It was the Spring of 2000 when I first saw
Johan Santana, that kid with the wide back
and big legs. It wasn't even 3 months after
the Y2K scare, and 8 months before the
contentious Bush-Gore Presidential election.
|Yes. He has a lovely Palmer script. Large portion at end of post.|
Memory serving me correctly, I saw Johan and
some other rookies enter the field near Section 115
(past third base)at Hammond Stadium on that March day in 2000.
Click on image for larger view.
What, exactly, is a rule 5 draftee? For a summary of it's whys and whereofs, I'll let this excerpt (from Fanhouse site, Dec. 8, 2010) link tell the story, if you're so inclined.
On a lark, we (Mark, my sister-in-law Nancy and I) had taken a 4-day jaunt down to Fort Meyers for a few days of warmth and baseball in March, 2000. That's a golden memory of details worth repeating for print another time...
In any event, it's fun to think I was a witness to the beginning of the career of one of the greatest Twins pitchers to date. Johan went on to have three years of up-and-down success (with an11-9 won-loss record) before becoming a sensation as a starter in mid-2003. Credit pitching coach Bobby Cuellar for some minor league refining on that cool, circle change in 2002 at Edmonton AAA before sending Santana back as a polished lefty!
|The skinny on the "new kid."|
No, this Johan didn't invent a printing press. But he could pretty
much print his own money after signing a 6-year contract in Feb., 2008
with those city slickers from the Big Apple. [sigh].
|#36 Butch Huskey (right half) was the "big" off-season signing for the Twins. Ay caramba!|