January 18, 2022

George Harrison, Twins fan

Liverpool’s Fab Four made a tour stop in Minnesota on Aug. 21, 1965, taking the stage at Metropolitan Stadium before 30,000 fans. They would go on to play 11 songs — they opened with “She’s a woman” — in an appearance that lasted all of 35 minutes, according to Thom Henninger, author of “The Pride of Minnesota: The Twins in the turbulent 1960s.”

No one would pay for a 35-minute concert today, but for the Beatles? I think many of us would still pay top dollar to see the history-making group for that long or less. It’s hard to put into words just how significant the landscape of music and pop culture changed when the Beatles came to be. They are the world’s most famous musical group.

At some point during their stop in Minnesota, Beatle George Harrison put on a Twins cap and posed for a photographer, showing thumbs up, according to Henninger’s book. Was he a Twins fan? No, I’m sure he wasn’t, but it would have been a good time to become one because the Twins were in the middle of their best-ever season. While the Beatles rocked the Met, the Twins were on the road, splitting a two-game series with the California Angels, who were still playing games at Dodgers Stadium, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

After the split, the Twins came home to face the New York Yankees for four games. They won the opener in walk-off fashion in the 10th inning. The Yanks called on “Ball Four” author Jim Bouton to pitch the 10th and he was not up to the task, walking the first two batters he faced. He struck out Frank Quilici, then served up a center field single to Jerry Kindall, who was hitting .202. Bob Allison scored and the Twins won 4-3. Bouton took the loss to fall to a dreadful 4-13 on the season.

The Twins took three of four games from the Yanks, including the final game of the series, 9-2. Allison powered the win with two doubles and a home run, part of a 14-hit attack.

The Twins went 19-13 that August, followed by 17-9 in September to wrap up the American League pennant with a record of 102-60. The Twins dominated the league like never before or since. They were 17-1 against the Boston Red Sox, 15-3 versus the Senators and 13-5 against the Yankees, their arch-rivals.

Extra innings…

-The Minneapolis Tribune coverage of the Beatles was, like a lot of coverage in those years, largely patronizing as an older generation of reporters clearly struggled to get their heads around the hubbub created by the group. The concert story focused on the shrieking fans, the press conference was nothing more than silly questions and silly answers — a staple of the Beatles’ press conference, it seems — and the paper decided to send reporter Susan Stocking to the Leamington Motor Inn so that she could impersonate a waitress and gain access to their room. What did she learn about the Beatles? Not much.

Source: Newspapers.com

And then there was this…

January 9, 2022

Tony Oliva and a rookie season for the ages

Tony Oliva is headed to the Hall of Fame along with former teammate and pitcher Jim Kaat. While Kaat’s overall body of work might jump off the page a bit more, take a close look at Oliva’s rookie season and it’s hard not to say that he doesn’t belong in the pantheon of peers because... Continue Reading »

December 26, 2021

Corey Koskie made the final out in the 2002 ALDS? No, he didn’t

I recently re-watched the Hollywood adaptation of “Moneyball,” a good movie that captures one of the great seismic shifts in baseball as Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane embraces the work of longtime statistician Bill James to newly evaluate and find overlooked and inexpensive talent in a game that favors wealthier teams. All went according... Continue Reading »

December 13, 2021

A stroll down memory lane with Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Kaat

It never fails: A current or former Twins player is in the news and before long I have stumbled across something online that is entirely new to me. Who has been in the news? Former Twins Jim Kaat and Tony Oliva, both of whom were recently elected to the Class of 2022 of the National... Continue Reading »

December 6, 2021

For the Twins, a shrewd deal to retain Buxton and a head-scratcher for pitcher Bundy

The Twins front office showed off some excellent negotiating skills to retain and extend outfielder Byron Buxton, keeping the brilliant but often injured Buxton in Minnesota on a seven-year, $100 million deal. Frankly, it’s a steal of a deal for the Twins who agreed to a number of incentives on paper that could pay Buxton... Continue Reading »

November 24, 2021

Even worse than I imagined it to be

Calvin Griffith’s tenure as owner of the Minnesota Twins came to an end in 1984, the year he sold the team. But for all intents and purposes it really ended on Sept. 28, 1978, a date which will live in infamy for Twins fans. That’s when the old cherub shot off his mouth in the... Continue Reading »

November 17, 2021

Did the Twins just hire Rocco’s replacement?

Rocco Baldelli is the current manager of the Minnesota Twins. But for how much longer? I must admit that was the first thing that popped into my mind — and I can’t be the only one thinking this — after the Twins announced they had hired former San Diego Padres manager, Jayce Tingler, to join... Continue Reading »

November 12, 2021

The enduring mystery of Luis Tiant’s 1 season in Minnesota

Luis Tiant, the beloved Boston Red Sox pitcher, forever immortalized for a pitching motion that had him looking at second base before he whirled home, spent a season with the Twins in 1970. The #MNTwins released Luis Tiant 50 years ago today. Over seven seasons from 1972 to '78, Tiant averaged 243 innings pitched, 17... Continue Reading »

November 3, 2021

When Round 1 went to the old-school Twins

Nineteen years ago the Oakland A’s were the talk of baseball, a franchise that had seemingly found a magic elixir that allowed them to win and win often with the tiniest of payrolls. A year later author Michael Lewis explained it all in a best-seller called “Moneyball.” Baseball would never be the same. Surprisingly, Lewis... Continue Reading »

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Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.