|1967 game at Metropolitan Stadium|
“I wrote this speech thinking this was going to be it. It’s not it. You guys went and screwed up my whole speech. We’ve got to come back here on Tuesday and drink some more beer.” – Kent Hrbek, in what was supposed to be his “goodbye to the Metrodome” speech, Oct. 4, 2009, before the famous Game No. 163 versus the Detroit Tigers.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
YES, I AGREE! THIS POST IS USELESS UNTIL I ADD PHOTOS, ELIMINATED WITH SHUTDOWN OF THIRD PARTY WEBSITE. HOPE TO HAVE REMEDIED SOON!!!
|Makeup most decidedly not by Covergirl.|
|Noted bad-arse Frank Thomas droppin' a vigorous |
pat-down on Billy, closely inspecting the Wrigley Field turf.
|Photos of Billy brawls came from this 1961 mag.|
The slugger, now 74 and battling esophageal cancer, was interviewed last fall with David Brown at Big League Stew (Yahoo).
For anyone who appreciates the soft-spoken grace of our very own "Killer" (and isn't that one of the most ill-fitting monikers in history?), this exchange with will be a treat!
DB: Did you use to go on David Letterman a lot?
HK: Used to a lot? I was on his show once [laughs].
DB: Just one?
HK: Well, I came out with other Hall of Famers to do a Top 10 deal a couple years ago, but you might remember me being on a whole show [laughs].
DB: That's right!
HK: Yep, I was on for a whole hour (in 1986). And that was the first time that ever happened. I said, "What am I gonna do with David Letterman for a whole hour?" They said, "Don't worry, we got it figured out, it'll work out fine."
DB: So what do you remember about the experience?
HK: At first, they called me to ask if I would do a segment for a special they were doing. I said, "No, I don't think I want to do that." But they kept after me and talked me into it and sent a crew out to Oregon and Idaho, where I was, and they spent a whole week out there. They did a lot of filming and they cut it down to an eight-minute segment [laughs].
HK:So it came time for the show and they called me up and said, "We're not going to have time to put you on the show." I said, "Oh, great. Well, that's good [laughs]!" So I think they were feeling sorry or guilty and, a couple of months later they called and said, "Dave Letterman wants you to do the whole show." And I said, "Oh, I don't think so. What am I going to do with David Letterman for a whole hour?" And they said, "Aw, c'mon, it'll be great." Finally, I said I'd do it.
DB: Were you more of a Johnny Carson man?
HK: Well, in those days, yeah. I didn't really know Dave Letterman, but I knew he was a real baseball fan. Of course, when I was on there, it went great. Worked out real fine.
Brown concluded by thanking Harmon for his time and commented about what a nice and kind person he appeared to be. Even after diligent search, I haven't been able to locate the video of this online, remembering that I had taped it back in the day when it aired.
Not that you should construe my doing so as overly Twin-sessive, O.K.?
In case you missed it, here's that Mauer appearance on Fallon from Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011:
Thanks for reading!
As Herb used to say: "And the count rides along..."
Monday, February 14, 2011
To me, he never fulfilled his early promise.
He was traded in May, 1982, along with Butch Wynegar to the New York Yankees (see transactions section at link). Never pitched in the majors again after 1983.
As Herb used to say...
...And the count rides along! - TT
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
|Lenny forgot to say "Make sure Billy Martin doesn't slug any of the starting pitchers after hours in Detroit this year!"|
| "Nobody told me we'd be stuck in coach."|
The Twins added this photo to the "looking back at.." feature.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Kirby Puckett was just thirteen months old. Torii Hunter's smiling face would not come along for another 14 years. A two-year old named Jim Eisenreich was playing with blocks up in St. Cloud, Minnesota...
And Lenny Green was in the starting lineup for the Twins in their inaugural game on April 11, 1961, versus the Yankees at the Stadium. He was the centerfielder in that game (link to his game logs), as he was for the majority of the games for the Twins that season. He came to the Senators/Twins organization in 1959 in a trade from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for the shrimpy-yet productive, Albie Pearson, the 1958 American League Rookie Of The Year.
|Passion. Intensity. Fundamentals. Lots of reasons to like this picture. But factor in the crowd reactions, the modes of|
dress to a sporting event in the early 1960's, the seating layout sans the upper left field mezzanine at the old Met.
Photo courtesy of Bob Showers, "The Twins At The Met"
He had above average speed, was an excellent fielder with good range, a below-average arm. In "Split Doubleheader," Morlock and Little had this quip regarding Lenny's arm, and the 1963 outfield combination of Harmon and/or Bob Allison in left, and Jim Lemon in right:
"...Killebrew...would have had to chug heartily to beat Leadfoot Lemon (the '61 left fielder) in a footrace. Allison had average speed, and Green had above average speed, but was lucky if he could toss a routine fly back to the infield on the third bounce...The best possible combination that could be made on a ball hit between Green and Killebrew would be for Green to chase it down, flip to Killebrew, who would fire to third to try to catch the batter."That said, Green's range factor (ranked third twice among centerfielders, '60 & '65) and hustle had to have compensated some for his throwing deficiences. He placed in the top 5 in fielding percentage four times from 1960 through 1965; furthermore, he ranked in the top four centerfielders in putouts in '61 and '62. As a modern comparison for today's Twins fan, prospect Ben Revere projects similarly in his skill set, as a speedy, slap-hitting, weak-armed outfielder (and that from Paul Molitor who has worked with Revere on his fundamentals).
|Batting practice, 1963, at The Met|
- Batted .362 (34 hits in 94 at-bats), in the two hole, starting and playing centerfield in every game
- Had 11 extra-base hits (9 doubles, 2 triples, no homers
- Walked 16 times (check OBP)
- Had 11 RBI, struckout 12 times (again, in 94 ABs)
- Stole 2 bases, was caught 4 four times (not great - also keep in mind, this wasn't a running era)
- Had a .455 on base %, and a .500 slugging %
- He had a .415 batting average on balls he put in play
- Had an .093 WPA for the Twins (fair to conclude he wasn't exactly a game-changer over span)
|Team promotional picture|
Courtesy Bob Showers, "The Twins At The Met"
|Spring training, Orlando, early 1960's|
Poor Len. He always seemed to miss the gravy train on its way out of the station. He, along with Vic Power, was traded to the California Angels in 1964, a year before the Twins went to the World Series. His old team before Minnesota, the Orioles, went to and swept the '66 Series. After the Angels, he put in a solid stint with the Red Sox - and again, was traded before The Impossible Dream of 1967. He played with the Tigers into June of 1968...but then was released 3 months before that outfit played in the big dance of '68. He was voted a $200 winners share (others made over $10,000 for making it the full season). If you're scoring at home, thats four championship teams, four years running, of which he was a member. Just could never stick with any of them long enough to enjoy the thrill of victory. But he never lamented - he's quoted by Bill Nowlin in 2007 thusly:
"No, no," he relied, when asked if he missed getting the money and notoriety, "I had a good career, and I enjoyed it. No, I don't ever feel left out. I feel blessed to ever have been able to play."
After baseball, Lenny got a job with Ford, like his Dad, as a security supervisor for 27 years before retiring in the late '90's. A bad back made surgery necessary in 2007, interrupting an otherwise enjoyable retirement.
And with the Twins long history of top-shelf flycatchers, from Jimmie Hall to Lyman Bostock, from Eisenreich to Kirby, from Torri and now Denard Span, he could always lay claim to being the first centerfielder of the Minnesota Twins!
|1963 Topps card|