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Remembering Leo Cardenas, The Superstitious One

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Gipper, TK, & Lefty in The Rosegarden: Sept. 29, 1987

The Twins had made it to the pinnacle. The 1987 World Series champs had basked in the warm glow of Twin Cities victory parades, and the interviews on national and local television. The hurricane now concluded with their congratulatory meeting with President Ronald Reagan in the White House Rose Garden (the transcript of the entire proceedings can be found at this link). You can view some video of the scenes edited for rebroadcast here: TC Media Coverage of Rosegarden Ceremony. It is a super document of how the event looked, complete with player reactions to the Ceremony - my thanks to TC Media for posting it! 


From L-R: Carl Pohlad, Roy Smalley Jr., Tom Kelly, Frank Viola, Howard Fox,
Steve Carlton, (in back) Kent Hrbek, Sal Butera, & The Leader Of The Free World.
Ronnie couldn't resist a trip down his own memory lane, back to his days as an announcer.

Kent Hrbek ( here, tucked in the back row, behind Reagan and Sal Butera), in particular, had been a modern-day Ulysses in the aftermath. His odyssey had him shuttling between Minneapolis-St. Paul, to New York to film his appearance on the David Letterman show, and now to stand near the Commander In Chief for the crowning finale in D.C.

Little wonder he went from the return jet to Minneapolis straight to a waiting camper to escape the hurricane, and relax with friends on a hunting trip. This episode also marked the final hurrah for "Lefty" Steve Carlton. The Hall of Fame pitcher made himself oddly conspicuous in his choice of eye wear, peeking over longtime Twins employee and then-president Howard Fox to catch the festivities. Though a marginal member of the staff that season (see gamelogs), he merited a spot on the plane ride to the capitol if only to salute his veteran, star status.

Patrick Reusse chronicled the event for "The Sporting News."




Fox (holding jersey), was the only visible holdover from the old Twins regime of Cal Griffith. It had to be a sweet payback after all the years of no success on the field (1971-86), and being Billy Martin's punching bag (1966 incident). That it was Pohlad, and not Griffith holding court along with the core group of players he drafted as Twins owner, made for an ironic twist. It was Carl's third full year as Twins owner.

Again, the transcript of the entire proceedings can be found at this Google docs link. You might find it interesting!

As our old friend and broadcaster Herb Carneal so quaintly put it:

"So long everybody!" - Herb Carneal

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