exceptional!

Twinkler Out!

All The Young Dudes - The 1968 St. Petersburg (Instructional League) Twins

Material added Wed., Jan. 27, 2016

It may only be me (in fact, I'm sure it is), but old photographs intrigue me.  Historical (ie., Civil War), local (Depression era Minneapolis and St. Paul), ones of my family, etc., etc.  Take this little black and white from the fall of '68.  To all appearances, just a bunch of young jocks trying to make it to the major leagues - an assumption which would mostly be correct, actually!

But the rub is, there are a few human micro-dramas at play here!  I'll post later today on just that, to fill in the picture.  Until then, I hope you can read the roster well enough, if you go on to click on the photo! 

[UPDATE of the UPDATE; Tues., 3-2-10]       
1968. Turbulent times. There are 5 of us, my siblings plus me, blissfully unaware of the world outside our small town, mostly.  My second oldest brother, Dennis, is one year away from joining the army in Vietnam, adding tremendous anxiety to the lives of my Mom and Dad. Many a night, Ma would spend crying in a darkened living room, wondering if Denny would ever return.  Johnson has declined to run for a second term. 

One fine June morning, the news of Robert Kennedy's assassination comes over our black and white Sylvania console TV as I sit eating from my cereal bowl before heading off to my summer Kindergarten session.  I'm hoping my brothers and sisters will let me watch "The Monkees," the 30-minute televised showcase of what to me is the greatest rock band in the world.

 The Minnesota Twins are en route to a disappointing season, prepping their list of draftees from that month's amateur draft for their minor league team assignments and later, the fall instructional league, which had a 48 game schedule that year for the Twin. They would join other young players who may have already played A and rookie league ball.
Instructional league is usually about teams bringing in their younger, less experienced players for some intensive training, "bringing up to speed" and "getting to know you" work after the regular, major league season has completed in October.  Injured players come and rehab, players who need to make up for lost time.  There are teams stocked today in Florida and Arizona.

This photo represents the outstanding 1968 Florida Instructional League Twins team the Twins fielded that fall of '68.  It brought a few items to mind for me, to say the least!  Some represent things I haven't thought about for years.

One of the eerie coincidences in the photo is the pairing of shortstop Danny Thompson and outfielder Herman Hill, seen standing in the back row. Not only were they Twins teammates of high repute at the Major League level, but they both died young. Hill, an Alabaman was age 25 at his death, the youngest Twin ever to do so, drowning in Venezuela in Dec., 1970 (Hill card via  the fabulously entertaining "When Topps Had Balls" blog). 
I remember my brothers and I lamenting this when we found out about it.  We were shocked that someone so young could die.  Little did we know!

Baseball Reference has a concise bio on Hill, and there's an incredible account at the Cool of The Evening website of how Hill's Winter ball teammates Ray Fosse (yes, THAT Ray Fosse, the one who was rammed in the 1970 All-Star Game by Pete Rose!) and John Morris tried to save his life.  Oklahoma native Danny Thompson passed away after a courageous four year battle with leukemia in Dec., 1976.  He was 29 years old. 

Danny's good friend, Harmon Killebrew, inspired the formation of the Danny Thompson Memorial Golf Tournament, which has become an annual event to raise funds for studying medical treatment against this disease. See this 1970 Sporting News feature (PDF).

Another strange coincidence in the camera shot is that one of my all-time favorite Twins is standing right next to Thompson: utility man Jerry Terrell.  Terrell was born in Waseca, Minnesota and went to high school in Waterville, Minnesota - a short drive from my hometown of New Prague. He was signed to a Twins contract after doing well in a tryout camp in 1968 (below, 1974 Topps Rookie Jerry Terrell).

Not long after that, he worked one summer with my oldest brother, Jim, in Le Center, Minnesota at a company that manufactured pool tables.  I remember brother Jim telling me how he casually asked Terrell near the end of one shift what he was doing after work.  Terrell replied "I have a game tonight,"  prompting my brother to ask "Who for?"  "For a townball allstar game, the starting pitcher," said a sheepish Terrell.

Jim opined that Terrell had to be the nicest guy ever to play for the Twins.  Boston Globe and ESPN baseball reporter Peter Gammons was quoted in Stew Thornley's fine book "Minnesotans In Baseball," saying if there were a baseball hall of fame for good guys, Jerry Terrell would be a first ballot pick.

I remember a Baseball Digest note on Terrell in the "Fans Speak Out" section from January, '74 that kind of made me puff out my chest, what with a fellow Minnesotan being praised for his rookie credentials.  Years later, I had a brush with Terrell while visiting the Kansas City Royals ballpark in the late 1980's, when he was working as a scout for the Royals.  

At one point, a foul line drive nearly took out my front teeth.  My buddy Al, seated next to me, nearly cold-cocked me upside the head as he turned an tried to catch the ball speeding murderously by.  "You almost took a right cross on that one!," said a smiling Terrell.   

Of course, there are others in this photo that are notable.  Pitchers Charley Walters, Dave Goltz and Dick Woodson and Tom "The Blade" Hall all left their mark: the former as a sportswriter, the latter three on the mound. Rick Dempsey went on to play for several fine Orioles teams in the 70's, while Charley Manuel managed the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Eric Soderholm, Dave Goltz and Jose Stennett were each chosen by The Sporting News for its future stars-studded 1968 Minor League Players of the Year Team. Jim Holt would be an on again / off again regular and DH for the Twins. And Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn is pictured in the front row, a coach on this team, 

But these end up trivial details, with the heart of the matter elsewhere -  at least for me. 

And yes, my brother did come back from Vietnam to live a wonderful and productive life.  Probably holding one of his grandchildren at this very moment.

Twinkler Out! 
1968 Florida State League St. Petersburg Twins

Age B T Ht Wt DoB Birthplace
Robert Alexander 23 R R 6' 2.0" 183 Mar 5, 1945 San Diego, CA, US
Steve Brye 19 R R 6' 0.0" 190 Feb 4, 1949 Alameda, CA, US
Jerry Cram 20 R R 6' 0.0" 180 Dec 9, 1947 Los Angeles, CA, US
Rick Dempsey 18 R R 6' 0.0" 190 Sep 13, 1949 Fayetteville, TN, US
Dave Goltz 19 R R 6' 4.0" 200 Jun 23, 1949 Pelican Rapids, MN, US
Vernon Gove 20 L R 6' 2.0" 181 1948
Bill Hahn 21 L L 6' 3.0" 205 Nov 26, 1946
Tom Hall 20 L L 6' 0.0" 150 Nov 23, 1947 Thomasville, NC, US
Dennis Heger 21 S R 6' 3.0" 210 Sep 23, 1946
Herman Hill 22 L R 6' 2.0" 190 Oct 12, 1945 Tuskegee, AL, US
Mike Holbrook 20 R R 6' 1.0" 185 1948
Jim Holt 24 L R 6' 0.0" 180 May 27, 1944 Graham, NC, US
Charlie Manuel 24 L R 6' 4.0" 195 Jan 4, 1944 Northfork, WV, US
George Mitterwald 23 R R 6' 2.0" 195 Jun 7, 1945 Berkeley, CA, US
Ben Proulx 18 R R 6' 1.0" 190 Oct 22, 1949 Live Oak, FL, US
Gary Reierson 23 R R 6' 0.0" 195 1945
Rick Renick 24 R R 6' 0.0" 188 Mar 16, 1944 London, OH, US
Franklyn Sands 19 R R 5' 11.0" 165 Dec 2, 1948 Nassau, BS
Eric Soderholm 19 R R 5' 11.0" 187 Sep 24, 1948 Cortland, NY, US
Jose Stennett 22 L R 5' 11.0" 161 Oct 24, 1945
Buzz Stephen 23 R R 6' 4.0" 205 Jul 13, 1944 Porterville, CA, US
Jerry Terrell 21 R R 5' 11.0" 165 Jul 13, 1946 Waseca, MN, US
Danny Thompson 21 R R 6' 0.0" 183 Feb 1, 1947 Wichita, KS, US
Lanny Vessell 24 R R 5' 7.0" 150 1944
Charlie Walters 21 R R 6' 4.0" 190 Feb 21, 1947 Minneapolis, MN, US
Kenneth Wirell 25 R R 6' 5.0" 205 1943
Dick Woodson 23 R R 6' 5.0" 205 Mar 30, 1945 Oelwein, IA, US
Bill Zepp 21 R R 6' 2.0" 185 Jul 22, 1946 Detroit, MI, US
Generated 11/28/2013.