|1970 Topps Card|
|The superstitious Leo Cardenas|
(see Classic Twins story)
1970 Wheeldon Super Value
"How about a strikeout with the batter being retired K-7-6-7? In the game of April 25, 1970, Tiger pitcher Earl Wilson struck out to end the seventh inning in the Twin Cities. Or so it appeared to everyone except Detroit third base coach Grover Resinger. He saw that Twins catcher Paul Ratliff trapped the pitch in the dirt, did not tag Wilson for the strikeout, and rolled the ball to the mound. Resinger told Wilson to start running as most of the Twins entered the dugout. Earl got to first easily and headed for second. Since no one interfered with him, he started for third. By this time, Brant Alyea, who was trotting in from left field, heard Resinger shouting at Wilson. Alyea hustled to the mound but had trouble picking up the ball. Wilson headed for home where Twins Leo Cardenas and Ratliff had returned. Alyea finally picked up the ball and threw to Cardenas. Wilson turned back to third but was tagged out by Alyea for a K-7-6-7. Rookie catcher Ratliff was charged with an error. After the game, Detroit catcher Bill Freehan said "If Alyea had been hustling, Earl might have made it [home]. Tell him [Alyea] to start coming in and off the field a little quicker." The aftermath of the story is that Wilson pulled a hamstring muscle running the bases and had to leave the game." [same description (plus Alyea biographical info) of play at Baseball Reference].
|Today, Alyea joins Johnny Briggs and Joe Mauer|
in the Twins all-time sideburns Hall-of-Fame.
(1970 Wheeldon Super Valu portrait)
As said, Alyea had one HELL of a month that April with the Twins. In fact he was Hotter than Hell, to quote those American rock poets of KISS (the difference being, his services were for the Twins and Griffith, and not, well, Satan). Of course, big league clubs had ways even then about spreading the word about a player, what pitches they're hitting well, their tendencies to swing or not in a given ball/strike count. Well...things apparently caught up with Alyea soon enough. His coach turned back into a pumpkin, and teams were again throwing him a curveball, or some pitch that didn't neccessarily stay on a straight plane for him to hit. Back to being a career .255 hitter (BBRef stats, 1965-69). But he undeniably had his career month, no taking that away!
See his April stats: for awhile, Twins fans could forget about Billy Martin...you can click on any date to get additional game info and boxscore minutae. Hit the "back" button on your browser to circle back to the list for other games (season totals in black, bottom).
Getting some ribbies, first day as a Twin