The Minnesota Twins began a new Twins era in the home of the 1966 World Series winning Baltimore Orioles, at Memorial Stadium on April 11, 1967 (see game description at BBRef. link, and PDF of Winona Daily News, bottom of post). Until this year, it has been the only other time the season has begun in Baltimore in the 52 seasons of Twins baseball.
|1968 Topps card: as he appeared, '67 pic|
It was still two months before the Beatles unleashed their Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP. It was that long, too, before the Six Day's War between Israel and it's Middle East neighbors commenced. Though smaller in the lens of world focus, it was a significant day in Twins and baseball history as it was the very first time Rod Carew's name appeared in a box score. The 21 year-old hadn't even played a game above A ball (minors stats)!
It was a disappointing lid-lifter. Jim Kaat, the AL's best pitcher of 1966, was cuffed around in the very first inning, as the first four batters reached base. Brooks Robinson put the cherry on the cake with his two-run dinger, thereby announcing the Birds were actually serious about defending their shiny, new Championship trophy. That came immediately after Cesar Tovar had doubled to start the first. Alas, he was erased when he strayed too far off the bag on Rich Rollins' flyout to left, doubled off by Curt Blefary's on-the-money peg to shorstop Aparcio. Instant momentum shift. Otherwise, the game was notable for the appearance of five future Hall Of Fame players, including Killebrew, Carew, the Robinsons Brooks and Frank, and little Luis Aparicio. It was a 6-3 drubbing, and served notice the O's would be a force for years to come.
|1967 photo,"The Sporting News" - At Metropolitan Stadium|
This Max Nichols article in TSN gives some insight into the rookie Carew: